World of Warcraft

How to level up faster in WoW Classic

Published: 30/Aug/2019 13:50 Updated: 30/Aug/2019 14:52

by Joe O'Brien

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World of Warcraft Classic launched on August 26 to a massive response from both WoW veterans and newer players who never got the chance to experience the game’s “vanilla”, pre-expansion state.

For many players, part of reliving their early WoW days in Classic will be taking their time with levelling up, enjoying the journey and not worrying too much about racing to the end-game content.

For others, however, the things they’re interested in don’t begin until level 60, and levelling up is simply a chore that must be completed beforehand.

Even though there are only 60 levels in WoW Classic – compared to the 120 of current retail WoW – the process can be much slower, with Blizzard having streamlined levelling several times over the various expansions.

It’s estimated that even the fastest players will take somewhere in the region of 80-100 hours of game time to hit the level cap in WoW Classic, and that’s using every trick in the book and a pre-planned strategy to maximize the rate of experience. For most players, getting to max will take a lot longer.

For those looking to shorten the levelling grind as much as possible, however, here’s a few factors that can influence how long it’s likely to take, and some tricks and tactics for speeding up the process.

Blizzard EntertainmentWoW Classic launched to enormous interest with both players and Twitch viewers.

Choose an easy levelling class

For most players, how quickly they can hit 60 isn’t a major factor in picking their class – you’re going to be spending a lot of time with it no matter what, so you’re better of picking a class you actually enjoy.

That being said, if you’re really set on levelling as fast as possible, or trying to decide between multiple options, there are definitely some classes that will be quicker and easier to level than others.

Generally speaking, the classes that are entirely focused on damage-dealing are likely to be effective simply because they will down enemies more effectively on average. If you’re going to be playing solo a lot Hunters and Warlocks stand out, with pets to offer tanking and other utility, while the AOE damage and crowd control of Mages makes them very effective, especially when paired with a healer.

On the flip side, the likes of a Warrior may be the strongest tank in the game, but with no self-healing abilities you’re going to have a lot of downtime playing solo, while Priests are also going to have a slower time that most classes fighting their way through the thousands of enemies they’ll have to slay on their journey to 60 without the aid of another more damage-focused class.

Activision-BlizzardYour choice of class may effect how quickly you can level up.

Questing vs farming

While completing quests is a large part of what makes the levelling experience varied and interesting, if you’re looking to maximize your experience rates it might be more effective to simply find an area with a lot of enemies and “farm” them, killing as many as possible with as little downtime as you can manage.

The choice between these approaches is influenced quite heavily by the choice of class – Mages excel at killing groups of enemies at once, even without assistance if you use your spells correctly, so farming is a strong option for them. Classes that kill slower and can’t handle as many enemies at once may find farming much less effective.

A decent middle-ground between the two is to focus on quests that themselves require you to kill a large number of enemies – effectively farming with an extra bonus at the end – while disregarding those that will involve a lot of travelling and not a lot of earning XP.

Equally, when you do have to travel to quest objectives, you can earn a little bit of extra experience by killing enemies you come across as you travel – you can disregard things like mana and even use some cooldowns to burst through kills as the opportunity arises. Those extra kills picked up along the way will add up in the long run.

If you want to make questing more efficient, however, this is the method that benefits the most from the use of addons.

Blizzard

Using addons to help

There are a variety of addons designed to make the WoW experience a little easier, and when it comes to questing some can make a significant difference.

One such addon is Azeroth Auto-Pilot, which is designed to be act as a full-blown guide in-game. Not only will Azeroth Auto-Pilot tell you what your next quest or objective should be at every step of the way, it’ll even give you an arrow pointing you in the right direction, allowing you to follow an efficient route without ever stopping to figure out what you should be doing at any given time.

Even if you’re looking to level up a little bit faster, however, not everyone wants to entirely sacrifice the rest of the experience in favor of the maximum possible XP rate at any cost.

Azeroth AutopilotAzeroth Auto-Pilot will lead you through the levelling experience.

If you want to make life a little easier while still staying a bit more engaged in the levelling process, there are some addons that will help cut out some of the time spent simply figuring out where you’re supposed to be, or how to get there.

Questie isn’t a full-blown guide in the way Azeroth Auto-Pilot is, but it does provide some of the conveniences that retail WoW players will be used to, such as markers on the map for available quests, and the objectives you need to complete.

Meanwhile, even the simple convenience of a more detailed map that doesn’t need ‘discovering’ can make life that little bit easier, as offered by the likes of Atlas World Map Classic.

WOWSo many players jumped into WoW Classic that Blizzard have already launched new servers.

Grouping for dungeon runs

If you really want to level up as fast as possible, one of the most effective strategies is to spend almost the entire process in dungeons. This is the approach you’ll see taken by many of the fastest levelers in the world, but it does require a dedicated five-man group, a particular strategy, and the right set of classes.

This tactic sees groups go into the dungeon most appropriate to their level – ideally the one with the highest density of enemies if there are multiple options – and speed-clear it by gathering up as many enemies as possible and then killing them all at once with AOE.

At least one Mage is effectively essential to this strategy, as abilities like Frost Nova, Blizzard, Cone of Cold, and Frost Block are key tools in collecting and slowing large groups that can then be kited while they die to AOE. In addition, the more AOE damage in the group – ideally extra Mages – the better, although it’s worth having one Priest to help prevent deaths that will slow you down.

Blizzard EntertainmentDungeon runs can be lucrative, but it may depend on how easily you can get a group together.

If you have a viable group for this approach, it’s simply a case of clearing the dungeon you’re in as quickly as possible, resetting, and going again, until you need to move to the next dungeon or you’ve gotten bored of power-levelling like this.

While this isn’t likely to be a viable strategy for the majority of players due to the coordination and particular class distribution it requires, it is worth being aware of if you’re playing with a group of friends or guild members and want to burn through some levels as fast as possible.

If you don’t have a full five-man group prepared to commit to this strategy, dungeons might actually be best avoided until you’ve collected multiple quests that need to be completed in a particular instance, as finding a group of players – especially if you don’t already have a tank and healer – and travelling to the dungeon for individual runs isn’t likely to be an efficient use of time otherwise.

World of Warcraft

The best WoW expansions ranked, with Shadowlands

Published: 2/Dec/2020 16:45 Updated: 2/Dec/2020 16:58

by Ava Thompson-Powell

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World of Warcraft has been taking players on amazing adventures to distant lands for 16 years. We’ve taken down Onyxia, accidentally rediscovered Pandaria, defeated the Legion army, and are now peeling back the veil between life and death itself in Shadowlands.

Admittedly there have been some ups and downs with WoW –Warlords of Draenor was panned by fans because it lacked content – but for the most part, these expansions have been consistently good.

However, what is the best WoW expansion, and where does Shadowlands – the latest release – rank?

Here’s our top five.

5. Mists of Pandaria

Halfmoon Hill in WoW's Pandaria
Activision-Blizzard
Halfmoon Hill is where you begin your journey as a budding farmer in Halfmoon Hill.

While not considered the most revolutionary of expansions, Mists of Pandaria still deserves a mention. With an incredible atmosphere and an immersive story, MoP really was something to behold.

The Vale’s daily quests differentiated over time and working towards getting the Cloud Serpent mount through completing Serpent dailies was a rewarding experience.

The Siege of Orgrimmar was too long, though, and that has held it back from being higher up in this ranking. However, the plot itself was incredibly emotive and gripping, with feelings of hatred towards Garrosh brewing as you played through the raid.

Mists of Pandaria also introduced a cool feature that hasn’t been revisited since, which is a shame. The Tillers, ran by Father Yoon in Halfhill, gave players the chance to build their own farm – who didn’t enjoy having a quiet moment at Sunsong Farm?

Growing harvests and reaping the rewards was wonderful, and was the closest thing players have ever had to their own WoW homestead.

4. Shadowlands

Ardenweald showcased in Shadowlands, with beautiful scenery
Activision-Blizzard
Ardenweald is truly a sight to behold in the latest expansion.

Even though it’s early days for Shadowlands, WoW’s latest expansion deserves to be recognized as one of the best. As with Mists of Pandaria, it’s not a revolutionary addition, but it brings players more of what they love.

More importantly, it actively attempts to move on from and rectify many of the long-term issues that Battle for Azeroth had; such as the Heart of Azeroth skill problems, Warfronts, and Island Expeditions. These elements missed the mark, making BfA a grind with little reward for your efforts.

Backpedaling on lots of the features introduced in BfA, or improving upon them, Shadowlands has brought WoW out of its two-year funk. With a focus on player agency, choice, and customization, it’s beginning to feel that we have the freedom to create what we truly want, while covenants and their class-specific skills are a popular addition.

WoW is still a relatively linear experience, so there’s definitely a lot of room to grow, and as time progresses, the expansion can go one of two ways; it will be interesting to see if it moves up or down in our rankings in the coming months and years.

3. Legion

The Shattered Abyss in WoW's Legion Expansion
Activision-Blizzard
Legion saw players explore ancient, otherworldly shattered isles while they battled Sargeras.

By far one of the better expansions of the past six years, Legion took us to the Maelstrom’s Broken Isles. While the theme of an apocalyptic event looming over Azeroth isn’t something that’s particularly fresh, Legion’s content was handled wonderfully well.

With class-halls, fantastic invasions (large, group-instanced events) that were found all over the open-world, and one of the best storytelling campaigns in modern World of Warcraft, Legion deserves to be high on this list.

The class halls felt unique to every player, and really fit in with that class fantasy: Rogues’ class hall was hidden behind a secret bookcase that descended into the Underbelly of Dalaran with dark, damp sewers that evoked a feeling of Skyrim’s Thieves Guild. You were able to wield Legendary weapons that are featured in Warcraft lore; making you truly feel like a powerful hero set on toppling a world-ending threat.

Storylines involved big characters in the WoW universe, including Sargeras’ Burning Legion which previously featured heavily in The Burning Crusade.

The game’s second Hero class, Demon Hunters, was also introduced along with their own storyline to progress through. A class type we hadn’t seen since WotLK, Demon Hunters provided a fantastic DPS and tank-capable class with enormous survivability – ideal for any returning or new player.

2. Wrath of the Lich King

The Frozen Throne in Wrath of the Lich King/Shadowlands
Activision-Blizzard
The Frozen Throne is featured in Lich King and Shadowlands.

WoW’s second expansion is also our second best! In this fantastic follow-on from The Burning Crusade you’re tasked with stopping the titular character wreaking havoc over the world as undead minions advance into the far corners of Azeroth.

Wrath also saw the launch of World of Warcraft’s first ‘Hero Class’, The Death Knight. Starting in Acherus, The Ebon Hold, this unique introductory area is different from any other class experience. Playable as either a tank or DPS, this shieldless, two-handed weapon class has fantastic survivability through auto-healing.

It also holds a special place in fan’s hearts for actively leaning on Warcraft 3’s lore, with Arthas Menethil taking center stage in the plotline as players got the chance to stand up against him. Uldar and Trial of The Crusader are some of the most memorable raids in WoW history, with a general consensus of players fondly remembering these iconic moments.

1. The Burning Crusade

Silvermoon City from The Burning Crusade in WoW, bathed in sunlight
Activision-Blizzard
Now the oldest part of the WoW’s game world, Silvermoon still manages to hold its own.

Taking the number one spot is Blizzard’s first expansion, The Burning Crusade. Released in January 2007, World of Warcraft’s original expansion is the best addition yet.

This isn’t just for nostalgic reasons – yes, memories become more rose-tinted over time, but no WoW fan will forget that amazing feeling the first time they walked through that dark portal into the Hellfire Peninsula.

Introducing arguably the most popular race today in WoW, the Sin’dorei Blood Elves became playable in the Horde alliance for the first time. Along with the alien race of the Draenei for the Alliance, The Burning Crusade really expanded the fantasy and customization with these additions – something that’s still growing today.

As well as new races, it introduced the jewel crafting profession and we also finally received the much-needed flying ability. A whole host of extra features that are still around today made their debut, too, including daily quests, arenas, and the ability to reduce the number of players in a raid.

TBC added the freshest content and changes of all of the expansions to date, and it deserves to be remembered as the best WoW expansion yet.