There are a number of folk who can’t stand leveling characters. I’m sure even with all the new content, there are many out there who would love nothing more than to be sitting at 80 with a new toon, and then reach 85 for the end game content. I’m not one of them, but for those who want to basically get leveling “out of the way” it has never been easier.
There’s the obvious reduction in XP needed to get through Northrend (20%), and that happens to the previous leveling bracket every time a new one arrives. More importantly than that, though, is a simple combination: heirloom items and gathering professions.
People have always said to take two of the three gathering professions on a new character because they will generate money for you. This is true, but I argue you can make money faster by not gathering. However, this column isn’t about that. Instead, I’m urging any of you “burn through leveling” folks to take gathering professions -specifically mining and herbalism. Earlier this year Blizzard changed things a bit by offering experience for picking flowers or mining nodes (sorry skinners, Blizzard figures you got the XP in what you killed in the first place). So, while booting around you get extra experience just for grabbing what’s in front of you. The problem people had with the combo I’m suggesting was that you only ever had the ability to track one or the other on your minimap. Queue another recent change by Blizz that allows you to mark several things on your map. That includes both Ore and Herbs. Hello! Again, you’re only grabbing what’s already in your path.
The other part of the formula is heirlooms, which should be a no-brainer. Currently you can obtain XP granting gear for shoulders and chests. There’s more to come in Cataclysm, but let’s focus just on what we have now. As it stands, two items will grant you 10% each. That’s 20%, or needing a fifth less time to level. That’s on quests, kills, exploration, and…you guessed it, gathering.
To make it even easier for you, Blizzard has now placed questgivers in the instance they need you to go, either at the start or during. So the first time you hit a new dungeon using the Looking For Dungeon finder, you’ll be able to knock off some quests as well.
Whether you hate level grinding or just have that one toon you want endgame and raiding, Blizzard has made it incredibly fast and easy to do so. Start now and you’ll be at 85 before you know it and ready for the good stuff.