I’m going to say three things that some people might find *gasp* controversial. Game-wise, at least.
- Warlords of Draenor was one of my favorite expansions.
- I hate Mists of Pandaria. Not hated, hate. Like, still do.
- I use leveling addons, and will damn well pay for a one if it’s good enough.
“ROKK!” shouted the masses (if three voices could, in fact, be considered masses). “EXPLAIN THYSELF!”
Sure thing, brumblefarts (Wait, what? — Editor). It’s pretty simple.
- WoD made me an in-game millionaire with only five to ten minutes of “work” per day. Had I started sooner, that would have been multi-millionaire and I’d be pimping around on that million-gold spider mount today.
- Leveling in MoP was so boring, so time-consuming, so loooooooooong, that I actually walked away from WoW for an entire year. Doing more than a handful of quests gave me a headache born of frustration. No expansion, no video game in my entire life, gave me that kind of negative physical reaction.
- I hate wasting my time.
Now I should have prefaced this entire thing by saying I don’t care about WoW Lore. I’m barely interested in reading quest storylines, but I will most likely not remember them. I will read only the quest text that says “Choose your reward.”
What’s this? I’m being handed a note here from the Hurt Feelings Department… *sigh* (Do I really need to say this? I shouldn’t have to spell out… Okay, fine. FINE. Fine.)
I understand that many people who play World of Warcraft enjoy the rich story, the expansive lore, and the clever quest text. I am by no means marginalizing how they choose to play, nor implying that how I choose to play is better or worse than how others choose to play.
You do you, snowflake, is what I’m saying here.
(*sigh* So close.)
I’m generally not the “Log into WoW and look at the flowers” kind of guy. I’m not a tourist, much as I might want to be. I’m a DO WERK kind of guy, and I want to do it in the most optimum way possible. I don’t like wasting time, and running around trying to find the best way to get up a cliff to cut some goblin’s ear off is wasting time.
It’s an unspoken truth that “the game starts at level cap” (quoted because people say this, so I guess it’s not really that unspoken). To its credit, Legion has been quite enjoyable to level through (due to mob scaling and the various side quests of Class and Order Hall missions). But after running through every zone about three times now on six different characters, I just want to get through it as fast as possible.
Like I said, I enjoy using leveling addons. For Legion, I’ve actually bounced between two of them. One of them, Zygor’s Leveling Addon, I paid for because I wanted to get my Alliance characters leveled quickly. However, this was before people started talking about Conslegion. Since then, I’ve used it to level some Alliance, and all one of my Horde.
Truth be told, I enjoy both addons. They take me through different routes, so things stay somewhat fresh as I beat the content to death over and over. But each addon has its charm.
What do I like about the Zygor addon?
- It’s very thorough. Step by step guidance, with a custom TomTom arrow to make sure you don’t get lost. It explains what to do for certain steps of a quest. For Legion content, it even has guides for Suramar and Class/Order Hall questlines.
- The guides are available for all expansions, not just Legion.
- It’s more than just a leveling addon. It has guides for rep grind, making gold, holiday events, pets and mounts.
- Constantly being updated.
While it sounds like the cat’s pyjamas, there are a couple of things about it that really tweaks my trousers.
- It’s a paid guide, and you pay for everything. You can either pay a one-time fee for each individual guide (Legion Horde and Legion Alliance are separate guides, despite essentially being the same damn thing). Or, you can become a monthly subscriber which gives you access to everything, past and future, for $8/month.
- It’s a system processing beast. When I load Zygor, it chugs up 175MB of processing juice because the game loads everything in one shot. I’ve had my system hang up and crash occasionally during loading or big fights. I can’t say 100% that it’s because of the addon, but it seems to be a common issue shared by many who use it. Definitely frustrating when you just want to finish a quest, but you keep crashing to desktop.
And then there’s the Conslegion addon. Hey, if it’s good enough for World First players, it’s damn sure good enough for me. What is it about Conslegion that floats my boat?
- The price is right – Free. Nothing wrong with free.
- Like Zygor, Conslegion guides you through the zone questlines quickly. It sticks mainly to zone storylines, avoiding side quests. Very streamlined, as you would expect from an addon designed for World First leveling.
- It’s a very processor-lite addon. Bare bones, covers quests for a handful of zones.
Fills the bill, so to speak. So what’s not to like?
- It’s only good for Legion leveling zones. It won’t help you get through Suramar, Order Halls, or any other expansion outside of Legion.
- Now that the expansion is months old, Conslegion isn’t updated as often as other leveling addons. It still occasional bugs on certain steps, and since World First has come and gone, cleaning up those bugs isn’t exactly a priority.
So which is better? Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either one. Conslegion will get you to 110 just as fast as Zygor will. But Zygor will get you through the entire Suramar questline, as well as the Class and Order Hall questline. Plus, if you have alts that you want to level up to 100, Zygor can help you with that as well. You’ll have to pay RL $ for it, but it’ll do the job. Assuming you don’t get disconnected.
Of course, you can choose not to use anything and level up the old fashioned way. Tab out and check Wowhead when you have questions. Follow the in-game map. Whatever works for you.
I have what you might call a love/hate relationship with leveling characters in World of Warcraft.
“But aren’t you the same guy who has leveled fifteen characters to 100 already?”
Sixteen, actually. And I’m not sure if there will be a seventeenth. Still, that’s a whole lot of levels. Say what you want about Warlords of Draenor, but they definitely made the leveling process fairly painless. In fact, given the right mix of XP potions and heirloom, you can bang out the last ten levels in under two hours.
But it hasn’t always been that simple. Leveling in Mists of Pandaria, for me, was about as much fun as plucking sphincter hairs. In fact, I’d rather pluck butt-fur than level through MoP. I only managed a small handful of characters through the content when it was current, and the only reason I managed that many was due to Zygor Leveling Guides (cheap plug Zygor, you’re welcome). Just the thought of leveling through MoP gave me a literal headache. Mists, as much as I enjoyed the expansion as a whole, aggravated me so much that I unsubbed for a year.
Legion boasts a somewhat modified leveling process. Zones will scale with the character, making every zone viable for leveling. But Blizzard has taken good concepts in the past and turned them into lumpy poo. So how is Legion leveling looking in
lalpha alpha? Bellular gave it a try and here’s what he had to say.
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.
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.
My Human Monk, Merculees, has been put on hold at Level 35. He returned to Stormwind, put on his (soon to be) transmog gear, and shipped his heirlooms off to his Horde counterpart, an Orc Monk named Rokk.
That’s right, imma say it loud and proud: Finally The Rokk has come back to Azeroth.
Once upon a long time ago, I had a Death Knight (shocking, right?) named Rokk. But his people needed him or something, so he climbed in his rocket ship and rocket-server transferred. Consequently, he lost his name on both the server he left and the server he went to. Thanks to some generous GM intervention (Thanks Blizz!) I got the name back for my Orc Monk. When I first logged in on him I found a bunch of my macros were still live for the DK. Needless to say, changes were made.
Monk Rokk started off a little differently than his Human counterpart. I still wanted him to PVP, but unlike Merculees he wasn’t going to be starting off in a Call to Arms scenario (which meant no honor point or xp spike.) It was a much slower leveling grind, slogging through Battlegrounds. Which also meant he got his ticket punched much more often. But it also allowed for some great matches. Highs and lows for sure. I don’t know how some people can say one faction is more dominant than the other in BG’s. I’ve seen both sides do some stellar things, as well as some stupid things.
For yet another change of pace, Rokk quested in Eastern Kingdom rather than Kalimdor. I haven’t really leveled a Horde character on that side of the world, so as soon as he reached level 10, Rokk hopped a blimp and relocated. Again, it was a new and different grind. There were different questing storylines to experience. I was seeing zones that I hadn’t seen since before the Cataclysm, if at all.
Thanks to the Zygor Leveling Guide helping me along, Rokk thundered along to level 35 as well. Now I’m stumped. Do I continue to level my Orc Monk, or does the Human get called back up to the mound? Alliance, or Horde?
So… who advances? Merculees or Rokk?