There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
That’s a figure of speech and not an open admission of sadism. I feel like I need to clarify that sort of thing because this is the Internet after all and some of you are pretty twisted.
Not me, though. Nope. Right as rain here.
Of course, that gets called into question when I decide to level another alt to 110. To be fair, it didn’t start off that way. At first, it was just an experiment to see how much gold I could make on a new server. I had a boosted toon on a Horde server, but rather than level up yet another DK I decided that my farming toon would be a Demon Hunter. No twinking, no locking his level. Just run my farming route and let nature take its course.
Now my DH is 110 with an iLevel of 822. It’s been fun, so I’ll probably finish off his Class quest, get him his Slayer title, and then call the experiment complete. I have to admit, I actually enjoyed leveling this time around. Probably because I didn’t do it the way I did over the past four toons. I learned a few things, and if I level another character I may do this again.
What did I do? What did I not do?
- I didn’t follow the zone storylines. Been there, done that four times already. Wasn’t excited to do it for a fifth. Not entirely, anyway. My priority with my DH was as a farming character, and that’s what I did. Grinding mobs. Picking flowers. I focused on that, and every quest that did not involve doing something involving the lore/zone storylines. I did the Profession quests. Order Halls. Class quests. I snagged his other artifact weapon just for the XP.
- Zone storyline quests fill in the gaps. Two things suffer when you level outside the main quest lines – your artifact power and your gear. I got a little bit of each from completing the occasional random dungeon, but it wasn’t until I started doing the zone storylines that I started getting some meat on those bare bones. Mind you, I was already 108 when I started pushing zone content for the fifth time. But even those two zones that I did run were enough to get me a respectable iLevel by the time I reached 110.
- PVP paid off. I’d queue up for dungeons while I was leveling, but it wasn’t until level 108 before I even considered dipping my toe into queueing for random BG’s. I could select two that would not be up for random selection, and the wait time was shorter than dungeons. I was surprised by how much XP I was being awarded for winning. I didn’t pull exact numbers, which could be reason enough for me to lean this way if I level another character. The gift box at the end of the BG also had the potential to provide artifact power, gear, or gold. If and when I level up another character, I may start this a bit sooner and take note of the spoils of victory.
Like I said, I’m still working on Captain Demon Hunter. He’s not quite finished his class quest. But while he may not be a Slayer yet, he was killing the content in his own way. Get it? Slayer? Killing the content?
Also, Happy Holidays.
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!
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!
The experiment continues.
I remember when I first started leveling my Windwalker monk. I figured I’d play around until level twenty or so, pick up the daily quest (which gave a 60m xp buff), and probably lose interest. Playing him in PVP seemed amazing, but that had more to do with what I expect was the Call to Arms for PVP being Warsong Gulch, given the amount of xp and honor I was getting per match. Once the sweet perks dried up, and I kept dealing with Alliance groups who seemed to forget which way to go to find the Horde flag, I began to feel like the Windwalker experience was starting to sour.
Then I remembered that PVE is also a viable way to level. Better, some might say. Especially with a 50% xp buff through heirlooms, and 50% through a daily quest. So I booted up my Zygor Leveling Guide and decided to try my luck with AI mobs.
Merculees is now level 34. Zoom.
I enjoy playing the Windwalker monk but I can’t pin down exactly what the draw is. I’m still using the killswitch macro (which you can read about HERE) but even if I wasn’t, there isn’t any complex patterns when it comes to killing with the Windwalker. Healing, rez, debuff, silence, all things the Death Knight can do. Maybe it’s the rolling, or the flying dragon kick that I like so much. Maybe it’s just something different than the plate-wearing killers I’m used to playing. Judging by the Crash Course video, things don’t change all that much at endgame either.
The drawback to leveling so quickly is that my professions are falling behind. I only have one – Mining – but I’m now in zones I can’t mine in because my skill level is too low. My playtime is still limited, so I can either continue leveling my monk, or go back and level my professions. I had considered getting skinning as well, given the amount of animals I was killing. I’d get xp leveling both professions (not so much with the skinning until the animals turned at least green), but I’d make more by completing a single quest at level.
I also started running dungeons. The xp is nice, the other players are hit and miss. No comments about anything I’ve done, good or bad (but how often do random players in a group make positive comments about anyone other than themselves anyway). No news is good news I guess.
The PVP is something I still want to do. But I admit, it’s frustrating. It’s tough running to a flag, or a node, and being the only one nearby. You look at the map and see your teammates either clustered together somewhere way off from where they should be, or so spread across the map it looks like the zone has measles.
Serenity now, serenity now.
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.