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Building an Empire 101 - 2. Leveling

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Hi everyone it is time for the second chapter of my little blog

Giving and taking advice
In my previous blog entry I was quick to provide advice on selecting a server. In the meantime I have learned an important lesson about myself. Apparently, I am good at giving advice and bad at taking advice; even my own.

Last time I wrote this:
Quote Originally Posted by Nilaus View Post
PvP servers will result in ganking while trying to level, to some this is fun but for me this is incredibly frustrating.
So of course I rolled on a PvP server. At the first sight of Alliance I was freaking out and running for the hills (not that it makes a difference when you are lvl 40-something and getting chased by a level 85 on a dragon).

I also wrote this:
Quote Originally Posted by Nilaus View Post
No matter how perfect the Russian server is; don’t go there as you will miss out on so many aspects (unless of course you read/write Russian…)
So of course I jumped right in and before long it became apparent that I had chosen the unofficial Polish server as my new home. Needless to say that I don’t speak, read or write a word of Polish.
At the end of the day my refusal to follow my own advice cost me 20€ in transfer fee. I am now happily situated in an environment more suited to my tempers.

The topic of today is not my own stupidity (though I am sure I could fill a blog just with that), but rather what to do when starting on a new realm with no existing history:
• No existing characters
• No friends
• No money
• No heirlooms

At this point I am adding a disclaimer: I am not seeking to optimise every little aspect of my experience. This is (sometimes) deliberate as I want to have fun as well; otherwise I will burn out and lose interest.

Recruit a friend
Activating a second account through Recruit a Friend is an awesome way to level extremely fast. And I will recommend it if you have some €/$ to throw around and see leveling as a chore to be minimised.
I did not choose that option as I hate the management involved; windowed mode, switching back and forth to collect quest items, /follow etc. There is too much not-playing in this setup to my liking and besides I haven’t played the Cata zones as horde, so I wanted to see that too

Scroll of Resurrection
Since my account was frozen I asked in the Stormspire if someone would throw me a Scroll for the 7 days free game time. It turns out that you get a free lvl 80 fully geared in ilvl232 as well. This came as quite a surprise to me and actually ruined my plans. I was supposed to start from scratch and now I had a fresh lvl 80 ready for Cata zones. In the end I decided against it, since I wanted to level a character from scratch and I wanted some seed money as well.
Consider this option if you have a frozen second account which has been disabled since May (I think). In that case you can resurrect it and move the new lvl 80 char to your primary account (if you don’t want to keep 2 subscriptions). I may do this later to get a relatively cheap lvl 80 char.
My lvl 80 is now parked in Org and serves as an AH character until I get my new character to 75.

Character creation
The obvious choice for leveling is to create a DK. They are skipping 55 levels of killing bears and searching for Spider Ichor. However, I don’t feel like playing a DK right now and besides they are annoying to level gathering professions on, since you have to go back through all the lowbie zones.
I decided to play a shaman, but I am sure there are other chars much more efficient than this for faster leveling. So my leveling is nowhere near optimal, though it has so far been quite enjoyable.

Methods of leveling
I really cannot weigh in on this topic as I never really tried anything but questing. I find that quite enjoyable, so I stick with that. However, I will recommend to run a lot of instances once along the way for the dungeon quests.

Professions for leveling
I will go into detail about professions at max level in another blog, but I would like to touch upon professions while leveling.
There are really only 2 options:
• No professions
• Mining + Herbalism
Do not bother with any other professions while leveling, it is simply not worth the time or money.
Herbalism + Mining yields great XP and on top of that you get mats to sell or stockpile for leveling professions yourself later. If you absolutely need a skinner, then it may be worth leveling that while you level your character, but I would not recommend skinning at all.

However as you level your character you have to pay attention to the level of your gathering skills. It is extremely frustrating coming to Feralas and seeing tons of Blindweed and not being able to harvest them. In order to keep the gathering professions relevant you have to be out in the world a fair bit. Leveling with full heirlooms or a lot in instances, will make it difficult to keep up on the gathering professions. This may result in farming runs to keep them relevant before moving on to the next zone, which in turns hurt the leveling speed.

If you chose this option here is some random advice:
• Ashenvale, Stonetalon, Felwood, Feralas and Ungoro are great zones (Feralas is the best I’ve found)
• Stay away from Tanaris; not surprisingly the desert is almost barren of plant life
• Stay away from 1k needles; too much water and too many cliffs
• Get the cheap on a piece of grey non-binding lvl 2 gloves and keep them in your inventory. is also an option, but these are BoE, Leather and lvl 15 requirement.

Making money along the way
As you level you need to build up a nest egg for easy leveling of professions when your characters grow up.
If you chose to go with Herbalism/Mining, sell everything you get. Ideally in the weekends as people more often power level professions during the weekend than during the week days.
This forum is full of excellent guides, especially the limited supply runs are a great way to make some starting cash. I did not go for these at all, since I rather wanted to spend my limited playtime leveling my character and I felt that my income from herbalism/mining would be sufficient to support power leveling professions.

Once you have a bit of money it is very tempting to start browsing for good deals at AH. I do not recommend it due to a number of reasons:
• With very limited cash you are very vulnerable and each purchase must give a return on investment soon
• You will be window shopping a lot and looking at all the great deals you cannot afford yet so less potential gain from this
• Time spent at AH is time spent not leveling. The 10 hours you spend on AH flipping for 100% mark-up could be spent leveling faster to max level.

I will end each of my blogs with a few screenshots of my current status. This is not very interesting yet, but I hope it eventually will be.

Little AH tips.-blog2-jpg

For my next entry I expect to either touch upon professions or perhaps on setting and managing goals

Updated August 20th, 2012 at 03:06 AM by Nilaus



  1. notam's Avatar
    not be to be smart ass.. but did you not want to post a server name? Now its there for all to see...

    otherwise, good stuff.. i enjoy reading
  2. Nilaus's Avatar
    @notam, you are not being a smartass you are being helpful. Thanks. It is not a big secret, but I prefer a bit of anonymity.
  3. Tangster's Avatar
    Good choice on the shaman, one of my favorite classes!
    Fun read! I've been secretly hoping for awhile now that a WT would decide to start from scratch on a new server so i could read the memoirs.
  4. Mithrildar's Avatar
    Another great blog post

    @Nilaus Y U NEVER ON IRC? :P
  5. Goldmansax's Avatar
    @Nilaus these have been great blog posts. I love reading about people's experiences like this and look forward to new posts! I actually did the exact same thing a few months back before I had any experience in goblineering. It was a very fun and great learning experience. Personally, I'd add a third option for professions while leveling (enchanting/gathering prof). You may lose the xp bonus, but I found it rather profitable and, more importantly, it greatly eased the financial burden of leveling enchanting without substantial backing. Just my $0.02 though. Good luck!
  6. Nilaus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrildar
    Another great blog post

    @Nilaus Y U NEVER ON IRC? :P
    Thanks, I'd love to join, but I don't like playing in windowed mode and I only have 1 PC.
  7. Mithrildar's Avatar

    Windowed (Fullscreen), looks the same but allows you to switch to IRC very easily.
  8. Frogiane's Avatar
    I would disagree with the negative on skinning. Good money maker just like mining plus a little killing things bonus.
  9. Taroniel's Avatar
    One way to earn gold on a new character (happened to me, when I started a char on the opposite faction) is to browse the AH through the default UI and look for moderately expensive items (depends on your budget) with extremely low bids.

    Some people place absolutely low bid amounts (i.e., 1g on a 50g item), so the item is listed at the top of the list, regardless, if they are undercut.

    I've made 700g in 4 auctioning sessions, starting from 20g:
    - I sold a boe mount for 20g, bid all I had on cheap stuff, logged out
    - logged in in 2 days, picked up the stuff from the mail, bid some more from overbid items, put the items up for real prices, logged off
    - and I've done this a few times.

    The ROI of this endeavour is staggering, albeit, there isn't much really expensive stuff with low bid amounts (richer people tend to be smarter, for some reason )

    Since I've gotten 700g this way, I tried to move to Cata greens, but it hasn't been going that well, since the opposing faction is 30% the size of mine.