Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Leveling Madness

First of all, check out Tsuri's new threads. Are they not spectacular? Are you not entertained? The helmet was nice, but I had to give it up to Mr. "Mehaveironpantstosellyou" in Ogrimmar for a blacksmith quest. Besides, I like the chainmail headband, and it's just a placeholder until I can get the plate helm equipped at 40 anyway. Also, notice the sword. It's the first epic-looking item I've gotten. Apparently, the Orcs in Hammerfall don't have a key to the city, they have a sword. Color me unsurprised. As much as I had to grind in Arathi to get it, they better be fricken appreciative. Lastly, I purchased a tabard for our guild which I like much better than the PvP scout tabard (they made me an Officer...I guess I better look the part). Blue and green appear to be Tsuri's favorite colors. All in all, I am much less ghetto-looking than I was just 2 weeks ago.

In the remainder of this episode, I will be extolling the virtues of level grinding in Stranglethorn Vale. OK, stop groaning. The general consensus seems to be that everyone despises Stranglethorn, and I can't honestly figure out why. Here's what I found when I went there last night with the express intent of exploring rather than screaming like a little girl and running from the ?? mobs (which is what happened last time I went at lvl 25 or so):

1. Achieveable, simple quests in close proximity to one another. When you arrive at Grom'Gol, there are 8 quests waiting for you. 7 of them are all within walking distance of the city, and all of them are the "kill this kind of critter" or "bring me back X number of looted items" type. All of them involve killing large numbers of pretty easy trash (except the raptors...I hate the raptors) for more XP and very good (if rare) green drops and cash. Just in the process of completing these quests I made about 2G, and that wasn't with going out of my way to kill anything extra.

2. Good XP and gold rewards for completed quests. When I showed up, I was at less than one bar of XP into 38 on my way to 39. Just completing the first of the quest chains listed above (7), I finished up at 43K XP out of the 62K needed for 39. That's an average of 6k per quest all told. I also got some decent quest reward items out of it, too.

3. Manageable quest chains. I say manageable because it's a slow progression of difficulty that can still be solo'd if none of your guildies or PUGs are around, and the chains are still in the same general area as the chain originator quests. None of this, "well, you killed X critters near our outpost, but now you have to swim 25 miles south to get this one rare item off an uncommon mob that's 5 levels higher than you and take it to the Tauren Shaman who lives on top of an inaccessible mountain in Quel'Thalas. Oh...and you have to do it while hopping on one foot, playing the accordion, and singing 'Ave Maria' in B Sharp. If you do not complete this quest, ALL LIFE AS WE KNOW IT WILL CEASE TO EXIST." After completing this ridiculous task, you then see "Experience: 450" pop up. I hate those. SV simply has logical progressions of quests utilizing the same mobs, locations, and tactics. No respecs, regearing, or long wait times for respawning required (unless you're farming Bloodscalp tusks for the Cyclonian warrior quest...and even then, they drop pretty frequently with a short-ish respawn time).

In short, SV is an AWESOME place to power level. Is it my favorite zone? Not really. I still really like Arathi just for the open-ness and beauty of the environment, as well as killing the humans that are trying to muscle in on Horde territory and eating their souls to give me strength. Forsaken, remember? Humans are the other white meat...

So, to promote talking amongst yourselves, what is everyone's favorite levelgrind zone? Can be in Azeroth, Outlands, or Northrend...we don't discriminate here.

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