Tobold's Blog
Monday, February 06, 2006
The Stranglethorn hole

I'm having so much fun with my priest, Kyroc, since he is past level 45. This weekend I gained another 2 levels, bringing him up to 50. And the prospects are great, there is so much for him to do. There are so many zones to visit between level 50 and 60 I hardly know where to start.

Now Kyroc was stuck like forever between level 30 and 45, where I could barely force myself to play him. And I got two more characters stuck at level 30, a shaman and a hunter. Not that these classes are in any way worse than the priest, but I have the impression that between level 30 and 45 there isn't much content, and what there is isn't very good. I call it the Stranglethorn hole.

Basically all characters of both factions spend a really long time between levels 30 and 45 in the Stranglethorn jungle. That might be fun once, then with your second character you explore the meagre alternatives like Desolace. And all further characters become kind of stuck in a jungle they don't really want to play in, but with nothing better to do. I wonder if this is just a personal jungle-allergy of mine, or if other people feel the same.

It is nearly as bad as being stuck at level 60, but even Raslebol is having some more fun now, doing the quest chain for the Onyxia key. That doesn't really advance the character, but it does give you a long-term goal to pursue. I've been to UBRS twice on Saturday, and I was enjoying it. Of course the fact that our guild very much revived, and I can do all the high-level stuff with guild groups again helps a lot.

Unfortunately getting a level 50 guild group for Kyroc together is a lot harder than getting the people for a level 60 dungeon. Kyroc should do Sunken Temple for his priest class quest, and he is the good level for Maraudon as well, but several attempts to get a guild group going there on Sunday failed. The only dungeon I did with him this weekend was Zul'farrak, and that was with the help of a level 60 warrior from the guild, there not being enough people around level 50 online. I went to Jintha'Alor, which is a kind of non-instanced dungeon, with a pickup group; with the predictable result that people left and the group split up before we reached the end. I'll have to ask a level 60 from the guild to get me to the egg of Hakkar there.
STV is crazy.. I spent a long time there , and actually still probably have 1 or 2 green/gray quests I need to abandon , or complete for the hell of it.

I just remember having to go back & forth to BB to get more quests/hand in/repair armor, etc - and then DREADING the long run/ride up to the North side of the zone again.... It's HUGE!
I disagree. I spent a lot of levels in STV with my first character (sadly, a paladin, long since retired except for his mooncloth-making ability). I learned enough to not make the same mistake with my undead mage. I have done about 0.3 levels worth of questing in STV with this character (and that with a friend). I spent around 75% of this mage's life in instances:


Use Class Loot Lists to help you decide which instance to attempt, and who drops items you want to have.

Until your 40s, a single instance run should net you around half a level of XP. After that, it slowly goes down to about a third of a level. You also get better equipment and overall more money and more valuable vendor trash. And you are always in a party, never solo (why solo in a MMOPRG? I don't get it).

I also refuse to do any of the farming-style quests - "Kill 45 Annoying Elderly Mauling Tigermonkeys", "Collect 20 Poorly-Rendered Pale Blue TigerMonkey Shards" - unless they are part of a chain that leads to either a good piece of equipment, or a quest in an instance.

The only real farming I do is for herbs, and with a mount, you can gather a stack or so of a required herb in around 20 minutes (to make some Major Mana Potions or Arcane Elixirs).

Try this with your priest. Spend all your remaining levels in ST, followed by BRD/LBRS, followed by Strath/Scholo/DM/UBRS. I spent around 3 hours doing a near-complete clear of BRD the other night, and my mage went from 70% through 56 to 30% through 57 (including post-instance quest hand-ins) - and got an awesome trinket as well.
I've seen this criticism of WoW more than once - that it's awfully dry between levels 30 and 50 - it's seems most people I've seen complain about the "40's"

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the content in that level range has very little to do with the Warcraft Lore that the game is founded on. You lose a real sense of the "Story" that is taking place in the world. Places like STV, Desolace, Thousand Needles, Arathi Highlands - while there's enough to do to keep you busy, none of those zones make you feel like you're part of the Drama.

Once you hit 50 it seems like that starts to change - especially in the Eastern and Western Plaguelands. My Pally is battling the Scourge up there right now and it feels like I'm back on track again. You know... the Scourge. No, THE Scourge! The Lich King, Arthas, Kel'Thuzad.... THAT Scourge! Huzzah!



The Se7en Samurai
Thanks for the link to the loot list, very useful. But the strategy of passing most of the time in dungeons isn't always viable. Not only do you need to have hour-long blocks of uninterrupted time available, but you also need to be able to find a group.

In spite of being a priest, finding a group for Kyroc isn't easy. Runetotem is an old server, half of the players are already level 60. And on the Horde side I'm playing, a typical evening only has 900 people online. Discount the level 60's and you get less than 10 people per level, distributed all over the world. Finding a level 50 group is not easy. Finding a level 60 group as a priest will be, hopefully.
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