• Realm First 85 - Part 3

    We’ll kick things off by clearing up some rumors or important questions left unanswered in Part 1 & 2. First, it looks like rested XP will be wiped on release (thanks Calianna for this);

    “Just in case anyone was thinking about stopping an alt just short of 80 for rested XP…”
    From Valnoth
    Rested experience will be reset at launch. You will start at 0 rested.
    Lead World Designer

    In part 2, some readers had pointed out that daily quests may no longer provide XP once Cataclysm hits. Blizzard recently smashed this rumor in an interview with BestBuy:

    “Will you allow players to fill their quest log with say, 25 dailies, and then turn them in right after Midnight on December 7th to get a quick boost towards 85? This is how it worked in the beta, but some players are confused on whether it will work on Live. Thanks!”
    Regarding 25 daily quests to turn in when the expansion goes live, this is something players have been able to do for the last 2 expansions and we aren't talking about changing it now.

    Remember, launch is actually on Monday, at the stroke of midnight, so make sure to book Tuesday off! Launch will occur simultaneously across the US at 12am Pacific, or 3am Eastern. Don’t get your time zones mixed up!

    “Wondering exactly what time you’ll be able to begin playing your goblin or worgen or making your way to level 85? On all North American realms, World of Warcraft players who upgrade to Cataclysm will be able to begin experiencing the new content at 12 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) on December 7, whether they purchase the digital download through or buy a physical retail boxed version in stores. Players will not be able to access Cataclysm expansion content prior to 12 a.m. PST, regardless of how they upgrade or what time zone they’re located in.”

    Furthermore, it was brought to my attention that grinding instances might be the fastest way to 85. There were reports that instances were granting 600k XP per run (15-20 minute runs), which would be far more efficient than questing. Dungeon XP has since been nerfed, and apparently (this is all hearsay) dungeon grinding is still slightly faster. I haven't done any dungeons myself, but let me tell you this: if you want to rely on 4 other people to be simultaneously available and dependable for 20+ hours, be my guest. In dungeons, you're only as fast as your slowest member, and wipes will cause serious setbacks (hint: you will wipe). Besides, I haven't seen any conclusive evidence that dungeons are faster, only some skewed math in the general forums.

    Hope that clears a few things up!

    With the shattering occurring on the 22nd, it became evident to me that beta testing could very well end on this day, leaving me with only a few days to re-run 80-85. My results the second time were MUCH better, there was no exploring, note-taking, or wasted time associated to looking up quests and running in circles. Now, it looks like I really need to re-think my schedule – as I might be able to complete this in 1 sitting without even resorting to caffeine. If everything goes to plan, I think 80-85 in well under 20 hours is achievable (a longshot from 38 hours, isn’t it).

    Moving forward, I’m amazed by the simplicity of Cataclysm’s new quests. In WotLK, having beta experience was a huge advantage for anyone racing to realm first, but not so much in Cataclysm. Looks like Blizzard is going through a questing philosophy change and leaving behind the old pain in the arse quest design. Maybe they finally get that we hate vehicle quests. That’s right – you aren’t required to complete annoying quests (a la Dragonblight) from 80 to 85. The entire process is a point, kill, run and fetch, save a few quests that I will guide you through. In essence, a beta invite isn’t required anymore for realm first 85 (but is still an advantage), so long as you know how to complete the few annoying quests, you’re more-less ready.

    You might want to print off the following quest notes and have them sit on your desk if you’re attempting realm first.


    This zone features some vertically staggered areas, so it can be a pain finding the next objective, depending where you’re standing. If you find yourself directly on top of an objective, and cannot locate it, try flying up to a ledge above (there is also a ship flying around like the Skybreaker and Ogrim's Hammer).

    To get to Deepholm, follow the breadcrumb quest and take the portal located in north-east Stormwind (horde likely have a very similar procedure). You’ll be tasked with saving the world or whatever, and you must rebuild the “world pillar” as it has been sabotaged by a bunch of bad guys. As you can tell, I’m not really big into lore, but you still get quest tips for this zone:

    • [quest lang=cata]Quicksilver Submersion[/quest]: You must first loot the crate, use it out of range of the ogres and sneak up while under water.
    • [quest lang=cata]Sealing the Way[/quest]: you must kill all surrounding mobs and use the quest item on the NPC once he is out of combat.
    • [quest lang=cata]Sprout No More[/quest]: Simply right click a nearby golem to "obtain a war golem".
    • [quest lang=cata]Rescue the Stonefather... And Flint[/quest]: The NPC you must free is on the SECOND level of the zone. Fly up to the ledge overhead!
    • [quest lang=cata]Fungal Fury[/quest]: stand against a rock - some of the mushrooms knock you back FAR away.


    What can I say – this zone looks amazing. Uldum is easily the most beautiful zone in the game… not to mention it features the return of Harrison Jones! Uldum is similar to Zul’Drak, in that you’re sent around to “check in” with various NPC and tasked with completing errands for them.

    Questing here isn’t linear, and bread-crumb quests often branch off, but I found the leveling experience in Uldum quite smooth anyway. You’ll have a blast questing here – it’s quite a shame that so many of us will be blaze through the zone without first exploring it. Getting to Uldum is a matter of flying to Tanaris, so you need to be prepared in this respect. There is no portal from Stormwind – you need to travel the long way. Engineers can port directly to Gadgetzan, and if you have a means to get to Dalaran, there should still be a port to Caverns of Time allowing you to reach Tanaris quickly.

    • [quest lang=cata]The High Priest's Vote[/quest]: High Priest Amet is INSIDE the dam, you must go to the end of the dam itself and follow the steps down.
    • [quest lang=cata]Salhet the Tactician[/quest]: No need to save your abilities here, just mash them as they come up to finish the quest faster.
    • [quest lang=cata]The Pit of Scales[/quest]: you must make the elite mob run over the purple eggs to buy yourself time (heal up and or kite).
    • Also remember, when you go to Khartut's tomb, make sure to slay a hyena, as it triggers a quest (same for the scarabs inside the tomb). [quest lang=cata]Do the World a Favor[/quest] / [quest lang=cata]Just a Fancy Cockroach[/quest]

    Twilight Highlands

    Unfortunately Blizzard ended the beta JUST before I was about to go through my final pass here. I’m going mostly from memory, so no guarantees about these quests. I’d appreciate anyone chipping in here, as I’m afraid this list may be incomplete;

    • [quest lang=cata]Devoured[/quest]: You're supposed to die on this one!
    • [quest lang=cata]Distract Them for Me[/quest]: Bugged as of early November - but can still be completed. You'll need to solo the mobs by yourself, since the NPC has not yet been scripted to help you as intended.
    • [quest lang=cata]Finding Beak[/quest]: I had to walk around extensively to trigger the eastern Dunwald objective.
    • [quest lang=cata]If The Key Fits[/quest]: Drop this quest if you aren't given 4 NPC to assist you. I've seen this bug a 1/3 times.


    As you probably know, much has changed since Part 1. I will be re-writing all three parts and posting a fully reviewed guide for your perusal (perhaps partially in a FAQ format). We’ll examine final adjusted logistics, scheduling and preparations in light of these developments. Hopefully this will provide a more definite and less fragmented picture of what needs to be done if you're gunning for realm first 85.

    And that's it for today! Sterling beaming out!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Realm First 85 - Part 3 started by Sterling View original post
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. Envý's Avatar
      Envý -
      Just one thing..
      Launch will occur simultaneously across the world at 12am Pacific, or 3am Eastern
      well, it's not across the world, only across US realms. EU will start at 12am CET that's quite a few hours earlier

      Beta closed before I finished Twilight Highlands. Kinda sucks, since I haven't read all quests yet and just going to rush through without really experiencing them. Guess I have to level another char soon :/
    1. Sterling's Avatar
      Sterling -
      Quote Originally Posted by Envý View Post
      Just one thing..
      well, it's not across the world, only across US realms. EU will start at 12am CET that's quite a few hours earlier

      Beta closed before I finished Twilight Highlands. Kinda sucks, since I haven't read all quests yet and just going to rush through without really experiencing them. Guess I have to level another char soon :/
      Right, who could forget all the QQ we saw in WotLK due to certain regions having an unfair advantage. Fixed.
    1. Aeg's Avatar
      Aeg -
      From MMO-Champion Home page, an interview with Thomas Chilton.

      The experience changes for 71-80, are those the only you've made recently?
      TC: No, we actually did increase the experience required for 84-85 from what it was at in beta. That one was a little bit too short. Other than that, yeah everything else is staying the same. At least for now.
    1. Zerohour's Avatar
      Zerohour -
      So 2AM my time the new content is available. I was intending to hit Wallyworld early (like 10pm) to get the Collector's Edition, install it, and maybe see a little content and hit the sack. Guess I'll have to see the stuff the next evening.

      Thanks for the pointers Sterling, I was thinking of dungeon crawling the first level prior to starting the quest grind. In reality I think that would be a bad idea because I would more than likely spend the evening wiping with idiots.
    1. Ayo's Avatar
      Ayo -
      I was wondering how geared you need to be to reasonably get started. Some of my toons are very well geared with mostly 264 gear and I have 2 new toons that are still in quest greens and a few blues. Should I gear my soon to be 80 toons up a bit more or will I be ok trying to quest in 174-200 gear?

      My apologies if this has been covered but I don't remember reading about this yet.

      Thanks! The three guides have been so helpful
    1. calianna's Avatar
      calianna -
      I think that you should try to gear up a bit but I wouldn't kill yourself doing it. From what I've heard and seen from Beta, most gear will be replaced by the time you finish the first couple zones. So, you can replace ICC gear or you can replace quest greens/blues. The main difference will be how quickly you get through those first couple zones.

      If you are planning on starting with those poorly geared alts, I would gear them up a little more to make it easier. If you are leveling a better geared character, I wouldn't bother doing anything with the alts because you'll be able to equip them in the new crafted gear before you start leveling them.

      For me, my warrior is my best geared, my main and the first I will level. I'm not bothering improving gear on other toons right now.
    1. Ayo's Avatar
      Ayo -
      thanks calianna ...

      My plan right now is to level my well geared boomkin main (herber/skinner) with my dk (miner/bs) in a semi dual boxing setup. I figured it would be nice to have 2 gatherer's grabbing up the new mats early in the expansion to maximize profits and feed my other toons.

      Then I was thinking about which team to go next and was considering my well geared pally (inscription/jc) which I would probably bring along my new level 79 mage (tailor/herber). Of course I need to get my enchanter/engineer in there and my leatherworker/alchemists.

      I have so many alts this is going to take a while but a big part of my planning is figuring out the most efficient leveling strategy to get my professions up and running.
    1. Anmid's Avatar
      Anmid -
      Hi, Sterling!

      Thanks for the guide! I have one question - along the path you leveled, are there any group quests/bosses that we will need to have assistance in getting past? If there are, are these quests essential or can they be bypassed without the rest of the zone/quest hub becoming gated?

    1. Peinbringer's Avatar
      Peinbringer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Envý View Post
      Just one thing..
      well, it's not across the world, only across US realms. EU will start at 12am CET that's quite a few hours earlier

      Beta closed before I finished Twilight Highlands. Kinda sucks, since I haven't read all quests yet and just going to rush through without really experiencing them. Guess I have to level another char soon :/
      Is there any source for this? All I heard about this was that we EU would start at 9am GMT+1 ?