So this weekend they finally released a concurrent WoD Leveling experience with all zones and questing paths available. Before we begin talking about my experience and route, let’s discuss two very quick ways to level on the beta. NOTE: It is unlikely these will be recommended for live, just like farming the birds in MoP.
1. Pet Battles.
The reason pet battles are OP right now is because they give, on average, the same experience as a quest AND there is only ever 1 pet. On live, there will be three pets in each fight, so it will take 3x longer by default. Honestly, I have leveled toons solely through pet battling from 88-90 on Live, so don’t think it can’t be done. It just becomes arguably less optimal.
The trick to this on the beta is Nagrand. Get there as soon as you hit 98 and go towards the center of the zone. There are pets you can battle that are ALL either critter or beast pets. Stock up on Mechanical moves for the Beasts, and Beasts for the critters and go in looking to 2 shot them. If you can, you just completed a quest in less than 1 minute. There will be dozens around as well, and some times there will be actual mobs near or blocking them. Kill them, because they drop an item called “Big Soup Bone” or something like that. These can be turned in 25 at a time at the Ring of Trials and give as much exp as the quests as well. I believe its not meant to give experience each time, but if this was the case, you could also add this to the list, especially if you were a class that can do strong control AOE like Hunter or Mage.
2. Bonus Objectives and Vignettes
These are even more ludicrous but towards the end they stop operating as they should. Bonus Objectives are a new leveling option, and will appear on your map as a set of crossed swords. When you enter the area you will automatically be entered into a quest that ranges from killing a ton of mobs to actually performing other actions. Long story short, these are easy as hell, especially in the first three zones. They give percentage exp, so no matter what level you are you get the same exp as well, which equates to enough to fill 3 full bars! Its easily possible to get half the levels you need to 100 by doing these alone, but some of them don’t work for a variety of reasons.
There are 2 in Gorgrond that have objectives that can’t be completed. One is to kill these spider webs that just evade, and the other is to crush eggs that aren’t actually clickable.
In Spires of Arak, the top right one has an objective that can’t be completed either because the mobs don’t drop the stone you need to finish it.
Either way, on the beta they are worth going way out of your way for. Even do the one in SMV. Its three free bars of experience!
I would NOT count on these giving this much exp on live, and maybe they aren’t even meant to be percentage based. It will still be a cool thing to do as you pass by though.
Actual Questing and leveling.
So since I was able to level my actual Paladin, I started at about 25 percent through 90 just because of spillover from leveling to 90 in MoP. I assume that’s the reason, otherwise you just automatically start with some experience lol?
Either way, I was able to get to near 91 before I even left tanaan for Frostfire Ridge and was certainly done with it before my Garrison was finished. I then hit 92 around the time you are doing those quests that come after you return to Bladespire Fortress from saving Wor’gol. That’s only about 1/3rd through the zone, and some of our guildies stayed behind but it severely hindered their speed. Honestly, on live I think I will do the same. Frostfire is an AMAZING zone, and Spires of Arak is horrible, so the least I can cut out of there the better for me. If you stay in Frostfire, you will likely get to just short of 94 before you have done all quests. Next stop is Gorgrond.
Gorgrond immediately turns into a gold mine, as you can pick the lumber mill with the Shredder perk and fly all around the zone every few minutes. Its a huge time saver in some places, so make sure you have it available and use it for damage too when the chance presents itself. I absolutely FLEW through 92-94 at this point, mostly because this is when we first discovered the vignettes being so potent, but also just because the zone gives so much more exp then Frostfire. By this point, we are at around 5 hours played time, with some downtime getting things set up. We did complete every single quest available though, as the zone seems incomplete.
Next zone is Taladar, home of Shattrath! The quests here begin to delve pretty deep into this story, but once again the bonus objectives were my main focus. because of this, I only did about half the quests in the zone before getting to 96. I literally just did the starting quests in the zone to build the base, then went and did the few vignettes and was 95. At this point, I realized once again how OP the outpost perks are. You can get this artillery blast that will absolutely obliterate ANYTHING including players. It does 4-5 blasts of around 150k damage, so make sure you use it on any large mobs and rares. Around this point, I retired for the evening and concluded my first sitting. By the end of 96, I had played for about 6.5 hours, with at least a half hour, if not more, wasted time to beta specific things like setting up specs and action bars + DCs.
Upon resuming with my second sitting, I came to know the Spires of Arak. Don’t get me wrong, if you like gloom and birds you’ll love this place. I just absolutely hated it. Its the one zone where you realize not having flying is absolutely brutal. There are a bunch of places where there are two-three levels and if you fall or have to get up to one, you will rue the decision to come here. What’s worse is that its often the case where the quest helper tracking shows in only 1 dimension and you have to guess which long cave you need to enter.
Now, a huge part of my frustration was the incomplete quests in the zone. About half way through the main Arakoa storyline you run into MULTIPLE quests that are all very unfinished. There are three quests that simply can’t be turned in for a very long time, and then the final two quests just don’t work at all. Meanwhile others require you to loot things that are incredibly rare – likely not intended.
For fans of the lore, I’ll say this zone is probably one of the most revealing. We learn all about how the “Arakoa” we know from Outlands come to be, and get to put a face to names like Terokk, and even encounter Talon King Ithiss from the BC Five man! Its amazing lore wise, but brutal.
The two areas I will for sure do each time I can is the goblin area wayyyy to the south, and the Horde v Alliance garrison quests right across from where you set up your outpost. These are extremely easy and don’t involve any areas that are filled with trees and caves.
Completing this zone took me at least 4-5 hours, if not longer. I’d say a full hour of it could have been avoided by not messing with broken quests, but the facts of the matter are that mobs start getting legitimate healthpools and just AOEing 15 birds down is no longer an option. Around this point is when you need to slow down, take deep breaths, and realize your Mythic gear is losing its potency. It will carry you all the way, but its not gonna be as easy as it was in Frostfire.
From here, we finish in Nagrand. Without question, the best zone in the entire video game. Not just the expansion either! It is absolutely breath-taking, and all the quests are great. There are a few that were very unfinished, but the lore in this zone is the lore you want to see. We learn all about the Blademasters and a few other key pieces of lore that I don’t want to spoil. Even Hemmet made it here! And so did the Ring of Blood!
Around this time, I was starting to lose interest in leveling on the beta, so I just finished the last level with pet battles and soup bone turn ins. It cut the final two levels down to about 4 hours complete, but as I said there is no way pet battling will be that quick, so I’d imagine 5-6 hours for the last two levels is more appropriate.
Who knows though, I’ve never been a speed runner.
If you guys have any questions about leveling feel free to let me know. 90-96 is entirely painless, but things get messy towards the end just because its only been a few days since these quests became testable. Everything should iron out in time!