Leveling & making it interesting? One player’s approach

So, Antien, a paladin on the Elune server, finally hit level 80! He’s someone I know in Real Life that just recently started playing the game. He took 18 days of /played time to level his paladin up to 80, and has only been playing WoW over the last couple months.  It’s not a super fast amount of time, but he did one thing that I found particularly impressive.

Since Antien was a brand new player of the game, he wanted to see all the lower level 5-man dungeon content, but didn’t have many people to play with him at his level, so he went into the dungeons by himself on his lowbie paladin and solo’d the instances.

These levels are all approximate, and I’m pretty sure he’s disturbed that I actually recorded this all and kept it, but I thought it was a really great achievement that wasn’t captured by the achievement system so much. I wanted to be able to bring attention to what Antien was doing… He usually outleveled the instances by a bit, but he thought it was fun to go back through it. It usually took him a pretty long time to get through it by himself…

  • Deadmines solo’d at level 30
  • BFD = 40
  • RFD = 45
  • RFK = 46
  • Scarlet Monestary = 47
  • Uldaman = 49
  • Ragefire Chasm = 51
  • Zul Farak = 53
  • Mara = 62
  • BRD = 63

Antien also got the Ambasador title at level 58! After about 60, he decided to focus on getting through Outlands and Northrend faster, so he stopped playing around solo in the instance.sSo, he finally got to 80 over this weekend. Congrats!

Do you guys have any interesting stories of what you did to make leveling more fun?

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8 Comments

  1. Reinu
    Posted October 19, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    ConGratus on 80 Antien.

    Ive always done my toons via a partner or as a trio.
    Ive always felt that leveling is a slow process solo and makes it really boring so ive always had a partner to go with.
    Sure xp might be lower per kill, but things go so much faster and overall there is very little down time.

    My favorite combo was during BC as a Mage with a Warlock and Hunter.
    Defending Xroads was a blast!! all range.. 2 pets goes in, nuke, nuke and aimed shot … dead transgressor.

  2. Eric
    Posted October 19, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Long time reader, first time commenter.

    First of all, congratulations to Antien! I really do think that what he did is probably one of the best ways to figure out how to best play your class; also, the sense of accomplishment you get when you’re staring at a health bar with 5 to 10%, and a dead boss before you, is a really great feeling. :-) Also, if you do 5-man later, you will have a better feel for any instance you’ve soloed…

    I started doing this about three years ago, when I was playing a hunter (so, pre-BC, pre-WotLK); it was for the same reason as Antien — I wanted to see the 5-man content, I was probably never going to be able to join a group to see it. So, while specced BM, I set a goal for myself, while levelling, to see how far I could go with just my hunter and pet in each dungeon.

    I think the only dungeon I was ever able to complete with my hunter (before I stopped leveling that character) was RFK, and that took a long, long time; primarily because of my prof choice (I took skin+lw; it was one of my first characters) and food issues (mainly, I ran out of pet food in about the middle of the instance). After about the third or fourth try, I did finish the dungeon, but I was wiped…

    Since then, however, I’ve found it’s an excellent way to gauge my skill and see the lower-level content (and occassionally get useful loot; if I’m an enchanter, it can be a great way to get loot…as an aside, Blizzard either needs to introduce some way to break the bindings on soulbound items or some NPC that can disenchant magic items that are useless to you but could be re-sold if DE’d).

    I’ve successfully soloed dungeons as a shaman, paladin, and druid, while leveling. Druids have an easier time of things, natch; prof choice does provide a huge advantage (Lifeblood provides a small useful HOT when procced early enough; being able to get one good health potion, as well as longer-lasting potion effects, can decide final battles). As a feral druid, you should be able to solo an instance at the point one or two levels before the instance’s quests go grey (BFD you should be able to do a level before that; you can stealth through a good portion of the instance to get to the spots where you need to get quest items). I was able to complete Deadmines, BFD, WC, Stockades, Gnomer, Uldaman, RFD, ST as a feral druid; I forgot to get RFK. :-)

    Paladins should be able to do the content, definitely specced as prot (I did it while a JC; I got through Deadmines, BFD, Stockades, Gnomer, RFK, RFD). I’m levelling a draenei ret pally now, with herb+alch; the high crit-rate and the potentially three self-healing CD’s (pot, Lifeblood, and Gift of the Naaru) make it reasonably possible to get through at least mini-boss fights. I’m lvl 25 now, and was able to get through the paladin 2H mace quest yesterday, with the toughest fight being that ogre mini-boss in Deadmines.

    Shamans should have a similar experience to ret pallies, if you’ve specced enh (which I did). Mana will be a problem (until you get the proper high-level talents), but I specced herb+alch so things weren’t too bad at lower levels (I soloed Deadmines, BFD, Stockades, RFK, and RFD with my shaman). I would be curious to see what the ele shaman experience is like.

    Sorry for the long first post; in summary, yes, I think what your friend did is probably the smartest way to level (if you can get into the instances when the quests there are just about to turn grey; you will be surprised at just how far your character can go). I recommed having herbalism+alchemy as your profs when you do it; I also think that the druid, pally, and shaman classes are going to have an easier time of it. (Also, the more self HOTs you can have, the better.)

    Eric

  3. Môwe
    Posted October 19, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Me and my friends love twinking together in instances!
    I think it’s just usually a real challange that is nonexistant on 80 for a group of 2 or 3.

    It’s especially challenging if all players specc for DD. It’s all about kiting, CCing, potting, using first aid and buff food (and there’s a lot out there, just think of all the holiday goodies!)

    We’ve done all instances up to 63 in the group of warrior-tank, disc-priest and marksmen-hunter. Especially hard was stratholme.. took us a few tries! Boy, that mortal strike hits f***ing hard! But it was a lot of fun nevertheless. Because we are 3, the only heirlooms we use are the ones that grant addiotional XP.

    One of the things I’m most proud of is 2maning DM on levels 18 and 2maning SFK at 19, which is not too difficult save for the last boss… we’re retri pala and enhancement shaman, and boy, it’s so much fun!! Figuring out how to ‘trick’ bosses like VanCleef or Argual is the most fun part, because they both are impossible without kiting..

    greets, Môwe-EU Lothar

  4. Posted October 19, 2009 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Grats to Antien! Do you know what spec he was leveling? I have a(nother) paladin almost to 30 and I wouldn’t mind trying this.

  5. Posted October 19, 2009 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    deyndor, he was mostly Ret. He dual spec-ed early but I do not remember the level. The alt spec was prot.

  6. Homu
    Posted October 19, 2009 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    After switching from US to EU servers I decided to level my planned 2 chars to outland without them leaving their respective starting continents.

    So my new tauren druid never set a foot on the easter kingdoms and the blood elf mage never saw Kalimdor.

    This was in January 08, so the \get faster from 20 to 60\ changes were already in and outside a rather long stretch of grinding the mage had to do in Hillsbrad (lvl ~25 – ~30) it was quite enjoyable to abandon all the \go fly around and take a boat, just to be sent back to me\ quests.

  7. Antien
    Posted October 20, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Not so much disturbed as I am flattered. I have to say thank you, Lissanna, for taking the time to ‘document’ my leveling and summarizing the story of my adventures on my first character. It feels like quite the accomplishment to catch the attention of WoW veterans without realizing it, while just having fun in the game.

    @Reinu:
    Thank you very much! While I can’t say I agree the speed of leveling in a group is faster, I can say that I also didn’t have the time to meet up with someone, let alone trust them to watch my back while I hit the front lines into a group of mobs. Between classes and schoolwork, I just don’t have the time to spend waiting for a group or party.

    @Eric:
    Thank you! I would definitely say that it was the greatest way to not only get a feel for the game, being a new player, but to get a feel for my character and how to ‘fend for myself’ effectively.

    There were definitely plenty of times where I’ve died while soloing a 5-man and wanted to give up. But the sense of accomplishment from obtaining that dungeon achievement was too great to pass up. Halfway through the game I didn’t even know what a rotation was, and I hardly ever made use of potions and elixirs until around level 72.

    @deyndor:
    Thanks! (@Lavata too): I started off with a protection build, but didn’t realize that a ret build would help me essentially kill things faster. So after about level 20 I scrapped protection and respecced to ret. I had skinning and mining as my professions, so by around level 40-50 I dual-specced with ret/prot.

    The funny part is that I’ve never ever used my protection build until just recently in 5-man Heroics. It was pretty tough learning how to tank effectively when all I’ve done is solo all my quests and dungeons as ret. But there are so many players looking to DPS for groups that I have no choice but to tank.

    The only advice I have to give is learn how to use divine protections and how to use lay on hands effectively, and learn how to be patient.

  8. Aysel
    Posted October 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Currently because I know have an idea on how long it will take me to level a new character to 80 I have been focusing on doing quests that give me alliance rep.

    The priest I am leveling is leveling as disc because I liked the way that healing style worked and I thought it would be easier then leveling as holy. With fairly decent gear and engineering as my craft I was able to solo a few elites that were 4 levels above me, without even fearing them.

    When I started playing the game that was near impossible for even the hardiest of classes let alone a priest. No real point in this comment, but I find it fun to try and do quests that I really don’t have business trying, such as ones that include elites.