Jame's Wotlk Leveling Guides - Changes

Here's the latest update about my WotLK Leveling Guides. I recently had to make some significant changes.

Initially, the plan was:

Alliance: Start with Howling Fjord then go straight to Dragonblight. And then add an optional Borean Tundra circuit in the distant future, for level 80s eager to complete every quest/zone.
Horde: Start with Borean Tundra then go straight to Dragonblight. And then add an optional Howling Fjord circuit in the distant future, for level 80s eager to complete every quest/zone.

At the start this seemed great, but the more I progressed through Northrend, the more problems I encountered:

  1. Some quests in Dragonblight have a level requirement of 74, making it impossible for me to include them in an efficient way if I have my guide take you there before level 74.
  2. Some of the quests have you kill 75+ mobs. At level 72 that means killing orange mobs, which is also not very efficient.
  3. Many elite quests, which can be soloed by certain classes or easily duo'd by others at level 74. At level 72, this is significantly harder for people with casual gear.
In a nutshell, going to Dragonblight at level 72 is inefficient. The most efficient level to go there is level 74 (or level 73 and about 400k xp from level 74, to be precise). And it snowballs from there, as you go through the next zones, more quests are inacessible due to your low level. Skipping those quests means:

  • Quest circuits will less efficient, there will be more running around and less double/tripple questing when you go somewhere.
  • You'll have to go back there at level 80 if you want to finish all the quests in those zones (for achievements and reputation)
To prevent that, my guides are now going to take you through both Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord before going to Dragonblight. There are only benefits from that:
  • More quests will be available
  • My guides will be easier to follow thanks to the extra levels
  • You won't have to go back to previous zones once you hit level 80
  • The XP/hour rate is actually greater that way. When I did Borean Tundra with my level 72 Mage wearing full greens, I sustained a 300,000 xp/hour rate while following my circuits. And mages are definitely not the fastest questers, they have to drink every now and then and all that nonsense :P
Anyway, if you want to see a preview of how it's going to look, check my Release Dates post on wow-pro.com, I updated them yesterday, with a link to a preview of all the guides which are nearly finished.

10 Response to "Jame's Wotlk Leveling Guides - Changes"

  1. lorelol says:

    Jame,

    Sounds like a plan. Having to decide between the two zones was starting to become abit hard, as both presented good quest hubs. I'll be glad to experience a wider variety of zones whilst following the guide. If I'm not mistaken, there is a netural transport between the zones on a gaint turtle? :D (yay for War2 units!)

    I remember reading in your early post "Whats better: Borean Tundra or Howling Fjord?" and in the comments you mentioned that it is a matter of preference as far as quest reward armour stats go.
    I believe you said +crit rewards tend to be Borean Tundra, and +haste and +Arm.p stats were Hwowling Fjord. Which of these stats are favourable to which spec?
    I supose the greater question is, what stats suit which DK specs? (probably worthy of a post all of its own)

    Michael says:

    I think all specs will profit more from crit than from haste. The problem with haste is, that it only increases your white damage since DK's special abilities are either limited by available runes or by runic power, both are not affected by increased attack speed. Therefore the effect of haste on DKs should be a good bit lower than for example rogues or warriors. It's not that haste is worthless, but between two items with the same item budget I'd prefer the one with crit, especially now that DK's spells have a 200% crit damage modifier as well.

    lorelol says:

    Michael,

    I can see where you're coming from in regards to haste. I supose haste would favour DW over 2h as DW seems to be based more around white damage than strikes.

    That leads me to another topic, the debate around DW vs 2h. After reading this post:

    http://wotlkwiki.info/forum/showthread.php?t=3497

    the analysis appears to favour DW. However I noticed that some data appears to be out of date on that site, so I'm not entirely sure if that conclusion remains accurate.

    Here lies the difficulty: Physical damage has a bias towards DW, and special damage through strikes and spells seem to favour using a 2H.
    At first you might believe that blood, which favours physical damage, would suggest duel wielding. Though when you consider the instant attacks, such as Heart Strike, combined with Unholy Presence for lower GCD, would seem to favour a 2H (spam the instant abilities to get a faster 2H damage)

    Conversely, looking at Unholy, the talents, such as Necrosis and Blood Caked Blade, suggest that DW's faster attacks would mean a greater benefit from the talent's effects, as DW auto attacks more often than 2H does, and more attacks means more chances for BCB to land.

    I may be wrong, though from my understanding, Unholy tends to cast alot more spells than use strikes (Gargoyle, Unholy Blight, Pestilence, Blood Boil, Bone Shield etc) which appears to mean less time for attacks. The spells would be cast in between the slower weapon strikes of a 2H.

    I think I'm going mad over this. Any advice would be wonderful.

    Keia says:

    A side note . . . the location of Fubar and Ace2 is changed, though at the moment the files.wowace.com location is still pointing to places to get them.

    I believe the new location is simply www.wowace.com

    Keia

    Teemu says:

    lorelo

    you are missing the whole point here. dk class isnt anything like rogue or warrior, rogues do lot of the damage by white swings so haste is good, warriors get rage from white attacks so haste is decent for em too. dks dont really gain anything major from white attacks, most of the damage comes from the strikes so haste really is most of the time wasted stat.

    about duel wielding, instant strikes do damage based on your weapon damage so 2-handers do alot more damage with same cost as weaker 1-handers, i really cant see how can you see blood as dw specc.. even 2-handed specailization is located on blood tree too and every blood talent will do much better with 2-hander..

    about unholy, necrosis is rather crappy whatever weapon you use. blood caked blade uses weapon damage too, so 2-hander will hit bigger numbers even if dw scores more hits. unholy presence dosent help that much cos runes got 10 second cooldown so really cant "spam" that much with lower gcd..

    and yes your wrong about unholy casting, everything you mention is instant and can be cast while runes are cd so nothing lost there(unholy bligth, gargoyle). pestilence and blood boil are class skills not unholy only, you can use boneshield before the figth IF your even specced on it..

    all in all, dk is not class that favors dw, dw gives you another weapon to enchant nothing else.. even blueposters had said they are not going to make dw superior as it is with warriors and enhashamans..

    "The design is that neither wins out and becomes the obvious choice. Typically, dual wielding eventually wins out, damage-wise, over two-hander use. As such we can't promote DW too much or it will dominate."

    Jame says:

    As Michael and Teemu pointed out, DKs favor crit over haste. Haste, in its current form for melees, only increases your white damage, and white damage is a much smaller portion of DKs total damage than it is for rogues or warrior.

    So yea, haste isn't that great for DKs at the moment.

    2handers are the way to go for DPS at the moment as well, simply because the bulk of Death Knight damage comes from strikes, and these strike are "deals weapon dmg + xxx", thus favoring 2Handed weapons.

    lorelol says:

    Teemu,

    Thank you for your reply. I actually would prefer to use a 2H, as they look a hell of a lot cooler, so yes I am relieved at your findings. I supose the confusion that I had was that DW appears to do more damage only after a long time, and that is not taking the strikes into consideration. The DK class as you say, looks to balance the two fairly well. In which case I will be picking up a badass 2H :P

    One thing I am not following you on though is your comment that every blood talent favours 2H over DW. How does blood worms, for instance, favour slower weapon speed? I'm not saying your wrong, I'd just like you to clarify what you mean by this.

    Your last quote of Ghoststalker I had read before, "Typically, dual wielding eventually wins out, damage-wise, over two-hander use." which had me second-guessing my initial plan to take a 2H. I was wondering at what threshold does DW overtake 2H? Or was Ghoststalker merely talking about other classes that DPS using DW (rogue, shaman, warrior) and that they wanted to provide a viable alternative with the DK?

    Thanks again for all the feedback :)

    Jame says:

    I think Ghostcrawler was referring to past experiences with other melee classes. It's true that at high level of gear (with a lot of +hit rating), DW is supposed to overtake 2H, at least that's true for classes whose white damage represents a big percentage of their DPS. This isn't the case for DKs, so I wonder if DW will ever overtake 2H for them.

    Peet says:

    Well i may as well ask this here i am trying to get my new toon to 70 before wotlk i have just finished the hellfire part of your guide and at level 64 halfway to 65 i dont know whether to skip zanagamarsh or to carry on with.

    Jame says:

    There's no benefit whatsoever to skip a zone in Outland. Even if you were level 69, you'd still be getting the same xp rewards from quests in Zangarmarsh, but you'd also finish those quests much faster and easier than if you were say, level 62.

    Don't skip, keep following the guide normally. If you hit level 70 much before the end of my guide, that's fantastic, you can still do the rest of my guides to get loads of extra gold from quest rewrads (remember quest xp is convereted into extra gold if your level is maxed).