WoW – Leveling in the New Age

Another interesting update on the leveling path in WoW since 6.0.2.  I have quite a few characters it seems, now more than ever at 90.  It’s raining 90s.  And without the boost.

The Hallowe’en event has 2 particular rewards that greatly facilitate leveling.  First is a daily quest in the first town hub (Goldshire is one) that has the headless horseman come by, die in 2 hits then drop his head.  Turn in the head, get a very large chance at a broom mount.  This mount is great for leveling for 2 reasons. First, it counts as a flying mount that scales to all other mounts.  Second, it’s instant use.  That last one means you can use it when you’re falling or moving, so I bound it to my mouse.  It’s a massive increase to travel speed, at any level.

The second reward is a daily quest that gives you a 10% buff to experience for 2 hours.  Which is pretty much what a single heirloom piece gives.  Remember, heirloom doesn’t work at 85+ but this buff does.

I decided to run another test.  My Hunter was able to do Jade Forest and come out near level 88.  Some rested, no buff.  My Rogue however, who has a naturally faster TTK (time to kill) speed was fully rested and only played with the buff.  I finished Jade Forest at 88.9 and hit 90 before I ended up in Halfhill.  It took less than 2 of those buffs (2 nights) to get there and I never saw the tail end of my rested exp bar.  I think it’s more than feasible to hit 90 in under 1 day played for an average player, stacking heirlooms and rested experience.  Makes you wonder what the 90 boost is worth…

The good side is that it takes less than 1 hour per level from 85-90.  So getting people ready for the expansion is cake.  The bad side is that I miss out on a ton of gold.  See, when I ran my Monk through at the launch of MoP, I gave him 100g to start off, heirlooms and some bags.  When he hit 90, he had all the flying skills unlocked and ~8,000g left over.  So 1-90, just buckets of gold.  I was smart during the leveling and got a UI mod that auto-posted items to the AH.  More than half my gold came from that.  My Hunter in contrast made about 2,000g from 80-90.  My Rogue barely made 1,000g and that’s with pickpocket on a macro (but everything is either a beast or has no pockets for Jade Forest/Valley of the Four Winds).  Now, I am far from needing cash, I have over 200,000g from a past farm the AH for a month test.  For other players, getting an alt to top level means you’re going to be short on cash.  The good news is that flying mounts, the only real money sink the game has to offer today that all players should invest in, means squat in WoD since there are no plans to allow flying.  You’re saving ~10,000g per alt.

Related, and depressing, is that any MoP top-tier content is going to be irrelevant in 2 weeks.  I have no idea why people are farming frogs in Timeless Isle when the best item you can get is going to be replaced by your first quest reward in WoD (ok, maybe the 2nd).  My Monk, geared for 5.4 (ilvl 525 I think), is clearly the strongest character I have, killing elites in little trouble.  But my super-undergeared Rogue (under 400 ilvl) is able to compete on the same content, just needs to play smarter.  The gear gap today, after squish, is fairly small.  Small if you understand your player mechanics.

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