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Archive for the ‘Questing’ Category

Kinevra has always had a mind of her own. A few months ago, I sent her to the Argent Tournament to complete my collection of Tournament mounts. While she was working on that task, her own end-of-the-OLRG-evening portal roulette sent her to Tol Barad a couple of times… and she started thinking that maybe she wanted the Spectral Steed, too. So when she finished up at the Tournament, off she went to Tol Barad.

I was still on a PvP server during most of Cataclysm, and with Tol Barad being a designated PvP zone, I just said NO to doing the dailies there. I never even set foot on Tol Barad except for a few times when my guild was raiding Baradin Hold and I was summoned to the meeting stone.

But Kinevra thought, hey, it’s an expansion later, and I’m on a PvE server, so I want to at least check it out.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that doing the dailies didn’t auto-flag me for PvP. I’d kind of expected that it would. After a few days of doing the dailies at the base camp, I decided to go to the battleground side during a time when the Alliance controlled it and check out the dailies there. I’d thought I might be auto-flagged for PvP just by going over there, or by doing the quests there, but again, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I wasn’t.

An expansion later, on a PvE server, Tol Barad ain’t so bad.

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For the past several weeks, I’ve felt like Kaprikka, Koralyra, and Kinevra have been racing each other to get to 90, and that any one of them could potentially get there first.

Though I’ve drawn them all sprinting, Kaprikka is really the only one who’s sprinting, as she started the furthest behind. The other two have really just been jogging.

Koralyra tends to move in fits and starts; unless there’s a holiday going on, when I feel like doing the Pet Battle circuit, she gets XP, and when I don’t, she doesn’t. She’s currently about three-quarters of the way from 87 to 88.

Kinevra began the expansion at 85, of course, and has been slowly and steadily plugging away at various past-expansion daily hubs. She’s gotten a trickle of XP from running Firelands with the Old Ladies, too. This week, she finally reached level 87 and made a trip to Pandaria to get her Grummlepack. Because she was fully well-rested, that expedition got her about three-quarters of the way to 88.

Kaprikka dinged 80 on April 3rd and got to 85 about a week ago, on the 19th:

She then made a quick trip to Pandaria. After getting to the point where the portal from Paw’don Glade to Stormwind was open, she rode up to Dawn’s Blossom to buy some gear to let her queue for Pandaria dungeons. She’s been diligently fishing in the Dalaran fountain while waiting out her LFD queues. Friday night this week turned out to be a fine night for fishing indeed!

Now she’ll be able to use Bipsi’s Bobbing Berg just as soon as she can buy it! Yesterday, she went back to Pandaria and dinged 87 helping Ken-Ken save Zhu’s Watch. She then went up to Kun-Lai to get her Grummlepack; unlike Kinevra, she was already out of well-rested and only got forty-some-odd percent of the way to 88. Next, she rode down to the Incursion — I was pretty creeped out by suddenly having Lorekeeper Vaeldrin using Mind Vision on my character, versus a Horde character’s encounter with Chezin Dawnchaser at the side of the road — and by the time she reached the Sentinel Basecamp, she’d also dinged 88. Now that she’s pulled into the lead, Kaprikka will most likely be the winner.

Having played through the Dawnchaser storyline first, and multiple times, Sentinel Lyalia’s opinions of the Sunwalkers pain me. Not trusting the Horde is a Sentinel’s business, but the Sunwalkers — and especially the Dawnchasers! — sure don’t seem to me like they’re “the most militant branch of the tauren armies within the horde”! Not when Kor Bloodtusk vehemently complains about their pacifism! Either Lyalia is dreadfully misinformed, or I am — is there something that Sunwalkers, specifically, do somewhere in Kalimdor that I don’t know about yet because I haven’t played through most of those zones as Alliance?

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A Blog Azeroth Shared Topic, courtesy of Dragonray, who wonders:

What sort of method do you use for levelling multiple alts? Do you follow the same quest chains each time, do you avoid a certain quest section, do you only dungeon, etc?

I typically level with a mixture of questing, gathering, and LFD.

Since Heirlooms debuted, most of my characters have used them. I’ve gotten used to the pace of leveling using Heirlooms, to the extent that leveling without them now feels agonizingly slow. Kaumalea the Underpowered Death Knight doesn’t use Heirlooms, of course, and I’ve decided that Kehontah the Male Tauren Warrior will not use Heirlooms to help him reach level 60, prior to being boosted to 90, either. He’s also not going to do LFD, not even SFK at level 20 for the weapon (a rite of passage for all my other alts). He’ll be finding joy in the journey and perhaps even contributing to the Godmother’s “Those We Leave Behind” project.

To keep myself from getting bored with the leveling process, I try to do something a little different with each alt — or at least, between one alt that I spend a lot of time with and the next alt that I spend a lot of time with. I try to choose zones and questlines that feature the race of my character or a faction that relates to the class of my character. I use LFD to skip over levels that don’t have any zones or quests I want to do.

When I get to Outland, I cherry-pick the questlines that give good-looking clothes or weapons for Transmogrification. This means I end up doing a different set of zones and quests depending upon the armor class of the character.

Going through Northrend as Horde, I usually do some of the Taunka village questlines, then burn through the rest of those levels in LFD. Ever since Kamalia experienced the Wrathgate, I’ve avoided the Forsaken outposts and their quests like, well, the plague (pun intended). I tried to do some of the Alliance side quests in Northrend with Kinevra, but she was in such a hurry to get to 85 that what she did went by in a blur. Now, Kaprikka is in a hurry-hurry to get to 90, so I probably won’t see much of non-LFD Northrend with her, either. One of my other Alliance alts will have to be the one to take it slow through the Alliance story in Northrend — and I would like to play all the way through Storm Peaks again sometime.

I do have a fairly set path for the Cataclysm levels. I play through Mount Hyjal until I’ve completed Aessina’s Miracle, so that if the character ever wants to get something from the Molten Front, they can jump right in. Then I go to Vashj’ir and follow the quest chain until I get to Silver Tide Hollow and open up the Earthen Ring quartermaster. I go to Deepholm just long enough to get to level 83, and I usually follow the Stonehearth questline rather than the skyship questline. Then I go to Uldum and play through the Ramkahen questline. Sometimes I finish it, other times I go to Twilight Highlands as soon as I reach level 84. I’ll do enough of Twilight Highlands to get the portal open. After that, I may continue questing in Twilight Highlands, go back to Uldum, or just gather and LFD my way to 85.

The only things a character must do in Pandaria are get the Grummlepack and open the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Mages don’t even have to do the latter; they can just wait until they get to level 90 and learn the teleport. I usually do the Tian Monastery in Jade Forest, getting started at Sunsong Ranch, and the Lorewalker Cho/Zouchin Province questline in Kun-Lai Summit (at least until the trolls have been defeated). I’ve only done the Dread Wastes with a few characters; the others have all tried to avoid it.

I’m fond of Archaeology as a speed-leveling tool when I’m really in a hurry to level and don’t have any zones or questlines that I’m particularly interested in playing through. Archaeology provides consistently good XP, plus a little gold on the side, and it’s a good way to occupy myself while I’m sitting in an LFD queue (especially as DPS). Archaeology gets much easier after level 60, when one can fly. Many digsites have very uneven terrain or large obstacles created by ruined structures, and it’s faster and simpler to hop on one’s flying mount and go over an obstacle than to go around on the ground. The digsites at Auchindoun are particularly terrible; the relics can spawn both inside and outside the ring, and trying to navigate around that place on the ground while searching for relics would be a nightmare! I am not excited about trying to do Archaeology on Draenor if it remains a no-fly environment for the whole expansion!

I’m also fond of dailies as a leveling tool, though they are definitely not a speed-leveling method! I’ll often do the Thunder Bluff fishing and cooking dailies with whichever alt is currently at the top of my leveling queue. I particularly like to do dailies from past expansions with a character who is not yet at the level cap of the current expansion, so that they can get XP as well as whatever reward I’m interested in. I’ve put many characters through their paces at the Argent Tournament. The latest, Kinevra, eventually said enough is enough and refused to do any more jousting — I haven’t done the jousting in the Court of Bones for ages, only the arena jousting on the Tournament grounds, but it seems that I’ve finally gotten thoroughly sick of that. Kaelinda got a couple of levels between 85 and 90 from the Molten Front — good enough XP that Kinevra is contemplating going to Tol Barad after she’s finished at the Argent Tournament (still a long way off). After Warlords launches, I will probably get post-90 levels for at least some of my characters from the various Pandaria dailies.

The Kalimdor Pet Battle Trainer circuit sped the Pet Battling Monk quite handily through her first 70 levels. I’ve liked Pet Battling enough to occasionally vist Pet Trainers with other alts, if they’ve been convenient to wherever the character was questing, or to do a wild pet battle here and there. In the future, I might do Pet Battling as an alternative to gathering and LFD to skip over levels that don’t have any zones/quests a given character wants to do.

So that’s how I level, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, never exactly the same way for any two characters.

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I’ve been saying that I didn’t want to post a written “to do” list until Warlords was at least in beta. Now, even though there’s still no sign of a beta, we have that “on or before 20 December but hopefully by sometime in the fall” pseudo-release date. Furthermore, I’m currently applying for full-time academic jobs. Should I actually get one of them, the job itself would probably begin in late August, and I’d be busy with the associated moving during late July or early August. So I suppose I might as well make a small list of the things I most want to accomplish in WoW before the end of summer.

Alts still needing to reach 90
Warlock (currently 62)
Rogue (currently 46)
Pet Battling Monk (currently 82)
Any Alliance character — doesn’t have to be the Dwarf Shaman (currently 27), anymore, because I want to play her all the way through several zones for the stories, and either the Human Mage (currently 86) or the Draenei Mage (currently 73) could more easily rush to 90 in LFD
Male Tauren Warrior (currently 22) to 60+, will then be boosted to 90

Things to do at 90
Get shinies for Transmogrification from Mists LFR for Paladin, Priest, Pet Battling Monk
Complete Kamalia’s Pandaren, Mogu, and Mantid archaeology museums
Systematically queue for Scenarios until I have run each Scenario at least once — I don’t run Scenarios very often, and there are a few that I have not yet seen
Start Warlock on Green Fire quest chain
Level enough pets of each family to be able to obtain the Tamer title and the safari hat and do the Celestial Tournament.
Level Male Tauren Warrior’s Engineering at least high enough to specialize as Gnomish and acquire necessary recipes & mats for specialization quest before using free boost to 90

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Heirlooms (and other forms of +XP bonuses), the LFD random-queue goody bags, and Transmogrification have really changed my leveling process. I used to level through the zones that had storylines I enjoyed and/or provided quest rewards with good stats for my character. Now, I typically level via a combination of questing and LFD: I quest through areas that have either quest rewards I know I’ll want for Transmogrification or storylines that I want to experience, and I LFD through all the rest. Inevitably — usually sometime in Outland — I find myself wondering if I should do a given set of quests now, while I can get good XP for them, or if I should just zoom through those levels in LFD and come back to do the quests later, when I am actually wanting to make a Transmogrification kit that uses those specific quest rewards, so as to save my inventory from becoming glutted.

If I know for sure that I will want to use the quest rewards for Transmogrification later, even if I don’t already have any specific kits in mind, then I’ll usually decide to do the quests now, while I can get good XP out of them, too.

If the quest rewards are things that I kinda-sorta like, but I’m not sure whether I’ll actually ever use them in a Transmogrification kit, then I’ll usually decide to do the quests later, to save inventory space.

How has Transmogrification affected your leveling process?

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Kaprikka was actually almost all the way from level 62 to level 63 when I started playing with her on Monday, having done some Hellfire Peninsula quests a few months ago to get some items for a new outfit. The Lunar Festival didn’t end until one o’clock in the afternoon, realm-time, so she spent the morning flying around paying her respects to the Elders. Then she did some pet battling.

It seems to me that the Eastern Kingdoms/Alliance pet trainers make a less logical, convenient circuit than the Kalimdor/Horde pet trainers (and that’s a topic for another post). By the time she had succeeded in narrowly defeating Blood Knight Antari, Kaprikka was about level 65, and she had decided that she didn’t need to do all the pet trainers ever again — just the Outland ones.

Now it was time to do some quests. I love that Outland (and Northrend, too) still has the old-style questing model where every hub has a good half-dozen quests available and one can choose to do as many or as few of those chains as one pleases. With heirlooms and other forms of XP bonuses making leveling super-quick, each character can pick and choose exactly and only the questlines that provide the quest rewards she wants to use or the story she wants to experience. I rather enjoy the Outland portion of a character’s leveling journey for this reason, and I would be sad if Outland questing was re-worked to the more “streamlined”, linear Cataclysm style. With Kaprikka, I specifically wanted to explore the Draenei storyline in Outland through the Alliance-specific Draenei quest hubs: Temple of Telhamat, Telredor, Orebor Harborage, Telaar. I’ve played through the neutral (Sha’tar or Aldor) Draenei quest hubs with other characters, so Kaprikka will probably not spend much time with them. Another Alliance character — the Dwarf Shaman, perhaps — can play through the Alliance-specific quest hubs in Outland that were built and populated by the other Alliance races. The quest objectives are, of course, largely identical to the quests at the corresponding Horde hubs, but the motivations are very different!

While she was doing quests for the Temple of Telhamat, Kaprikka also cleared the four digsites she had in Hellfire Peninsula. Moving on to Telredor, she began queueing up for LFD. I decided to run each Outland dungeon once, for the quest rewards, so I queued for them specifically, a few at a time, de-selecting each dungeon from the list after it had come up. When I logged off on Monday night after having finished the quests at Telredor and picked up the first set of quests at Orebor Harborage, Kaprikka was almost to level 69.

On Tuesday, my level 90 characters were grumpy about their farms and profession CDs having been neglected on Monday. Then, the Paladin wanted to go to Isle of Thunder before LFR. Surviving wasn’t a problem, in her Prot spec, but killing all the things took for-evar. So Kaprikka got to rest.

Between questing and dungeon running, Kaprikka dinged 70 on Wednesday night before even making it to Telaar. She’s going to stay in Outland, for the time being. She still has all of the Telaar quests to do, plus a few quest chains in other zones for specific quest reward items. I also want her to keep digging in Outland until she has found all ten of the Draenei archaeology relics. She will, however, move on to regular random-queue LFD — and therefore Northrend dungeons — after she has completed one run of each Outland dungeon.

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Well, now that I don’t have the Legendary Cloak haunting me as unfinished business anymore, it feels like the leveling floodgates have opened. In the past few days, five alts — including a brand-new one — have gotten some serious playtime.

Kaelinda the Blood Elf Mage, who’d been sitting at about halfway through level 88 since she accomplished her goal on the Molten Front, pushed through a bit of the Townlong Steppes, some of the Dread Wastes, and a few dungeons to become my tenth level 90 character.

Kilauea the Troll Shaman went from level 22 to level 25, putting her right at-level to do Arathi Highlands and then the Hinterlands, two zones which I have not yet quested through since Cataclysm.

Kalaneia the Blood Elf Warlock went from level 55 to level 58. She might have gotten to level 60, but then I got distracted….

Tome and I took our wee Dwarf lassies, Flaminga the Warlock and Kjerstin the Shaman, to the Wetlands and played through most of the first major hub there before Tome had to sign off. Kjerstin is already overleveled for the zone, so she didn’t quite get a level out of it, but I really want to see the storyline.

When BTH and I began leveling our Monks, I joined BTH’s guild with my Monk so that we’d have the same guild XP bonuses — my personal guild wasn’t yet leveled enough to have all of those perks. That meant, however, that my little all-Tauren guild has been missing Monk from the “Classy Tauren” achievement. My guild is now leveled enough to have all the XP perks, so I moved my Monk over to it… but that did not give me the ‘chieve. It seems that I have to actually ding 85 with the class-race combo in-guild to get the ‘chieve credit. So I rolled a new Monk. I started her as a Pandaren, so that she could have the cool Wandering Isle leather gear for RP wear, then race-changed her after she got to Kalimdor. She is going to level primarily through LFD, Archaeology, and Pet Battles.


And though I haven’t managed to give her any playtime yet, Kelisanna the Blood Elf Rogue wants to level, too. BTH gave me Mistborn for my birthday, and Keli is still too low-level even to acquire the Survivor’s Bag of Coins, let alone use it.

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