Starting from scratch can either be a pain or a lot of fun depending on what your goal is during a new season. I like the idea of a fresh start because you get to try a few new things here and there as well as see the progress of a character with little to no help at all. But for the solo player, what are some good methods for leveling? If you’re looking for a post on reaching 70 super fast, this probably isn’t the best spot for you. On the other hand, if you want some basic tips on getting to 70 and grabbing your Seasonal set in a timely manner, this blog is suited for you.
Season 7 is coming on August 5th and with it starting from ground zero again. As with every season, it’s important choosing a solid starting character, especially for those planning to hit the season solo. Which character class will be the best for leveling in season 7?
For season 2, I decided to push a Demon Hunter character since for the most part I’ve accomplished as much as I could on my normal characters. In short, I felt somewhat bored and wanted to give the new seasonal game play a try. I consider myself a casual player (although I do play quite a few hours at the moment) with a fair amount of knowledge of demon hunters, leveling and wanted to share my insight in how a casual player can push a seasonal demon hunter into a reasonable state.
A new vlog on what keeps me playing a grindy game like Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft:
So Blizzard is doing something pretty controversial with the whole boosted level 90 for Warlords of Draenor. Currently, it might even be out prior to Warlords of Draenor as it’s being tested in the PTR as of patch 5.4.7 and is part of the in-game store. What’s more interesting is the loads of typical complaints from people calling it p2w. Right now, I find it intensely amusing to see this backlash in the rise of the paid model but I want to examine this situation a little more.
I’ve been really pushing my monk to 90 at the moment. I feel with the expansion nearing the end, I should just finish up leveling my monk and getting him to the spot where the rest of my gang is. Unfortunately, the leveling process feels as tedious as ever but being familiar with all the quest lines has made progress quite expedient.
I leveled my pandaren monk from 71-80 today. It took a fair amount of time but at the same time the entire episode felt quick. It might take me anywhere between a week or two to get him to 90. However, I wanted to share my thoughts on this class thus far.
With the expansion coming to a close, I wanted to look at the whole picture for Mist of Pandaria. While there may be a patch or two prior to the next expansion, it’s pretty much a lock that more than likely there will be no new major content patches as the Siege of Orgrimmar along with the ending of the Legendary Cape quest mark the major ending story points for this expansion.
So my plan for leveling and gearing my priest up mostly worked. The leveling process in the end was a pretty big headache. It felt like it took far too long and I ended up doing more quests than on my rogue. Not sure if there’s an experience discrepancy between the two classes, but I had to do more quests. Of course, my rogue received some help in killing a bunch of rares so that might’ve contributed a few million experience points but the numbers felt way off for my priest for some reason. Regardless, I ended up doing 75% of Townlong Steppes rather than my usual 25-50% and finished up in Dread Waste.
Of course, upon hitting 90, I immediately went back to town to do some gear prepping. I ended up at the 459 ilvl mark with crafted goods and managed to grab the cloak from Ahune to give me the magical 460. That was a nice ticket into Mogu’shan Vaults. Of course, I grabbed some coins from the treasure room scenario but ended up getting all gold from my first run. Kinda frustrating considering that there’s quite a bit of good drops for a priest in the first half.
So what are my feelings now upon seeing her at 90? Outside of some talent rearrangements, I think she suffers from just bad gear. It’ll take some time to build up that gear but hopefully I can get enough in the next day or two so she can output better damage. I’m fortunate that priests are easier to gear than other cloth and leather based classes and the fact that I already had a good Inscription weapon ready. But pushing into the next raid group is going to be a challenge unless the drops start falling out faster.
Either way, I’m pretty happy that I now have 10 level 90s. It’s been a lot of work and I don’t think I’ll bother leveling my monk. If my monk was level 85, I might consider it but it’ll take a few weeks of solid, non-stop leveling before she can catch up. I really don’t want to put that level of effort and prefer to concentrate on taking my current toons to the next level with regards to LFR, gearing, their farms and work on elements like Pet Battles. I think it’ll be interesting with all the different toons that I have available and I can start making assessments in styles and DPS (since that’s what I do).
The other thing is that I can relax a bit. I was worried that I would miss the Ahune/Summer event and struggle paying a hefty price on the Auction House once again in trying to gear my priest up. Fortunately, everything fell into place and I can sit back and start focusing on each character, bringing them up and really putting my plan of industrializing their farms to work.
I’m somewhat excited for these opportunities as I’m a bit ahead in terms of the expansion of where my guys need to be. I used patch 5.3 exactly for what it’s worth, which is mostly leveling and playing catch up. So if they decide to announce the next expansion for Christmas (which I doubt), I’ll still be ready, having a good 5 months of preparation time to do more with my toons compared to Cataclysm.
On a side note, one little trick that I started to do with my priest (and my rogue to a degree) is that I would use my Death Knight, who is reasonably geared, to clear out mob heavy zones. It’s not entirely like power leveling but I found this technique to be really useful. One of the things I would find frustrating is an area with just too many mobs that would overwhelm and kill my toons. Although I might need certain mobs for quests, having too many would frustrate me to no end. So I would have my death knight fly above a zone, clear it out if things became too cramped, then switch back and forth until I felt comfortable again. It’s a nice, simple technique if you’re not fortunate enough to have friends or guild members helping you out.
Since this week is the last for the summer festival event, my friend pointed out that he was trying to get a few toons to at least level 90 just to obtain the cape (and possibly weapon). After struggling a bit to get my rogue geared initially, I decided that any possible help to get a few pieces of quick loot would be a great idea before the event finishes. Hence, I decided to make a full push on my priest and try and hit 90 asap.
Lucky for us, the experience reduction is a real boon. If you do the vast majority of the Jade Forest, you should hit level 87. I managed to hit 87 tonight, completing the Jade Temple and doing some mining here and there for the extra experience. Tomorrow, I’ll finish up the area then move on to the Valley of the Four Winds, which is my typical path for leveling. I’m still debating whether or not to complete the entire zone then just do Kasarang Wilds; these days, I typically just skip Kasarang Wilds and head straight to Kun-Lai Summit at level 88 then route over to Townlong Steppes because I want the Shado-Pan reputation. Yet if I manage to obtain the cape (which is my primary reason for gaining Shado-Pan reputation), then I won’t have to do any of that zone possibly and just coast en route to level 90.
However, I really don’t care for neither zone so I might just end up sticking with my current leveling route. I’ve managed to nail down a pretty efficient leveling scheme where I avoid most of the irritating quests (such as the uber retarded and bugged out Grummie escort quests) and aim mostly for the straight forward quests. Some parts are less irritating than others but there’s no guarantee that you can avoid all the painful aspects of the game.
The nice thing is that I have some gear saved up already. I was lucky initially when one of my other toons found an epic necklace from a mob in Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Also, the Inscription spell caster staff has come in real handy in being an awesome hand-me-down between all my spellcasters. It would be great if I could upgrade the staff (not entirely sure if that’s possible). Also, I plan to craft the epic robes and gloves once she hits 90. These elements along with a standard Sha of Anger kill will net her 6 possible epics right out the door. If I can kill a rare in the Isle of Thunder, pick up 10 coins or so, then she might be ready to rock fairly soon.
Game play-wise I’ve been enjoying my priest for once. I hated leveling her with all the mana problems. But at the moment, I don’t see many mana issues the way I would while at lower levels. Usually, I’ll find myself in trouble with mana if I start doing multi-dotting. But on average for single target fights, I’ve had little issues thus far. Also, if I do have an issue with mana while in combat, I can use Dispersion to quickly gain mana.
One thing that does concern me is a lack of crowd control. Now, I might have to review what she can nail to the floor for a few seconds, but I’m fearing running into situations where I might require a long CC spell. I know the priest has a few AoE type of fear spells, but I dislike ones that cause mobs to run around. Void Tendrils might be a possibility but I worry that I might aggro additional mobs (have to try it sometime just to see what the actual effects are).
Returning to the subject of multi-dotting, the shadow priest plays slightly different from the balance druid. You do have your instant cast spell in the form of Shadow Word: Pain, but you’re supposed to apply Vampiric Touch. Now, the primary difference in this situation is that Vampiric Touch is not an instant cast but it does provide you with mana recuperation. If you do start multi-dotting large groups of mobs, you will find yourself quickly being depleted of mana unless you employ Vampiric Touch. So that part can be a bit of a pain (whereas I find the balance druid multi-dot technique to run very smoothly by comparison).
Shadow Priest AoE is pretty sweet though. It’s one of the simplest in the game but somewhat like the shaman’s AoE rotation, you pretty much need to center your AoE on a mob with more hit points than the smaller mobs. In group encounters, this is accomplished through focusing your Mind Sear on the tank. However, in solo situations it’s a lot trickier. But it does feel pretty smooth compared to other classes’ AoE where you’re not channeling a long duration type of AoE.
Survival-wise, I’m not having any major problems thus far. I have solo’d a few elites without any danger of dying. Now, it’s quite possible that the elites I fought were simple and that I was slightly overgeared for the area. The true test will come at later stages in the game.