Monday, 9 November 2009

Levelling an Alt: Part 1

With relatively little going on Warcraft at the moment, I have decided to start a new Blood Elf Hunter on a server that I used to play on, Sporeggar-EU. When Wrath of the Lich King came out I decided to go with Alliance over Horde, so I never took my existing level 70 character there up to 80, and didn't have heirlooms during the Hunter levelling process. Since I was doing it with a friend, who's playing a Paladin, and never played Horde before, having no heirlooms meant we would be balanced in levelling terms.

The major changes brought by 3.2 and it's predecessors have seriously revamped the levelling up process. With affordable mounts even for someone who has never played on the server but has economic knowledge of the game (i.e. Has Auctioneer), Azeroth goes by in a blur. And then Outlands. Oh, poor Outlands. The change of normal flyers being boosted to 150% and at 60 has meant that we say hello and goodbye to the Burning Crusade in two, three days. After heading to Outlands at 58 I am currently 64 with 88/90 quests in Hellfire, 53/54 in Zangarmarsh. I expect we'll be 68 within finishing Greatmother chain, as every self respecting person starting a Horde for the first time should see it.

In anticipation of the badge pinata LFG system, it is one of the best times to level a new character. However, on our low population server designated for New Players, we rarely found groups for instances. This could be because we were playing afternoons and late nights instead of evenings, but we did find ourselves wishing for the new LFG a fair few times. While the first few instances you come across can be duo'd, we needed a dedicated healer for later ones such as Zul'Farrak and Maraudon. Sunken Temple we skipped entirely. But these were minor annoyances, and it didn't take long to level up since you can cherrypick your way through 3-4 zones every tier.

In a duo group like we were, killquests were the norm, so zones like Stranglethorn Vale and Hinterlands quickly became our favourites. The latter in particular has quests which are efficient and duo-friendly. Despite the changes to Vanilla itemisation way back in TBC, it still doesn't quite reach todays expected standards, and we went into Outlands still wearing gear acquired back at level 30. It's pretty disconcerting to see spirit on DPS loot, so heres hoping Cataclysm's revamp will sort that out once more.

All in all, I'm pretty surprised at how eager I've been to level a character. Having a friend to level with and to keep each other motivated helps a lot too. The last time we levelled was through Recruit-a-Friend, and we went through it boosting each other in instances and ended up with several new 60s, but sometimes it's fun to do it the old fashioned way.

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