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Alpha to Omega – Mists of Pandaria


“Rise and Grind, Nerds!” – Odingreen

Out of the entire leveling stretch, Mists of Pandaria was the expansion I was dreading the most. I HATED leveling in MoP. I know hate is a strong word, but it’s the best I could come up with without getting too colorful or graphic. It gets the point across without me telling you that leveling through Pandaria was the drizzling shits. Back in the day, just the thought of questing through MoP gave me a frustration headache, a stress-clenched jaw, and the sensation that I’d just swallowed a swarm of bees that had dined on nothing but tequila and bad intentions. It was during that expansion that I actually walked away from WoW for an entire year. Unsubbed, never looked back.

It was that bad.

I tried to put my finger on what exactly red-lined my stress when it came to MoP. The quests were… fine, I guess? I think it was the sheer distance to get from point A to point B by land that made the whole procedure feel like it took sooooo long. Riding from hub to hub felt like someone slowly dragging their fingernails across a chalkboard. Even after the xp squish that comes with old content, I only leveled two characters through the content. Luckily they’d already started the grind, so it was less of an issue to get them through.

But Odingreen had to get through Pandaria from start to finish. Even with a few Elixirs of the Rapid Mind, it still wasn’t a walk in the park. It probably took twice as long as the Cataclysm stretch did. There were a few times when minutes of travel ticked off the Elixir of the Rapid Mind without anything happening except travel. There were a few good quest hubs, followed by saddle sores.

Odingreen’s Tips for Leveling From 85 to 90 Using the Elixir of the Rapid Mind

  1. Patience, Grasshopper. Pandaria was not RM friendly, that’s for damn sure. It took three RM, with questing in between to fill in the gaps between hubs, to get from 85 to 90. With no flying, and quite a bit of space between hubs, the time dragged like an anchor. Kun-Lai was a beast to get around. Avoid that piece of property if you can.
  2. No Dungeons. If you’re going lone wolf, stay away from these dungeons. There’s too many cute little mechanics going on that seems to befuddle groups. If you really want to enjoy the experience then run them solo once you get to 100.

Yeah, not much to sing about when it came to Mists of Pandaria. The best part was leaving it in the rearview mirror when Odingreen flew to Timeless Isle, went for a swim, and took the shortcut to Draenor.

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.

TGIF – Jade Forest Gold Farming

When one is farming for gold, sometimes it pays to go the extra mile. For example, you might have to run a questline to unlock something, like a phased zone. I’ve leveled a few characters through the Jade Forest, but I tend not to be there that long. A handful of quests and I’m usually ready to move on to the next zone. I may decided to go back and work on a few more quests if it means I get to farm without having to worry about someone else poaching the mobs.

Check out this video from BellularGaming, who outlines the quest in quest…ion. Check out the comments, where he points you to the Horde equivalent.

For the Alliance? For THE LEWTZ!