Video: Frostmourne Cavern

This is the next quest in the chain from yesterday's video. I warn you though, there is a spoiler in it, at the end of the video, watch at your own risk. Besides that, there isn't much to be said really, it's a very cool script, enjoy :)

I highly recommend watching it in High Quality (simply click on the HQ button):

Video: Dragonblight Quest With Cool Lore

Don't worry, there isn't any spoilers in this video. It's something you've already seen happen if you played the Warcraft III solo campaigns. It's a very cool script with voice acting and it explains why The Forgotten Shore in Dragonblight is full of ghosts and wrecked ships. I'll say no more, watch the video :)

I highly recommend watching it in High Quality (simply click on the HQ button):

Jame's WotLK Leveling Guides Sneak Peak - XP Rate

Hey guys, since you've all been patient and supportive, I thought I'd give you a little sneak peak at one of my quest circuits in Howling Fjord. I was quite satisfied with my circuits, but I didn't know they were going to be that competitive, anyway, just have a look :P

Howling Fjord Circuit Preview

Granted, I did this with my rogue in full epics and I knew the circuit by heart so I blazed through it, but still, 560K xp/hour is madness. Levels past 70 take about 1,500,000 on average, so you do the math, I could theoritically hit level 71 in less than 3 hours on my rogue, without rested xp bonus.

Of course, some parts of my guides are not that fast, because you have to travel to the next quest hub and such things, but most of the time, it's that fast :P

I can't wait to try some speed runs from 70-80 once my guides are finished.

How to gain ranks on WoW-Pro - The Karma System

Dear wow-pro users. You've probably noticed that you can gain ranks with your member account on At the moment, the ranks are:
  1. Member
  2. Trusted Member
  3. Honored Member
  4. Revered Member
  5. Exalted Member
  6. Moderator
  7. Administrator
With each rank you get, you get an extra star added under your avatar:

  • Trusted Member:
  • Honored Member:
  • Revered Member:

And so on so forth, all the way to administrator.
But more importantly, with each rank come new priviledges:

1. Member Priviledges
  • receive karma points
  • create/edit content
  • create/edit forum topics
  • edit wiki pages
  • view revisions
  • send/view private messages
  • access user profiles
2. Trusted Member Priviledges
  • skip captcha challenges (you know, those annoying codes you have to enter to validate every post you make)
  • post comments without approval (no more moderation queue for you!)
  • cancel own vote on polls
3. Honored Member Priviledges
  • revert revisions
  • rename the url of your articles
  • create polls
4. Revered Member Priviledges
  • create new encyclopedia books
  • administer smileys
5. Exalted Member Priviledges
  • post news on the frontpage!
  • outline guides into the encyclopedias (change their category)
  • inspect votes on polls
6. Moderator Priviledges
  • administer comments and their approval queue
  • administer forums
  • edit guides (of anyone)
  • edit news posts
That's all for now, but there will be much more priviledges in the future. The more wow-pro grows, the more advantages you'll get from being a high ranked member of our community.

How do I gain ranks?

To gain ranks, you must reach a certain amount of Karma Points.

5 Karma Points = Trusted Member Status
20 Karma Points = Honored Member Status
50 Karma Points = Revered Member Status
100 Karma Points = Exalted Member Status
200 Karma Points = Moderator Status

How do I gain Karma?

You can gain Karma by posting on or on my blog.

Useful post = +1 Karma
Very useful post = +2 Karma
Ok Guide = +2 Karma
Good Guide = +4 Karma
Very good Guide = +6 Karma
Awesome Guide = +8 Karma

You can also lose Karma. This is a necessary evil to prevent people to spam the site with useless / bad information. Quality comes first.

Bad post = -1 Karma
Very bad post = -2 Karma
Bad guide = -1 Karma

Who attributes those points and how?

I keep an excel sheet updated everyday with every new post, guide or guide updates. I am 100% unbiased and I try to be as fair as possible. In the future, this will all be automated and everyone will be allowed to rate guides / comments. The site will be majorly revamped with a lot of new cool features, including a in-built ranking system. But for now, I'm the one managing it manually. Moderators will also be able to give points in the future as well.

Tips to gain Karma

  • Make an effort with your spelling. Nobody likes to read broken english, with no punctuation, no caps.
  • Avoid "d00d" speech. "u", "ur", "ure", "thx" is just irritating to many readers. Just spell the words, it's not that hard to spell 1 or 2 extra letters. You, you're, your, thanks.
  • Before you write a guide, please read Jame's Guide Writing Guide. It should cover the basics.
  • Don't waste other people's time. Before you ask a question, look if that question has already been answered. You don't know how many times I've had to answer the same question. Like "hey jame are you gonna write guides for WotLK? If yes, can you give an ETA?". This is very frustrating, that question is answered on our very front page. So please, before you ask a question, check the front page, check the website's section concerning your question, and if you still haven't found an answer, then write your comment. It will save me a lot of time, and the more time I have, the more guide I can write for you guys.
  • Try to use the same name when you post on my blog as your user name on wow-pro, so that I can attribute +karma points to your account if you make a useful comment here on the blog. You can also simply leave a signature at the end of your blog posts mentioning your user name on wow-pro.
If you follow the above guidelines, you will never get Karma points deducted, you can only gain Karma.

It's quite simple really. Post useful things, be helpful to other members, post intelligent comments, informative content, and your Karma will go up the roof.

I've recently had a couple of members achieve honored status within a single week. One of them didn't even create a single guide, all he did was post very useful comments, which helped other users or which saved me a lot of time and helped me fix errors in my guides quickly. The other one just wrote a bunch of guides, they were mediocre at the start, and after he followed my advice, he turned those mediocre guides into Awesome guides.

The wow-pro community is growing every day and it is here to stay. Be an active part of it and you'll reap the benefits down the road, or god forbid, you might just want to help other people for free and be part of a nice community. :)

19th January Update: The Karma system is now automated and fully integrated in the site. You can check how many points you have in your user profile. To access your user profile, you can either click on your own avatar in a comment/guide you made, or simply click on "My Account" on the right-side menu.

And the best part, the rankings are now updated instantly whenever you gain points. Follow this link to see the Karma Rankings.

Guide writing rush = Lack of updates

Sorry guys, there's just not much for me to write about lately, simply because I spend 100% of my free time writing my WotLK Leveling Guides. Time is running out so I'm in a rush, as you can imagine, thus the lack of updates.

I wish I had more time though, there are many things I wish I could do with my main character on the live servers (like all those cool new achievements I'd like to work on), but oh well, my leveling guides come first, and I want to get as far as possible with them before the beta servers close down.

So bear with me, things will soon get back to normal and I'll be back to writing blog articles more steadily.

Wotlk Leveling Guide - Another change

Now that I'm nearly finished with my Borean Tundra guide for the Alliance and Howling Fjord Guide for the Horde, I can say for certain that I have to change the order of my guides once again :P

It's quite simple really, for the Alliance, Howling Fjord transitions very well with Dragonblight, and for the Horde, it's Borean Tundra that transitions well with it. So the decision was inevitable for maximum efficiency, my Northrend Leveling Guides will now follow this route:

Alliance - Borean Tundra (70-72) --> Howling Fjord (72-74) --> Dragonblight (74-75)
Horde - Howling Fjord (70-72) --> Borean Tundra (72-74) --> Dragonblight (74-75)

This is final and I'm now 100% sure that it's the best way to go.
Release Dates have been updated accordingly.

Anyway, time for me to get back to work.

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, I updated them yesterday, with a link to a preview of all the guides which are nearly finished.

Death Knight Shopping List - Input needed

If you've been checking my Death Knight Shopping List, you probably saw that it's shaping up nicely. I'm putting a lot of effort into it, and recently I had to make a decision and I can't decide myself, so I could use some input on this.

I have to choose between 4 blue BoE Items (getting pricier by the day) or 4 cheap crafted greens, from the Fel Iron Plate set.
I've been leaning towards the Fel Iron Plate, because it's much cheaper, easier to get, and you can actually equip them at earlier levels. Also if you do the math, it's pretty close:

Girdle of Siege
Boots of the Decimator
Gauntlets of the Skullsplitter
Nagascale Legplates of the Beast

Armor: 2549 | Str: 124 | Sta: 77 | Agi: 44 | Hit Rating: 12 | Crit Rating: 18
Total Cost (avg.): ~200g (probably a lot more now, due to high demand)

Fel Iron Plate Belt
Fel Iron Plate Boots
Fel Iron Plate Gloves
Fel Iron Plate Legs

Armor: 2386 | Str: 122 | Sta: 114 | Agi: 0 | Hit Rating: 15 | Crit Rating: 0
Total Cost (avg.): ~31g

Armor and str are almost identical. Fel Iron Plate has a lot more stamina, a little more hit rating, but about -3% crit.

However, they are much cheaper, much easier to obtain (Blacksmiths craft a lot of those while leveling up smithing) and they also can be equipped earlier.

Or better, you can simply buy the fel iron ore / bars and ask a blacksmith friend to craft them for you.

So my question is: should I even bother adding the blues to the optional list? The difference is so small and the price so big, but I like to give people options. However, is it even a good option, considering everything?

Is Unholy still the best spec to level?

Updated with latest build - 8th November

Just a quick post to tell you guys that I've been doing another series of tests since the Unholy Blight nerf (in case you missed it, Unholy Blight no longer counts as a disease now).

For leveling, this nerf doesn't change much, for several reasons:

  1. When leveling, you don't use Unholy Blight that often, because you fight a lot of single targets.
  2. Unholy Blight still is very useful for AoE'ing
Basically, Scourge Strike does a little less damage now and Death Strike heals for a little less. On single targets, Unholy is very very close to Blood now, so if our only criteria was chain killing single targets, there would be no favorite, I'd recommend choosing either Blood or Unholy, without any preference.

However, Unholy still has an edge over Blood for leveling, because:

  1. It is a much better spec to AoE things. I just went back to those buzzards with my level 62 DK to see if I could still AoE 6+ packs non-stop and the answer is yes, I noticed no difference at all. Killed packs of 5, 6 or 7 buzzards and finished the fights nearly full HP.
  2. On a pale horse is still an awesome time saver, all the way to level 77 (and that's only if you got the money to unlock flying mounts in Northrend).


I still recommend to spend your talent points in Unholy while leveling.

Level 62 Talent Spec: 0/0/53
Level 80 Talent Spec: 16/0/55

This should max out your killing speed, both on single targets and multiple targets.
This is also a great talent spec for farming and questing at level 80.
It is also perfectly fine for tanking normal instances, just switch to Frost Presence and you're good to go.

Death Knight Shopping List

WotLK is nearing. My Death Knight Leveling Guides are ready, but there's one part I haven't done yet: the shopping list.

What I'd like to do this time is to write together a comprehensive list of items people can buy before even creating their Death Knight, to help them level it as fast and easy as possible.

This list should contain:

  • BoE Items - These need to be significant upgrades to the Death Knight Starting Blue Set and we must also make sure that there's no easily acquired quest reward equivalent for the same slot at the same level range. For example, Blade of Misfortune would be quite a nice upgrade to Greatsword of the Ebon Blade and would remain useful at least up to level 65, when we can upgrade it to a Honed Voidaxe from the Ring of Blood chain in Nagrand
  • Items for Quest turn ins - Luckily here, Dhannek already made a nice list for those in his 58-60 Death Knight Speed Leveling Guide
  • Glyph List - I already got that list covered, so no worries here
  • Consumables - Pots for faster leveling (Health Pots and Elixirs which boost DPS)
Of course, all of this will be optional and will depend on how much gold you have at your disposal, so don't worry about it.

Why am I writing all this? Because I need your help! :P
Right now, I don't have the time to make the research myself, so it would be great if we could put this list together as a joint effort. What really needs work is the BoE items list.

So please make suggestions on BoE items for each slot. Keep in mind the criterias mentioned above:

  1. Item must be a significant upgrade over the previous one
  2. Item must not have an equivalent easily acquired from a quest at this level range
  3. If possible, item must be cheap :P
If you got a suggestion, please post it under my Death Knight Shopping List Guide. If it's more convenient for you, you can also post it here and I'll take care of the rest.

Video: Death Knight AoE Grinding - Zero Downtime

In case you missed my previous video on How to AoE with a Death Knight, go watch it first.

For this new video I couldn't use my usual Death Knight (Jame), he's too high level now. However, I've got a sexy replacement, a level 62 Human DK called Yuumei.

Yuumei is wearing the DK starting area full blue set and is specced Unholy: 0/0/53

She has no glyphs sadly. With only a Glyph of Death Strike she would do much better, so what you'll see in the video is just a glimpse of what you can do with a Death Knight at this level already. After you watch the video, try to imagine what I could have done with slightly better equipment and full glyphs (and no lag :P).

Anyway, please watch the video and if you like it, go to Dailymotion and give it a good rating :)

Here's the video, I highly recommend watching it in High Quality (simply click on the HQ button):


Death Knights can really AoE like crazy. However, I wouldn't use this as a main source of leveling. There are a lot of external factors which could make it much worse than what you saw in the video (Other players fighting with you for spawns, possible deaths if you get unlucky or screw up, etc).

Instead, I'd follow the quest circuits of my leveling guides and whenever the opportunity arises, have some AoE Fun!

Dual Talent Specs - At last

In case you haven't heard, Blizzcon was last week and a lot of interesting announcements were made. Here's a short summary of what were the biggest announcements, in my opinion:

  • Diablo III, the Wizard Class was revealed. Wizard Trailer | Gameplay Video
  • Patch 3.1 will be the first content patch of the expansion and is already done. It will include Ulduar, a new raid instance (10 and 25 Man)
  • Patch 3.2 will add another raid instance to the game. Still unknown.
  • Patch 3.3 will introduce the Icecrown Citadel and should also resolve the storyline of Ashbringer.
  • Blizzard's "secret project" is confirmed to be a new MMO with a brand new universe, but we won't hear anything about it before a while. My hunch on this is that this MMO will take place in a futuristic universe, involving space travel and conquest and all that stuff. World of Starcraft anyone? :p
  • And my personal favorite: Dual Talent Specs. This new feature should be added to the game in one of the content patches following the release of Wotlk. Hopefully in Patch 3.1.

What does that mean? It means you'll be able to save 2 different Talent Specs for your characters, and that you'll be able to switch between the two as much as you want, any time you want, besides while in combat or in arenas.

This change made me smile, because it's something which should have been done years ago, and I actually had tried to push for this change back in 2005!

In 2005, before I even started to write guides, I was a warrior and I was the main tank for my guild, we were raiding The Molten Core and Onyxia. As the main tank, I was full protection specced, which meant that I was doing as much damage as an asthmatic clam. In short, outside of raids, I couldn't do anything with my warrior, I couldn't farm gold and I couldn't PvP well either. The only option was to respec during the week-end and then respec back to full prot for the next raid week.

100 Gold spent on respecs every week was really a pain in the butt. Not to mention, I was still unable to farm gold or to pvp during the week, as I could only afford one re-spec per week, and I'd do it on the week-end to get the most out of it.

I wasn't alone with this problem. All the healers in my guild were complaining about it too, they were having big issues with their repair costs and being unable to farm decently.

So I made a big post on the blizzard forums, suggesting that blizzard should allow everyone to have 2 talent specs they could switch to or to drop the respec costs to something reasonable such as 5 or 10 gold maximum. It was a very long post, well argumented and it clearly showed how unfair it was for Healer/Tanking classes at that time.

Sadly, the post got immediately jumped by a bunch of immature posters, their sole arguement being "LOL u can't hav everything u know... u can't be the super main tank 4 ur guild but also be the super pvp star..." or "It's called talent SPEC because u have to CHOOSE for ur character.... what's the point of choosing if u can re-choose as much as u want???"

Basically, the post got ugly and disappeared quickly despite my efforts to keep it bumped and to get support from other players. No Blizzard poster ever read it I bet. I was angry and swore to never post again on those damned Blizzard boards (I broke that promise not so long after, but anyway :P). I couldn't understand why people where so blind and couldn't see the glaring issue at hand with the talent specs.

This got even worse as time passed. When the Arena system was added to the game, people wanted to be able to do a couple of arena matches in the evening after the raid was over. My guild had a lot of problem with people showing up on raids with PvP specs, because they didn't want to respec everyday, and they didn't want to be gimped in arenas either.

Finally, 4 years later, they are going to add this feature. I'm not saying I'm some kind of super visionary here, because seriously, this was obviously needed from the start! I can't believe it took so long, and I'm glad it's finally there (almost!).

If we're lucky, this will be added in the first content patch after the release of WotLK. And that means December maybe, in the best case scenario! But knowing Blizzard, it's more likely to be somewhere in the middle of the first trimester of 2009.

In any case, this is a great change and I can't wait!

Video: Death Knight AoE Killing - Basics

As you know, I'll be doing class specific guides in the future and the first one will be for the Death Knight class. I've decided to make tutorial videos to help illustrate my guides, and here's the first one.

It's nothing special of course, I just made it quickly to give you guys an example on how to AoE stuff as an Unholy DK. The video quality is low on purpose because it's only a temporary video, the real one will be in high quality and I'll spend more time on it as well to make it all nice and shiny.

This probably won't be useful to expert DK players, but who knows, you might learn a thing or two, or you might just like the song! Anyway, watch it and tell me what you think.

This is done with a level 61 Death Knight wearing the DK starter blue set, no enchants, no glyphs.
Talent spec is Unholy: 0/0/52

ps: This was done on sunday evening on the European Server during peak time, a.k.a lag fiesta, so don't be surprised if my reflexes seem slow at times. It still gets the job done though.
Also, I forgot to write that you have to use Blood Boil again as soon as your blood runes are up again. This wasn't really needed in this video though, as you can see they die like flies already :p

Here's the video, please watch it in High Quality (simply click on the HQ button):

What's better: Borean Tundra or Howling Fjord?

Many players are asking themselves this simple question: When Wrath of the Lich King is released, where should I go level first, Borean Tundra or Howling Fjord?

Blizzard has stated many times that both zones would be viable for the Horde and the Alliance, and that ultimately, it doesn't matter which of the two you choose. However, this is not entirely true, there are slight differences between the two zones and they do matter a little, if your concern is to level up as fast a possible.


Borean Tundra

Horde quests: 87
Alliance quests: 68
Both: 88

As you can see, Horde has a clear advantage here. Not only do they have more quests, but their starting point also has a better position in the zone, it occupies the center of the map, while the alliance starting point is shoved to the side.


Howling Fjord

Horde quests: 52
Alliance quests: 77
Both: 66

As you can see, the situation is reversed here. Alliance has the quest advantage AND the position advantage in Howling Fjord.

Other observations

  • I've done Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord with both Alliance and Horde characters, and I can say that there are other advantages which confirm the above. The Horde quest hubs and quest chains feel more fluid, more well-connected together in the Borean Tundra. The opposite is also true for the Alliance in Howling Fjord. I don't know if this was intended by Blizzard, but it's just how it is.
  • The transition to the next zone also feels more fluid in Borean Tundra for the Horde, and the same is also true for the Alliance in Howling Fjord.
  • Borean Tundra has more quests overall, and that's of course an advantage. However, the zone is bigger and thus there's more time spent riding than in Howling Fjord. Howling Fjord is completed faster and allows you to move on to the next zone (probably less crowded) quicker.


If you are Horde, start in Borean Tundra.
If you are Alliance, start in Howling Fjord.

My 70-80 Leveling Guides will follow this choice as well. However, don't worry, I will also write a guide for Borean Tundra for the Alliance and a Howling Fjord guide for the Horde in the future. This is for people who don't want to miss any zone and want to do as many quests as possible for more reputation, gold, lore and of course, more achievements!

Of course, if everyone followed my advice, it would be a disaster, Horde quest locations in Borean Tundra would be way too crowded, and the same would be true for the Alliance in Howling Fjord. However, luckily for you, a large part of the WoW population still doesn't know about this blog and/or doesn't follow my guides, so just follow my advice and you'll have an edge in Wrath of the Lich King :)

How to Write a Guide

Completely different topic today. Northrend servers are down right now so I'm taking this opportunity to write a little article.

Lately I've been pressed for time, the release of Wrath of the Lich King is nearing, and my Northrend Leveling Guides are far from being finished. The guides are going to be huge, each level is an enormous task. So it's taking a lot of time to write these guides, and several external factors are slowing me down as well.

The european beta servers are laggy and unstable. In certain Northrend zones, it becomes unplayable during peak hours. There's nothing I can do about that though. So I just accept it and deal with it.

However, there's another factor which has been slowing me down: taking care of the website. Everyday we get dozens of comments and half as many new guides, which I have to read and approve.

This would take much less time if people knew how to write a guide properly. Sadly, most don't and I have to work on their guides for them or put the guides back to draft status and explain to the author why.

There are several reasons why some guide just can't be published:

1. Redundancy - This is the most frequent reason. Some people just create a guide without even checking if the topic has already been covered in another guide. I think we've got about 15 Durotar (1-12) Leveling Guides so far, and the worst part is, that none of them is of high quality. We don't need 15 Durotar Guides, we just need one, and possibly a high quality one.
So please people, before you write a guide, check if the topic has already been covered, and if it has, don't write a guide about it UNLESS you're confident you can write a much better guide on the topic.

2. Horrible Grammar & Spelling - This is reason #2. Some people just write a wall of text, no punctuation, no caps, no paragraphs, no spell check, no text formatting at all, zero image, loads of typos and grammar errors. The end result is something ugly nobody wants to read. And that's sad, because some of those guides actually have interesting content, but they are just presented so poorly that nobody will even try to read them. Hell, some people even misspell the title of their guide.

Example: Duratar Lvling Guild (instead of Durotar Leveling Guide)

3. Useless content - This is more seldom, but it still happens that some people write guides which would even be useless to complete newbie. Like: "A mage casts spells, you can either take talents for Fire, Frost or Arcane. If you take Frost talents, you will use your frost spells more...etc".
Seriously, who needs such a guide? :P

4. Poor content - This is the most painful one. Sometimes, people actually write a guide which looks nice, has a few images and decent text formatting, but the content is just bad. This happens most of the time when people try to write a guide about a topic they aren't very experienced in.
For example, many people try to write a class guide, even though they've barely played the class themselves. The end result is that they'll just disappoint people who follow their guide and then realize that the advice given was very poor.
Here's what I suggest: Don't write a class guide until you've played the class extensively, reached level 70 (or 80 soon) and tried all 3 talents trees, solo, in group and if possible in a raid.
This applies to every other aspect of the game. Only write a guide when you know that you've got above average knowledge on a certain topic.


Anyway, to fix this issue, I've put together a little guide this morning, covering the most important points of guide writing, in a very condensed form. I hope it will help the wow-pro community to produce better guides and I encourage everyone to read it and try to write a useful guide.

Here is the link to the guide:

Jame's Guide Writing Guide

Time for me to go back to Northrend and to work on my leveling guides :P

Death Knight DPS Rotations

Many have been asking, so here they are - Death Knight Rotations to do the most possible DPS. Please keep in mind these are calculated with talent specs tailored for leveling, starting at level 61. Once you switch to a raiding spec, things will probably be different.



Talent Spec at level 61: Blood Leveling 61
Talent Spec at level 79: Blood Leveling 79

The point of this build is to convert to Frost/Unholy runes to Death Runes, allowing for more Heart Strikes.

DPS Rotation used

1. Icy Touch --> Plague Strike --> Death Strike --> Heart Strike --> Heart Strike --> Death Coil --> Obliterate
2. Icy Touch --> Plague Strike --> Heart Strike --> Heart Strike --> Heart Strike --> Heart Strike --> Death Coil --> Obliterate --> Death Coil
3. Repeat Step 2. until mob dies

Death Strike is used instead of Obliterate whenever you need healing to stay above 75% HP because of Blood Gorged.

Note: The rotation changes at level 67 once you get Epidemic.



Talent spec at level 61: Frost Leveling 61
Talent spec at level 79: Frost Leveling 79

Tests have revealed that Scent of Blood sucks for leveling, it doesn't provide enough Runic Power to validate the use of 3 talent points. Instead, we go 5/5 Bladed Armor, which has nice Synergy with 5/5 Toughness.

DPS Rotation used

1. Icy Touch --> Plague Strike --> Blood Strike --> Blood Strike --> Obliterate --> Frost Strike --> Obliterate
2. Icy Touch --> Plague Strike --> Obliterate --> Frost Strike --> Obliterate --> Frost Strike --> Obliterate --> Restart cycle

The point of this build is to use Obliterate and Frost Strike as much as possible, using Blood of the North to convert Blood Runes into Death Runes, allowing for one extra Obliterate in step 2.

Note: Whenever Rime procs, don't forget to use Howling Blast. There are several points in the rotation where you can squeeze it in without messing up your rotation. At the end of Step 1. for example, or after the 2nd Obliterate in step 2.



Talent Spec at level 61: Unholy Leveling 61
Talent Spec at level 79: Unholy Leveling 79

DPS Rotation Used

Icy Touch --> Plague Strike --> Scourge Strike --> Blood Strike --> Blood Strike --> Death Coil --> Scourge Strike --> Death Coil --> Scourge Strike --> Scourge Strike --> Death Coil --> Restart Cycle

Note: When soloing an elite, it's worth using Unholy Blight. The best moment to cast Unholy Blight is at the end of your rotation, skip the last two Death Coils in the rotation to make sure you have enough runic power to cast Unholy Blight. This changes once you get Butchery at level 63, then you only have to skip one Death Coil instead of two and still be able to cast Unholy Blight.


If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this article, please leave a comment.

Death Knight - Best Leveling Spec

Here we go again. A new series of parses to check what's the best talent spec for leveling. This time I've done things a little differently:
  • No ability with a cooldown of 1 minute or higher was used. This was to reflect more accurately a leveling situation. You don't use your cooldowns on every monster when you level up, you generally save them for elites or big fights, so that's why I didn't use them to run those tests
  • Consequently, I only used the ghoul for the Unholy spec. However, I didn't use Unholy Blight, because in a real leveling situtation, you don't use it that often.
  • A level 61 Death Knight with the full blue set from the starting zones was used for all 3 tests.
  • The tests were done on a level 58 Servant of Sevine in the Blasted Lands and were each 10 minute long.
Anyway, let's see those numbers!



Talent spec used: Unholy lvl 61 Leveling Spec

Total: 629 DPS

Observations: Unholy is still very strong. Stronger than in the previous patch. The Death Knight's DPS alone is 517 and that's without even using Unholy Blight. This is due to the fact that Death Coil is now much stronger and easily makes up for the loss of dps from not casting Unholy Blight. This is good news because when leveling, we don't use Unholy Blight that much.

We must also remember that this was done on a single target. Unholy's DPS goes up the roof when taking on 2, 3 or 4 targets, which happens quite often when leveling, especially if you use the DK's ability to gather mobs quickly (Death's Grip and Strangulate for casters, ghoul / icy touch / death coil for the rest).

So in my opinion, Unholy is even better than before for leveling.


Talent spec used: Frost lvl 61 Leveling Spec

Total: 545 DPS

Observations: This is definitely better than before, the Death Knight's personal DPS is actually higher than the one of the Unholy tree, which is a first. However, with the ghoul combined it's still behind in terms of DPS. This is normal though, as frost is more and more geared towards tanking. The most significant change is the one to frost strike, it's really strong now and where it should be. Howling Blast was only used when Rime procced by the way.



Talent Spec Used: Blood lvl 61 Leveling Spec

Total: 598 DPS

Observations: Blood is now pretty close to Unholy as you can see. Heart Strike is definitely worth spamming now and so is Death Coil, which is why I put one point in Morbidity at level 61.


DPS Ranking

1. Unholy
2. Blood
3. Frost

Damage Taken

1. Blood - 8234
2. Frost - 14905
3. Unholy - 15209

Note: The Blood spec takes much less damage than the other two because of Blade Barrier. Frost takes less damage than Unholy thanks to Toughness.

Against Multiple Targets

1. Unholy - By far the best for AoE leveling thanks to Unholy Blight, Wandering Plague and 2 extra diseases
2. Frost - Second best thanks to Howling Blast
3. Blood - Nothing in the blood talents for extra AoE power.

Against Tough Elites

1. Unholy - Slightly better than Blood thanks to the high amount of health healed with Death Strike while 4 diseases are up. Shield of Bones and Summon Gargoyle also contribute to give it an edge.
2. Blood - Close second. +10% Parry and a large amount of life draining talents (Bloodworms, Mark of Blood, Vampiric Blood) make it very good against elites.
3. Frost - Lichborne and Unbreakable Armor help against elites, but the lack of lifedrain compared to the other two specs make it by far the weakest against tough elite mobs.


1. Unholy - One A Pale Horse simply trumps every other utility talent while leveling. +20% Mount speed, from level 57 to level 77 is a big deal.
2. Frost - Hungering Cold can be nice to get away from bad situations
3. Blood - Nothing in this department

Final Ranking

1. Unholy
2. Blood
3. Frost

Unholy is still without a doubt the best spec for leveling, followed closely by Blood. Frost is far behind, but is still a viable spec if you want to focus on tanking instances a lot while leveling.

Death Knight Talent Changes - Finally getting there!



  • Blade Barrier - Now activates when your 2 Blood runes are on cooldown (Old: All 6 runes needed to be on cooldown)
A very nice change, this basically means that now you'll have +10% parry 99% of the time if you take this talent, which is quite amazing for just 5 talent points.

  • Heart Strike - Damage increased!
  • New: Rank 6 60% weapon damage +220.8, and an additional +110.4 per disease
  • Old: Rank 6 50% weapon damage +184.0, and an additional +92.0 per disease
About time! I'm eager to see how Blood DPS will improve from this.


  • Frost Presence - Armor contribution from items increased to 60%. (Old 45%)
That's a pretty big boost and a much needed one, tanking instances while leveling should be easier now, no matter what your spec is, and that's great.
Great for tanking and great for improving frost DPS, which was very lacking.

  • Black Ice - Damage bonus has been doubled but only affects frost damage now (used to be Frost AND Shadow damage).
  • Now: Rank 5 = +30% Frost
  • Old: Rank 5 = +15% Frost & +15% Shadow
Wow, frost is going to be pretty good now. Frost Strike and Howling Blast should do substantial damage. Too bad they removed the shadow damage boost, it would have had very nice synergy with the Unholy Tree, but probably would have been too powerful anyway, so this is a good change.

  • Tundra Stalker: Icy Touch Damage bonus lowered, but expertise bonus doubled.
  • Old Rank 5: +100% Icy Touch Damage and +5 Expertise
  • New: Rank 5: +25% Icy Touch Damage and +10 Expertise
A logical change, Icy Touch was simply doing too much damage with the previous version and it would have been ridiculous now with the changes to Black Ice.
It's still a slight nerf, but the Expertise bonus is a nice addition and consolidates the Frost Tree as the tanking tree.

  • Rune Strike - now strikes the target for 200% weapon damage plus 20% of Attack Power. Only usable after an attack is dodged or parried and can't be dodged, blocked, or parried. (Old version was only 65% weapon damage).
A very big boost to this ability which will translate into more DPS for all 3 talent trees. This was a needed change because the old version was so bad it wasn't even worth using it.



  • Blood-Caked Blade - Chance to proc doubled.
  • New: Rank 3 = 30% chance to proc
  • Old: Rank 3 = 15% chance to proc
I guess this talent really can't be avoided now and should compensate a little for the nerf of Scourge Strike.

  • Scourge Strike - Damage lowered.
  • New: Rank 4 = 60% of weapon damage as Shadow damage +190.5, and an additional +95.25 per disease
  • Old: Rank 4 = 60% of weapon damage as Shadow damage +226.8, and an additional +113.4 per disease
A slight nerf and not a surprising one. Scourge Strike was doing too much damage mostly because of the bonus from diseases. It should still do pretty good damage, but more on par with the Blood Tree equivalent (Heart Strike).



It seems like they're finally getting there in terms of balancing the 3 trees. Frost is becoming more and more the proper tree for tanking, while still gaining more DPS. Blood's DPS is finally getting close to the one of Unholy.

I'll run some tests and post the results tomorrow, and we'll see how those changes really affected the talent trees. So stay tuned!

Jame's Northrend Leveling Guides - New information

Northrend leveling is different from Outland and Azeroth leveling. The zones are bigger, much bigger. There are also no long quest chains taking you from one zone to another, besides a couple of transition quests, which are actually optional.

That's why my Northrend Leveling Guides will also be different from what you're used to, and I'm sure you'll like the changes. Here's the list so far.

1 Zone = 1 Chapter

Instead of seperating my guides in two chapters (70-75) and (75-80) as I had initially planned, I will be seperating them into zones. For example, for the Horde it will be like this:

  1. Jame's Horde Leveling Guide - Borean Tundra (70-72)
  2. Jame's Horde Leveling Guide - Dragonblight (72-74)
  3. Jame's Horde Leveling Guide - Grizzly Hills (74-75)
And so on so forth. This was necessary and brings a lot of advantages. Necessary because a guide encompassing all the quests from 70 to 75 would have been way too big and would be pretty painful for people to load or to print. As I said in a previous article, each level is a massive amount of quests, images and text, so one zone per chapter will be already be big enough. The Borean Tundra chapter alone accounts for 134 images and over 50 pages in a word document, as it stands currently.

This change also brings the following advantages:
  • People can jump in my guide easily now, they just have to pick a zone and start there.
  • The guide will also be useful to level 80's who haven't followed my guide and wish to go back to a zone to finish the quests they haven't done and get the achievement for it.
  • When I get feedback from you guys, the comments will be directly targeted at one zone in particular, making it easier for me to find and fix the errors.

Achievements included

  • Some achievements will be automatically included in my Northrend Leveling Guides, simply by following the quest circuits.
  • Some other achievements will require just one little extra step to be completed and will also be included in the guide. I will be using a special color code for those achievements, making it easy to find them or to skip them.
  • Other achievements which deviate a lot from our main objective (getting very high XP/hour rates) will be mentioned but won't be incorporated in my guide. Instead, I will simply give a link to a corresponding achievement guide.
Every quest taken or turned in will be mentioned

This was sometimes a problem in my old guides. I would just say "Go back to Booty Bay and turn in all quests, get all follow ups" for example, and people missed a few quests here and there. This won't be a problem anymore, you just have to look for the quest color code and you won't miss any quest, even if you try to read through my guide as fast as possible, because for each quest turned in and each follow up taken, the full quest name will be mentioned.

Shorter maps

Most circuit maps will only contain 5 steps or less, this will make it easy to follow the maps without having to scroll up and down a lot. Whenever there are steps including a lot of text or big images, I've tried to shrink that number even further down. In other words, my circuit maps should be even easier to follow from now on.

That's all I remember from the top of my head, but there will be more changes and I will constantly try to improve the quality of my leveling guides to make them as easy and enjoyable to follow as possible. If there's any other feature you'd like me to introduce in my guides, please leave a comment and I'll do my best to include it, as long as it's reasonable and worth the effort.

Achievements - Include them in my leveling guides?

I've been thinking about it. Should I try to include as many achievements as I can in my leveling guides or should I not?

Before we even start to debate it, it must be said that certain achievements will be automatically included in my leveling guides, without it being intentional. For example:

Horde Achievement - 150 Quests completed in Borean Tundra. That one popped on my screen as I was writing the first chapter of my Northrend leveling guide, and I still had a few quests to finish.

Alliance Achievement - 130 Quests completed in Howling Fjord. Just the same as above, I've easily reached the quota while doing the Howling Fjord section of my guide.

Both - Complete all the quests at the D.E.H.T.A Encampment. Also automatically included in my guides.

No problem so far, right? But what about the following achievements:

Friend or Fowl?
Higher Learning
Going down?
To All The Squirrels I've Loved Before

They could be included in my leveling guides, and I know exactly at which point they could be added without interfering with our xp circuits. However, wouldn't I end up overloading my guides with information, making them too big and too long to read? Also, some people probably prefer doing those achievements on their own, for fun, or worse, they've already done those achievements and don't care much for that kind of information.

Should I try to include such achievements in my guide or should I just make seperate guides for achievements?

New Beta Patch: Death Knight Changes

  • Bladed Armor - Now increases attack power by 1/2/3/4/5 for every 180 armor value. (Old 1/2/3/4/5 strength for every 400 armor)
  • Obliterate Damage lowered. Now Rank 1 - 100% weapon damage plus 124, and an additional 62 bonus damage per disease. (Old Rank 1 - 100% weapon damage plus 167, and an additional 83.5 bonus damage per disease.)

  • Tundra Stalker - Now also increases the damage of Icy Touch by 20% per rank. (20/40/60/80/100%)

  • Guile of Gorefiend - No longer gives bonus to Rune Strike critical damage, but gives it to Howling Blast instead.

  • Howling Blast - Damage increased on all ranks. (Now Rank 5 - 259 to 281) (Old Rank 5 - 192 to 208)

  • Runic Focus - Description changed to : “Unlike most casters, a Death Knight’s spells cause double damage on critical hits.”


  • Death and Decay - Damage Increased (Now Rank 4 - 62 Damage) (Old Rank 4 - 52 Damage)

  • Blood-Caked Blade - Damage increased to 25% of weapon damage. (Old 20% of weapon damage.)

  • Blood Plague - Chance to remove a Heal over Time effect reduced to 25% (Old 50%)

  • Reaping - Pestilence replaced by Blood Strike


The Good: They boosted Frost a little here and there. And that's good because frost definitely needed a boost (and still does after this patch I'm sure).

The Bad:

Frost - They actually nerfed Obliterate? Obliterate is mostly used in Frost builds and frost is by far the weakest of all 3 talent trees, so why nerf it?

Blood - Several nerfs to the blood tree, and I don't get why. Blood was behind Unholy on all aspects, as has been shown in some of my previous articles and by many other beta testers. The change that boggles me the most is the increased cooldown on Dancing Rune Weapon. As the numbers have shown, DRW is really not that powerful for an ultimate talent, it's about the same damage as Summon Gargoyle from the Unholy Tree, besides... it's an ultimate talent and should be more powerful than Summon Gargoyle. Well now, not only is it not more powerful, but it also got the same cooldown. Sounds fair to you?

Unholy - The most puzzling part of those changes, they boosted Unholy, which was already the strongest of all 3 trees, in all aspects of the game. The change to reaping will allow Unholy DKs to replace Bloodboil with Bloodstrike in their rotation and this will increase their single target damage (which was already the highest). This is however a good change, because reaping is an important talent mechanic and it was wrong to have it only work when using AoE abilities, like pestilence and blood boil. However, the side effect is that it's still going to increase Unholy single target dps.
They also gave +5% damage to Blood-Caked Blade, sure, why not, it's not a big improvement but still, did the unholy tree need it?


Stop boosting Unholy, boost the other two trees. For now, I sure as hell am sticking to Unholy. :P