It's A Very Good Time To Level A World Of Warcraft Character

This is Raccoon, my new World of Warcraft rogue, looking dapper at level 24. This screenshot was taken on Friday afternoon, the day after he was created. As of this morning he's level 91. He'll hit the level 100 cap this evening. He's been working out, with demons. Yes, I can't believe "Raccoon" wasn't taken either.

Now any power-leveller can get a character from one to 100 in World of Warcraft in a matter of days, but I'm no power-leveller. Over the weekend I spent time with my kids, took them to visit their grandparents, went to the store, watched some television, did a little light cleaning and got plenty of sleep. In between all of that I spent every playing moment hopping from demon invasion to demon invasion in World of Warcraft (note you must be at least level 10 to participate).

Don't worry, I'll switch him back to his cool grizzled old rogue look once I hit cap.

I showed off the demon invasions last week in video form. Leading up to the August 30 release of World of Warcraft's Legion expansion, six select areas in the old world regularly play host to massive, level-scaling events in which an army from the nether attempts to establish a foothold in Azeroth. Players from both factions, Horde and Alliance, converge on these areas to drive the demons back, reaping tremendous experience point rewards (as well as equipment) in the process.

The skies over Tanaris, swarming with players.

The first week of the event, invasions cycled between two locations every four hours. Now they're cycling between three locations every two hours. Depending on their character's starting point, hitting all three can easily net a proficient player three to six levels in a two hour period (more if they cheat and log out towards the end of the third of four waves, resetting the event when they log back in).

To get the levels, a player does have to put in a bit of work. Logging into an event zone and sitting idle will score experience points, but only the bare minimum.

The key is to fight. Tag every demon you can with at least a little damage. I've come in on the tail-end of a battle with a massive boss, hit it with one shot from my Outlaw Rogue's (so much fun!) gun, and gotten 40K experience for my trouble.

Note the experience bar. This shot taken at 8:30 this morning during an invasion with very low attendance.

Play during peak times, so there are plenty of people participating in each battle. More people equals more bosses being felled, which means more experience for everybody.

Follow the crowd. At this point players have worked out the most proficient way to work through spawns during the events. I'd been fumbling about the Northern Barrens invasion for a couple days, wondering where everyone was. Last night I found everyone, sweeping across the plains en masse, performing surgical strikes on name elite creatures from the Crossroads all the way down to the Goblin port of Ratchet.

Here's a shot from 8:54 this morning. It was pretty much just me and a couple other players and I had to log out for work before wave three was over, but you get the idea.

Normally I prepare for a new World of Warcraft expansion by getting one of my characters to the level cap. At this rate, I'll have at least six characters to choose from on the Ysera server alone. I feel kind of stupid for using that level 100 boost on my Druid.

Check out the guide over at WowHead for a comprehensive look at the Legion pre-expansion event, like the fun bit where you hearth back to Stormwind and die instantly from a demon area-of-effect attack.


    Without meaning to be 'that' guy, this article epitomises everything I hate about what this game has become.

    I mean no offence to those who enjoy it's current/last five or so years. Just saying that it's not for me anymore.

      i agree 100%. i still resub to play through the xpacs but i hate that leveling is now WAY too quick. As a result i feel like the quality of the leveling content has declined and become more focused on ways to maximise xp instead of have fun. Back in vanilla leveling through content involved making friends at the same level and doing dungeons/the bigger quest lines actually was enjoyable and took strategy. Now all the leveling content is just simple and generally requires the bare minimum of attention or strategy.

        Yep, leveling was once an achievement. Now it's a small barrier that needs to be passed so you can play the "end game"

          Leveling has never been an "achievement". its always been a small barrier that needed to be passed to get to the end game, even in vannilla. the only difference then was you had the added catch 22 barrier of needing to be in a raid guild to enter a raid guild.

          You want to know why those Elite mob quests that required 3-5 people were made soloable, it was because getting group together to do them was almost impossible because most people while leveling skipped them. I know this because I would make alts, raise them to max level and then delete them just because i enjoyed leveling and it really sucked to have to try and get a high level guildy to come do those quests with me because there was fuck all people around

            You've just proved my point...and misinterpreted it at the same time.

            My point is that leveling was an achievement because when you got to the cap it felt like you'd achieved something, your level had value, you'd had great experiences and could look back on what you'd accomplished.

            Now it's you hit cap and go, ok...time for the real game to start. It's not about the journey to level cap's about getting gear once you hit cap.

              It is still about the journey, it's just not about the part of the journey they made 12 years ago any more. The barrier to entry for new people joining and wanting to play with their friends was getting ridiculous, so they streamlined the process in old content.

              The entertaining part of leveling was rarely the actual leveling, but the stories being told in each area, each zone and some spanning the world. You can still enjoy that, and especially since the Cata revamp it rarely feels like a grind any more.

              Just because there's tons of stuff to do once you do hit level cap doesn't mean there isn't stuff to enjoy along the way, it's just that leveling through a zone that hasn't changed at all in 6 years isn't the primary focus any more, it's just one of many activities you can participate in. The main focus is always the current expansion, its leveling and end-game content.

            Leveling has never been an "achievement". its always been a small barrier that needed to be passed to get to the end game

            For most people in vanilla it took near 30 days played to make it to 60. 30 days of in game time. Not sure i'd consider that a small barrier.

            Last edited 23/08/16 7:29 pm

        You do realize that this is a temporary event and that most players playing are vets who have leveled many characters through the old grinds, right? Like, streamlining leveling so we can move to servers with other friends and get back on the current content is pretty much a business model that has to be taken on.

          my post is in relation to all leveling in the game now. even when content is new in an expansion it's mindless easy mode stuff just funnelling you to max level, wows earlier leveling had challenging content regardless of level.

        I hear you....

        I played vanilla WoW for 1.5 years, around 2004-2006. Granted I was a casual player and not that good, but it took me almost a whole year to get to level 60. Such a mission, BUT it was so satisfying....

        Uhm you guys are silly the reason why the leveling proccess is wuick because its 2016 leveling is fucking boring. People want to be at end game thats where the game starts. Grinding levels is boring we arent fucking koreans.

          leveling in vanilla wasn't boring because there was a player base still leveling together and content was actually challenging and fun.

      Because vanilla levelling was such fun......

        Sure, it was a grind, but you put the effort in for what you paid ($$). Now it's "Here! Level like a mofo in days! Get there easily because we want yo money!!!" was. you actually played the game while leveling now they may aswell auto max level everyone because the leveling content is so mindlessly easy and dull.

          Doing all the quests in a zone and still not having enough xp for the next level is not fun. Vanilla levelling was broken.

    Ugghhh tempting... What is with today and things tempting me to pick up WoW again? "It has proper story now!" Unghh... "But it doesn't really start until after Wrath content." Oh. That's more effort than I can be bothered with. *whew* "But it takes a weekend of barely any effort to level these days, so you'll be there in no time" Unghhhh....

    I wonder if my level 45 (-ish) rogue is still wandering around whatever desert I left her in back in the BC days... She probably got deleted by some automated process a long time ago.

      Pretty sure they don't delete characters. I know they forced some renames to release some unused character names.

      The game will never live up to what it was back in the "glory days" but only a small fraction of players would actually enjoy it as it was before.

      Every time I've left WoW and gone back I've discovered my account got banned for gold selling and have had to apply to get it restored.

      For some reason they had little security on their inactive users database and it would often get hacked. I haven't gone back again in years though..last I played was 1-2 months just after Cataclysm came out.

      Last edited 23/08/16 3:59 pm

        Don't they use Bnet for everything these days?

          That's why I said "had". It's different now, back then security wasn't great. Their support always claimed you leaked your password somewhere even when it was a password only used for WoW on an account that hadn't been touched for 16 months and the forums were full of the same complaint.

          It's better now with Bnet and the authenticator

            Ehh... I'm no too convinced of Bnet's security, given how easy it was to move my authenticator app to a new phone when D3 came out. If it was worse back then... yeesh.

        Back in 2009 they had a hardware token thing (RSA keychain thingy) - if I recall correctly it cost maybe 10 bucks or so plus postage. You have to enter the code on the device in order to login etc.

        Fast forward to 201x and you do it on your smart phone using the BNET app thingy. It's now a reasonably common way to secure logins, or at least becoming so.

    To the people saying levelling is too quick now, keep in mind the invasions is a time limited event. If you level traditionally it can still take weeks or even months to hit level cap.

      I do realise this. I played consistently from release and through to the end of Cataclysm. I came back briefly for MoP but could not stand it personally.
      It might take a week or two from 1-max but it's still a lot easier than back in the day. I have plenty of other gripes with the game's state but I'm not here to argue. Just needed a quick whinge =)

      So, what you're saying to everyone else is... "get in quick while the boring quests are optional?" :P

        i think the quests are fine for the first or second play through but when you have 5+ alts, well yea things will get stale...

          So there aren't any 'collect 10 scraps of cloth' or 'kill 20 raptors' quests anymore? Or have they at least fixed them so that you're not fighting for kill credit with other players?

            Nah it's still like that. But now i'm pretty sure if you tag something & someone else steals it or whatever you get credit for its death..

            at least from WoD onwards (I want say MoP but WoD is the freshest on my mind) I would say that while the collection quests still exists it's usually tied in with other quests and it's been fairly balanced

            e.g (and this is totally made up mind you) while you're on the way to murder a "boss", you're also out killing 20 orcs and also collecting 10 scrolls (from said orcs)

            you're not purposely required to murder 50 orcs for 10 scraps of cloth. that said I'm sure somebody will find an outlier and prove me wrong =p

              It was always pretty much like that though, you just had to go collect all the quests for that area before venturing out to complete them. Sucked when you missed one of 6 or so and had to go back in just to complete the last one.

                could you spin 360 and pick up everything? I know at least vanilla you were sent to (for example) desolace from like half a dozen zones lol

                honestly trying to remember how life was 1 to 11 yrs ago is not my strong point so you might be right haha

                Last edited 23/08/16 9:00 pm

              Well, that sounds more bearable, at least. I think I left my rogue in a desert somewhere 8 years ago because of one too many of those stupid quests.

      I have levelling alts, repeating the quests are boring cause I either remember them or find them easily disintetesting on repeat that I quit before 20... love leveling boosts. I came back a few weeks early than planned to take advantage of this so I can level a few alts I left behind in wotlk, and to level a new gnome hunter cause they have a non-pet spec now.

      P.s. Reminder horde and alliance NPCs in the zone become non hostile in the event so you can walk right into the opposite faction towns.

    I think you're in the minority these days.

    Vanilla was fun to level in because it was new, and MMORPG's were still a new and exciting genre. I remember when hitting 60 in under 3 days /played was a huge deal. Now the thought of investing 60+ hours in the game just to level up disgusts me. There's no skill or fun in it anymore, it's purely a time sink.

    Most people just want to raid or arena

    like I said in the other WoW article, don't die when you're tagging the bosses or you'll get no XP... just tag and bolt to 45 yards or something

    the other tip is if you're on a crappy riding level and can't keep up with the masses, just stay in the town that needs to be defended and tag everything

    you will usually get 2 to 3 boss spawns that are literally right outside the town plus all the lesser mobs that spawns which might result in better XP then chasing for bosses

    plenty to do these days other than level.... professions and auctions... transmog toy and mount collecting.... pets...archaeology.... dungeon and raid running.... achievement hunting..... old raid solo running... roleplay... trade chat... lore... pvp.....

    I have spent about 3 years logged on over 11 years and still have not done 50% of all "achievments/collections"

    Last edited 23/08/16 4:51 pm

    Per facebook:
    "Let’s talk about this bloody Xbox Onesie: simultaneously the best pun and the worst product that could have come out of the Xbox One."
    Worst product? Could be socks...

    I think the real issue is why does his character look so much cooler at level 24?

    You're doing it wrong. Logout at the end of phase 3 (or 2 depending on how fast phases are moving). Log back in, and presto!, invasion reset. You're welcome.

    I'm loving this current event! It's got me playing toons I hadn't touched in ages. Heck, I've even finished getting my Ally Survival Hunter to 100 (she was 72 when I last played her) and am now working on my Horde Destruction Warlock (was 56 now almost 76) and my Ally Blood DK (was 60 now almost 73).

    I've even created some new toons just to try out different classes. Have a Frost Mage @ 42, a Windwalker Monk @ 52, and a Shadow Priest @ 23, amongst others :)

    Haven't had this much fun in game in ages. Really hope these invasions stick around! Way more fun levelling doing these than running the same old dungeons over and over (and over!) since at least with the invasions you have more freedom of choice as to where you go and what mobs/bosses you fight.

    The escalating invasions and staggered story quests is a great way to handle the prepatch. It means the patch is alive for the whole 4 weeks, not just jump in, do 20 minutes of quest and then you're done until the expansion hits.

    The invasions themselves are quite fun too, but as a tank I get a bit tired of the taunt warring that goes on, and it messes up the healers' ability to keep the current tank alive, especially given how hard the stage 4 boss hits. But hey, that's what a few dozen people in one place with minimal coordination results in, I can't complain too much.

    The demon hunter class is great fun, too. I've played it past the current cap on beta and it definitely gets fleshed out better as they gain access to their talents and artifact abilities. Right now they're a little thin on rotation but glide and double jump are both great fun to use.

    Something that is missing from this is that if you go out on your own and solo demons away from the masses, you get heaps of XP to complement that of the Stage completions. The infernals, for example, give around 20k XP if you solo it (and all you need to do is interrupt its hellfire).

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