Despite how much I love World of Warcraft, I've got to say that leveling through the same zones over and over gets old after a while if you're an alt-a-holic like myself. So, when faced with the prospect of starting a new character on a new realm, I decided to try a different approach: I picked up a copy of Joana's 1-70 Horde Leveling Guide. For those of you unfamiliar with Joana's guide, it walks you through the fastest way to level up in World of Warcraft with a combination of grinding and questing. Joana's time of 4 days and 20 hours /played to level 60 sounded good to me, so I decided to give it a go, and when we all created new characters on Zangarmarsh to play together in It came from the Blog, I created a blood elf Hunter (though I have little experience playing Hunters, they seem to be best equipped for this speed leveling game) with plans on following Joana's guide and seeing how quickly I could get to level 60.
After leveling my new hunter, Lizzie, up to level 11, I've pretty much decided I'm not going to be breaking any major records -- though I may beat some personal bests. Interested in hearing about Lizzie's newbie Adventures in Azeroth? Keep reading!
I have to say that the first ten levels of playing a hunter aren't pleasant ones. Early in the game, hunters are essentially a ranged DPS class with no way to maintain range -- we don't get Concussive Shot (slowing an attacker so we can maintain distance) until level 8, we don't have access to pets (who can distract and tank our targets) until level 10, and we don't get Wing Clip (slowing an attacker so we can gain distance) until level 12. And I found that when an enemy got too close, it often meant my death -- hunters do their best damage from range, and when an enemy gets too close, you can no longer use your ranged attacks. (And let me tell you, my melee skills seem pretty darned weak.) If I got an add while finishing off a target, I'd either have to run away or it would kill me -- the damage I can do in melee range is so weak that things often killed me before I killed them if the fight started in melee range.
Somehow, I don't think Joana's guide took dying into account...
However, I think there may be hope yet for me to manage to play this hunter to level 60 and beyond. At level 10, hunters receive a series of quests that eventually results in them being able to tame pets of their very own. With a pet tanking things, I should be able to keep my distance from any nasty mobs and pelt them with deadly arrows from a safe range, greatly improving my survivability. The only question is -- which pet?
Having never seriously played a hunter, I have no idea which pets are good or bad or if the differences between them really matter that much. Like a good little newbie, I hit up Google and found Petopia, which introduced me to a huge subset of information of which I'd previously been completely unaware. Special pet skills? Training points? What?!
However, after thoroughly studying and taking advice from my guildmates, I find I am no better off than when I started. There are far too many options available to me! So I leave it to you, dear readers -- take an active role in my young hunter's development and tell me what sort of pet you think Lizzie ought to tame. And never fear -- I'll get back to you next week with a full account of the taming process with plenty of screenshots!
Update: Sorry, folks, but I'm afraid the poll is over. Cat won out over boar by a slim margin. However, if you're interested in reading more on my adventures as a newbie hunter, check out Adventures in Azeroth!