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MoP Leveling to 90 Like the Pros

Old school leveling for an old school hunter.

Old school leveling for an old school hunter.

Since my damn OCD kicked in, I’ve been trying to level my Orc hunter to 90. He had been sitting at 87 for well over a year, and I just couldn’t get myself to push onward. I used pet battles as a way to fool myself into leveling him by leveling battle pets at the same time. The pets would “ding”, distracting me from the fact that I was getting experience as well.

Eventually my brain caught on, and punished me for the deception by making me forget my name for an hour. I decided it was time to try a different approach.

I’d been using the Horde Speed Leveling Guide to get a couple of my characters from 90 to 100, with what I felt was a great deal of success. The guide was designed by players who were hoping to get server first to 100. Not so big on things like story or lore. Screw that.

I began to wonder what previous players did to get to realm first for other expansions. Say, expansions like MoP. Did they have a speed route to take? Nail down some repeatable quest or something that wouldn’t get them banned?

I did a bit of research and wasn’t thrilled with what I was finding. There seemed to be two methods used to hit 90 fast – Zygor leveling guides, and mob tagging. Mob tagging (attacking a high level mob and then having others burn it down quickly) wasn’t going to work for me, since I was going to be doing this solo.

I was already using Zygor guides, and had used it to get other characters to 90. It was good, effective, but there was so much travel and running around between kills. Plus, taking the same route over and over was wearing a muddy path in my soul. It got my Orc hunter to 87 before my tires started spinning in the muck and I abandoned him.

What I needed was some kind of “Option C”.

I never understood why people made a big deal about the person who ended up getting realm/server first. After a couple of months, nobody would even remember that person’s name. That bit of truth was biting me in the ass since I now wanted to know who that person was, and if they did anything different than the masses.

Turns out that person was a druid named Fs, and they had a plan.

I watched the video with a great deal of interest. Sure, grinding mobs wasn’t overly interesting. But quick kills with the potential of greens dropping, and little chance of getting killed? Granted, the information in the video was old. But was it still effective?

Again, the answer was yes.I picked up one level and greens which I vendored for gold. Easy kills, especially with the 100% buff, and very quick respawns. I never once had to stop attacking. This could be a nice place to level while queued for a dungeon. If you’re trying to level a character from the mid-80’s, and you’re looking for a little mindless grinding, let those who got there (World) first guide you.

Top Eight Ways to Level to 90

With the Warlords of Draenor expansion release date finally upon us, players who may have stepped away from the game are coming back to get their mains ready for WoD. Or, maybe they’re looking to get their alts to 90 so that they never have to look at another Pandaren again. In any case, people are trying to level up as quickly as possible (without spending sixty bones for a boost.)

I’ve tried a few methods myself (including the boost) and as luck would have it, I stumbled across a video Asmongold had made regarding the top eight ways to level up to 90. I’ve used a couple of the ways he mentions, so I tend to agree with his overall assessment. He takes a very smart approach to the top eight, so check it out and feel free to try some of these methods yourself if you’re hoping to hit 90 before WoD comes out.

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.