Tobold's Blog
Monday, September 25, 2006
Soloing at 60

Since my new Alliance priest hit level 60, I'm feeling a bit lost. I do enjoy going on 5-man dungeon crawls with him, or to go raiding with my Horde priest. But these activities require that I have time for several hours in a row, and that the people I group / raid with are online. If I just have one hour, at some odd time, I'm not really happy with my level 60 characters. I hate soloing them.

The least bad soloing activity is gathering herbs with my level 60 warrior, or doing similar farming activities designed to earn me the money and potions I need for raiding. But even there I'm only willing to do it long enough to get my necessities financed. I still don't have an epic mount on any of my characters, because farming that much gold is too boring.

Another typical level 60 soloing activity is grinding faction somewhere. I'm revered with Argent Dawn with both of my Horde level 60s, but that is more due to them having visited Scholomance and Stratholme so often than to reputation grinding. My warrior made it to friendly with the Timbermaw, to get the transmute earth to air alchemy recipe, but then gave up on it. The others just farmed enough Timbermaw reputation to pass the tunnel without being attacked. My Horde priest made some effort to farm Cenarion Circle reputation in Silithus, but gave up soloing it when I found out that a raid clearing out AQ20 gave me 2000 reputation, while soloing 2000 reputation points would take me days.

My general problem with soloing at 60 is that I don't get the feeling that I am advancing my characters with it. Quests I can solo don't give items that are better than what I have. Farming gold to buy something epic from the auction house, or farming reputation to get some new recipe or reward, is an extremely slow process giving you very little reward for a very long grind. This is not a matter of wanting "free epics", it is a matter of having a feeling of character advancement and development versus a feeling of standing still.

So to get back into advancing, I'm leveling up another character. I didn't want to start from level 1 again, not before the Burning Crusade introduces new newbie zones. But my wife had a level 33 tauren druid on her account, her first character, which she hadn't played for a long time, and had no intention to play again. So as I'm paying for her WoW account with the same credit card as for mine, I was able to use the paid character transfer service from Blizzard to get the druid transfered to my account. So now whenever I have shorter play sessions and no guild groups lined up, I slowly level up that druid. I already did some quests, and I did like the ability to sneak past enemies as a prowling cat, getting directly to my quest target at the end of the cave, without having to kill all the mobs on the way. The obvious disadvantage is missing out on the xp for killing those mobs, so I will have to see how it works out in the long term.
Couldn't agree more. It's the massive shift in the work to reward ratio at 60 that really puts me off. I'd actually quite like to be exalted with the factions, those rewards look nice. I just won't do it, however, the time required is insane and almost completely lacking in viable 'waypoint' rewards along the way.

The fundmental problem with WoW as it currently exists is the sudden change in the work/reward ratio once you hit 60. I hate raiding, but it's no wonder people force themselves to do it when you consider that it's easily the least time intensive way to improve your character (out of PvP, faction, raids).

It is amazing how much fun is retained in the early game when you reroll. A group of friends and I have recently rerolled, and the four of us are powering through the content with each of us taking a turn at being the level 60 chaperone for dungeons (so we can avoid having to PUG). This is the beauty of WoW, and if the developers ever find a way to reconcile this gameplay with equally fun and *rewarding* endgame, then they've found the holy grail of the genre, frankly. I'm not sure it can be done, without constant level cap increases and expansions. To be honest, I'll be delighted with that as a solution, provided Blizzard keep the pace (and quality) up on the expansions - they say they're aiming for yearly expansions after TBC. I think they'll need to be a bit quicker...
Tobold, you do realise that if you do level this druid up to 60 you will be expected to be just another heal bot. That might not give you enough of a change from the priests you already have.
Amen, brother. It's really for this reason that I'm levelling up alts and have given up playing my 60 warrior. Well, that and realizing I really didn't enjoy tanking all that much. The pre-60 game is where it's at for me.
I found the gold you get now for quests to be very helpful. I made about 300 gold in the 2 months my priest was 60. And i got exalted in AV which only took 3 weekends plus a few weeknights (though it was most of the day on those weekends) which got me a mount for 640 gold ( I got a discount for something, maybe sergeant).

Yeah, a lot of quest items I'm either vendoring, or saving, or placing in itemrack sets for pvp vs healing vs grinding vs instance dps etc.
Once my priest hit 60, I just assumed he'd be raiding, and I only break him out when a group is calling. The new warlock alt is already 33rd, hehe.
I recently started focusing on my druid alt and I'm having a lot of fun running the flag in WSG.
When I first leveled a character to 60 I didn't know anything about raiding. I ambled around looking for things to do. Eventually I just quit the game.

I came back and leveled another character, this time I started raiding when I hit 60. That took up alot of time.

Just recently I decided to cut back on raiding. I thought I would do other things on my priest but they all involve gawd awful grinding. And the thing about grinding is you either do it a little bit at a time and never see the light at the end of the tunnel or that is all you do for hours on end, weeks on end, months on end.

I'm leveling up new alts now. I'm still grinding but at least my xp bar is moving forward. I don't know why but that makes a huge difference.
I think it's because WoW is fairly good at giving out gratification before 60. There are a simply amazing amount of quests, and you can easily find a dozen or two for most levels (I find late 40's to be VERY dry, and I might just grind through them this time), so every little bit, "BING!", there's a carrot.

Then at 60, they move the carrot to waaaaaaaaaay over here, dozens upon dozens of hours away, and you're left in confusion.
"Then at 60, they move the carrot to waaaaaaaaaay over here, dozens upon dozens of hours away, and you're left in confusion."

Yow Oz, you hit the nail on the head! Ain't that the truth?!

My 60 Shaman raided for six months. I moved and, no longer raiding, respecced to go PvP. Mostly Alterac Valley. Got Rank 7 and Exalted with them. Some epics and I'm finding the PvP rank harder to rank further up than I care for it to be. And gaining rep in AB or WSG? Way too hard after the torrent from AV. And factions? Grind fest. Semi-retirement it is until the expansion comes out and I can do the level 60 quests in my log for the xp again.

My 53 Warrior and 50 Hunter are being groomed now, and a 37 Druid waits in the wings.
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