There was exactly zero point zero hesitation when everyone’s favorite supervillain-looking mage, Odingreen, finally dinged 68. I say “finally” as if it took a long time. It didn’t, really. But as soon as Odingreen hit 68, he ported to Stormwind, put on a parka, tore the sleeves off, got on a boat, and headed straight to Northrend. With all the snow, trees, mountains, and snow, it was like taking a ship to Canada only with fewer Tim Hortons coffee shops and fewer apologies.
Not that his time in Outland was terrible or anything. To be fair, he really wasn’t there long enough to form an opinion. He landed in Hellfire Peninsula, with its red sky, red dirt, and red pigs. So it was probably less depressing to spend more time in dungeons, which he did on the regular. Most of his Burning Crusade leveling was through dungeons, and according to Recount OG kept finding himself right in the middle of the road as far as the damage he was doing. He was never kicked from a group for having what some might consider sub-par damage, so he must’ve done a decent enough job. Then again, when the rest of the group is doing double your DPS, they’re killing things too fast to notice that you’re even there.
Was it frustrating? Kinda, but really as long as the XP kept flowing at a constant rate, then his damage output and reasons for lack thereof, was secondary. Besides, sometimes you need to bang out a few pushups between pulls. Always finish your set, regardless of how many mobs get pulled. They’ll be there when you’re done, or they won’t. But that pump is totes worth it. #ProTip
Poor Zygor got a workout during this whole ordeal as well. He had to constantly update his questing path becauses Odingreen was tearing through the the alien world faster than, well, something really fast. He’d get a handful of quests done, run a dungeon or two, then move on to a new zone because he was already bored (and had outleveled the zone). In fact, he’d just gotten the quest that took him into Blade’s Edge Mountains when he dinged 68. He blew by Nagrand entirely. Never looked at Shadowmoon Valley. Missed many ugly zones, and not so ugly. He got a good tan though, so that’s something.
It was much the same thing when Odingreen hopped off the boat in Howling Fjord. Quests were done between dungeons, and zones were skipped. He did some business in Howling Fjord, had a cup of coffee in Dragonblight, then got a flier in the mail that told him the Argent Tournament was the cat’s pyjamas and he should go there ASAP.
He flexed at the mailbox. “A tournament?” he asked. “Too easy, baby. I’m the guy who brings guns to a joust fight.”
The mailbox said nothing, being a mailbox and all.
But Odingreen wasn’t dissuaded by silence from non-sentient beings. He kissed the peak of his bicep. “Lich King better start sweating! Odingreen’s a-comin’!”
Clearly the mage was stoked. He also had some leveling tips so I thought I’d add them there.
Odingreen’s Power Pro Leveling Tips
- Don’t run Recount. “I know it’s tempting to see what kind of damage you’re doing in dungeons. But shut that shit off. Recount is an end-game addon to show where you are in the raid’s pecking order. Gear, level, there’s plenty of things that are gonna make a big difference in digits. And if you do run it, don’t link it in group. Bragging about your Recount numbers while you’re leveling doesn’t mean you’ve got a big dick. It means you ARE a big dick.”
- Use a leveling addon. “There’s free ones out there. But I’m leet, so I use Zygor’s Leveling Guide. It’s got a bunch of other built-in functions, like auto-equipping upgrades as you get them. If you’re the kind of person who likes reading quest text, or enjoys wandering around picking flowers while you’re killing twenty of something for their ears or teeth or whatever, more power to ya. But it’s like when I go to the gym – I’m not getting paid by the hour. I’m there to do work and get going. Wasting time is stupid.”
- Elixir of the Rapid Mind. “This tonic is like Viagra for your XP – it makes you uber buff for fifteen minutes. So if you’re going to take one of these, you probably want to do it when you’re in a dungeon that has a few quests in it, and a few bosses. It’s also nice to have some quests finished outside the dungeon before you drink it. Basically you want to pop this before you hand in quests. Don’t use this for grinding – that’s what spit is for.”
- Get flying ASAP. “I don’t give a swollen turd what anyone says – flying is the best. You get places faster, you don’t have to deal with zombies or crabs or whatever is between you and your quest reward. If you want to pick flowers, stay on your pony. I’ll mount up on my dragon and fly, and look damn good doing it, thank you very much.”
- Know your role. “Whether you’re using macros or facerolling, have an idea what your spells, talents and abilities do. Got a group buff? Know that shit at least so you don’t look like some kind of fool when you’re asked for it. Check out Wowhead or Icy Veins if you’re not sure. People will tolerate shitty damage, but if you don’t know your buffs, you can get bounced from a group. The moral of the story is that buff is good. I’m buff, I’m the stuff, and I’m flexing right now to show my appreciation for your attention. You can’t see it of course, but imagine it. There. Now’s it’s a gift for both of us.”
Charming. The road to Archie-Mode continues.
It has been eighteen hours of /play-time, and Odingreen has dinged 61. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad number. It’s like almost four levels per hour, which while abysmal at lower levels, by the mid 50’s or so that seems like some good pacing.
I’ve used one Elixir of the Rapid Mind for that 300% xp buff. These are best used in dungeons, sometime around boss kills and the time you hand in the dungeon quests. It persists through death, but as long as you don’t have a completely idiotic group you should be fine and maybe even squeeze off a level or two during a single run.
How has the experience been, asked no one but I’m suggesting it as a valid question anyway?
There have been some definite pros and cons, which I will now discuss.
- I’ve revisited many old zones, some I haven’t been to in ages. Usually not for very long, since questing with heirlooms makes things move along much quicker. But it was nice to see Westfall again, especially since so few of my characters are Alliance.
- It’s been time away from Draenor, a planet I have spent 99% of my gametime in since the damn expansion started. Time away from garrisons, from Tanaan Jungle, from the entire endgame. It has been a reminder that there is more to World of Warcraft than a few zones.
- Playing a completely new class that I’ve never played before has been a distraction. It’s put me in a different mindset – while I’ve played range DPS classes before (ie Hunters) there’s something about just sitting back and blasting away. Getting aggro as a glass cannon is a new sensation, as is getting one-shot from a boss that the tank decided to train on me just before he died. Dude! Do I look like a fucking priest to you?
- Odingreen looks straight-up pimpin’. Not like a pimp, of course, but he definitely puts off that muscular super-villain vibe. He’s wearing a uniform, has a spectacle covering one eye, and is blonde and muscular and powerful. He’s douchie in a way that is different, yet fun. He casts judgement over no one, and not just because he’s a mage rather than a paladin (Ah, spell-casting humor. Is there anything more nerdy? Because if so, I’m not aware of it.)
- Maybe crushing 90-100 has spoiled me, but the level grinding is starting to wear on me. The goal is to get him to 100, and he’s already halfway there. With a few more hours of playtime he’ll probably be able to jump into Northrend. I don’t know how I’ll handle that, and I’m already dreading leveling through Pandaria. When it was current content, MoP questing gave me stress anxiety headaches. What increases the potential stress is…
- I don’t know how I feel about the Mage class. By level 61, I can honestly say that I’ve given it a good go. I’ve quested, grouped, leveled both in Frost and Arcane spec. There’s not a whole lot to it, and while I know I’m not playing it to the absolute max I’m not at the bottom of the recount charts. I’m in the middle, but that’ll happen when you’re not using weapons to buff your damage.
- I’m also used to more of a steady stream of damage coming out, rather than having to wait for a spell to cast, then another, with nothing in between unless he procs something. Groups have cleared entire dungeon trash packs while I wait for a single spell to refresh. I’ll get one cast before they move on. Luckily, the fact that I’m a good 100-200 dps behind the next character hasn’t gotten me kicked out of groups yet. I hear Shadow Priests have more insta-cast spells at their disposal.
- The mage is currently at the same level (give or take a level or two) of a pandaren warrior, a human monk, and a worgen hunter that I had leveled, then abandoned. Do I want to continue taking the Mage to the end game? Or do I want to take a left or right at this crossroad and advance another character? One I’m both familiar and comfortable with?
- The leveling thing. Now regardless of who I move forward with, I have taken each of the three from level one to their current level. So there’s no invalidating the spirit of the A2O mission. But do I sock away a few bucks and boost this character? Or do I grind through the next thirty levels?
Much to consider. Until then, keep flexing!