What’s leveling like in 7.3.5?
I decided to level another Warrior to test out patch 7.3.5 and how leveling works now. Yes, I actually did this. Look, there’s no point in looking at me like that. I also played my Orc Rogue, but I’m going to focus on my Blood Elf Warrior because I was a bit more methodical in her case. What was my experience like?
Well, for starters, she was level 23 when I took off for Silverpine. Silverpine is a 10-60 zone now, so if for some reason you were a level 44 or 57 character, you could still go there and do stuff and get precious experience points with which to level your character. I managed to get up to level 30 there, and I made a few discoveries along the way. The first and most important is that my mid-20s Blood Elf Warrior can now transmog level-60 raid gear over over her low-level gear.
Gearing is a lot nicer
Yes, that’s my (at that time) level-24 Blood Elf Warrior transmogging to the Battlegear of Wrath. It was a very nice surprise. Any set that you could wear at any level from 1 to 60 seems available to your character now while leveling. I celebrated this by putting on both Ashkandi as well, just to make sure I matched the look. You understand.
But looking good is only half of what we’re going for — how did it feel, overall? Well, I can’t say I leveled any slower. Heirlooms have definitely been toned down, power wise — the gear I got from questing didn’t feel so utterly overmatched by heirloom gear, and I experimented on this by switching between a set of quest greens and blues I had in my bags and full heirlooms. I was definitely stronger in the ‘looms, but not nearly as much stronger as I was before patch 7.3.5 and this felt borne out by my one dungeon run. More on that later.
I chose Silverpine because it was close and it’s a 10 to 60 zone now, meaning you could theoretically go there at level 10, do a few quests, then leave and somehow get to level 58 and come back and finish up the questing and still get viable gear and XP. At level 23 I was well above the start level for the zone, and rewards were quite acceptable, popping up in ilevel as I leveled. Note that quest rewards do not scale up with you as you level — once you get a piece of gear, it is the level it’s going to be. You will still replace all the things you get. But if you go to Silverpine at level 47, the gear you get will be appropriate for a character of your level.
How did questing feel?
Combat is definitely slower. But considering how out of whack it was before — how a character in full heirlooms could utterly destroy most mobs in a hit or two — I don’t feel like it’s balanced poorly. It’s not like Vanilla, where you had to panic if you got adds and every fight is a grueling 20 seconds of “die die die before I do!” but it has some heft to it now. On average, fights lasted long enough for me to build up enough rage to use Rampage, which was frankly unheard of before this patch.
I neither felt like I was taking inordinately more damage than I did before the patch nor did I feel like I was breezing through every fight. There’s more effort involved now — you have to actually use a few abilities to win — but it’s not trying to be very hard. It’s more a case of offering you time to actually do something instead of just autoattacking something to death and immediately running over to the next mob. Overall, I felt reasonably good about it, even in heirlooms.
Combat was moderately harder in quest greens, but even those were actually decent for the level — ilevel 29 when I was level 29, for example. I had to be a little more cautious but nothing terribly hampering.
I ran Maraudon at level 30, and that was a touch hairier, I think in part because everyone was trying to do the full heirlooms “go go go” run and to a degree that’s more difficult now. Heirlooms simply aren’t that much better than what a player who just started playing could get from questing and dungeons. The group broke up before we got to Theradras but it didn’t feel like the dungeon had become insurmountable — harder, perhaps, but not terribly so.
I ultimately made seven levels while exploring Silverpine, which I don’t feel was doing terrible. It’s definitely a bit slower paced now. You can’t just blaze through killing mobs in two hits and running off to the next one, you have to actually play the class a bit. I definitely don’t feel like it’s overtuned or bad, however. I recommend giving yourself a chance to really play around, spend a couple of hours on it, and decide for yourself how you like it, but I’d say my opinion is that it has improved substantially.
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