Which way do you level, and why do you prefer it over other methods?
Two new Allied Race options on the way in patch 8.1.5 means that two new heritage armor sets are on the way as well – and that means leveling. I’ve been asked several times over by several different people over the past few weeks, “What’s the best way to level?” Not in terms of experience gain, but in terms of location – most of the time, the question seems to be aimed at Burning Crusade vs. Wrath content.
And to be honest, each expansion has its ups and downs. Burning Crusade was WoW’s first expansion – it’s older, so the quests and zones aren’t quite as elegantly designed as Wrath. At the same time, there’s a tremendous chunk of story to uncover. Sure, it’s buried in a lot of “go kill x mob y times” quests and the standard assortment of fetch quests as well – but it’s still worth digging around in. And if you’re going in there as a fresh level 60, you must level at least part of the way through Hellfire Peninsula before moving on.
At the same time, there’s something nostalgic about it all. Garrosh got his start out there in Nagrand. Heck, it was the expansion where major named NPCs stopped just sitting around in their respective capital cities and started doing things.
But Wrath is a different kind of experience. Story quests are far more prevalent, and you get your pick of two very different zones to start out. There are some absolutely iconic moments sprinkled throughout the leveling experience – Wrathgate, anyone? Icecrown delivers one of the most poignant quest chains in the game, and follows it up with one of the creepiest.
Again, we have major named NPCs doing things, and the things they do are just the beginning of the avalanche that lead us to where our characters are today. If Garrosh and Varian hadn’t been at each other’s throats, what would Cataclysm have looked like? Or Mists? Without the Wrathgate, would we have eventually been in a place where Sylvanas is seated on the Warchief’s throne? We witness the fall of Bolvar, his subsequent resistance to corruption, and his ultimate fate on the Frozen Throne – a place he still sits today.
It’s a toss-up as far as I’m concerned. Mind you, I’m focused on lore more than I am ease of gameplay, and both expansions have plenty of it. What do you guys think? When you’re leveling, which way do you go? Are you still enchanted with the rolling green hills of Nagrand, the tranquil (if naga-infested) waters of Zangarmarsh, the shattered floating remnants of Netherstorm? Or do you automatically find yourselves in the Howling Fjord or Borean Tundra, chasing the trail of the lost prince of Lordaeron, constantly hunted by the Lich King while you fight to stay alive?
And while we’re at it, I’m curious about the other forked path as well. Do you guys jump right into Cataclysm content, or do you head to the idyllic forests of Pandaria? Do you pick the same path with every leveling alt, or do you mix it up? Which way do you level, and why do you choose that path?
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