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Death Knight Tier 17 Sets

MMO Champion released a video of the WoD Tier 17 models for the DK armor sets. Color me kooky, but I like the look of them. I’ll never possess any of these sets, but I like the look.

Pros and Cons of Leveling Through Pet Battles

My currently grinding Death Knight has had the pleasure of stomping his way through level 86 to his current halfway point in 88, all just by doing Pet Battles.  Even at a real casual, non-stressful pace I’ve managed to… well, not dread the leveling experience.  Call it burnout, call it Post Traumatic Leveling Disorder, but Pet Battles has been just what the doctor ordered.

 

Or Nurse, as the case may be.

Or Nurse, as the case may be.

 

As my Death Knight closed in on level 89, I started to wonder if maybe I should start questing in Dread Wastes once I crested.  Thankfully for blog content, I decided to weigh the pros and cons of leveling via Pet Battles rather than by traditional questing.

 

XP

Con: At lv 88, quests give around 196,000 xp.  Pet Battle victories net you roughly 145,000 to 165,000, depending on the level of the pets you are fighting.  Basic math tells you that 196k is more than 165k.  If you’re blankly staring at the screen, just trust me on this.

Pro: Depending on where you are picking your battles, Pet Battles can bring in more XP per hour than questing, if you can knock them off back to back.  Zhu’s Watch in Krasarang Wild is a great spot with plenty of battle pets roaming around, if you’re sick of fighting the ones in the Vale of Eternal Blossom.

 

Loot

Con: Well, any loot you get from Pet Battles is going to be something for buffing your pet.    You can level from 85 to 90 by running Pet Battles until your eyes bleed, but at the end of the day you’re still going to be wearing the same level 85 gear you started with in Pandaria.  Quests give you gear you’ll be able to use to get into dungeons.

Pro: There is an entire section of Achievement Points dedicated to Pet Battles.  Most of them really aren’t that hard to get, and if you’re levelling up through Pet Battles you’ll probably get a great deal of them by default.  While you might not get gear from unlocking these achievements, you will get some titles as well as more pets (the Celestial Dragon is BEAST MODE for Pet Battles.)

 

Gold

Con: You don’t make any gold by winning Pet Battles.  You get gold rewards by completing quests, and if you get a quest reward that you don’t really need, you can sell it and double dip into the gold pool.

Pro: You can make gold by buying level one blue pets off the auction house on the cheap, then selling them for a hefty profit once you level them to 20 (or 25 if you feel ambitious).  I would suggest stopping before 25 because you might get some people who want the achievement for getting a certain family of pet to 25.  I’ve bought pets for 300gp and sold them for 3000gp.

 

Intangibles

Con: Well there’s a few things here where Pet Battles might come up short.  You’ll have zero rep at level 90, locking you out of valor and justice gear.  But that won’t matter since you won’t have any justice points due to lack of running dungeons on the way to 90.  Good luck getting into heroics having never set foot in the regular dungeons to start with.  And aside from a handful of zones, you really won’t see much of Pandaria since you’ll only be grinding in a couple of spots on the entire continent.

Pro: The reason I decided to level through Pet Battles is because I’d already run the quests a few times and wanted something different.  I’m not suggesting you level this way on your Main.  This is more for the person who wants to level their alt a different way, a little more casually while still progressing in levels.  You can start a battle, toss a load of wet laundry in the dryer, and finish the battle.  Nice and painless.

 

Conclusion

I’m certainly not saying that Pet Battles is the best way to level.  Questing is still king, since it provides everything you need as you level – you learn your class through combat, you get experience, gold, and gear.  You gain rep with various factions, some of which you might actually need.   But if you’re rather dive into a swimming pool filled with syringes rather than play with yaks one more time, Pet Battles are definitely a great way to level up.

 

No.  Just no.

No. Just no.

Leveling From 85 to 90 Without Questing

Hello Patch 5.3.0, it could be nice to meet you.

Now me being me, I haven’t really looked too deeply into what Patch 5.3 is giving us.  That would take time, and what little I have for World of Warcraft is best spent in game, not reading about it.  You could probably swing by MMO Champion and find a breakdown on all the patch highlights.

There’s two things that did grab my interest in the patch notes.  Thing the first is the Patch 5.3 Changes being made to Death Knights.  Let’s go over them, shall we?

HAHAHA seriously what the Hell!  That’s it?! I make more of an effort when I’m changing my underwear than Blizzard does making changes to Death Knights.  Either the class is really that awesome, or Blizzard doesn’t care because most people aren’t playing Death Knights enough to notice the need for change.

Now let’s get to the more important 5.3 change that many people are sporting cyber-wood over:

The amount of XP needed to level from 85 to 90 has been reduced by 33%. 

 Can you hear that?  That sobbing sound you hear is the tears of joy from the people who have been waiting forever to level their alts.  That other nasty sound you might be hearing is angry people who have already leveled their alts to 90 and are showering their keyboards with rage pee.

I, for one, don’t blame either group.  As pretty as Pandaria might be, it’s just like any other leveling zone.  Once you’ve quested through it a couple of times, you’re pretty much happy to never see it again.  Some people muscle through the content a couple more times and then wash their hands in it.  Some insane people level ten of their alts to 90 without somehow losing their minds.

Because I clearly have issues that the medical community still can’t explain, I started leveling my third Death Knight from 85 to 90.  I’d be at the character selection screen, see that 85 DK and think to myself that yes, today would be the day I would take him to level 86. But as soon as I saw the inside of that inn in Jade Forest, my brain would send anxiety waves to my hands and render them useless.  It was like suffering agoraphobia, only in this case my fear was going outside in a digital world and facing humanoid Pandas with exclamation points hovering over their heads.

There had to be a better way to level.  No, check that.  It didn’t have to be better, it just had to be something that didn’t make me feel like I was being made to drink a bucket of warm donkey piss at gunpoint.

My alternatives were limited.  I didn’t have a gathering profession, so I wouldn’t be reaching 90 by way of picking flowers or smashing rocks.  Dungeons was definitely an alternative, but that had the double downside of first looking at queues of 15-30 minutes as a DPS class, then dealing with four other strangers and hoping they knew what the Hell they were doing so we could get through the run without wiping.

The solution came to me when I noticed this guy hammering on a side of beef like it owed him money.

Yo Adrian!

Yo Adrian!

Pet Battles.  My favorite bad habit in WoW. It was staring me in the face the whole time.

I’ll discuss the beating I took over this battle pet in a future post (OMG SPOILERS).  Right now, I was still nursing fresh bruises and full body aches in the aftermath of these conflicts.  Why not let these battle pets earn XP for me?  I didn’t see a downside to the idea – the pets would get experience, I’d get experience, and I wouldn’t have to spend hours getting abused by spirits, monkeys, and giant bugs.

Was it effective?

Before Patch 5.3 hit, I’d already gotten myself midway through 88 once I had a team I was comfortable with.  I had three pets at level 25, and trust me I didn’t need three.  My Celestial Dragon was taking care of all sorts of business by itself, soloing packs of level 24 and 25 pets in the Vale of Eternal Blossom.  I was able to powerlevel two other low level pets while raking in XP of my own.  In Northrend I was earning 96-104k XP per fight, and in Pandaria I was looking at 130-136k XP per fight.  At roughly three minutes a fight, I was looking at about TWO POINT SIX MILLION XP PER HOUR in Pandaria.  After the XP nerf, it only took about 12.5 million XP to get through level 88.  More importantly, the XP per fight appears to go up to 161k!

What?  How?

The secret to rapid fire battles is to pick fights near a stable master.  After the battle is over, quickly fly to the stable master to heal or revive your pets, then get back out and start another battle.  Northrend has a perfect spot – quick respawns for non-stop battles, and a stable master very close by.

Once you’re ready for the level 25 battle pets, make your way to the Vale of Eternal Blossom.  The lakes and nearby moths provide plenty of battles, and the stable master is just up by the flight master.  You’ll gain 134,000 XP back to back, faster than you’d get per quest.  In the time it would take you to accept the quest, do the quest, and hand in the quest, you could have done two or three Pet Battles.

So if you’re ready to slit your wrists at the thought of another quest grind, whip out some vanity pets and throw down.  You’ll be glad you did.  So will this guy.

Don't make me hurt you, punk.

Don’t make me hurt you, punk.