Playing through WoW; an update

At the end of last year we started a new leveling duo in WoW a healer-monk and a warrior-tank. We’re sporadically playing these in between our other gaming activities (raids, Neverwinter, SWTOR sessions) and I am enjoying seeing the Cataclysm remake of the world more than expected.

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The world is still immersive in that the game engine has a wonderfully long visual range. Stood in the dark forests of Darkshore you can see the trees stretch away into the shadowy distance. Other than the geological upheaval of the Cataclysm there are also some more subtle changes to the zone – e.g. the presence of silver-bordered ‘rare’ monsters. They give a guaranteed green quality item as a reward for defeating them but it’s also nice to have more challenging encounters around even in a low-level zone since we’re a pretty invincible healer-tank duo.

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There’s a lot of charm and wit in the quest dialogues, I can’t remember how the pre-Cataclysm content in this zone really compared, but I am impressed by the quality of the quest writing – the various quest givers do seem to stand out as individuals.

One issue that remains is the speed of leveling something I’ve complained about in the past. At the moment we’ve just hit 20 and we’re maybe 75% through the zone so we’re not necessarily that far ahead. We have no heirloom (bonus XP) equipment though we are accruing rested XP some of the time – so it doesn’t seem too bad. That the warrior is getting XP for every mined ore node is a problem as I do not get any extra XP for killing creatures to skin. I’d rather avoid having to split up so I can go on a skinning rampage every few levels to redress this balance. Now I’m level 20 I could use monk ability Zen Pilgrimage to do bonus quests but the XP reward from said quests is pretty high and would tip the balance the other way.

I suspect Blizzard will want all players, new and old, to focus solely on Draenor when the expansion finally launches. Personally I think it would be a great opportunity to briefly redress the issues with the leveling game. I’ve read a lot online about players wanting a more ‘old-school’ experience in their MMO gaming. Couldn’t Blizzard just introduce a few per-character options to disable gathering XP or activate an entirely optional reduced XP-gain mode for leveling characters without the rush?

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10 Responses to Playing through WoW; an update

  1. Shintar says:

    The silver-dragoned rare mobs already existed pre-Cata; I’m surprised you never ran into one! 🙂

    • Telwyn says:

      When I was playing this zone the last time the server was heaving with players, now it’s all tumble-weed 😦

      Faulty memory I expect. Were the ogres in Loch Modan silver mobs then or just normal elites? I guess Hogger was like this too, I did fight him back in the day….

  2. Balkoth says:

    Are you aware there’s an option to disable XP entirely? Once you hit the last level or two of a zone you could just disable XP to finish the quests without continuing to level.

    • Telwyn says:

      Isn’t that through an NPC in Stormwind or Ogrimmar? So far we haven’t needed to, personally I’d rather a way of reducing XP gain to a more measured pace than having to start/stop it every few sessions – it works sure but it’s a very clunky way of dealing with the issue. It was put in for those wanting to stick to a specific era ‘end-game’ rather than a cludgy fix for over-rapid leveling.

      • Balkoth says:

        It is in the capitals, yes.

        I suppose the point I was making was that there’s already a solution to your issue and I’m wondering whether it’s worth the development time to expand on it. In an ideal world, sure, such options might be nice and might be used by some people — but it seems to be something frightfully few people would use to achieve something that’s already technically achievable.

        And it’s not like it would make the leveling any more difficult, especially since you’re duoing as a tank/healer anyway — so simply stopping/restarting XP every 10 levels or so would seem to achieve your desired effect, roughly.

  3. R says:

    You’ll find that your levels will stay more or less on par over the long haul… for one thing, monks get double the rested XP per day (so 30% of a level per day instead of 15% if ZZZing) so that’ll help offset the mining XP. The other factor is that leveling isn’t linear, XP requirements increase at each level so while the warrior may at some point be a level or two up, it’ll likely never get any further than that since the monk will get more of a level per kill/quest than the warrior. Basically, I wouldn’t worry about it, it’s mostly self-correcting, especially with your duo.

    (or pick up herbing on the monk, which I’d probably do anyway regardless of whether there are other long-term profession plans in mind or not… it’s basically free gold + XP)

  4. Jonny 5iVe says:

    I just started a fresh druid. Went for mining and herbalism.

    I never really work on crafting professions as I’m leveling. It’s always seemed better to me to just set a Saturday aside at or near max level, and just go out farming/crafting.

    So, I’m going to mine and herb all I can whilst leveling (getting a pretty sizable boost to income, both xp and gold). Then, when I reach max level, drop them both, and take up jewelcrafting and alchemy. Looking at a guide I can make sure I only sell the excess materials on the AH as I level. That way I’ll get two major profession bonus’ in the end, at literally little to no farming time at end game.

    If you’re going that route, you could always drop your low level leatherworking, and take up herbalism instead. Just save your skins for when you’re actually going to be bothered about maxing it… If your server is anything like mine, you’ll be amazed how much cash you can make just selling the mid level herbs. Making 100 gold an hour, exclusively from herbs isn’t out of the question, and that’s just going about your regular questing business.

    • Telwyn says:

      Yes, it’d be worth doing it that way around as trying to gather enough materials to level leatherworking as you level the character is such a pain.

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