Friday, January 2, 2015

Powerleveling in Draenor

My screenshot says it all:

This screenshot also shows the order in which they hit 100.  I kept shuffling them as I went, and my priest (my Vanilla/TBC main) ended up being dead last.  Amazing how that works.

I hit my 11th 100 on December 26th, so one month and 13 days while working, raiding, and a little lack of sleep.  These were 100% leveled by hand, no chicanery here.  No dual boxing.  No carries.  I'm presently working on my 2nd account of 100s and am at 97, 95, 94, and the rest being 90/91 and everyone has a garrison opened.

Why would I need 22 garrisons?  Well, why WOULDN'T I want 22?

I didn't buy a guide or anything, I wasn't in beta, and my friends were of almost no help with what to do.  One friend can testify that about the 3rd week I was having a nervous breakdown trying to figure out the best possible path.  It took me about 3 characters before it all started to click, and I mastered every zone's leveling path.

In past expansions, I found the best possible paths that made sense, and this one threw me a curve with all the different options.  I absolutely LOVE to do all the zones entirely my first go-around, and then afterwards, it's all business.  I recommend always seeing the story before doing this, because you're going to miss about half the zone when you're just focused on getting through it.

The Best and the Worst of Draenor

Shortest Zone:  Gorgrond.  This thing was sadly about an hour each time because I spent a ton of time finishing what I needed to do in Frostfire Ridge.

Longest Zone:  Frostfire Ridge.  This place feels like 5 hours but it's only 2.  Go figure.  Maybe it's the layout?

Trickiest Questline Zone:  Nagrand hands down.  There's 2 different paths in the zone that converge.  Best advice, head to Elements as soon as you get business done with the Talbuks/Clefthoofs.  This is my 98-100 path every single time now.  So many treasures and bonus objectives you hit 100 without thinking about it.

Worst Class:  Mage.  I tried frost and arcane.  They hit like wet noodles even WITH gear on!  I know, better in raids, but leveling them made me sad for those who HAD to do them first.  This was the first class I ever leveled in WoW, too, I know what I'm doing.  Unholy DK was a close second.

Best Class:  Outside of my Paladin main?  Frost Death Knight.  These little bastards are back with a vengeance.  2-3 shot everything all the way to 100?  Yes please, I'll take another.  As soon as I swapped from crappy Unholy it was hard for me to stop playing him.

Biggest Rare Bastard:  That shithead strider in Zangarra.  3 of my classes had real trouble on him at level, and for a crappy trinket.  A close followup is Gar'lua in Nagrand.  Nobody died to her but she's pretty strong for a nice trinket.

Best Follower:  Without going out of my way to get one?  I'll nominate Blook.  The quest text is sorta priceless.  Creeperbot 8000 is a good one, too.  Reminds me of some goldmaker personalities out there.

Saddest Quest:  The frostridge pup looking for his parents.  But sorta happy ending.  I don't bother with this one during leveling anymore because it's a side quest but first time through it was sad.

Best Cinematic:  I liked Blackhand, I know everyone else likes Thrall/Garrosh.

Best Zone Perk:  Hands down the corral.  I made the siege machine mistake ONCE. Runner up is the air assault in Talador.

Best Advice for Frostridge Elites:  Call to Arms.  FFS use it, tradechat noobs.  Noone needs help with elites.

Zerohour's Words of Wisdom for Powerleveling Draenor

1) Excess potions cost 100 garrison resources each, and they are best served at full rested.  You will get the resources to buy them every 1000 minutes, which is about 17 hours.  Make sure you empty your garrison cache every 3.5 days before it fills up entirely.  If you are resource starved at 100, see #3.

2) Let the characters get rested.  Being full rested at 90 will burn out entirely at level 96.  Full rested at 96 will burn out halfway between 99 and 100.  Early 97 is the best place to park to be rested for the rest of the journey.  I cycled all characters for maximum rested and efficiency - because 1000xp for a mob kill beats 500 any day of the week.  Rested also counts with treasures.

3) Get the following addons:

* Handynotes, with Draenor treasures
* RestPlus for Titan
* Ovale (yeah, because I really want to research 11 different classes, easier to just phone it in on the ones I never play)

4) Stay on the questline.  The questline is the MAIN story, not the side stories of "get my dog out of the tree" and "Little Jimmy wants his gun back".  You recognize these quests as the ones that have followups and send you to other quest hubs.  Those that are one and done are pretty much irrelevant, although there are some nice bonus onesies in Talador.

5) If there's a bonus objective in your way, complete it.  And always with Excess Potions.

6) Get rid of those stupid Barracks as soon as you can and replace it with War Mill Rank 1.  This gives you stronger quest rewards and in Nagrand you will probably hit close to 615 ilvl if you complete the whole zone.  You can build Barracks again at 100 when you will have a need for missions.

7) Avoid doing missions with the exception of bonus garrison resources (free).  XP missions are sometimes nice, but I tend to only be in my garrison at even levels (92/94/96/98) so not worth keeping track.

8) Try to get out of the zones at even levels.

* Frostfire Ridge - 92, or when you get Garrison Rank 2, whichever comes last.
* Gorgrond - 94,  or when you get Kaz after killing Inyu, whichever comes last.
* Talador - 96, or when you get the follower from the ogre quest, whichever comes last.
* Spires - 98, or when you get Kimzee, whichever comes last.

The reason is that the zone's experience and mob kill rewards are tuned for lesser levels, so you will have a slower climb once you are too high for the zone.  The next zone immediately starts the experience buff again.  Basically, there's nothing cool about questing Talador at 98, this is about speed and not completionist tendencies.

9) I found it took about 1.5 hours per zone to complete them once I figured out my route, therefore bring 2 hours of every buff.  Drums, foods, excess potions, elixirs.  If you have to leave the zone it just slows you down.  When you're ready to move on to the next zone always hearth, don't just run into it.  This gives time to reload mats and get the free flight.

10) Rares are great to kill, but only if they're in the way and not out of the way.  If you can't kill the rare and it wipes you and noone can help, move on.  Some classes really suck against some rares, come back and waste them at 100.

11)  Look for paths that make sense to you time wise.  Example:  Get a quest done while picking up 3-4 treasures and then working into the bonus objective.  Talador is loaded with these opportunities.  Maximize your opportunity in the area.

12) Gear is replaced almost entirely every 4 levels if you start Draenor in trash.  If you have BOAs from SoO use them.  I have every DPS version of BOA in the game (some duplicates for dual wielding) and at about 95 is when they are better than Mythic Warforged weapons.  Don't waste time or money enchanting gear unless they are BOAs.

13) Realize that everything you will be missing in the zones will be waiting for you at 100.  You can always go back and finish things and it will be a little faster than doing it at level.  That's half the fun for me.

14) VERY important, and thanks Stede for reminding me this was my big piece of advice to him - do zones in waves.  Boring sometimes, important yes.  Essentially you want to take the same level characters through zones over and over.  This means taking 92's from Gorgrond through Talador to 96/97 after each other.  This will make the zone fresh in your mind and you can find your way around faster.  Less shifting gears, more finding efficiencies.  Your first character will be difficult to get around with, but by character 4 or 5, you're becoming a pro at it.

I look forward to seeing others with 11 toons at 100, I'll let you know when I finish the back loop.  I deleted a 90 on that account and have to finish that one the hard way.  Stupid dreams of Herald of the Titans, when will I learn!?

Thanks for stopping by!

Zerohour looks like he has too much time on his hands, but the bags under his eyes tell a different story. He should write a guide.


  1. "Zerohour looks like he has too much time on his hands, but the bags under his eyes tell a different story. He should write a guide......"

    "... but he still has a paycheck to earn. Maybe some day."


  2. First time commenting here, I had to make an account on a "random" website to post here.

    Anyways, I only have 3 characters at level 100 so far but I find myself getting faster every character I level. One thing I do as soon as I hit level 91 is get myself a 630 BoE weapon (cheapest I can find on the AH), usually a DMF trinket and a 3rd crafted armour slot, whichever is cheap or is the biggest upgrade for that char. This makes killing mobs a hell of a lot quicker and therefore, more fun.

    Two little tips I wanted to add/share:
    - If you still have level 90 characters without a garrison, you can skip the whole dark portal pre quest line with a warlock summon or if you're Alliance, Anguish Fortress summoning stone (I don't know if there's a Horde equivalent). From there on, it takes 20-30 minutes to get your garrison up and running, have your first small building and both of your character's WoD profession recipes.

    - Guild banners work on both treasures and bonus objectives. If you place them at the right time and place, you can shave off a bit more time spend.


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