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Posts with tag leveling

Would Blizzard's efforts in Pandaria be negated by early flight?

Tome of Pandaria Flying
In response to a forum thread started this weekend, Blizzard Community Manager and pug aficionado Crithto clarified Blizzard's thoughts on a Tome of Pandaria Flying. The Tome of Cold Weather Flight was an item introduced in Wrath of the Lich King, which permitted players to avoid buying Cold Weather Flight -- the flight training required to fly in Northrend -- for their alts. Rather than re-purchasing the skill on every character at max level, you could use the tome and begin flying in Northrend a couple of levels earlier than it could ordinarily be acquired. The Tome of Cold Weather Flight was removed from the game in patch 4.0.1.

Crithto's comment is as follows:

We're not sure if we'll be doing this. The tome worked out well enough for Wrath of the Lich King as an experiment, but so much of the experience we spent a lot of time and effort shaping in Pandaria is negated by flying. In addition to the upcoming reputation changes for alts (when a character on the account hits Revered), we'll consider other methods of potentially speeding up the leveling process for alts, but we don't think "allow flying" is necessarily the best answer.

While it is clear to see why players feel differently, given how much easier flying makes questing, WoW Insider largely agrees with Crithtos's opinion. Certain achievements, for example, Legend of the Brewfathers, are hugely enhanced by riding rather than flying. Exploration of the world Blizzard has created in Mists of Pandaria is essentially two new experiences when undertaken first from the ground, and later from the air.

Crithto's assertion that Blizzard's developers are looking into methods of speeding up alt leveling may bring considerable comfort to players for whom the leveling experience has been enjoyable but overwhelming. The adventure through Pandaria, while thrilling, may start to lose its shine with subsequent playthroughs, so changes may be needed. Would you welcome methods to level alts at greater speed? Or, like the pandaren, do you believe that players should slow down, that Pandaria is to be savored?

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: What are the secrets to a successful leveling partnership?

I miss my leveling partner
If you're already level 90, run right along to refill your coffee and get another donut -- today's Breakfast Topic isn't for you. This one's for all you smell-the-rose types, whether you've started over with a pandaren or a monk, or you're just exploring and poking and experimenting your way through Pandaria.

Do you have a leveling partner? We're talking about an actual, formal duo, a character you only play when your partner is online and leveling at the same rate you are. Don't get me wrong, this is no casual arrangement. Broken leveling pacts have broken many a relationship -- heck, even skipping levels together can bring on the pain!

Who brightens your grinds, keeps you on track, and never, ever sneaks off ahead while you're selling your grays? Is there a loyal guildmate or perhaps a real-world amour who's always by your side? And if you do, what are the secrets of your success? Do you never log in without the other? Do you sometimes play separately but stay within an agreed level range? What keeps your partnership successfully pushing through the mists instead of pouring out your agony to the Drama Mamas?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Is leveling fun or a necessary evil?

Breakfast Topic Is leveling fun or a necessary evil
Good morning, citizens and visitors of Pandaria! We'll forgive you the keyboard indentations in your forehead. We know you fell asleep during the turn-in dialog with that last quest giver of the evening. It's hard work, all that leveling. The question is whether or not you consider said leveling to be an enjoyable pastime in its own right or an odious chore to be powered through as rapidly as possible.

If you're one of those insane speed demons who pushed for a realm-first 90 (or merely the prestige of being at the front of the pack in your guild or realm), don't bother answering. You've got some other type of disorder. (We kid, we kid ... Maybe.) But what about the rest of you? Are you thrashing through getting to level 90 with your main so you can start running down the checklist of "real" tasks? Are you methodically capping your entire stable of characters, because completionism is how you roll? Are you rushing up a pandaren to join the rest of your level-capped guildmates? Or are you wandering the Wandering Isle, captivated by every blade of grass, immersed in every dialog?

Are questing, new zones, and storylines the best parts of the game for you? To level, or not to level? That is our question.

Do you enjoy leveling?
Yes, it's my favorite part of the game.1790 (22.5%)
Yes, but only if it's new content to me.3642 (45.8%)
Yes, but only in instances.122 (1.5%)
Yes, but only via questing.417 (5.2%)
No. I used to like it, but I'm sick of it now.1028 (12.9%)
No. I only level to reach the endgame.959 (12.1%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Blood Pact: Zone into Pandaria with 85-90 leveling tips

Blood Pact Zone into Pandaria with 8590 leveling tips MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill delights in getting off her night-shift work at 3am Eastern -- just in time for Pandaria leveling!

There are things I'll do and things I won't do when it comes to playstyle and gear advice.

I'm not going to tell you that there's a best spec for leveling. There are many ways to level and Mists of Pandaria is all about doing what you want to do, so following what I do may not be best for you. I'll have you know that I think leveling is far too easy still, so I tend to pick the inefficient or harder ways of doing things on purpose just to keep it interesting.

I'm also not going to debate which faction first with people. The gear choices are as varied as the leveling choices, and are meant to be mixed and matched as your drop luck will do for you. I will, however, point out the reputations you'll want to at least reach for reasonable raiding preparations.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

How to stay healthy while leveling

What are you going to do first when you start playing Mists of Pandaria? If the answer is leveling to 90, you're in for a lot of potentially unhealthy sitting/munching/caffeine-ing. But you don't have to make Rockstar pyramids or worry about Cheetos stains on the keyboard while spreading in your chair, getting repetitive motion injuries, and otherwise straining your body just to get those levels in. Here are some tips for staying (mostly) healthy while progressing through Pandaria.

Get healthy snacks

Snacking, or grazing as my doctor calls it, is actually good for you when small and well-spaced throughout the gaming session. Healthy snacks are best of course, but if you must have your favorite munchies, having them in small doses is better than constant gorging. Willing to substitute for yummy but healthy? Try these.
  • Nuts Barring allergies, nuts of all kinds are a healthy snack. Protein, good carbs, iron -- they are full of good nutrients. Nuts will even help balance things out if you choose to imbibe the sugary drinks.
  • Crackers If you're into crackers, get the whole grain/low carb ones. I like Akmaks. Thin slices of cheese as toppings are good, but nut butters are even better.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Pro Tip: Start earning rested XP ASAP

Mists of Pandaria  Alts and rested XP
If you, like me, have a whole lot of warriors (or some other classes, if you're into that kind of thing) that you'll be needing to get to 90 at some point, remember that any current alts you may have will need to be logged on and moved to an inn or capital city in order to start gaining rested status. They won't start getting rested until you log them on since Mists of Pandaria, like all expansions, resets rested XP.

However, you can stockpile up to 25 quests (the maximum your quest log holds) and turn them all in as soon as the level cap is raised. These can be daily quests. If they keep to the same format as they did when Cataclysm launched, the value of Cataclysm quests to a leveling character will be reduced, but it can provide a bit of a boost. It's worth keeping in mind.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow priests and leveling in Mists of Pandaria

Spiritual Guidance Shadow priests and leveling in Mists of Pandaria MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore is a discipline priest by reputation, but still enjoys melting faces as shadow and bugging her raid to click the Lightwell as holy.

"I have a bad feeling about this."

That's what you should be saying to yourself after reading my name in the byline. (If you're smart, that is.) Anyway, if you missed the news, your beloved Fox Van Allen has stepped down from his position as WoW Insider's resident shadow priest columnist. He's moved on to writing about iPods or something, which means you're stuck with me for now. I will do my best to make this as painless as possible.

So Mists of Pandaria is just two weeks away now, and while I'm far from considering myself an expert shadow priest (more on that later) I've leveled a few shadow priests to 90 on the beta in preparation for the race to level 90. In the process I think I've figured out some of the nuance, so I thought I'd share it so you can start thinking about how you'll get your own 85 shadow priest to level cap.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

WoW Archivist: Burned by Hellfire Peninsula

The Path of Glory in Hellfire Peninsula
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

When Mists of Pandaria goes live later this month, players will all begin leveling in the same zone for the first time since 2006. In Cataclysm and Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard gave us two zones to choose from at the beginning of our adventures. Wrath split players up on either side of Northrend with Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord. Cataclysm's starting zones put players on different sides of the planet with Mount Hyjal and the less popular but unique underwater saga of Vashj'ir.

In contrast, The Burning Crusade's Hellfire Peninsula put us all on opposite sides of the street. That is not a joke. It is literally true -- see the image above! As you can guess, this led to problems. Let's look back at the Hellfire experience and try to gauge what we're in for when we arrive at the Jade Forest shortly after midnight on September 25.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Blood Pact: Leveling is much better in Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact Leveling is much better in Mists of Pandaria
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill delayed downloading the new beta build in favor of getting her witch doctor to 60. Priorities!

With the overhaul to the warlock class coming in Mists of Pandaria, guildmates and friends have been wondering whether to revive old warlocks or not. Those without warlocks on their character screens have been asking the age-old question: Should I level one now or wait until the expansion hits?

Unless you're particularly masochistic about your leveling, my advice is to wait. Here's why.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: Spoiler-laden voice acting from the future

Since Adam took a long look back yesterday, I thought it would be nice to look forward today. The above audio clip is the Sha of Hatred, one of the big threats of Mists of Pandaria. It's interesting to realize how much voice work there is in Mists. The game is definitely moving forward.

OnyxElders5124 asked:

After previous expansions launched, how long was it before prior xpacs contents exp requirements were nerfed?

This was already answered, but to confirm it, patch 4.3 was the patch that lowered the XP needed to level through Northrend and improved dungeon quest flow for both Outland and Northrend dungeons. I'm not sure which patch lowered the XP needed to level in Outland, although this forum thread on Wowhead seems to indicate it was in place by November of 2008. That would mean Patch 3.0.3, the major content patch for Wrath of the Lich King, or slightly before that.

What we can take from this is that Blizzard doesn't have a set pattern for nerfing old content's XP requirements. The devs do it when they think it's warranted, no sooner, no later.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: Readying your ret paladin for Mists of Pandaria

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

It's hard to believe it's already May 2012. It seems like just last week that I was standing in line at BlizzCon with my guildmates, trying to make small talk and failing completely at it. Most of our interactions involved people watching and commenting on the information put forth at the various panels like those annoying people in the movie theater who feel the need to rate every preview on whether or not it will completely suck (see above).

Anyway, with any luck Mists will be released by the end of summer (I'm betting on an August launch, myself), so what better time than now to get your paladin ready so that you hit the ground running when the servers come back online?

The time will come during the next expansion when your hard-earned purples will be replaced by mismatched greens, but more work put into getting the best purples available to you now will keep that dreaded day far in the future. Also, how hard you hit is dictated by the strength of your gear, and the amount of time it will take you to kill a mob is dependent on how much damage you can dish out.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Mists of Pandaria

18 observations from a leveling healer

I've been leveling a goblin priest for something I call the Low-Level Tank Project, which is a count on the class representation he sees among tanks in the Dungeon Finder. Between the goblin and my restoration shaman (who reached 85 about two months ago), I've had two healers leveling mostly through dungeons recently, and a few commonalities have emerged.

This is sort of a spiritual successor to 20 observations from a leveling tank, if you'd like a more tank-flavored look at leveling groups. This outing is a more generalized approach, possibly because I take a more observational role in my groups whenever I'm healing, like Jane Goodall among the ungemmed and unenchanted chimps.

1. DPSers are enormously indifferent to aggro in early dungeons. You're not healing one tank -- you're healing four. Five, if nobody bothers to stomp the mob making a beeline for you.

2. Early dungeons aren't necessarily good training for everyone involved. I wouldn't go so far as to say they're a terrible experience, per se -- they're quick, easy, and a good way to build confidence for new players -- but the usual mechanism by which players are encouraged to behave themselves (ugly death) is a remote possibility at best.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The alt deficiency

Do alts even count as alts when half of them are the same class as your main and the other half are rarely played?

I have a troubling relationship with the concept of playing an alt. First off, I don't really get alts. I know people who have four or six or even eight level 85 characters, geared and kitted out for raiding or Arena/RBG play. One woman I know has completely filled up two servers with level 85 characters (full character window, a server she plays Horde on and a server she plays Alliance on) that can at least run a random Hour of Twilight heroic. I accept that this exists, but I can't imagine doing it.

See, I'm middling at best about my achievements in game, but there are things I've done that you can't do anymore. I mean, every time I ran the 5-man Zul'Gurub, I kept thinking about how I'm a hero of the Zandalar tribe. Shouldn't they at least try and talk me out of killing them? Shouldn't I at least have the option to say, "Hey, guys, it's me, can we chill out on this?" and then we could express our sorrow at having to come to blows?

I can't do that on an alt. Well, OK, I can do it on the other two warriors who are also heroes of the Zandalar tribe, but you get my point. An alt's not going to have all those titles I barely realized I was earning, or my Mimiron's Head, or a Sulfuras in the bank laughing at me every time I got to the trasmogrification ethereal and get a hit of sweet, sweet gear changery.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight

Breakfast Topic: Back to Hellfire

So I'm back on Outland, leveling up a blood DK on Hellfire Peninsula. Why? Well, partially because that's how I learn how classes work. I haven't played blood this expansion, and it's easier for me to grasp how the spec has changed by leveling up with it rather than just picking up one of my other DKs and starting at 80 or 85. I even deleted a DK to roll this one.

But another reason is because I really like Hellfire Peninsula, now that I can fly around on it. I enjoy the Hellfire Citadel instances (tanked two today), and I go without heirlooms just so I can actually get upgrades from them. I even like seeking out and finding little quest hubs here and there, scattered about the zone.

Now, I didn't like Hellfire when I first went there in 2007. And I didn't like taking alts there during Wrath of the Lich King. But time has mellowed me on the zone. For one thing, it's some of the oldest questing content left in the game, and nostalgia has painted it with a rosy patina. I like catching up with Arator or seeing what Nazgrel is up to. And also, there's a touch of revenge in there now that I can easily solo Overlord. (I did actually manage to solo Arazzius on a level 63 DK when Wrath first came out, but now it's easy.) Plus, with transmog, you can't tell what a clown suit I'm wearing in that picture. It's awesome, really.

So how about you? Any zone you like against the consensus of the playerbase and perhaps all common sense?

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, The Burning Crusade, Death Knight

How I made 3,000 gold by level 30

I rolled an alt a few weeks ago -- nothing special like the Ironman Challenge, but I had a moment where I wanted to level a character from 1 to 85 on another realm just for the heck of it. So I picked a random realm, medium population, and rolled a worgen. Why a worgen? Well, it had been a while since I'd played through the worgen starting zone, and since I'd recently seen just about everything the Horde had to offer on the 1-to-60 front, I wanted to replay the Alliance experience again.

So I rolled a worgen -- no heirlooms, no gold from outside sources, just me and the quests, like the old days of vanilla WoW. The most important part to me was that I was going to forgo buying any upgrade gear from the Auction House, instead using only what dropped from quests or instances. Call it a moment of vanilla nostalgia if you will, but that's exactly what I had to do on my first character back in 2004, so I was going to do it again. I expected it to be tough; I expected it to take a while before I could even afford a mount at level 20.

I was so, so wrong. By the time I hit level 30, I had a little over 3k gold on my random alt, with little to no effort on my part. And I'm going to tell you exactly how I did it.

It all started with a pair of boots.

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Filed under: Economy, Transmogrification

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