Tobold's Blog
Monday, August 10, 2015
Pandas on speed

I started Mists of Pandaria when it came out, end of September 2012. Early November 2012 I cancelled my subscription. Somehow at that point in time I didn't like Pandaria, and I only got one single character from level 85 to 90. With that experience it is understandable that I was somewhat reluctant to play Warlords of Draenor. I didn't play directly on release, but waited until Christmas 2014, where I first took a free 10-day trial before subscribing. By now it is safe to say that WoD clicked far more with me than MoP: Over 9 months later I am still playing. Of course it helps that Blizzard allows me to play for free now, I have enough gold for 2 years worth of WoW tokens.

Maybe my problem with Mists of Pandaria was a bad choice of character class: The one class I leveled to 90 was my priest, based on the logic that I'd get into dungeon finder groups very fast. But two things happened: I grew completely disenchanted with WoW dungeons, they turned from the content I liked the most to the content I like the least; and I more and more found the shadow priest soloing combat style tedious and annoying.

So when I started Warlords of Draenor, I bought the expansion and got a free boost to level 90, which I used on my fury warrior. I had much more fun playing that character solo, and got him to level 100 first. I also played my shadow priest, but less frequently, and it took a long time for him to reach level 100. I think I reached level 100 on my frost mage before I reached it with my priest. The frost mage was level 85, which the patch changed to 1 xp away from 86, and I leveled him through Pandaria by doing half the quests in the Valley of the Four Winds, and all the quests in Kun-Lai Summit. My fourth level 100 character is a Worgen demonology warlock which I just created for this expansion. I only played him through the Worgen-specific starting area, and then paid to give him a boost to level 90. With these 4 level 100 characters I played for the last several months.

This weekend I decided to go for number 5. After analyzing what combat style I liked and trying out some stuff like a death knight I had, I went for retribution paladin. I had one of those at level 85, human, on a different server. So I transferred him to the same server where my other level 100 characters are, so he could get stuff from the Worgen warlock. Now the frost mage I had leveled through Pandaria using quest gear. For the paladin I went for heirloom gear, which gives a big boost to experience gained. The results was a sort of speed run: I just reached the Sha of Doubt main event in the very first zone, Jade Forest, when I already hit level 90. I haven't even done all the side story quest lines in Jade Forest, barely more than half a zone to get from 85 to 90!

Now the paladin is in Draenor, in his own garrison, a few xp away from level 91. At level 91 stuff will happen on the gear side: From the warlock (who has blacksmithing) the paladin received an iLevel 705 crafted axe. I find it kind of crazy that the crafted gear in WoD has this low a level requirement and this high a possible iLevel, after upgrades. The Pawn addon tells me that the crafted 2H axe is a +500% upgrade to the level 90 WoD quest axe I am currently wielding. And then I will have to make a decision about the rest of the gear: Right now the heirlooms are maximum level 90, but I could further upgrade them to 100. I might do that for the xp bonus, because after having already done 4 characters, I pretty much did every quest in this expansion.

On the other hand that wouldn't leave much to play for that paladin once he reaches the level cap: The naval missions of my other 4 characters give "baleful" tokens that are bound to account, so my paladin already has a bank full of baleful plate tokens. But I think it will still be interesting to play him in Tanaan Jungle. I also want to change his profession from currently blacksmithing to engineering. I could also, just for fun, go for a Gnomish Gearworks early (even if that isn't the most efficient way to level your garrison) and play him as some sort of crazy gadgeteer paladin. That might be fun!

Are you able to use tokens for the boost and transfer, or are those cash-only?
Cash only.
So the fees for those divided by 9 months, and aren't you close to $15 a month? Plus having someone else pay your sub at a higher rate than $15, and Blizzard is making a good bit of money off a 'free' player (which of course is a large part of why PLEX-like plans are so smart for a company to add, and why its so surprising that so many MMOs are late to copy the idea.)
My first character, TBC, was a Paladin so I approve. Besides, you still have all 3 roles available to you: e.g. if you are bored you could heal 4 DH dungeons all the way to 110. If you go engineer, might I suggest the goggles as one of your 3 crafted - an engineering signature from each expansion.

Good luck on your Shipyard RNG. So far. I have only gotten one of the +5% XP BoA rings, strength. But I did get the BoA trinket. 20 out of every 120 seconds, you are a God.

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