Back in Azeroth

Over the weekend I made my brief, time-limited return to the World of Warcraft. As is my usual practice, I started a new character to re-acclimate myself, and went straight for the Tauren starter area, which used to be, in my opinion, the game’s weakest.

My (very) preliminary opinion is – and I’ll doubtless have more to say on this in the coming weeks, as I have plans for a series of articles revisiting the classic starting areas – that it’s much improved. I make no claims to any extreme prowess, but I found the 1-5 run to be highly streamlined but still challenging in the final “boss” fight, in which I did indeed die and had to try a second time. I’m going to go through it again, however, capturing screenshots and video, now that I understand its structure.

Once I get back to my regular account (which I haven’t done yet,) I intend to do a careful accounting of my various characters. I’m almost certain to delete a couple in the high 20s, and I’m even thinking of scrapping the guy who’s been stuck in the mid-60s for the better part of the last two years, as I really don’t see the need to sit on a second Hunter, and I’m more attached to the other one (currently at level 36.)

New character ideas include an Undead Mage and Tauren Warrior. I will likely start up a batch of characters on the backup server that our guild plays on when Kirin Tor is down (Steamwheedle Cartel, for those interested,) so I can work my way (over time) through the new starting zones. I’m not going to restart everybody, after all, and most of the characters I’ve put any serious time into are now well into their 30s at least.

I’m especially interested to see the time involved in getting characters to level 60, as I’m seeing numbers put forth that seem less than credible. Sure, the Cataclysm streamlining is sure to help, but I have serious doubts that what used to take 100-150 hours will now take less than 30. But I’ll be looking to find out.

4 responses to “Back in Azeroth

  1. I started a Tauren Paladin on Friday, and went an did the Silverpine/Hillsbrad zones and after about 5 hours /played I was level 30. Yes, I’m in a guild with the XP Buff, and have all the heirlooms, but that’s still 35% XP Buff which should mean that an un-buffed player should still be able to do it in well under a day (taking into account the reduced stats too)
    My last power-levelling run was with another paladin – pre cata and pre class changes, and still managed 80 in 4 and a bit days /played (I think it was 1.3hrs per level average) I wouldn’t be surprised, post cata, that you could easilly make it to 60 in under a month of casual play (2hrs a day for 30 days is 60 hours, 2.5 days /played, even levelling a crafting prof that should be doable)
    Makes me think that blizzard intended this. Once the new people subscribe after having such a great time levelling to 60, they end up paying, going to outlands and regretting it for another month. only to have Northrend appear just as they’re finishing again.

  2. I started a brand spanky new mage a few days after Cataclysm launched. I have remained guildless throughout, and only got anal about logging in Inns during my last ten levels or so…so i set a ton of bonus XP on fire. In any case, according to my played, it took me 13 days, 22 hours, 17 minutes, and 24 seconds to hit 85.

  3. To contrast, my Dwarf hunter from launch era WoW has 8 days 7 hours played and is only level 51 (unitll this week I literally had not played him since before BC launched). Three of those levels are from this week, I would guess a total of maybe 4 hours played this week.

  4. See, this is what I’m talking about; canazza’s number seems really incredibly fast, while Yeebo’s number to 85 is slower than what it took me to get to 80 in pre-Cataclysm Azeroth and pre-speedleveling Northrend, by about 4 days. I figure 80-85 is going to take some time, but I’m not sure I see how it’s going to take another 80 hour played.

    Then again, that’s my point – I’ll just have to do it myself and see how long it takes me.