Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Wonders of Leveling in Northrend

There was a recent post on the wow forums where someone complained about leveling in Northrend.  His basic complaint was that it was hard.  Needless to say that your first time through it sure is hard but not hard as in difficult but hard as in time consuming.

My first character ever, my beloved hunter, took a total of 31 days played to get to 80.  Yeap, that does seem like a lot but you have to remember I knew nothing about the game.  I also took the time to level everything.  My professions and my secondary professions as well.  I would have to guess at least 1/3 of that time spent leveling was trying to find where the hell I needed to go because I had no clue how to get around.  On more then one occasion I can recall 2 hour journeys to find where I needed to go.

Now when I level a character I can get 1-80 in less then 10 days.  Even possible to do about 5 days time played if I do not fart around a lot.  I have a habit of doing that.  In those 5 days I am still leveling all professions and secondary professions.

In the end it does not take that long to level once you have done it before.  Northrend is indeed the longest span it will take to level because it is the current end game so they have not adjusted it to move you through it faster.  I would guess when Cataclym comes out they will do just that and leveling in Northrend will be a hell of a lot faster.

Thing is, once you have a 80 you can buy cold weather flying for your alt at 68 and once you do that leveling should never be an issue in Northrend.  My second 80 took only 8 days from 1 to 80 and that was even with lots and lots of farming ore.  I made it to Northrend with about 6 and a half days played and it took me one and a half days played to get from 68-80.  Not bad really but I worked on it a lot.  That was my problem and why I think it took so long.

The key to quick leveling in Northrend is simple.  Rested experience.  If you have flying that will but it down a lot too.  If you only quest while rested you can blow through 70-80 in no time at all.  My third character to get to 80 was my DK.  It had been sitting in Dal forever so it had full rested experience.

One Sunday I decided to level it and started to do some questing.  I would pick and choose my quests to maximize my time spent for return on experience and I worked quests in bunches.  At the end of one long Sunday, about 10 hours, I was 75.  The next Sunday came around and I decided I would finish it off.  75 to 76 slowed me down a little.  The pickings for quests that were fast and easy where slim and I had to do some quests that were more time wasters then anything else.  Took me nearly 3 hours to get from 75 to 76 but once I got to 76 they might as well have just granted me level 80.

I went straight to the nessingwary quests.  With rested the experience from kills is insane, everything is bunched close together, and it is easy to do.  I was 77 after I finished all those and some other area quests that I picked up because they were along the way.

The idea is to do them, the crusaders area near Dal, the ebon hold, a few of the argent ones in ZD, the hodir ones and the tourny ones.  All those quest groups are quick, reward a lot and bascially required at some point or another if you want to get stuff later on.  When all is said and done you are level 80.  My DK was 80 before even having 1 day played.  When it dinged 80 it had still been working on rested experience.

See the key there, rested experience.  Which meant that whenever I needed to kill something I got double for killing it.

A quick start guide on what to look for when you want to level fast, this will work from the beginning.

1) Always quest on rested experience.
- Double killing experience is worth playing the character only a short amount each day.
2) Always grab quests that have you going somewhere else.
- You are going to be traveling there sooner or later anyway so you might as well get a little experience.  Never make the trip just to turn in that quest however.  That is a waste of time.
3) Always grab the kill 10 bear type quests.
- Quick quests like that where you are getting double experience per kill are perfect.
4) Do not be afraid to abandon quests.
- Grabbing the collect 10 bear hides type of quest while killing bears for something else is great but if the drop rate sucks and you never got all 10 and you are moving to the next area now it is not worth your time to farm the remaining ones. 
5) Get me this or that quests.
- Boring as it might seem the quests that say go get me a bronze tube is perfect for experience even if you have to go grab it.  You do not waste any rested doing it and you get experience for basically doing nothing.  Just be smart.  Do not send your character to go get it.  Get and alt near the AH buy it and send it to you.  Which brings us to the next point.
6) Never waste time when you do not need to.
- If you do not have a bronze tube on you do not waste your time going to get one.  Park your butt somewhere and log out.  Pop on a alt sitting in a city, but it from the AH and mail it to your character that needs it.  Log back into that character and grab it from the mail box and collect your awesome experience for doing basically nothing.
7) Do not be afraid to drop a quest line.
- You are leveling here.  If you want completion you can come back later and do it.  If the quest line is going to send you to the other side of the world pick it up.  If you happen to be there at some point do it.  If not, when it becomes low leveled and you know you are never going to be in that area, drop it.  Never go there just for that one quest.
8) Do not let the dungeon finder trick you.
- I do not care what anyone says, I have leveled more then enough alts now to know that this new tool, while nice, is not leveling material.  If you have a quest then do the dungeon.  Do not do it if you do not have a quest for it.  The one quest will net you more experience then the entire dungeon will.  You can do 10 normal quests in the time it takes to do one dungeon in some cases with some of the groups you will end up with.  Dungeon leveling is dreadfully slow, even worse if you are not on rested.
9) Leveling professions can slow you down.
- You have to decided on if you want to do this one yourself or not.  I like to level professions as I go but it does slow me down some.  Still capable of 80 in less then 10 day even at that.  Thing is, fighting off 6 mobs to get that herb node wastes your rested experience and your time.
10) Always quest on rested experience.
- Yes, it really is that important.  Also, not killing stuff you do not need to lets you fit more quests in while you are still on rested.  I know rested does not give extra quest experience, but quests give more experience then anything else and you are only playing while rested so you want to get as many in as possible.

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