Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Which class to level first in WotLK

Taken straight from the open Sunday thread, we had an interesting discussion about somebody with 4 level 70 characters, who was asking himself which character to level to 80 first in Wrath of the Lich King. Good question, I have 3 level 70s myself, and as even my ultra-casual wife has 2 level 70 and one level 68, I guess there are quite a lot of people with several 70s around. So which one of them is your "main", which one to level first?

Of course I can't pick a class and say "play that one". But I can give advice on how to choose. And my advice is about the fact the same character class might be fun in different degrees depending on what you do with it: Leveling up, grouping, raiding, PvP, or whatever. And I'd strongly urge you to consider what your main is going to do the most over the next 2 years, and take the class which will be most fun for your long-term main activity, not just for leveling.

That is why personally I will level my holy priest up first, in spite of the fact that since the patch 3.0.2 even my warrior is more fun to level up, and the mage would even be more fun. But leveling up is something I will only do for a relatively short time, several weeks, a few months at most. But with nobody seriously believing that Blizzard will bring out another expansion next year, I'll be stuck at 80 for a much longer time. And there I mainly want to group and to raid, and that will be more fun for me with a priest. I like healing, I like group play. The fact that holy priests still have one of the most boring ways to solo combat (pull - bubble - wand) shouldn't stop me from playing my priest first. The characters that are more fun to level, I can still level as alts later.
Death Knight. The whole rune and runic power system is new and exciting to me and I look forward to learning how to use it to it's fullest. I deliberately stopped my hunter at 58 because I wanted my DK to be my third trip through outlands and not my fourth, having just gone through on my hunter. THAT would have been boring.
I have 5 level 70s, so I have to pick a distinct order. I decided to level 3 of them first, and then see how I feel about the other two.

My first 80 is going to be my prot warrior, I am the MT and raid leader of our casual guild and I can't wait to hit Naxx. As second character I will level my shaman, who only hit 70 like two weeks ago. She'll be my healer and I really enjoy playing her. Last but not least, my rogue will be leveled, I enjoy melee DPS a lot more than ranged DPS. I'll be my very own holy triad, heh. :)
I'd level the healer last myself. There will be a chronic shortage of healers all through this expansion. So it'll be very easy to get yourself grabbed and geared up whenever you feel like levelling the healer.

But especially if you want to tank, I'd level and gear that up first. Be in the first wave, so to speak.
I'm going to go with the Death Knight. The extra time I spend exploring everything and doing every quest will help me to learn the class, which I'll need more than with any of my alts. If I max out something else first, I'm going to want to power through with my alts, including the Death Knight, and that would be bad for skills development.
I've got two L70s. One warlock and one rogue. I think I'll start with the warlock though. I'm interested in trying out the DK too but I'll wait a bit with that since the starting areas will be overcrowded to begin with.
You sound like a man readying himself to do something really painful Tobold.
As a long term holy priest (3+ years) I find your description puzzling. I've not done that since level 10. Why dont you try some spells? Me:

Holy fire, SW:P, smite, mind blast, smite (if needed), SW:D.

No need to bubble, never runout of mana if you have half decent MP5.
Of course when I say "pull" I mean pulling with spells, usually Mind Blast and SW:P. But when the mob is upon me, I need to bubble, as I only have cloth armor. I'll try more spells now, with the changes, but before the wand simply did more dps than my spells, and I never ran out of mana.
You must have a great wand :D

And dont forget Inner fire!
Hah, all of them. I only have 2 70s and a couple of mid-60s but they'll all get their turn.

My intention is as usual to park them all in the nearest inn and only work off levels when they're fully rested.

I don't really see any reason to determine an order unless you want to dive into end-game raiding right off the bat.

I'd rather take a month longer or whatnot and end up with multiple 80s than force level a character that's out of rested xp and is looking at the same levelling conditions as pre-patch 60-70.

No expansion on the horizon after this one so no rush to do anything really.... and if you do rush things odds are you'll be a hell of a lot more bored than me by the time I get to 80 :)
I also have 4 level 70 chars and I plan to roll a DK.

First thing I will do is create a DK and do the starting quests - I believe he exits those at level 58.

I will continue by leveling my Holy priest to 80. My assumption is that my DPSers will have no trouble leveling. However my holy priest will want to group as much as possible and generally go with the crowd, and so I want to "ride" the initial bunch of 70 chars leveling to 80. If I started his leveling much later, I would be at the fringes of the mass of levelers and it would become much harder to find groups to help with the leveling.

What I do once I hit 80 with my priest depends on how much fun I had between 55 and 58 on the DK. If he is as fun as he seems he will begin the long grind from 58 to 80. However, if not, I will begin leveling my DPS chars, probably in parallel. Slow but I enjoy playing each (mage, hunter and druid) in a different way so there are none that I want to leave behind.

Things were so much simpler at BC launch with only 2 level 70 chars... sigh... :)
I have 8 level 70 characters (everything but paladin) and intend to level my Rogue first. Having had a Priest as a main since European servers opened I'll enjoy being able to do decent DPS, take on multi-pulls etc during levelling and participate in PvP without having a 'Kill me first!' sign on my character. Additionally the Rogue has Jewelcrafting / Inscription tradeskills and I expect the former will be a nice gold earner (although with 30k banked already there's no immediate demand for income).

For off hours play I'll have a dual gatherer druid picking herbs and mining to support tradeskill levelling.

Death Knight and other alts will follow at some point, but that's probably months away. First priority is to thoroughly enjoy the new content in the company of good friends.
I'm not leveling my holy priest. I'm done. Sure I could go back to shadow, level, then back to holy. but why? it's still going to be the same predicament I'm in now. I love playing a healer when I have a group, or at least a halfway decent group. But that's going to be about 10% of the time. Even when I was in a large raid guild.

So I'm Just gonna fool around on my hunter with my friend, and maybe a DK for awhile.
Take the class that you want to level in groups the most. Once the big mass reaches 80, it will become much harder to get groups for sub-80 instances and (if there are any) group quests.

Level solo'ers last.
When does the talent switching system come into play? It seems that for some of the more difficult/boring solo classes, that system would allow everyone to grab a soloing tree to make it less boring, or at least faster, to get the levelling up done.
I'm leveling my resto druid, although I'll level moonkin in theory. We'll see how it goes about needing to respec for healing instances on the way up, but my guess is that I'll be ok, between gear and experience and it'll compensate for missing some of the talents. I might work out a hybrid build once things get rough.

I'd like to hit 80 with the druid fast, to be in the first wave of our Kara 10 mans, but I'm not going to grind up, I'm really looking forward to questing and exploring. I just plan to quest and explore a LOT!

After that, I'll concentrate on alternating my lock and my paladin, and somehow find time to get up the hunter and mage third tier. Somewhere in that I'll work up a Death Knight!
I have 4 70's myself. My main is going to be my resto shaman (leveling as enhancement). But the problem is that he doesn't have any gathering skills. My feral druid just got to 70 but has herbalism and skinning, which should help out my finances and tradeskills of my other characters. I'll probably level them both at the same time, alternating every few days. This will allow me to have a healer and a tank at 80 first in order to help the guild out.
I have 2 70 warriors and a druid. I plan on leveling the Tauren Warrior first followed by the Dwarf warrior.

I am very much interested in seeing both sides of the story and have a warrior problem.

In between those two, I will level the death knight some and see if I like it.

Druid will probably be last.
I'm following Tobold on this one, and leveling my Holy Priest to 80 first. However, I won't be bubble-wanding, I'm going to re-spec into Holy DPS and use all this epic cloth DPS gear I have left over from Karazhan badge runs. I guess I could go full-on shadow but I like the massive front-loaded "pop" of Holy DPS better. Obviously it's not viable in raids at all due to mana issues but I'm mostly done with those.

After getting my priest to 80 I will flip a coin, and take either my shaman to 80 or roll a Death Knight.

36 hours and counting on the US East coast... good luck in WotLK everyone!
Tobold, you could also play with a shadow spec to level up.

I agree with the anonymous poster earlier who suggested a spell rotation. Have you tried using Recount, SWStats or another damage meter while soloing? It's quite instructive. You can also use it while practicing on the new training dummies.

A Kara-level wand does only 160 DPS, but in raid gear, your spells should do at least 500 DPS while soloing.

I recently leveled my 3rd and 4th 70, but will definitely return to my feral druid main for leveling first to 80. Besides thinking about roles, I also like his professions (JC/ench) and want to work on his reps and get dailies / rare drop recipes too.
Will level my resto shaman main first as I always did... best period is to level up while everybody is looking for healers... gear up and get ready to raid fast. I love leveling up in instances.

My DPS rerolls (ShP, Druid, Hunt) can level solo afterwards.

I have 4 70's. Warrior, lock, hunter, and pally. I'll be leveling my hunter first because he and my lock are the fastest levelers I have. My lock is easier to get ganked by too many classes right now. My hunter less so (BM ftw). I think the pally tank will be second.
A Kara-level wand does only 160 DPS, but in raid gear, your spells should do at least 500 DPS while soloing.

Yes, but I'm not counting damage-per-second, but damage-per-hour. While leveling up from 60 to 70, I noticed that when I was using holy damage spells, the fight was over faster, but then I had to sit down and drink, and the time between fights was longer. Finishing the fight with wand meant I also finished full mana, and could directly restart.

But of course as my mana pool, mp5, spell damage, etc. are all higher now, this could be different now. I should try those training dummies.
I currently have a level 70 warrior, shaman, and mage. I like the versatility of my shaman to heal or dps. The dps gear is aways a toss up with hunters but no competition for the healing mail gear. The downside for me personally for my warrior is an pretty much a PvE player and may not be able to commit as much as some guilds may like due to RL. My mage was really just something to do.

I plan to also level a deathnight to 58 just to get a feel for it but may lean more toward ranged dps. I need to get caught up on these guys to ensure I have a good feel for them when the time comes.

I'm also not sure if I will be one of those outside Walmart or something for a 12am copy of the game.
Levelling the love of my wow life - my feral druid - first. Dont believe the "dps levelling spec" hype. Its all nonsense. Go bear to 80!!! you'll die much less often, and you'll aoe tank your way through quest mobs a hell of a lot quicker than single targetting. Plus you can tank instance all the way.

Next in line will be prot warrior to 80. It'll depend on how soon the guild starts regular raiding.

3rd in line, mage. Single target dps is SO BORING. My god!
Pull bubble wand is old hat.

Pull Bubble Smite spam drink is a bit faster. Actually, you could probably spec out Smite to level to 80 and not lose much in the way of healing as far as being capable of healing 5mans goes, and it'd make your leveling a bit faster at the same time.
Leave the healer for last. Take advantage of the crowds to level your dps characters (and probably tanks) first.

As previously mentioned, there will be an acute shortage of healers - no problem finding a group even after the initial wave has passed. On all but the most crowded servers, finding groups for dps characters will be more difficult. Same probably applies to tanks - once the wave of death knights catches up, there will be a huge oversupply of tanks.

If you honestly don't find a character interesting to play, then delete it. Equally uninteresting is spending two hours trying to get into a group...
Raiding toon first, as much as possible, rested or not. If TBC taught me anything it's that being ready to go when the early raiding groups are formed goes a long way to ensuring a happy raiding experience for the rest of the expansion. Catching up gear wise, or trying to bust into established groups, can literally take months. Riding that initial crest can also you give you options down the road if you decide to move guilds later on. (After three years I'm still searching for the mature, drama-free, yet progressive raiding guild.)

Once my raiding toon is at 80, I'll go back and level the rest taking full advantage of rested XP. I will give preference to my backup raiding toon though, a holy priest. This is the character I fall back on if for some reason I can't get into a raiding group with my hunter.

Isn't it painful what raiders will put themselves through to mark out their turf for the xpac? I really do not expect to enjoy my first mad rush to 80. That will come later with the alts (hopefully).
How will the dual spec thing work? Could a disc priest buff spirit and then switch to holy for the rest of the instance?

I had planned to level as disc and switch to holy for instances.
My dwarf hunter. I have about 5 other 70s (Orc warrior, Gnome mage, Holy Priest (my former main), Dwarf Paladin, Draenai Shaman), but I can only imagine leveling the hunter and possibly the Orc warrior right now. Doubt if I'll level the rest to 80.

I'll also want to focus on getting the Dwarf's engineering up so he can make the chopper.
I have five 70's. A Paladin, Mage, Warlock, Rogue all alliance side and a Druid horde side.

Out of all 5 classes I've stuck between 2 that I want to bring to level 80 first. The Paladin or the Mage?

The Paladin is very tempting, esp when "duel-specs" go live. Currently my Pally is protection with a large amount of tanking epics. I also have a healing set and spent a lot of time healing so I'm good at it, but healing is NOT fun for me. I like Protection a lot but I feel come end game there might be too many tanks thanks to DK's and they way Blizzard reworked tanking.

The Mage has full PvP epics, I do a crazy amount of damage. I kill most lvl 70 mobs in 2.5 seconds (arcane missle proc'd talent along w/ arcane barage). Althought if my talent doesn't proc it takes 5 seconds. My mage is fun and I've never had a pure DPS class as my main end game so that seems exciting.

Although I don't expect anyone on here to choose for me, I think writing about it helps me comprehend what I really want.
TBH, I have 5 lvl 70's and I plan on leveling my Rogue 1st! why u might ask? its because Im on a pvp server and I want to be the one ganking insted of the one getting ganked. Also besides the fact that my rogue is my newest toon I do appriciate the Melee DPS factor as well. GL to everyone in the new expac and I certainly hope to see more healers to come soon since there will be no shortages on tanks come expac.
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