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Posts with tag levelling

Are low-level dungeons too easy?

Are lowlevel dungeons too easy
Taepsilum went on today a little bit about an assertion that low level dungeons are too easy. This position is one that many experienced players can likely sympathize with, particularly those who have alts climbing through the levels with full heirlooms and considerable player knowledge behind them.

For players in that position, yes, low-level dungeons are too easy. But, as Taepsilum points out, players with years of WoW under their belts ought to turn back the clock, to let the Ghost of Azeroth Past take them on a journey through time to their first ever dungeon. Hopefully they weren't as foolish as your writer, and didn't select tank without really realizing what it meant. The low-level dungeons have, at least to some extent, to cater to players who have never been in a dungeon before.

And, of course, for the lower levels, dungeon leveling has to contribute an equivalent amount of XP per hour to questing, or nobody would ever go into dungeons at all. But, as another poster in the same thread commented, perhaps it would be possible to open up heroic difficulties of dungeons at lower level to players who wanted a challenge?

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: The low level tank part 1

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown. For the next couple weeks we'll be taking a look at low level dungeon runners.

Cross-realm instancing is coming in patch 3.3 and along with it will be the ability for low level characters to finally find those level appropriate groups for old world dungeons. Being that those parties will need tanks, we thought we'd take a look at what an up and coming paladin needs to know about dungeons as well as what types of gear and stats to be on the lookout for. We're going to start with tanking and then move on to healing and damage-dealing in the weeks to come.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Breakfast Topic: Shunning the Endgame?

From a lore point of view, everyone loves the endgame. Illidan, Kael'thas, Yoggy, Arthas/the Lich King; it's great but not everyone actually wants or has the time to spend hours in raids. A friend of mine once told me that 'WoW starts at 60' although that probably should be switched out with the current level cap. I'm sure for some players this is not the case though, far from it. As Blizzard makes the game more friendly to twinks and leveling toons by letting you disable XP gain and supplying mounts ten levels earlier, it makes me wonder if people are going to shun the endgame in favor of enjoying everything else Azeroth has to offer.

Let's imagine for a moment that you can't/won't raid any of the Wrath content. What would you do instead? I'm talking the little things in life like rolling a new toon and exploring all those newer locales that you missed since leaving to Northrend. Are you going to turn off XP and just see how it feels? Rather than do the endgame, are you going to give PvP or PvE a go? Go for that really tough achievement? What about a little role playing? Would you finally level up that second profession or give first aid, cooking and fishing a go?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Instances, Quests, Raiding, Bosses, Leveling, Making money, Alts, Battlegrounds, Achievements

Heirloom items are Bind to Account, scale with character level

I've a few alts. Actually, I have enough alts that my Guildmaster has chided me for trying to be a one-man Guild. I often create the alts to help friends level, but there's only so many hours in the day -- I can't really make sure every single alt has valid gear for their level. I'd like to be more effective on level-appropriate runs, but usually these guys are just tramping along on whatever quest gear happens to be available.

The new Binds to Account gear is going to be incredibly helpful with that issue. You purchase these items with dungeon tokens (like Badges of Justice), but you can pass them around between characters even after use. (You just can't give them to other account-holders, they're only good for your characters.) Tigole calls these Heirloom items.

The really cool thing about them, however, is that they scale with level. You can pick up the Dignified Headmaster's Charge, and use it at level 80. At that level, it gives you 93 Stamina. When your 80 gets an upgrade, pass the Charge down to your level 1 Warlock. For that guy, it'll give only 2 Stamina.

The other neat factor about these Heirloom items is that their models are based off beloved old world items. The Dignified Headmaster's Charge, for example, is an item model familiar to those who farmed Darkmaster Gandling. So, we get to see some of the cooler looking items back in play again.

Yeah, I'm pretty excited about this.

[Via MMO-Champion]

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions

Alt Text just short of the real bribe

Lore Sjöberg at Wired's Alt Text talked yesterday about the Zhevra mount you get as part of the Recruit-a-Friend program. It's a pretty fun read. He talks about the myriad of vanity items, and how these items can be such a motivator for WoW players, even though they don't really affect your gameplay at all.

I do want to add a point to his article, though. The new Recruit-a-Friend benefit isn't just the Zhevra. For me, the ability to gain triple-XP is the huge motivator. I'm involved in a Guild that's doing it's best to truck through Zul'Aman content. I can't wait to get a good friend of mine involved in the fun, but getting from 0 to 70 is going to take a while.

Even with the speed levelling records out there, going from zip to end-game isn't going to happen overnight. So, while my friend will be starting after Labor Day weekend, there's a little bit of delay before she's rocking out to left-handed Nalorakk. The triple-XP bonus -- and the ability to teleport me to her when she needs help -- overcomes the big hurdle to getting a friend started.

This is the real power of the new Recruit-a-Friend benefit, in my opinion. The Zhevra's cool and all, but the XP bonus and teleportation feature makes getting my friend involved three times faster. The benefit doesn't just reward getting friends involved, it empowers us to get our friends involved.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Leveling, Mounts

Lanwar hosts WoW levelling contest

Lanwar holds a variety of large-scale events focused on computer gaming. Their 7th MillionManLan convention is in Louisville, Kentucky over the weekend of July 4th. The MML events have, in the past, hosted over a thousand gamers, so it's fair to expect a pretty big turnout this year.

What's interesting about the contest line-up this year is that World of Warcraft is making a different kind of appearance. Lanwar is hosting a levelling contest. And, yup, there's cash money as the prize. (How much will be determined by the number of registrants.)

This is a fairly significant diversion from the kind of eSport that's usually associated with WoW. You have to wonder what the rules are going to be like -- Lanwar's web site doesn't go into a lot of detail. Does everyone have to start with the same race and class? Or is that decision considered to be part of the contestant's strategy? What's the time limit like? Do you use your own account? Is Blizzard aware of this contest? I'm hoping to see more information posted as the date for MML gets closer -- it's certainly an interesting idea.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Leveling

Blazing through the newbie zones

I hate the first ten levels. When I say I hate them I mean I really, really hate them. Oh sure, they may only take an hour or so, but how many times have most of us done them by now? I've been playing the World of Warcraft since the day it launched. Earlier than that if you count the beta testing period.

The first ten levels are so, so boring. I have done it dozens and dozens of times by now. I have ten characters of varying levels, and I've had many many low level alts I've deleted over time to make room for new ones, due to my Altoholism. Redoing the starter levels after you have a 70 are as if you are riding your bicycle, and when you decide to take a street you haven't taken before for the adventure of it, someone comes along, pushes you off of your bike, and puts your training wheels back on. Then straps floaties to your arms just in case you ride through a puddle. After that you will probably want to just turn around and go home.

I've taken to solving this predicament with fire. Fiery, to be specific. My good friend Dirk has been with me on many alts now, preventing me from quitting yet another class within 10 levels due to sheer boredom. Dirk does quite a bit for me, one and two-shotting mobs straight out of the newbie zone. He doesn't Bind on Equip, so he is a friend that will last forever. I know that others put Lifestealing on their Dirk, but it just isn't the same. What is life without fire? Not a life for me, that's what.

Filed under: Items, Tips, Humor, Alts

Breakfast Topic: Leveling specs

I've been playing WoW for quite some time now, and have had a chance to level quite a few characters (thanks, altaholism!). It's simply a fact that some classes and some specs are easier and/or funner to level than others: on one side of the spectrum, you've got your Holy Priests, Prot Warriors, and (any spec) Paladins; on the other side, there's Shadow Priests, Rogues, Hunters, etc. I think I'd have to say that overall, my most painless leveling experience has been my Priest, whom I leveled Shadow (until 1.10 came out, when I switched to a lolsmite build just for kicks), followed by my Rogues, Combat both.

I'm a big believer in having a separate leveling spec from your endgame spec. For me, it just makes the whole process much easier to maximize efficiency. Some players, though, advocate playing your endgame spec throughout, or at least from level 40 or so, in order to "get a feel" for it. What do you think, faithful readers? Leveling specs: the quick road to 60, or the quick road to being a 60 who has no idea what the heck they're doing? What was your best/worst leveling experience?

One final question: I'll be rolling a Draenei warrior in the expansion. How should I spec him for leveling (PvP not a real concern)? I'm thinking Fury, but I don't have a ton of warrior experience.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics

How do we level? Let us count the ways

From reader Luclan comes a very important question: what, in our experience, is the best or fastest way of levelling up quickly?

First off, I believe levelling quickly in the "power-levelling" sense, and levelling well, are two different things. Getting a level 60 friend to run you through all the lower dungeons for loot won't help you learn how to play your class in groups; spending five levels grinding in one spot doesn't equip you to deal with a wide variety of situations. The journey through each level should, in my opinion, be savoured and learnt from -- after all, when you end up at level 60, knowing as much as possible about your class is a great start.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Quests

My Secret Life as a Mage

I've become increasingly bored with grinding on my main character, so it's time for another alt to feel the love. As I play late at night, it makes sense to level an alt while the BGs are out of action and the LFG channel is quiet, though this does make levelling a lonely pursuit.

Having grouped with the entire spectrum of mages in the past -- from the extremely incompetent to high-damage-dealers with a deathwish -- it's been interesting to actually get inside the class a bit more. Initially, it was one of the classes I couldn't stomach by the time I hit level 8; seeing their fearsome power at level 60 has possibly changed my mind. (After all, who doesn't want to be their own vending machine?)

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Filed under: Mage, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Quests

My Secret Life as (another) Rogue

Like Elizabeth, I've taken to levelling up a rogue recently. In fact, she was the third character I ever created; having sat neglected for months, she's finally back in the game.

Having played a druid (or rogue wannabe) for so long, it's really interesting seeing what the rogue class is really like. I've long envied the lockpick and vanish abilities, as well as the crucially-useful Sap.

I'm still in my teens, but so far I'm enjoying it. I'm no stranger to up-close-and-personal melee, though staying behind the target for maximum damage is becoming an artform in itself. I often forget that I can't heal myself (though I carry bandages and potions), and Sprint with Evasion become very useful at such moments.

The abilites available to even a teenage rogue, such as Kick and Evasion, make me realise quite how incomparable a feral druid is to a well-played rogue. While in catform I generally only use about four skills, but I use almost everything when playing my rogue. On the other hand, I miss other druid abilities, such as the versatility of shapeshifting -- in a sticky group situation I've found myself reaching for the bearform key, only to be disappointed.

I've got a lot to learn about damage dealing and the art of stunlocking, but I'm enjoying the ride so far.

Filed under: Rogue, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

Levelling Locations: 21-30

Previously in the Levelling Location series: 1-10, 11-20.

At around level 20, things start to get really interesting. A lot of classes gain some particularly exciting new abilities at level 20, such as the druid's catform or the shaman's ghost wolf. Most of these will become invaluable for the remainder of your levelling time.

Also, at around level 20, it's time to move on from the 'starter' areas. There are several places to quest, with plenty of variety, though you may find quests more spread out than previously. Also, if you're on a PvP server, things can start getting nasty as you venture into contested territories and zones with towns for both factions. Unfortunately, ganking (being killed by higher-level players) is the order of the day -- grit your teeth, stay off the roads, and you'll soon be big enough to visit some revenge on your tormentors.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Walkthroughs, Quests

Breakfast Topic: Ding!

Some dings mean more than others. Across all my alts, I've heard the noise and seen the yellow flashes over two hundred times -- yet few of them are memorable. I find odd-numbered levels particularly boring, as nothing really happens (some armour and quests become available, but even numbers are where it's at).

However, some dings are memorable enough to make up for the monotone of the majority. Hitting 60 (see right) isn't an experience most of us forget; my first "big ding" was at 40, after beating up some STV gorillas for those last few XP. What's your best ding memory?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Quests

Breakfast Topic: The last few levels

Benig in the late 50s is a tricky position. Depending on your guild, you might start ramping up to the endgame, or you may be trundling with your head down towards 60. If your guild isn't going all-out to get you levelled, then it can get depressing logging in, spending hours mindlessly killing, and not getting a level out of it.

A few tricks to break up the tedium of that final stretch include: explore new areas and quests; pick a faction (such as the Timbermaw or Argent Dawn) and grind reputation, focusing on that rather than your level; spend some time in PvP, which has a small experience reward; try farming for money or drops instead of xp; and do some instances. You could also concentrate on your tradeskills if you've been neglecting them.

Of course, nothing really changes the fact that it does take a while to level, and if you haven't the stomach for grinding, you may get bored. I've found breaking up grinding with some PvP works well, and I also used the WoWVid player for a while to entertain me through the killing. Have you any tips to make the home stretch go by quicker?

Filed under: Tips, Tricks, Breakfast Topics, Quests

Breakfast Topic: Quest Questions

Love 'em or hate 'em, quests are an integral part of life in Azeroth. However, they come in many different types -- from the "mindless quota killing" sort to the "cross your fingers and hope for a drop" variety. When I'm levelling, I always try to incorporate quests -- travelling from place to place to turn them in might reduce my XP per hour, but it ultimately makes the game more interesting for me and drives me to seek out new places.

What's your preferred play style? Do you try to stack up as many quests as possible for efficiency? Sprinkle collection quests in with some errand-running and challenging higher level quests? Or do you grind the night away, staking out rare mobs and good drop areas?

I tend to think the different characters I play drive my questing behaviour. My druid always seeks out new adventures and gets bored when in the same area for too long, my rogue tries to do quests that are way above her level by stealthing past most of the mobs, and my warrior just charges in and kills things for fun. It's interesting to push the limits of the different classes, and quests are one way to measure yourself against the game's idea of your skill -- having an addon that shows the quest levels is invaluable for this

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Quests

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