levelling post patch 4.3

i play mostly alliance, so i always do it this way:

AZEROTH 1-57
1-5 or higher: race starter zones, until i can get over to stormwind (mage port, guild summon, ride a boat).
then it’s elwynn, westfall, red ridge, duskwood in that sequence. when to move over to the next zone? when the quests go green. always do yellow quests but not higher level quests (too much effort sometimes). after that, the zones are a bit more random. so i go wherever the hero call board recommends, but sticking to the Eastern kingdoms. no fun crossing continent by boat.

first off, i prefer to level with BoA gear that gives xp, and run on rested xp, and to do LFG, questing/farming only to kill time while queuing. cos LFG got group xp bonus. esp if you level a tank or healer and cant do as much dmg until you get dual spec. and i prefer to DS only on hitting level cap (why, so that your 2 sets of action bars are properly configured). so my tank and healer toons usually do very little questing. which is ok for me since i have other alts that provide them the latest and greatest gear (ok, just better than average). if you dont have gear providers, quest more. the gear they reward you is for your level (if you do yellow and not green quests)

why LFG so much?
for getting city rep. buy all the 6 tabards (stormwind, ironforge, gnomeregan, darnassus, exodar, gilneas). and wear a tabard for the LFG runs. the order in which you level the rep depends on your race and where you buy your mount/riding skills. if you buy mount from vendor not of your race, you need exalted rep. the better your rep, the cheaper the mount/training. besides, getting all 6 citiy reps to exalted gives you the ambassador title!

until i have a mount at L20 (and the upgrade to 100% speed at L40), i would base my hearth at the center of my quest zone so that i wont have to run on foot too far. once i have a mount, questing and travel is just so much easier. as a result, i keep the hearth in stormwind. just easier to drop stuff off in the bank or mail stuff, repair gear, train class and profs and do dailies for cooking and fishing

on getting to L68, take the portal to blasted lands and run into outlands. when u queue LFG, you will still get azeroth dungeons until you are L69. still, xp is xp.

OUTLANDS 58-67
- hellfire (58-60)
dont forget to train flying at L60. the faster you can fly, the less ground mobs you aggro. but now you gotta beware of horde city guards that can shoot you down from a flying mount.
- zangarmarsh (61-64)
used to do the sporeggar quests for rep and underbog quests, but now with patch 4.3, quests are inside the instance. if nothing else, do it for cenarion expedition rep.
- nagrand (65-67)
nesingwary quests, and doing rep quests with kurenai and consortium (free crappy gems on getting to Friendly)

cos with LFG and maybe include farming, you wont have too much time to do questing. i usually find myself L65 after the coilfang reservoir dungeon runs (SP and UB). after that, i seem to drop a lot into the CoT dungeon, old hillsbrad (ewww. timed dungeon run, slow thrall mount). i prefer getting the auch dungeons cos if you got a good group, its a fast run

LFG BUG?
if you havent got all your alliance main city rep to exalted yet, you wont complete it while doing LFG in outlands dungeons. regardless what you wear, the outland rep given depends on which dungeon you are doing. eg. hellfire dungeons give honor hold rep.

on getting to L68, take the boat from stormwind to borean tundra. until L69, you will still get outlands dungeons when u queue for LFG

NORTHREND 68-80
on arriving at valiance keep, get your cold weather flying trained
- BT (68-70)
with patch 4.3 dont need to do coldarra quest chains anymore for the Nexus quests, but you can still do it cos its nice and compact
- HF (70-72)
fly all the way over to howling fjord and do the chain quests on scalawag point – it gives u 2 nifty blue trinkets.
after that you have a few options – dragonblight or grizzly hills, but in general, i find that i am already L75 after getting the 2 blue trinkets.
- ZD (73-76)
why not my fave farming zone, SB? cos i dont wanna start on the rep quests, which then makes one part or another of the factions enemies. then farming in that zone becomes a hassle or else is out of bounds. however, if i am levelling a non-farming toon, then SB questing is preferred (cos bored of ZD and also faction rep has nice pets – however, i dont do enuf faction daily quests to get the pets, lol.)
- Storm Peaks (77-78)
gotta do the chain for sons of hodir rep (super pain in the ass) which starts at K3

wearing CATA GEAR in NORTHREND
if you have mains or buy from AH, you can start to be equipped from L77 in cata gear. this makes u awesome in northrend (and top dps in LFG).

- Icecrown (79)
gotta do the chain for ebon blade. actually, no. just to kill time while you level to 80 and get out of northrend!

on getting to L80, say bye bye to old xpacs and into the new!

CATA 80-85
quest or LFG?

  • LFG nets you justice points, which can buy iLvl 378 gear when you hit level cap
  • quests (esp when you complete the end of chain) nets you level appropriate blue gear. and along the way, you get to swap out your old green (or even wrath epics) gear with new green gear! they also give you cata faction rep, which you can buy blue and epic (iLvl 359) gear from the respective factions! also, factions give head and shoulder enchants

do a combo: quest for rep you need for your enchants. and run LFG to accumulate JPs to buy your latest and greatest gear.

- Vashjr or Mt Hyjal (80-81)

- Deepholm (82)

this is compulsory for therazane rep. you may end up skipping Uldum to complete this rep.

- Uldum (83)

- TH (84)

this is compulsory for the new vendors that are opened up only after you have completed the set of starter quests

 

 

 

Spiritcat the Explorer

yup. been there, done it, got the title.

then i went back to finishing up my quests in eastern kingdoms. BRD and BRS – both lower and upper. ended up with 2 pets. not bad. but i picked up some more BRS quests so i went back in again. this time to kill Gen Drak. couldnt solo him with a L80 5k GS SP. died twice from non-stop stuns.

had to call in reinforcements – Davina on the 2nd ac – ret pally to tank him and his adds. SC healing when she wasnt being stunned. at least, 2 toons means the stuns are now 50-50 so half the time i was tanking on davina and when she gets stunned, i switch to SC to heal both and dot the boss. he died and both got the achievement for UBRS.

next stop – strat. i will go pick up the quests from EPL. currently 673/700. starting to wonder if a L80 SP can solo these L60 dungeons with impunity, or will i need a backup toon to tank?

end of the festival, back to the grind

bye ahune, will miss u. partly cos some of my toons HAVENT GOT WHAT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR YET! mostly cos ur so easy to kill for a nice cloak or staff and EoFs.

it was a fruitful festival – 2 weeks of simple LFG queuing, loads of loot. and with the LFG system, save a lot of time either running to SP or else u have to leave your toon there. oso, byebye to being camped by horde at the summoning stone.

so, back to the LFG grind, the first thing i did was take pickwick out to farm ore. cos with a new L80 warrior, need to make tanking plate gear and that means eternals and titansteel… zzz….

as usual, i’d queue for LFG as dps and go farming, to kill time. most runs were a piece of cake, until a H UK run with a laggy tank. he finally lagged out, and though we queued no more tanks appeared. so i left too and relogged Moodykat, since i saw there was business for tanks.

ran a few instances for Kat, then called it a night.

midsummer – time to get a nice cloak!

free cloaks! (but only for L80s – ok that has been fixed. under 80 can run it too. further confirmation. only L78 and higher can use LFG for Ahune)

since i levelled many L80s, a lot of them are not wearing great cloaks. some are even blues that are not L200 gear. so this festival (which started yesterday or today depending on where u live) is just in time for me to get gear upgrades!

the reason is simple, EoTs cannot buy cloaks at L232. they are for rings or trinkets but first priority is set gear. which means head, shoulders, chest, hands and legs. to get a set of 4 will require a lot of EoTs, which means i would never get a chance on a cloak except via a instance drop or, in this case, a festival’s easy loot!

since the boss will drop 1 cloak and he has 4 options (tanking, melee dps, castor dps, healing), the chances are pretty good. of course, he drops a nice staff too, but that’s pretty rare. i havent seen it drop yet.

even if the healing cloak drops, a castor dps can still roll for it and use it.

Slave Pens – getting there

now, it isnt a form a group and run to SP in Zangarmarsh. instead, u need to be 70+ (not sure what is the admission level but i have seen L78. confirmed only L78 and above. i logged in with a L77 and couldnt use LFG for Ahune.)  and use the LFG tool. Select the Ahune option and wait in queue. it will port u right where u need to fight.

The fight mechanics

start the fight by killing the add defending the summoning stone. click stone to summon boss.

once boss appears, kill his adds. you can target boss too but his defenses make your efforts practically useless. once enough of his adds are down, he changes into a frozen core, and that’s when everyone (tank, heals too) will focus on it and burn it ASAP. if you didnt manage to kill core in 1 try, the boss reappears and the cycle starts all over again. if the boss is just a few % from death, and you got good dps, then you can try and dps down the boss (even if his dmg taken is a major drop off your usual dmg) in a minute or two.

if you got good group, 1 core is all it takes to finish the fight. some groups u gotta do the core 3 times. more than that, i think your group will wipe anyway. and now with the under 80s getting into the game, things get tricky. they are usually the first to die and if they are your heals, they run out of mana real quick. so if you dont manage to burn boss in 1 turn, it can get really messy.

frost immunity

this fight is hard on frost DK tanks and frost mages, since the boss and adds are frost immune.

loot loot and more loot

loot chest for your cloak and shard of ahune (quest item). sometimes, other stuff drop. there was an enchant i looted before for Spiritcat. havent seen the staff yet. latest update: spiritcat got the staff in her bag (that usually contains 2 EoFs and nothing else)! but to bad, she already got a L232 staff of approx the same stats from long ago.

dont forget to check your inventory for the bag containing your 2 EoFs, which they give for your 1st Ahune run of the day.

updated to include info about under 80s doing the quest (L80-only bug has been fixed)

further updated to confirm that only L78 and above can use LFG for Ahune.

LFG mouth keeping

following my own advice from the previous post, i decided to let my fingers to the talking. unless someone was using way downranked skills, i didnt say anything. mostly, i just buffed and did my job silently and effectively. as tank, i seldom lost control of the mobs. even in the messy VH instance. as dps, i didnt aggro mobs b4 tank took control. i was still top or near top of dps, except in H instances on my undergeared toons. nowadays, H is filled with 5k GS ppl. so my toons cant compete. even zappel hasnt seen much ICC action of late. guild seems to be focussing more on gearing ppl thru 25-man TOC and Ony.

still i had a fun H run with a tank that was new to HoL (even though his GS is 4.5k). i guess most of the party took a look at his GS and thought he was kidding when he said it was his first time there. but i took him seriously, and explained the entire instance run (i was party lead anyway, on xense). i didnt top the dps meter, but i wasnt far off, since i had slightly over 4k GS by now. at the end of the run, he thanked me for my advice. i also learnt some new stuff about HoL from the other party members, who were in sharing mode too. nice begats nice, i think. the 3rd boss now only needs to be shot with 3 harpoons. i wonder if the skadi achievement still stands?

finally, some progress with Kiseki. she can say bye to zangar now that she managed to find a SP and UB instance to complete Lost In Action, as well as her Sporeggar rep quests. also had good party members, L66, and i advised them to go questing in Nagrand. which will pop them over to Northrend at L68 nicely.

bought an i5 computer

havent tried it out on 25-man yet, but i ran a H UP with Zappel and the graphics were glorious. even then, i didnt run everything on max resolution. i dont really need to see grass and stuff. anyway, it’s not like i bought top dollar components so i cant really run everything at max graphics anyway.

and yes, im still using xp even though i could have bought win7. i guess i still dont see a need for win7. the only sw i had to buy is norton 360 v3 (3 copies), which i then installed on my new PC, my other PC and my notebook (considered my old PC – it froze mostly at 25-man raids).

installing WoW is a piece of cake if you already have an installed copy on your old PC. just copy the whole World of Warcraft folder to your new PC and run the Wow.exe to play the game.

as for the H UP run, if you dont wanna kill all the bosses and just go for the daily EoF, you can skip bosses #1 and 2. while boss 1 is complaining, just run past. as for boss 2, if you dont activate him its just a quick run past that zone. boss 3, surprisingly, i was the harpoon collector. cos no one else wanted to do it XD. so i just kinda stopped dpsing (anyway, i was 2nd on dps meter so i just let it drop to 3rd during that period) and let my pet frosty go aggro (i was still in frost spec after the 25-man onyxia raid) while i ran around picking up harpoons and shooting them off at the boss.

at the other end of the scale, i ran SP for Pyroblast and Kiseki. first, i ran both of them to get the Lost In Action quest (have to swim under the lake to talk to the npc. and do the same again on completion to turn in quest). i shared the quest with the party members, which resulted in some of them asking, where are the other 2 npcs needed to complete the quest, did we miss them along the way. LOLOLOLOLO. so i had to keep telling them the other 2 npcs are in UB. both times, i ran with pro tank and heals so it was a breeze. compared to some of the LFG L70 runs i have been on of late, the L60 runs are so much better. i wonder why the quality of the players are so different…