What I really mean by "Optimized Quest Circuits"

This was done with my level 76 Rogue while following the last 25% of my Dragonblight Guide.

  • This was done with no consumables. Just normal poisons applied on weapons and bandages/ normal food to heal up when needed.
  • No rested xp.
That's right, 620000 XP / hour. That means you can theoritically get one level every 2 hours and half if you follow my guide properly.

Also, it can probably go faster with other classes, like hunters for example, as they never need to drink nowadays (I had to bandage and eat many times with the rogue, which slowed me down of course). So you can imagine how fast you can level while following my guides.

Why do I post this? Well to prove that my guides are better than any other addon like Questhelper. It's quite simple really. Questhelper is a nice addon, but it can't optimize your quest circuits nearly as much as what I've achieved through hard work. It can't think 3, 4, 5 or sometimes 10 steps ahead. It can't think of quests coming from remote quest hubs which have synergies with other quests you already have. And more importantly it doesn't tell you tricks that make certain quests much easier.

This is the reason why I still write guides, because I know (and I can prove it), that they are still a much faster way to level. If it weren't the case I wouldn't bother writing them and would also use an addon.

I challenge anyone to come even remotely close to such XP/rates with only using Questhelper (or any quest tracking addon). And I know it won't happen, because I've tried it to, and I know the limitations of those addons.

Of course, when you follow my guide the first time, you might not get such high XP/rates, because you won't know my circuits as well as I do. But there won't be that much of a difference, because my WotLK Guides are very easy to read, most steps are one-liners. I've really worked hard on that too.

It will also depend on your class and gear. The rogue I used on this circuit is very well equipped. But you know, a hunter or a DK in full quest green/blues can probably beat this score :P And other classes too I bet.

In any case, I'm sure anyone can get close to 500000XP/hour while following my guides, even if you are a slow reader. That means one level every 3 hours / 3 hours and a half. And that's really amazing in the 70-80 bracket.

Oh, and just a little bonus. While recording that XP/rate, I also got the following two achievements:

So yea, if you're still thinking "lol questhelper is fastest", well I don't think I will ever be able to convince you, because you simply don't want to be convinced, more than anything :)

57 Response to "What I really mean by "Optimized Quest Circuits""

  1. Unknown says:

    Can't wait to get wotlk, the gear reset will help me change my main to hunter and my pvp char to a death knight

    Jame says:

    Spread the word ;)

    Anonymous says:

    Def will be using your guide I got 4days off from work and I didnt even request them of which is godly.

    You going to post your leveling spec for your DK also btw?

    Red says:

    James, your guides rock.

    I love the hard work. I love that you're always trying to take it to another level and do the best you can/find the best route possible.

    QH can't compete at all. It's limited by its design.

    Anyway, looking forward to using your guides to level my DK.

    Jame says:

    @daboljoey You've missed the news apparently, my DK leveling guide is out and has a full talent guide included :P

    Check the release dates for links.

    Release Dates

    @スティーブン (lovely name! :P)

    I appreciate that :) Are you from Japan?

    Ryan says:

    Take two good ideas and combine them in my opinion. Make a "dumb" questhelper that meerly makes each waypoint the next step in your guide. Once completed, you go to the next step.

    You would need to add things like, "get the quest from" and "grind here until..." etc.

    It would be an inline hand-holding to the extreme - it could even be customized by class.

    BTW Jame <3 your work.

    Big Ray says:

    Jame, your guides are the best.
    After leveling 3 characters to 70 without your guides I thought to myself "why bother". But I decided to try it with a rogue and I am now a dedicated follower :)

    I'm so glad you released the DK 55-61 guide as I will be rolling one as my main come this Thursday. I have shown your guides to my friends and now they are going to be using it as well come Thursday.

    I sure do hope your site can take the traffic your going to be getting! Just in case I have saved some of the guides as .doc files :)

    Caroline says:

    I love your guides! Thanks for all your hard work :D

    Anonymous says:

    I never liked addons like questhelper myself. For one they take up bunch of memory, but mainly because if you use them you tend to follow their paths without thinking resulting in running the same way multiple times because you were missing a quest which you didn't pick up yet.

    So far used another J's guide from 60-70 for my characters but this time I'll have a look at yours. I could probably level without a guide since I know the areas in my sleep but what the hell :)

    Keep up the good work.

    Halon says:

    Jame, thanks for your amazing guides, I've been following them since level 21 with several toons now. They are more usefull than any addon that exists :-)

    I was so glad when I saw that you would have guides for northrend just in time! Perfect!

    Greetings from Germany, keep up the good work!

    Hya again Jame!
    I see many saying they will go hardcore grinding once WotLK goes up but even hardcore lvlers will get behind now! xD
    No way you can beat Jame´s guides... getting better with every expansion

    (printing guides takes a while >_>)

    Unknown says:

    Just a quick question, how much does the guide cost and where can I download it from? =)

    Jame says:

    The guide is free and you don't actually download it. You just go to the website and read it directly from there (even if you don't have a 2nd monitor, you can play wow in windowed mode and alt-tab to the guide to read the next step). You can also print it of course.

    It's all on www.wow-pro.com

    Direct link to my leveling guides is:



    But I suggest you just go to www.wow-pro.com and read the news page and also visit the "Guides" section.

    We have free guides for just about every aspect of the game. :)

    Unknown says:

    <3 mucho gracias, I read a few of the chapters in your blog and loved it, just lost the link to wow-pro.

    <3 thanks for the guide buddy. =)

    Miguel says:

    First of all, thank you for your dedication.

    But I was wondering, have you ever considered adapting your guides as an in-game addon like Zygor, for example?

    Sun CRm says:

    We`ll go and see in next couple days..
    Really thanks for spending your time for doing those "studies".
    Others take money for that - you take our smiles and appreciation. :)

    Jame says:

    I do have plans for an addon version of my guide. First I'll release my wotlk guides up to 80 in written format. Then I'll work on that project.

    Jame, I was wondering if you ever considered making a Tourguide file for your guide?


    Jame says:

    Something like that yes ;)

    Anonymous says:

    Should you need some help with implementing your guide as an addon/Tourguide file just post a quick blog entry, I'm sure many (including myself) would be more than willing to help.

    Andrew says:

    I've never thought of Questhelper and Jame's stuff as mutually exclusive.

    You follow the circuits from Jame's guide, but the addon can help point you where you need to go.

    Jame says:

    Of course they are definitely not exclusive, they work well together.

    But what I'm trying to make people understand, is that if they use just questhelper, they won't level nearly as fast as with my guide.

    I personally don't need QuestHelper, a quick glance at my maps and at the first few words of the step and I know exactly where to go.

    I can understand that QH is helpful to other players the first time they follow my guide. However, once they follow it the second time, they probably will do it like me and won't even need QH anymore :)

    Unknown says:

    Hi Jame, I've been using your guides for a few years now and I think they are awesome!

    Just a couple of questions about your DK and WOLTK series, if you don't mind:

    1. You say you should be leaving the DK starter area at 58 - I already have some RaF bonus levels saved up to take me from 58 up to 60.99. Are there any quests I could optional leave out so that I leave the DK starter area at 57.99 and use the bonus levels then?

    2. Do you WOLTK do every quest in every zone? I'm a completionist so generall like to totally finish each zone before moving on. Do you miss out any zones up to 80?

    Thanks very much.

    Merilar says:


    I'm totaly with you on that. Nothing else then a humain brain can do that better. No add can realise that.

    Hard work and experience are the better "add" for a gamer.

    A french fan.

    Jame says:


    1. You can't leave the DK area until you've finished the whole starting area quest line. It doesn't matter if you are 57.99 or 58.5. You have to finish the quest line before you can get out of the DK starter area. You can't skip any of the quests. I wouldn't recommend it anyway even if it were possible. Those quests are uber easy, give huge XP (sometimes 30K xp for simple quests), and also give you talent points and your blue item rewards :P

    2. Yes, I include 100% of the quests for each zone. So my guides won't only be leveling guides, but also will be useable as achievement guide for the quest achievements of the northrend zones.

    @Merilar Merci beaucoup! :)

    I've already done the Alliance BT guide as a Tourguide file for my firends and I [even though I'm not distributing it to the public, I rewrote all the notes in my own words]. I'm really looking forward to taking our group through Northrend with them, thanks so much, Jame.

    I did most of the BT and HF quests on the beta and the guides look to be spot on.

    Jame says:

    Hey John. Would you mind sending me a copy? I'd like to check it out, for personal planning purposes only :)


    cnstoll says:

    Jame, I was wondering what spec you chose for your rogue for that particular circuit.


    Halon says:

    "2. Yes, I include 100% of the quests for each zone. So my guides won't only be leveling guides, but also will be useable as achievement guide for the quest achievements of the northrend zones."

    Thank you, thank you, thank you :-)
    That made my day!

    btw, I'm perfectly fine with alt-tabbing, imo no need for an ingame addon thing, but if you can spare the time, why not? ^^

    Unknown says:

    Tbh Jame, I think it would be completely fair for you to charge for an ingame version, $5, $10 and $15 are all such small amounts that would add up quickly and be a great reward for your efforts.

    Jame says:

    That was the build I used with my rogue for that xp rate:


    Didn't have any decent daggers available so I didn't go for the deep assassination build, which probably would have increased my xp rate even further, but who knows :p

    by Aurok says:


    No seriously, my alt would stayed buried at level 48 if I had never found your guide.

    Unknown says:

    My priest, too, would have been stuck in the early 50s had I not stumbled upon your guide. Best thing ever. I really appreciate the effort you have put into these guides. In fact, if you think of all the people who have used these guides, all the people who have saved time with them... that's 1000s of man-hours saved. Quite a feat!!!

    Thanks again!

    Hey James, I dont know if this has been requested before, but I noticed that something about some of the paid leveling guides. They have an addon that allows you to basicly view the guide in the game with waypoints. I tihnk it would really awsome if you could do something like that sometime after Wrath. I play in windowed mode with the guides themselves in a smaller window. It works well but it can be annoying to not have wow fullscreen. It would be really awsome if you could do this, I really love your guides!

    Halon says:

    try alt + tab while playing full screen wow ;-)

    Puree says:

    For the person asking about leaving the DK starting zone at 57.9 for granting RAF levels, you can in fact skip a few quests in there without negative consequences (besides the lost XP). The trainer quest is not necessary to do until you want to train, so you can safely skip it without too many dire consequences. The extra skills you get are not very necessary for 55-58. You can also skip the quest you get from the mailbox safely. I found that it was only necessary to skip the trainer quest in order to get out of the starting zone slightly under 58. To be safe, try to kill lower level mobs that don't give XP for the quests you do, and don't kill more mobs than you need to.

    Note that this only applies to people who have used RAF and have levels waiting to grant. Everyone else should follow Jame's excellent guides :D

    Fugazi says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Fugazi says:

    Why so much hate for QH? :)

    I use QH to show me where quests are while I choose what quest to do myself ("ant tracks" disabled etc.).

    It is obvious guides made by human are better than mod that generate them automatically.

    Jame says:

    It's not hate. It's just to prove a point, because most people, unlike you, seem to believe that Quest Helper will make them level faster than my guide.

    And I really want to clear up that misunderstanding.

    It is obvious to you and to me (and to everyone who has tried my guides just once) that guides made by human are better than mod that generate them automatically.

    Sadly, it's not obvious at all for a big part of the wow population apparently, and I'm trying to change this mindset.

    Matt says:

    I think that quest helper is a really nice complement to your leveling guides for directions, but you're right it can't tell you the best order to do quests in, or which quests are worth it and which aren't. Unrelated question, what's the name of the song you put in the video with Arthas and Muradin?

    Regarding QH - QH falls over a lot of the time. QH relies on user submitted data, if I kill the one mob of type X that spawns on the other side of the map to the rest of mob type X then QH will tell me AND OTHERS to go to the wrong side of the map. QH doesn't respond to comments on its blog & web site :)

    Jame says:

    @Matt: Olivia Lufkin - Wish

    @Sureman: Couldn't have put it better myself ;)

    Anonymous says:

    Your web is great!! I learned something about WOW here!!!!

    arb says:

    The only downside to your guides at the moment Jame is that they won't get me past Dragonblight. I'm nearing L76 and the end of your currently published guides (thanks to rest xp and a bunch of TBC quests), so am looking at taking QH from here on, at least until you publish your 75+ guides.

    Great work on the first few parts though :)

    Anonymous says:

    I'm a big fan of Jame's Guides. I've leveled a Paladin, Rogue and Shaman to 70 with his help. He truly does organize the questing to maximize your time spent in game.

    I'll be heading over to the Borean Tundra with my pally to kick off the 70-80 guide.

    Thank you for your hard work.. I just clicked on every add on your page :)

    Jame, i just want you to know that your guides are fantastic! thank you so much for all of the time and energy you put into them!

    i'm not going to be using your Northrend guides the first time around, of course, 'cause i really would rather make the silly mistakes and get the feel for the place with the extra quests that can be skipped. after that, though, your guides are invaluable for leveling alts.

    if they were combined with Tourguide, though, that'd be the icing on the cake. :D

    Jame says:

    There are no skipped quests in my WotLK leveling guides by the way, just so you know, I put them all in ;)

    And yes there's an addon version of my guide coming in the future, no ETA yet!

    Unknown says:

    Anyone who says "questhelper is faster" is just plain dumb. I do use questhelper... along with your guide, it is just useful to be able to see exactly where stuff is without having to scroll up to the map or look at coordinates.

    CRAM says:

    Jame, thanks for your guides

    i saw you post about rogue level up, and i would really like to know what spec, rotation, poison, stat values you use to level


    Unknown says:

    I have to say im using questhelper and i am really having some problems getting that dragonblight achievement, also looking at your guides, i can tell there really high quality and that you have put alot of work into them. Just wanted to let you know there really appreciated! (Cant wait till you complete the 75-80 guide :) )

    Anyways after i get my dk to 80 i plan on leveling a mage using your guide so ill post back on your main guide pages with an approx. played time.


    Unknown says:

    Holy crap! ~3h per level?

    Really I can't see that... I play a mutilate rogue with rested xp all the time and doing optimezed circuits and can barely reach 6h per level from 70 to 80.

    Tell me friend, how can you go so fast?


    Jame says:

    Hmm, I just follow my guides and I already know them pretty much by heart, which helps.

    With my hunter during the release I was doing a level every 3h30 approximately, despite the zones being overcrowded, as you can see here:

    Hunter leveling speed - without rested bonus

    So yea, 3h per level is definitely possible while following my guides once the overcrowding stops.

    This will be even easier and faster once you try my guide in addon version, which is already available for some zones, check the post about it here:

    Jame's Leveling Guides - Addon version

    Unknown says:

    Thanks for the reply. I'll be sure to try your guide once the horde addon version is complete. I did 9 days 1-80 on my rogue with rested xp, so I will try to improve it a lot.

    There is always the RAF system right now that can be used to powerlevel to 60, do you have any guide to optimize the circuit and tell which quests to choose using RAF system?

    Really wonderfull work for the community.

    dude,I am a driud and i felt DK really sucks, maybe is because my gear really sucks but i dont know.
    almost all blue, some epic

    Bloodwurk says:

    It says you got those achievements on november 4th, 2008. WotLK wasnt released til the 13th. Was this done on beta?

    Monzoo says:

    I'm using ur guides for a while now.
    And i only got this to say :
    Every character i used the guide with went about 10 times as fast as my main. + i did not use any lvling items. The only thing that u might wanna update on the 60 - 70 is that u can get a flying mount on 60 now. ( Its just a hint ^^ )

    I love ur guides , keep up the good work , i'll hope u'll do the same work on Catalysm :D