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Posts with tag leveling-guide

Spiritual Guidance: Starting a shadow priest from scratch



Like all shadow priests, Fox Van Allen is a resilient sort. He has few weaknesses: accidentally dropping Shadowform by casting a holy spell; the silver arrow from the far upper left room in level 9; and his own gargantuan ego. By comparison, Dawn Moore's weaknesses include scratchy sweaters, Shadowfiend bites, and the nasty case of the sniffles she gets when the thermostat dips below 67. The Sunday edition is all about warmth, hugs and kisses. Today is Wednesday.


It was a cold December day when the respawn timer ticked, creating the most elite shadow priest to ever grace the Wednesday version of Spiritual Guidance.

"Surely, he'll make a fine holy spec priest one day," the nurses assumed. "Such fortitude! And, why look, he can cast Smite already!"

"In between sips of milk, of course."

"Of course."

Those of us who already made the journey from level 1 to level 80 no doubt have some mixed feelings about the earliest, most formative years of our shadow priest. Heck, even mages, balance druids, elemental shaman, warlocks know the same pain. Starting a new caster can be a repetitive experience.

The good news, of course, is that World of Warcraft is revitalizing the leveling process in Cataclysm. They're giving us Shadow Orbs and refurbishing our talent tree to make shadow priests feel more like shadow priests. That's great. I can't wait for the change.

But still, if you haven't started a new priest in the last few months, you may have missed some of the more recent changes to the leveling process. It really is better now, and I can honestly say there's been no better time to start a priest. Why wait until Cataclysm?

(And don't you dare say because you want to roll a gnome.)

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Totem Talk: Leveling enhancement 71-80

Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury, and wolves. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance at Big Hit Box, pens the enhance side of Totem Talk, and leads the guild Big Crits (Week 2 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

We're in the home stretch now: Northrend. Once we hit our max level I'll throw out some recommendations dungeon, raiding, and PvP specs. Though admittedly I'm not the best PvPer so you'll have to bear with me on that and add in your recommendations in the comments. But that all comes at level 80 and we last left off at level 70 with a spec of 9/52/0. This spec still includes the Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem, but if you find you're tearing apart mobs and barely getting touched I recommend replacing that with Glyph of Stormstrike for the extra nature damage.

Let's dive in and continue!

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Leveling Enhancement 61-70

Axes, maces, lightning, fire, frost, and wolves, and best of all, Windfury. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance at Big Hit Box, pens the enhance side of Totem Talk, and leads the guild Big Crits as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

We left off last week with the spec 0/51/0 and already killing boars in Outland. Comments from last week were mostly opposed to my advice to go WF/FT for weapon imbues, saying that it's best to wait until more elemental talents are added before leaving WF/WF behind. I can see their point, but can't imagine that either way is going to make a significant impact in terms of time lost due to deaths or slower kills. My rationale for WF/FT is that its likely you're facing off against higher level mobs than your current level which may take a bit more to whack down. This means more DoT ticks from Flame Shock, more Maelstrom Weapon procs, and more Earth Shocks, and thus a healthier balance between physical and magical damage.

Regardless of you off-hand imbue of choice, we're really in the heart of enhancement right now. After hitting 60 we get spell upgrades every level instead of every other level, but the exciting talents and spells are already in our books so there's not much new and fun stuff happening.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Leveling Enhancement 41-60


Axes, maces, lightning, fire, frost and wolves -- and best of all, Windfury. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance at Big Hit Box, pens the enhance side of Totem Talk and leads the guild Big Crits as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

As we get deeper into levels, the new spells from trainers taper off and we start to pick up all the fun stuff from talent points. In the next 20 levels we're going to finish out the enhancement tree, pick up some great talents and have a ton of fun blowing up elite mobs.

But before we get there. we do have to get out of the level 40 doldrums. We left off with one point in dual wield and a spec of 0/31/0. At this point, you're probably missing as much as you're hitting with dual wield. If you were to spend one more level with a two-hander or a one-hander + shield, no one would fault you for it. It's really only at level 43 that enhancement starts to take off. Let's dive in and continue.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Leveling Enhancement 1-20


Axes, maces, lightning, fire, frost, and wolves, and best of all, Windfury. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance at Big Hit Box, pens the enhance side of Totem Talk, and leads the guild Big Crits as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.


Shaman, welcome! Today begins your journey to the realm of shamanism. You'll learn to tame the power of the elements, request their presence and rely on their support in your daily life. The earth will move for you and fires will lash your enemies. The wind is always at your back and flusters those who would do you harm. You will learn to harness lightning to strike fear into mere mortals and summon elemental pets to aid you in your quests!

It will be amazing! It will be fulfilling! It will... all come later. Now shut up and go over there and Lightning Bolt down some boars or moths.

Ask most shamans how they leveled and the answer usually is enhancement. Let's face it: it's a fun spec to play, it's easy to stay alive, and in later levels after getting a few special talents you can solo elites and fend off filthy rogues on PvP realms.

The purpose of this guide is to get you from 1-80 with the best possible talents, the most amount of information, and get good spell selection into practice now. Everything here is designed to keep you alive, keep you moving, help your quest/dungeon mates and get the most out of the class and spec.

By no means are these absolute must-do and must-have rules. Play your class the way you want to play it and the way you enjoy it. But if you're stuck and not sure what to do, then follow this guide and hopefully it will point you in the right direction.

Read on for BoA gear run down and levels 1-20...

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide, the thrilling conclusion


It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that wishes each and every one of you a magical holiday season. Arcane Brilliance would also like to point out that it is writing this immediately following three days spent alternating between being in the company of in-laws who like to discuss politics and on the road for 12 combined hours with a five-year-old and a two-year-old possessed of mind-bogglingly small bladders. Arcane Brilliance cannot be held responsible for any grammatical errors or disturbingly homicidal thoughts you might find herein.


So how was your Thanksgiving? And if you don't live in the United States, how was your Thursday? Ready to get down to business? We've got a leveling guide to finish!

What's that, you say? Finish what? You've been otherwise engaged for the past couple of months and have no idea what I'm talking about? Fear not! On the interwebs, you can find anything. Here, for your convenience, is the complete compendium of Arcane Brilliance's mage leveling wisdom, such as it is:
Part 1: getting started
Part 2: 1-10
Part 3: 11-20
Part 4: 21-30
Part 5: 31-40
Part 6: 41-Outland
Part 7: 59-68
Part 8: keep reading, because this is part 8.
Part 9: completely revised Cataclysm mage leveling guide I'll probably be writing in six months or so...TBA
Part 10: (after the great zombie apocalypse of 2011) Brrraaaaaaiiinnnnssssss.....
Join me after the break as we head for Northrend and level 80.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Quests, Features, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide, 59-68

It's time once again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that would like to thank its readers profusely for the deluge of screenshots it received last week. Arcane Brilliance sent out the call, and you guys responded in droves. There were so many, in fact, that it was an impossible task to select just one for the column. Arcane Brilliance finally went with this one, apparently of an undead pimp of some type, simply because it made Arcane Brilliance chuckle. Also, the column this week is about leveling through Outland, and this is a pretty good representation of how your mage will look throughout that leg of the journey: like the mutant love-child of the entire cast of Saved by the Bell.

Seriously... you guys are awesome. Sooooooo many good pictures to use. I may have to start writing like 12 of these a week, just to have an excuse to use all of them. Thanks again, and keep them coming. Even if I don't get to use them, I just enjoy browsing through them. So many mages, so little time.

Last week, our mage leveling guide hit level 58 and fled vanilla WoW for the alien landscapes of Outland. This week, we'll tackle the 10 levels your mage will be spending there, amongst the hellboars, sporebats, and ravagers.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Quests, Expansions, Features, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide, 41 to Outland


And so we find ourselves at the threshold of another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that conjures the very best the world of magic and mystery has to offer, then sets it on fire and hurls it at a warlock.

Something I wanted to throw out there before we begin:

I'm lazy. It's difficult to find pictures every week for this column. Thus, I no longer wish to do it. Therefore, I am extending an open invitation to you, my fellow mages everywhere, to do my job for me. I formally request--nay, demand--your screenshots. That's right: if you ever had the desire to see your mage featured prominently at the beginning of a sentient, warlock-hating mage column, this is your chance. Ground rules:
  1. Mage-pictures only. If you try to slip in a picture of a warlock and pass it off as a mage, I will hack your Twitter account and then make a series of embarrassing tweets on it, like "My genital fungus really burns today...I wonder if I've been scratching it too much," "Quick tip, everybody: bacne + shaving back-hair = an awful way to spend a weekend," or "I firmly believe that Michael Bay is the genius of our time."
  2. In-game screenshots that you personally captured only.
  3. No character names visible, and no hud, please. Use Alt-Z before you take your screenshot.
  4. Nothing vulgar. No matter how much I'd like to see a picture of you doing something obscene to the corpse of that warlock you just killed, I can't use it. Also, I have a wife and two small children. Try not to send me anything that will scar them permanently should they be in the room when I open it.
  5. Send all screenshots to the following email address: arcanebrilliancepics@yahoo.com. Also, title them with something simple and appropriate, like "mage screenshot," so I don't think they're spam.
  6. Other than the above limitations, I don't care what you send. I can use just about anything. Low-level mages, high-level mages, cool looking spells, action shots, funny stuff...chances are I can find a use for just about anything you send me.
And with that out of the way, we're ready to begin this week's installment of our ongoing mage leveling guide.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Leveling, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Totem Talk: Leveling on the 68-80 express


Totem Talk, the column for shamans, finishes up its roundup/overview/update (it's all these things and more!) of shaman leveling with a look at what you'll be doing once you get off the boat to Northrend. Matthew Rossi is tired now, but would like to thank Steve again for the screenshot accompanying today's article.

And so we arrive at Northrend, able to take the quests and explore the new zones. We've talked about faction rewards and instance gearing for shamans in Northrend before, and for the most part that still holds true. Here's a look back at the posts about the various five man instances and zone rewards:
The only real changes in terms of 5 man instances are the introduction of Trial of the Champion and Heroic TotC, and to my astonishment I've never done a gear list for shamans from TotC. That really is kind of astonishing. It's possible I simply lost track since I was in the middle of a vast discussion of Ulduar gear when TotC was on the horizon, but it's still a pretty big oversight. With another set of new five mans dropping alongside the Icecrown raid in patch 3.3, TotC/Heroic TotC 5 are instances any new 80 should be running to get geared up in anticipation of 3.3. So we'll talk about that gear today.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Alts, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide 31-40

Welcome to the latest Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that is your absolute best source for all things mage. Leveling guides? Talent spec guides? Loot guides? PvP guides? Profession guides? Random, vindictive, mean-spirited, and wholly superfluous warlock-bashing? Check, check, check, check, check, and CHECK. Arcane Brilliance has all your mage needs covered.

And the leveling parade continues! Your mage is level 30 and you've grown in your mastery of the magical arts. Your Fireballs are now significantly more likely to set your enemies aflame than they are to go off in your face, you now arrive at your teleport destinations with your extremities more or less intact, and small children no longer cry at the sight of the pastries you conjure.

In celebration of our new-found competence, we'll be changing the content of these leveling columns a bit. We'll no longer be giving each two-level gap its own blurb. Instead, we'll be covering each new spell as it comes, and every major milestone at the appropriate point. If that means that more than two levels go by without a specific shout-out in the text, so be it. Enough preamble. Read on and we'll see how it goes. If it's terrible, we all know I'll just blame warlocks.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Encrypted Text: Leveling a rogue, level 11-50


Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the rogue class. This week, we talk about leveling a rogue from level 11 to level 50.

As we discussed in the comments last week, rogues play fairly simple for the first several levels. Without any real finesse techniques and the simplest of opponents, there's no reason to do anything besides run up to an enemy and just start swinging away. It may not seem very rogue-like in nature, but that is because low level rogues are still learning the tricks of the trade.

The trip from 11 to 50 will be much of the same. We receive a few awesome new abilities that help us in a few situations, but until level 50, we don't really see any of rogue that you can expect to play at 80. Luckily, at 50, you get a completely new skill set that will rewrite how you play your rogue. With the mount changes to allow low levels to ride epic mounts, you'll be jetting around and having a great time questing and finding enemies to slay. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, you've still need to get to level 50 first, and so read on for full details on the process.

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Filed under: Rogue, Leveling, Guides, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Blood pact: The birth of a warlock, page 1

Each week Dominic Hobbs brings you Blood Pact. The weak mind fears the darkness because it holds the unknown. Blood Pact knows what resides in the shadows and yes, they should be afraid.

I was afflicted with some kind of corruption of my own last week, not sure if a warrior spell reflected it or what but it had me out of action either way. I don't know how much attention you pay to spell icons but it took me a little while to realize just how nasty the icon for Corruption really is -- nasty enough for China to censor it, in fact. It speaks well of how I was feeling, but hopefully the articles on the PTR changes kept you topped off with warlock goodness in Blood Pact's absence.

This week we're looking at starting a new warlock. This could be for someone new to the game, or rolling an alt. Either way, now is a great time to start leveling as a lot of the world you'll be passing through will be changing with the advent of Cataclysm. So if you've never played a warlock, or even if you have, then get onto that character selection screen and stare blankly at the screen for half an hour while you try to think of that perfect warlock name.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Leveling, Guides, Classes, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Encrypted Text: Leveling a new rogue, character creation


Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the rogue class. This week, we talk about leveling a rogue, and why you should choose one for your next alt.

I've heard a lot of statistics from various sources stating that the rogue population has been dwindling since Wrath of the Lich King was released. Whether our decline is due to former assassins deciding to try out the new death knights, or rogues simply moving on to greener pastures, we may never know. I do, however, know that there's also a lot of newly minted rogues, working their way up through the levels and lowbie zones. And if there's not, there should be!

There's a lot of fights that are absolutely amazing for rogues, with Yogg-Saron hard mode (no keeper) and Anub'Arak hard mode being two of the most prevalent and important encounters currently in the game. I have seen guilds beg their inactivate rogues to resubscribe with promises of gold, crafted epics, and endless heroic runs to gear them out. I know of a rogue on my server who went from newly 80 to better geared than myself in about a month with a ton of help from his guild and friends. Many of the world's top guilds are looking for solid rogues to fill the shoes of those who have given up the mantle of shadows in the past year.

We've also got a lot of new rerolls who are working on getting a new class to 80 for Cataclysm's upcoming release. I have been working on a guide for those rogues who are new to the class (and possibly the game) who are looking for tips and tricks for getting the most out of their roguish experience. I would also ask that any veterans or novice rogues alike add their own tips in the comments, if you've got a personal anecdote or bit of info that made your time leveling easier.

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Filed under: Rogue, Leveling, Classes, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Lichborne: Death knight leveling 68-80


Welcome to Lichborne, WoW.com's column for all things deathly, knightly, and death knightly.
So, death knight. You're through with Outland. You just dinged 68 in Nagrand and want to move on to whiter, snow covered pastures. Maybe those pastures are in Northrend. Maybe those pastures are in Alterac Valley. Either way, let's discuss getting through those final levels and pushing you through to the end game.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Walkthroughs, PvP, Leveling, Guides, Death Knight, Battlegrounds, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Shifting Perspectives: Leveling 71-80


Every week, Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we reach 80. It is not the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Hail, druids. This week, we're finishing our leveling guide, and after that we're going to be addressing any subject as long as it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with leveling. I'll be revisiting this guide as Cataclysm approaches, as we've already been told that spell and ability ranks are going the way of the dodo, which was really the only depressing announcement from BlizzCon as I was in the middle of formatting and linking hundreds of same.

To wrap up the full guide:

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Leveling, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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