Bhagpuss’ post about a leveling in LOTRO with minimal questing came to mind recently when my husband and I reached Draenor on our pair of Deathknights in World of Warcraft. My character had languished for years at level 78, my husband had been leveling one on-and-off for some time. So with them in sync we decided to get them to Legion to be able to see another class story. The end of Wrath (levels 78-80) were dealt with quickly enough in the Storm Peaks zone. Then we powered through Pandaria questing in Jade Forest, Kunlai and some of Townlong Steppes.
Finally reaching Draenor and we were both faced with the problem of not wanting to repeat all that content/questing that was recent enough to be all too familiar. At least with Pandaria’s zones it had been an extra two more years since that was current content. The Draenor expansion raised the bar significantly on directed story-telling in WoW, which is great when you play through the first few times, but can get very repetitive on replays. It’s memorable enough, to me at least, to not want to quest through it again for some years.
However Draenor was the first expansion that introduced multiple sources of alternative experience to the game. In Draenor (and in Legion) there are treasures to be found in all zones. They give a lump of experience and some form of material reward – whether gold, an item, a ‘toy’ or garrison resources. The experience reward is pretty good and, with an add-on map, it’s possible to hoover up almost all of the treasures in a zone with efficiency. We’re using our usual flying dragon mount cheat to zip around as a pair, though we often remember the trials of trying to get these treasures from the ground by jumping, climbing, falling or whatever – that shows how much we still remember this expansion!
The other source of bonus experience for the Draenor expansion is the “bonus objective” areas marked on every zone’s map. These are simple “kill X/click Y” type quests that give a very decent lump of experience when completed. In some ways they’re like a static precursor to the World Quest system in Legion (you can only do them once on any character).
So after a couple of sessions of this, both characters are part way through 95 and we’ve so far done Shadowmoon Valley, Gogrond and now Talador. We skipped the bonus objectives in Gogrond and will probably have to go back to do those to reach level 96 and be ready for the next zone of Spires of Arak. It’s a very different way to play this expansion with very minimalist engagement with the Garrison (it’s still useful as a place to log off). It’s the most thorough I’ve explored this expansion on any character – we’re still finding the odd treasure that we never collected before as proof of this. Overall it makes for a very different leveling experience for this expansion: I wonder in future if we’ll use a similar tactic to bypass Legion’s leveling/questing?