Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
WoW Plans: Paladin or Warlock?

The direct train of thought which led from me hearing about the details of the Cataclysm expansion of World of Warcraft to me resubscribing went like this: Revamp of Azeroth announced as part of Cataclysm. Read that this isn't a trivial change, but will introduce major changes to most zones of the old world. Realized that this change is irreversible, the old versions of the zones will be gone forever. I should play through all these old zones once more before they are gone. Hmmm, that is going to take some time. Better resubscribe NOW.

So, as I mentioned, raiding isn't the main reason why I'm back. Low level alts are. Just before my WoW break I had started to level up a Tauren druid. Now I'm planning to level that druid to at least 60, questing through all the major Horde zones in the process, and revisiting lots of old favorites. This weekend I burned through my accumulated rest bonus, and dinged 26, having done lots of Barrens, started Ashenvale, and planning to move to Thousand Needles afterwards. As the goal is more a nostalgic revisit than to powerlevel, this is going to take some time. But the druid was already equipped with the heirloom shoulders and staff, and now I got him the heirloom chest piece as well, so he's pretty well twinked and shouldn't be too slow.

But I'm already thinking about the second part of my revisit plans: Creating a level 1 Alliance character, to level to 60, visiting the zones which I missed with the Horde alt. I'd play that one on another server, as my various Horde alts including bank alts pretty much block up all space on my main server. But I have an old level 60 priest from years ago on the server my wife is playing on, so between my old characters there, and the guild bank full of stuff my wife likes to accumulate, I should be able to equip a new character with all the necessities of WoW life. Not heirloom items, I'm afraid, as my wife never did any activity which would have gained her any emblems, and my highest level character on that server is 60. The only way to get a level 1 Alliance alt equipped with heirloom items would be to create him as Horde, grind lots of emblems with my Horde 80's, equip him with heirloom items, and then pay for a faction change when that one is implemented. Not worth it, I'd say.

So we come to the question of what class to play as Alliance. Taking into account the various classes I've already played a lot of, dismissing Death Knight as not suited to revisit level 1-60 content, and dismissing some classes I tried and didn't like, I narrowed down the selection to two possible classes: Paladin or Warlock. It has been literally years since I last played one of these. And I'm a bit concerned that both of these classes have changed so much, I might not be fully aware about their class role and soloing capabilities nowadays. So input from you would be welcome.

When I played one last, a warlock was one of the best soloing classes around, due to the voidwalker pet being able to tank for you, and an impressive amount of dps. The paladin I played last, as I said, years ago, was a horrible soloer: Basically dealt no damage at all, fights took forever, and I ended up making him an engineer so I had at least some ranged combat and added dps. But all this is probably yesterday's news. I hear warlocks have been nerfed so much, that nobody is playing one any more. And I hear paladins are so uber now, that they are better than any other class in just about anything. But then, people tend to judge classes on their performance in PvP and raids, and I have no clue about how good these classes really are in solo leveling PvE now.

So, in your opinion, which would be the better class to play from level 1 to 60 with an Alliance character: Paladin or warlock? Is paladin still a much slow leveler than the warlock, or has that been balanced better now? What other things do you like or dislike about these two classes as they are now? Please keep in mind that I'm not interested in PvP or raiding, the character is just for visiting old content before it disappears. Which of these classes is more fun to level?
Warlock. Pally has very boring game mechanics: you turn on a seal and autoattack to victory. You get to judge every 8 seconds. At level 50 or so you get to press a second button during combat.

Warlock, on the other hand, has a lot of spells to cast, a pet to play with, etc. You can turn mana to health and health to mana. You can self-rez, you've got free potions (healthstones), etc.
Paladin is pretty awful to start with. You have no damage, and you're always oom.

I actually found prot better to level (getting groups) than ret, but that was back when ret was really really really bad.

Once you get Seal of Command at lvl 20, and then the other KEY KEY KEY talent, 3/3 Judgements of the Wise, (and Art of War) retribution is basically an unstoppable 0 down time killing machine.

I think it's about level 45 or so that you get judgments of the wise though. So up until then you'll need to judge wisdom on targets. Once you get JotW, judge light.
Remember you do also have the choice of creating an alliance death knight if have any level 80s on your account. (Might be handy if you did want to get to level 80 on alliance side, check out the alliance northrend quests, and maybe get some heirloom gear.)

Warlock is pretty much the same as it's ever been at low levels. I think they're fine at higher levels too.

Paladin is probably more relaxing (ret is supposed to be easy and powerful at the moment but I don't know at what level that kicks in). It may depend if you prefer the idea of melee or casting. And if you like having the option to heal or tank.
What I liked about my warlock most was how much your own knowledge about the mechanics and situational awareness affected the outcome: Warlocks have a spell for every occasion, but knowing when to use each is an art form. When you start playing, it feels like a very underpowered class, always at the brink of death. But as you as a player gain more experience, you start to get comfortable with it, being able to pack a huge punch against a single opponent or being able to juggle multiple opponents, always "narrowly" escaping death. That feeling of semi-controlled chaos can be quite interesting.

By contrast, the paladin was much more straightforward. I felt like a hammer in a world of nails, applying the same rotation to everything. If you like getting into the "zone", working with machinelike precision decimating everything in your path, then a paladin is for you.
Both classes actually are very different from each other. So it depends how you want to play.
A paladin is melee, warlock caster. Do you want a pet or not? Paladins can self heal and have very high survivability. Warlocks have high survivability, but when your pet dies you're probably dead too.
Warlocks have close to no down-time at all (DoTs -> life-tap -> drain-life). As far as I know paladins have downtime, espescially because of mana problems.

Both classes have advantages and disadvatages during leveling. I personally would go for a warlock, just because of the dark nature.
Grab the warlock, he`s fun to play and nevva dies :)
Paladin won`t die too but as the others said he`s boring to level...
I still stick to my Lv. 80 Warlock, she`s giving me lots of joy and i don`t have to hide behind other DPS-classes (exept those $t/&d§-Hunters ^^ )
Done both, and Paladin is definitely more boring at the start, and much more of a twink class. Warlock you can start with nothing and have a good experience. Later on, Paladins do get better, but for 1-60, I'd have to say Warlock.

Go for both though.

I'm thinking of doing the same. I've never played a Hunter, Mage or Druid past level 10, and that was in year one of the game.
I haven't levelled a paladin past mid 20s, but as for warlocks - they are still very easy to level.

I recommend affliction spec for zero downtime. I levelled to 70 pre-wotlk but assuming things havent changed too much, you can basically dot multiple mobs and drain life your way through pretty much anything. Stuff doesnt die especially fast, but when 2-3 things die at once it works out well overall.

Also voidwalker sacrifice (mini priest bubble on you) has been changed now to just take a portion of the blueberry's life, so it is even better for drain tanking/ escaping chasing mobs.
Warlocks are a lot more fun and much faster to level. You might be shadowbolting a lot, but drain soul/life and mana management by life tap will keep you busy and going.

It is "later" around level 60 when Paladins become more interesting and powerful. The late game state of Warlocks IMO still leaves a lot to be desired. Talk about Infernal and Doomguard summoning, it is still useless and broken.

There is also no low level version of the "Incinerate"/"Conflagrate" spells, which is rather sad. So you cannot really play "Destruction" early on. :(

Warlocks are still very weak vs their bane, Rogues and Melee classes in general, but as you said, you were not asking for PvP.

You will also often curse your pets, the Succubus for example just sucks the moment you get it, it becomes more powerful later. You also will not have the mage teleport and food spells, so level up cooking and maybe fishing, too.

I would suggest Mining and Skinning as professions, your alt will pay for itself this way.

I think Tobold was a Mage, so you might still want to pick the Paladin for a melee levelling experience.
I'm doing something a little different. My soon-to-be wife and I will be resubscribing after our wedding next month, and we're both going back to our old characters that were parked at various ranges, rather than starting fresh.

We've been down the level 1-20 path a number of times, but we're both excited to experience that as Worgen and see the new starting content, so we're saving classes we've never tried before for our Worgen alts.

Indeed, we're going to experience the all-new level 1-85 journey as Worgen in roles we've never played before: she as a Druid or Priest, myself as a Druid or Warlock. Hopefully this will feel like a 100% new experience for us, at least until we reach the Outlands.

In the meantime, we're going to take our various mid-level (20-50) alts and bring them up through the old world content, starting with our 40-ish twin Mages. Next, we'll bring our high-20s Hunter & Paladin through some of the older content with my mum's 30-ish Hunter. After that, the low-20s alts might get dusted off.

The biggest bummer for me is the decision not to add additional character slots. When Cataclysm goes live, I'll use up my last slot for my Worgen Warlock - so if I decide to run the new content twice, I'll have to scrap my bank alt. Not a huge disappointment, but it takes some of the possibilities out of how to spend my time in the interim.

Depending on how late Blizzard releases Cataclysm next year, we may run out of mid-levels to bring up, but hopefully we'll have geared up enough on our mains by that point to be ready for the Icecrown raid. If I time it right, I can start burning out on WoW again just before Cataclysm hits to recharge me - it saves me the trouble of trying to find another game that entertains me half as much as WoW does.

Sorry if that's a bit of a ramble, just thought I'd tell you what I'm doing to help you decide what you want to do :)
personal preference? prot pally. if I understood you correctly - you are looking to level for the content, not the play mechanics, so a class with higher survivability would probably be a better choice for you. pallies are juggernauts, especially protection pallies, and they now deal a bit more damage then they used to, so things will not take forever to die.

warlocks are not bad, but blueberries are no longer the tanks they used to be. affliction is easier to solo with even though things take a little longer to die then with, say destro and some people swear by Felguard leveling (no personal experience there)

however - as a prot, you'll be able to solo at least half of the group quests (I'd say more like 90% of them) with a warlock - I found that there were very few group quests I could solo, which meant that I either had to skip them or gird my loins and look for group.
Paladin levelling is much much better. My partner (who only rolled a pala because she wants one of each class) managed it with very little problems. in fact her only complaint when comparing it to her warlock was how easy it was.

Having said that it is pretty boring. Even after you get a lot of the key abilities you are stuck pretty much with two button spamming (judgement and attack).

I am levelling a warlock myself at the moment and finding it pretty easy as well. My biggest problem is overaggro on the void walker but I can at least say that the two are about the same ease to level.

I guess the question you should ask yourself is - do I want to level as Melee or Range?
Tobold, both classes are now great soloers. Warlocks for the same reason as before, pet tank; Paladins are now melee powerhouses with healing.

The question for me in your position would be do you want a caster/pet class or do you want a melee class? Which have you played least?
having lvld both. i would choose warlock. affliction is the norm and will allow the voidwalker constant aggro with your slow dot. destruction is how i lvld and i enjoyed the crits and faster killing. however you will need to drink/eat more. demonology is lvl worthy for the 1st 2 talent point tiers.
I've never played a warlock of any level or faction. But, I have a lot of Paladin experience. My main is a L80 Prot Paladin I rolled up four years ago, and leveling him to 60 back in the day was a drag. I also have a L29 Paladin alt (!) because I just can't come up with a class I'd rather play. The only other noticeable alt I have is a L72 mage. He was a lot of fun to level back before Paladins got fixed, but I frankly don't find him to compare anymore.

When I first leveled my first Paladin, it was terrible. No ranged attacks (Linkin's Boomerang!), no DPS of any kind. Killing anything took forever (though, nicely, killing me took forever, too). The first wave of updates made it so you could do decent damage - but not great - though, soloing, you were always running out of mana.

At least for Prot, the new Blessing of Sanctuary is a game-changer. You get it at level 30, and it returns you 2% of mana every time you block, parry or dodge. This means that, the more things you attack at once, the more chances you have to dodge, parry or block (especially once you get Holy Shield at L50). Combine with Seal of Light (L30) and Judgement of Light (L4), and the most effective thing you can do to get back health and mana is go pick a big fight. I can start at 50/50, attack literally seven things my level at once (using Consecration (L20) to tag them, and Hand of Reckoning (L16) and Avenger's Shield (L50) to ranged pull), and end the fight with 100% health and mana.

That said, I've done a fair bit of ret, and it does a great job of dealing lots of point-target damage and having you be unkillable, with little downtime between fights.

As for the "just one button" criticisms above, it's gotten a lot more complex than that. Exorcism is useable against anything, now (30 yard range, L20); Hand of Reckoning is a great pulling spell; you have Consecration for groups... Once you get up higher, things get even more interesting, and the survivability is incredible. It's very nice to be sitting there with 5% mana and health and know I still have the bubble, Lay on Hands and Divine Plea up my sleeve.
Was considering the same thing over the last couple of days since I also re-activated my account upon hearing the Cataclysm news. Never played alliance past 20 and don't even remember that much.

What server are you playing alliance on? Maybe I'll scoot over and play there with you :)
All classes are trivial to solo to level 80, so if you want to just level and don't care about pvp or raiding just take something that is fun to play.
If you want to revisit some instances while levelling, I'd go for Pally and be prepared to tonk or heal. Much easier to get a group together if you're flexible. Additionally a pally is pretty easy to solo low-level instances if you don't get the group.
I levelled a Paladin in a duo a couple of months after WotLK launched with my friend playing a Warlock.

I went Protection and I thought the mechanics were very engaging and intricate. DPS was a bit poor to begin with (thankfully I had the Warlock to provide that) but eventually picked up with some lovely AoE damage of my own.

I imagine Retribution would be a fantastic solo build. Great damage and excellent survivability.

Warlocks seem like a fun class too but are extremely squishy if your Voidwalker can't get the aggro off you.
I think I'd have preferred warlock for 1-35 and paladin from 35-60 or so. If choosing a paladin I would maybe have tried protection at lvl 35, get a felsteel shield spike and 5/5 Reckoning and it can be great fun.

The (relatively) new Hand of Reckoning from lvl 16 would probably make low lvl life a little nicer.

Major point in favour of paladin as I see it though is that if you plan to see some old instances as well (and with the 3.3. cross faction LFG it might be possible) you have the option to fulfill all three roles, and thus the chance of getting a group going should be a lot better.
Reading this post made me smile. I actually found your blog 2.5 years ago after searching for warlock levelling tips and got a pretty old post of your teen level lock levelling up with his blueberry! Been a fan ever since :)

I would personally choose a paladin. At the lower levels (ie pre 80) you can tank, heal and dps in instances in your dps spec, as long as you collect some quest rewards for each spec here and there. Lower level instances are still fun and quite a challenge at times, especially without all the nifty talents and spells you have and are used to having at level 80.
I cant believe people are dissing paladins specifically Ret palas, they are awesome to solo. Sure the first 20 levels arent the most fun but after that it gets much better.

I've shared your thoughts on giving the old world a 'goodbye' and have rolled an alliance paladin. I've not been alliance for over 3 years so its a bit of a change and means I'll be visiting zones like darkshire etc. Im guessing I'll probably want to get to level 80 to get some BoA gear for a worgen toon but for now im just going to immerse myself into the zones and what little lore is left.
As others have said, paladins are really boring to level till they hit the 40's, then they become unstoppable forces. I would really recommend a warlock. Level it as affliction with drain tanking and you will have a lot of fun, though that too only becomes really viable at later levels, but at least the journey to those later levels won't make you fall asleep. Once you hit 60 you will be so in love you won't want to stop :) Then for pure leveling fun go for this weird hybrid felguard affliction build that I found, for leveling, there isn't much better imo. Can take a look here
I've only played a paladin to L15 or something so don't have much experience, seemed like a dull leveling class though.

Warlock is definitely a fun class to level. I've got one at L80. A lot of different spells to use in different circumstances and if you spec right you kill relatively fast with basically no downtime. I haven't logged in the last few months so I don't really know what changes there have been to the warlock but I doubt it would be in as bad shape as it was at launch. I highly recommend it.
Keep in mind that the Northrend Warlock is rather different to the low-level Warlock. Once you get a decent affliction spec rolling, they're very effective at wading through mobs without downtime. However, the early levels can feel a little more painful.

But perhaps all classes are now a little painful at low level?

My recent experience is not only that those old quests really aren't half as "good" as I remember them (Northrend has changed my expectation of WoW - there's no going back), but that the levels come faster than the gear (assuming you are leveling without help/heirlooms/money, which obviously make a huge difference here), so you're constantly fighting the fact that your gear is terrible compared to your level.
I leveled my first warlock right before BC came out and rather hated it until I hit level 50 ish. However, I leveled another warlock from scratch when WotLK came out and found it to be much more enjoyable. They've changed a bit since then, but for the most part an Affliction warlock played well can solo impossibly well and has 0 downtime. The variety of the spells you can use and the versatility that you can employ keep things interesting as well.

I also leveled a Paladin using Heirloom items in WotLK and had a lot of fun doing so. With shoulders and axe in hand I was beastly strong. The first 30 levels are pretty mind-numbing, though. You are, again, pretty damn hard to kill. It's a lot of fun once you start getting more abilities.
"Which of these classes is more fun to level?"
A warlock.

(If people think I'm biased -- I've had four paladins at max level ... and one warlock. *grins*)

But neither of these classes is extremely fun at leveling, since they are so good at it -- especially prot paladins beyond level 40 when you're pretty much indestructable or ret when you're "an unstoppable 0 down time killing machine" as the poster above nicely said.
These are the exact classes I've been leveling at the moment actually. I find I'm having the most fun with my warlock. I'm not finding them underpowered at all. The opposite in fact.

Once you gain enough levels you never run out of mana as affliction. You can just tap your felhunter or imp for mana as needed and chain pull away.

It has a very dynamic style too and you can approach any given fight in many different ways.

I have to agree with anonymous about the boring game mechanics of the paladin. I haven't got mine to a high level yet but so far the mechanics have been dull dull dull. As ret you do seem to get through the fights at a reasonable speed though.
For my money, I'd go Alliance Paladin, for these reasons:

1) I like the light better than the darkness, personally;

2) I think the seal + judge possibilities are interesting with the Paladin (very varied game play, as opposed to goPet-nuke-nuke-loot);

3) The healing capability makes me more resilient, which to me means less deaths (more idiot proof, one might say);

4) Love the utility of the class... I make myself and everybody else stronger, which may not mean much to me as a soloer but it's a nice thing to have in my pocket;

5) Lore-wise, there's something to being a Paladin in the world of warcraft, which adds to the dimension of the game play if you, you know, actually read quest text and try to get into the game.

This is not meant to be on knock on the Warlock class, as I know it has its own unique benefits, most key being a faster leveler. For my money, I'd still go Paladin.
I've been leveling up a ret paladin and am up to lvl 40 now. I don't know if leveling was fast but I was able to solo most of the instances once the dungeon quests were green/yellow to me. All other chars I have leveled in the past I had to wait until the dungeon quests were gray until I was able to solo. I've never played a warlock, but ret paladin has been the most powerful low level char that I have played thus far in terms of solo-ability.

In my guild there are several people that were able to quickly level warlocks and have them raid-ready for whenever ranged dps was needed for a boss encounter, so warlock must be pretty quick to level.
A warlock has lots of different ways to level. I never used a voidwalker for example.

You can drain tank. Put dots on targets and see them die. Now and then use a drain life to get more health and the drain thingie to get mana from your pet. Your pet can just be a mana battery or add some dps. You can even choose your pet. Imp for mana battery. Succubus for added DPS and some humanoid CC. Felhunter to dispell you and enemies or vs magic enemies. Or go for a build where you just sacrifice your mob and get more health recovery.

You can go destro. Mobs will die in a few hits. I don't like this playstyle as it has lots of downtime drinking water. But I know people who do enjoy it.

You can indeed just use your voidwalker to tank. Put up a few dots, send in voidwalker, put up a few dots,...

Lots of possibilities which makes it quite a fun class. And my favorie class after the Death Knight class.

I tried out a paladin for some levels but it didn't feel like my thing: too passive. But it's been a while since I played it.

As for heirlooms: they're made to make the levelling go faster. While levelling is supposed to be fun, not something that you rush through. All you need to level comfortably is 4 16 slot bags and enough gold to buy a few green items every two levels and a mount. Those items shouldn't cost much and can easily be gotten by a bit of auctioneering. Spending gold or doing instances for blue items is a waste of time as you can only use them for a very limited time. And you don't even need items if you're not melee dps.
Warlock was my main back at launch, I've been leveling a new one lately.

I was going demo because I like the felguard (and it's still nice as a second spec as you can solo a lot of group quests) but I read something on the forums about affliction being good for leveling so I thought I'd try it.

I didn't switch to affliction until 61 or so, but the best way to describe it is this : my wife asked if I would like to be powerleveled, and all I could think was that was powerleveling was a great description of playing solo with that affliction lock.

Haunt, unstable, corruption, CoA, then maybe a drain life and/or a life tap and then the next mob. I try to pick places where I can attack three or four mobs without moving to save time looting afterwords, and it's bang bang bang bang. Usually at the end I'm pretty close to full health and full mana. It's unbelievable.

I don't know at what level that awesomeness starts, but -- wow. It is nothing like making a warlock four years ago, I can tell you that.

Of course I haven't leveled a pally in four years either, maybe they are awesome now too -- last time it was only bearable because I leveled with my wife (her second rogue).
I'm a serious altaholic and have leveled 7 classes to 80. I've noticed that all classes are much easier to level that when I started 2 years ago. On the whole I think most classes are "difficult " till 20 when you get a reasonable number of your skills and talents. My recommendation for leveling a warlock is affliction, you have fantastic self healing and mana regen. This means very little downtime and the ability to take on multiple mobs. Pallies are awesome too, I'm a big melee fan and pallys are a great. Get your self a 2h and level as ret. Damage is not a problem at all. Self healing on a pally is great for leveling and makes you much better at soloing than a rogue or warrior. My preference would be a pally, but like i said I love melee.
Paladins are great fun at higher levels lots of raw power and obviously have the hybrid factor you can Tank, Heal and DPS. If you want a class that can have it all at max level you can’t beat a Paladin (especially since you often get ‘free’ gear in terms of spell power plate if you’re not running as Holy)

It is fairly dull at lower levels in terms of getting through content in that you have limited abilities to use apparently the levels at which abilities are granted are being reviewed in the expansion to make this less painful. That said Pala's are pretty difficult to kill and often able to take on more than other classes and get away with it (I think even Ghostcrawler said Pala's have the lowest death rates while levelling).

Warlocks are a strong DPS class but as such you lose flexibility and a little bit in the way of the ability to stay alive (although as a Pet class you often have the option to try run while they die). Interestingly they are also one of two classes (the other being Hunter) that are being remade in the expansion.

Personally I'm planning on a Worgen Warlock with the new expansion; they seem to fit the gothic feel of the new starting area, they will be refreshed with new mechanics and I already have a Paladin :)

- Silveri
I have fond memories of my human Warlock - the only class I leveled to 60. I haven't played the class since trying the BC when first released so cannot say how nerfed the class has become.
> "All classes are trivial to solo to level 80, so if you want to just level and don't care about pvp or raiding just take something that is fun to play."

This comment sums it up well. It doesn't really matter what you choose, you could level a naked warrior wielding only his fists if you wanted... :)

If you really want a fast leveling experience, go Hunter. Nothing levels faster than a hunter, except maybe a DK at levels 60-70. Nothing. Period. Anyone trying to say otherwise is lying, wrong or trying to sell you something :)

If you're really set on Paladin vs. Warlock I would say from personal experience that leveling an Affliction Warlock recently up to level 50 has been tons of fun, easy, fast and I could even solo some group quests (but Affliction suffers from a slightly underpowered VW so you won't be able to solo all group content). I've heard ret-paladins are a blast these days but never tried to level one, certainly not recently, so no idea. I think the better geared ones have an edge for soloing 5-man content but I gather you don't have much twinking resources on the server you're rolling on.

If you're interested in reaching level 80, getting some good gear and soloing instances and 5-man content, go Paladin.

Best of luck whichever way you choose :)

Oh last thought - roll both Warlock and Paladin, play in as many different areas as possible and gain rest-bonus on one while you play with the other. It's a win-win situation! - well if you have the time to play so much :)
My main is a Protection Paladin, I've had him almost since I started playing WoW. I also just hit 80 on my warlock two weeks ago(who is now in almost full epics already). Here is my point of view:

As a Pally you will be able to heal/tank/dps any PUG dungeon until the higher (60+) levels. You're spec will not matter, but it will help to have specific gear. Paladins are great for solo play, as they have great survivability, and if you are wounded after a battle you can just heal yourself up. Paladins USED to level slow, but now they are just as fast as most other classes. If you choose Ret, then you will level at dps-warrior speeds.

Warlocks are limited in group rolls (damage only - duh). Depending on spec warlocks can have amazing survivability as well. I recomend leveling as demonology, as your voidwalker is a really weak tank once you start doing a lot of DPS. Felgaurd all the way as far as leveling/solo play goes.

I personally recomend a Paladin as it was the most fun class I've leveled. Leveling speed WAS an issue, but I rolled my pally back in vanilla WoW and despite the slow leveling I enjoyed every minute of it. The warlock, while being able to level very quickly was just not as enjoyable as Paladin. Perhaps I like versitality, perhaps I like hitting things rather then casting spells....who knows but that's my recomendation.
"I should play through all these old zones once more before they are gone"

Funny, I have the exact opposite feeling -- I can't wait to be rid of them. After having levelled a selection of characters through the old world -- Horde and Alliance -- the only way I can stand it anymore is by powerlevelling a character dual-boxed with a level 80 character on my other account. After having done Northrend a few times, I can't stand the old "go kill 10 foozles" questing in Old Azeroth, with it's long skinny zones and 20-min runs to hand in a quest.

Honestly, hearing the news about Cataclysm's revamp to the old world makes me want to unsubscribe until it comes out. I don't raid, I've never stepped foot in Naxx or Ulduar, so Icecrown hold no interest for me. I feel now like levelling any more of my characters will be "wasted opportunity" to enjoy new low-level content.
@ the_quark

Yay for prot pally AOE leveling :P. My 80 prot pally main farms converted heros for about an hour per day. My largest pull was 33 mobs at once. I was at near full health and full mana the whole time. I still had my bubble and lay on hands. I wish they were easier to round up and I'd try to go for 50+ mobs.
I have both an 80 Paladin and a 75 Warlock.

People are very right that a paladin can be slow to level early on - you simply don't get many buttons to press until you can spec down to Crusader Strike et al. That said, I very much enjoyed leveling my paladin.

Warlocks, for as much as people love and praise them, just don't do it for me. I never feel like I'm doing much more in solo play that Dot, dot, lifetap for mana, lifedrain for life. End battle at 100%/100% - repeat, forever. It was just boring for me and, in dungeons, I always felt like stuff died before I could really get into the fight.
If you play a Paladin then go Ret from 1-60 and then 60-80 go Prot as you can AOE fight mobs easy with all the Prot talents doing damage to anyone who hits you, conscencrate, etc. and high survivability; any quests that are about killing 10 foozles or collecting 20 foozle ears will be cake as you can kill around 10 at a time once you get into BC content and get that gear. Side effect of being Prot from 60-80 will be doing the quests near the end to get your Prot gear up, doing heroics you will be in high demand due to very high aoe threat rate. A lot of comments talked about downtime, you will have very little downtime, at low levels play it like you would a warrior and you will be find, as you get higher the downtime will get less and less; you are pretty unstoppable and a lot of 'get out of jail free' abilities should you get in trouble or overwhelmed or even when doing those elite quests solo! Have fun!
Paladin is dull as dishwater.

Warlock is a very static class (send out pet, stand still and spam dots or nukes, no movement needed) and can become quite boring… but it'll be a lot less boring than a paladin where you run to a mob and watch a lot of autoattacs.
Well as a man with 4 alliance 80s and 3 70s (none of them a DK) all I have to say is I nave an 80 Pally, but my lock is still lvl 12.

Now my pally was created back in vanilla and I leveled prot the entire way (now that was a grind!)

Have yet to experience ret in any incarnation (dual holy / prot right now) but from all I read it is an easy leveling spec.

My I reccomend a Dwarf, decent flavor to the quests, and in the end you'll be sent to Stormwind anyways.
Since thsi is jsut a tourist toon you won't mind missing out on the most OP WoW racial "Diplomacy" :P

Skarlarth and Co.
Disregard rumors of warlock nerfage. There was concern initially but now that informed people have had a chance to tinker, they're doing just fine. Note, they're not EASY, with a lot more to do on destro and demo these days to get peak performance. All 3 are fun to play, though, and the class is seriously survivable and advances quickly.

I have a 40-sh pally as well, and he does just fine. Initially mana management is pretty tough, but you get past that soon enough. It's a fun class to play, even if melee isn't my forte.

Personally, I think both are excellent choices, though I am biased towards warlock out of preference and familiarity.
Ret paladins are terrible in soloing until 50; holy are always terrible; prot can start AoE grinding when you get seal of light and blessing of sanctuary. In contrast, warlocks start out well and only get better. However playing a class that can tank or heal (not to leave out DPS) makes it much easier to get into groups, so you won't have to solo to 80.
Personally, I've leveled a warlock to 80, a paladin to 80, and a second paladin (horde-side) to level 38 or so.

The changes in 3.0 and 3.1 were pretty great for leveling paladins -- you get a ranged pull, and combat is less mana-intensive since you don't need to re-cast your seals every time you use Judgement.

I haven't compared the actual damage output between paladin and warlock, but with a decent weapon Retribution manages to kill mobs fairly quickly. (at level 20, get some help with the Verigan's Fist questline, and if you can afford it, put Crusader on that weapon and you'll be set for 10+ levels)

The recent changes in 3.2 actually backed-off paladin damage a bit at lower levels as a consequence of the changes for PvP -- until you get Art of War after level 40 you're limited to about 2 active abilities in melee range (Judgement, Consecrate), plus two pulling abilities (Hand of Reckoning, Exorcism).

Still, my recommendation would be for a Paladin over a Warlock -- both can be fairly tough, but I found the paladin a bit more interesting and challenging compared with the "pet class" of a Warlock. Until you start collecting multiple sets of gear for different roles, a Paladin probably also has a bag-space edge over a warlock.
I'd go paly. I leveled a lock to 73 but got tired of it. It was far too squish for me. I look at my friends and they just zoom there palys along. I played as a lock/paly combo, and they are damn good. A trio of paly/lock/druid can do instance their level or higher. At 40 we were clearing ZF when the mobs were orange. It just took some time, but gather up + AOE + good heals.
Affliction warlocks are absolutely insanely easy to level. Corruption and curse of agony are enough damage to kill any same-level mob once you twink with decent (green+crafted) gear. Both spells are instant-cast and 36yd cast. Corruption heals for 40% of its damage done, you can convert that health into mana, and you can drain mana from your pet. Haunt also heals for quite a lot. Here's how an affliction warlock does a "kill 15 rhinos" quest:

First, find a spot with 15 rhinos.

1st target: haunt, corruption, CoA. Switch to another rhino.
2nd: corruption, CoA, switch. Drain mana from your pet when you have a free GCD running to the next rhino.
3rd: haunt, corruption, CoA, switch
4th: corruption, CoA, switch
15th: corruption, CoA

I've leveled a DK, shadow priest, shaman, warlock, druid, and rogue to 80, and the warlock was by [i]far[/i] the quickest and easiest.
Well, the old content was massively nerfed -- fewer mobs, no elites. Levelling with any class is a LOT easier now. Paladins even have aranged attack early on (Exorcism) so now you can pull mobs!! I recently tried a BE pally and it is so easy compared to the old days.

As for grouping, there are so few people around at that level, they aren't picky. So, play what is most fun!
A prot pally AOE build can be very fast to level after it properly kicks in about lvl 30. It is nice to be tough enough that you lose very little time to corpse runs.

And you actually can sprint through a lot of low level quests very fast when all those 'kill 10 rats' quests can be dealt with by taking them on 5-10 at a time easily.

And there is, of course, the whole thing about finding it much easier to group.
I was in a similar situation, burned out on my lvl 80 and looking to revisit some old content. I choose a warlock and it is the single most enjoyable experience that I have had in WoW for a long time. I love the warlock game mechanics. Dot's allow me to "tag and move on", I do this with my voidwalker out and between his bubble and my Siphon Life I never die. It is very gratifying to complete quests that you have never done before on a new alt.

Long story short, choose the Warlock.
Paladins are the definition of tedium in every game that has them.

Currently I'm levelling my Warlock and finding him very enjoyable. Almost identical solo to my Hunter, in fact.

I find it increasingly hard to enjoy playing any class that doesn't have a solid pet. The last one I really enjoyed was the Disciple in Vanguard (my favorite class ever in any MMO).

So I'd vote Warlock.
I'm in a somewhat similar boat - running out of things to do on my 80 druid on a regular basis, don't feel like picking up anything I left at 70 (priest, hunter, shaman), but have been thinking about going back to one of my mid level characters. I'm down to my lock (47) and paladin (36). Friday I picked up the warlock and just couldn't seem to get into it at all. Affliction is kinda boring and I think I'd rather be hitting things. This Friday I'll give the paladin a go and see how I like it. My first 60 was a paladin back when things took forever to kill, so I'll likely give ret a shot and see how much different it is.
I might be a bit late on sounding in, but I might as well anyway. I twinked a lot at 39, and both paladins and warlocks were quite powerful at that level in pvp. I kept track of 29 a bit too, and paladins were pretty good there too last I heard. Warlocks a bit less so, but that's mostly in comparison in pvp.

Overall, warlocks haven't lost much in the early levels; they're pretty powerful, and have lots of options. Personally, I found leveling as one a bit boring simply because you'd just send your voidwalker, dot the mob up, and wait.

Paladins have been buffed a lot at low levels, so they now hold their own in dmg dealing etc. They do have fewer meaningful options at early levels still though. I'd say lvling is probably still a matter of mostly autoattack, though if you spend some time on it, and have decent twinking gear, you can probably do some aoe grinding as prot, which might be fun. Get a decent shield and put a high level shield spike on it, and you're set.

Overall, I'd say warlocks have a few more options, so might be more interesting, but paladins are by no means slow any more. I found running into a bunch of mobs and chopping them to pieces to be about as fun as dotting up a bunch of mobs and watching them die.
Heh, i play a pally main, and trust me when i say that if you want to have fun, play a warlock. if your only playing a toon for leveling and not end game, then warlock is going to be alot more enjoyable.

Why? Because, my fellow Hordie... you know... you KNOW that Pallies are just WRONG.

Facegriller the Hunter grew up on a PVP server horde side at launch. Making a Paladin was not an option. In fact, Paladins were almost my nemesis class, you could say.

Even though Facegriller has since retired to the more peaceful downs of a PVE server since then, that anti-alliance resentment continues. And a part of the identity which defines that resentment rests with what makes the Alliance unique - the Paladin class.

Don't go with a Paladin. Don't betray your Horde roots.


Warlock. They are so fast at leveling, go into a cave or mine by you slef put all of ur DoTs on the entire cave and amd let ur pet do some dammage and in a little bit you see 6+ boddies laying at your feet.
pallies over warlock def i have a lvl 35 warlock and a lvl 60 pally and the pally is far better at lvl 50 i soloed uldman very very hard to kill first 10 lvls are rather slow but after that its on retri 30 and up is awesome and when u get to 19 29 39 49 and 59 u will be amazed on how much u pawn in pvp =)
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