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Gearing Alts in Patch 7.2

 

I don’t usually pay much attention to patch notes. Just put the content in the game, and I’ll play it if I can. If there’s changes, fine. I’ll deal. I’m a grown-ass man playing a video game. It’s fine.

However, I will admit that Patch 7.2 has had some pleasant surprises for this grown-ass man. It’s taken an expansion and turned it from being very alt-unfriendly to busting out some very forgiving catch-up mechanics for alts.

Captain Fun had just reached 110, and I’d been wondering how long it would take for him to be, well, not so far behind everybody else on my character roster. Luckily for me, Bellular had recently released a video that addressed that very issue. In fact, it’s this video right here!

HERE!

 

It’s a great step by step process in setting an alt up for success in a Patch 7.2 world. For example –

Artifact Knowledge

  • Get the compendium from main that boosts alt to AK 20.
  • Do five quests that the AK guy will have for you @ 500 resources a pop, and voila AK 25!
  • Do not do any Artifact Power quests yet, tiger!
  • Now go ye forth and do the Broken Shore scenario. Follow the breadcrumb quests. Khadgar will have a quest to use a tome in three different locations. Continue on the quests until they send you back to your Order Hall. Hand in your quest and be rewarded with a tome that will bump you up to Artifact Knowledge 26 (100k% bonus to AP, as opposed to the 25k% at AP 25).

Gearing Up

  • Either pick up the crafted gear (which now starts off at an iLevel of 835 rather than 815)  or run some Normal/Heroic dungeons.
  • Run through the Broken Shore, kill rares & farm Sentinax and get some Dauntless tokens.
  • Khadgar will give you a quest for the new dungeon, Cathedral of Eternal Night, which rewards a nice relic.
  • World Quest gear scales from your current iLevel, and should reward gear at around 855-865.
  • World Quest Dungeons rewards 865 gear.
  • Nighthold LFR should fill in any slots that are lacking.

 

Artifact Power

  • Three Emissary caches and dungeons should be enough to get your Artifact weapon to Rank 35.

 

And did it work? Well, Captain Fun went from an iLevel of around 780, to running Heroic dungeons (iLevel 825 needed) with his Artifact weapon at Rank 34. Total run time, maybe four hours.

Well played, Blizz. Well played.

The Fun Guy?

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So it looks like I’m starting over.

Again.

Kinda.

When you have a couple dozen leveling misfit alts, several of which are the same class,  everybody tends to blur together. You know, like that one toon had that one thing that you thought was cool, but got lost in the shuffle after leveling another three characters of the same class. That old song and dance, knowwhatImean?

I happened to be bouncing between servers, looking for something on someone, when I came across a Death Knight that I had leveled to 100. For some reason, despite leveling a number of Death Knights, this particular one I associated with fun. He had a PVP tabard that I liked, and had repped up with a few MoP factions that got him close to unlocking some sweet mounts and such. He was fun to play.

Fun. I like fun.

That’s when the broken pieces of my thought process started churning like spaghetti in a blender. There were aspects of Legion that I enjoyed. Why not enjoy them once again on my Fun Guy. That’s like fun with a side order of fun! I mean, what’s the point of playing if you’re not having fun, right?

Step one was getting his professions sorted out. I started this process pre-7.2, and looking back I might not have made the changes I did. I dropped Blacksmithing and Enchanting, both capped at 700, and picked up Jewelcrafting and Skinning. I had some time and some spare change, so getting both to 700 did not take much effort at all.

The Skinning I did here:

 

The Jewelcrafting happened thusly:

 

The question, of course, is why those two professions?

Jewelcrafting has gold-making potential. From what I’ve read, reaching 800 skill level is no longer an expensive nightmare grind in the Patch 7.2 world. Granted, this is also going to cut down on potential profits. But since I also ground out the Cloud Serpent rep and got the recipes for all of the Jeweled Panther mounts, there’s still gold-potential to be had. Also, I haven’t done the Jewelcrafting questline yet so it’s a slightly new way to level. Anything is better than the usual grind.

Skinning? Yeah, on the surface it doesn’t seem like a very logical fit. Skinning and Jewelcrafting seems to go together like Peanut Butter and Sardines (don’t judge). But the draw from Skinning isn’t the skins. It’s the Blood of Sargeras. Skinning can pile up the most Blood if you happen to be leveling with the Blood enchant on your shoulders. More Bloods, more chance to make gold in one fashion or another.

My Death Knight was at Revered with the Shado-Pan. I probably won’t get flying for another few months, so I’ll take a few days to get Exalted and unlock their Big Cat mounts. I also hear a rumor that there’s also another flying mount that shows up at Exalted.

So much win! So much fun!

Next: My failed 300k gold investment.

The Alt Game

The handsome bastard above would be my human monk, also known as the newest member of the “Ding 110” club. Lucky number seven!

Lately, I’ve developed a routine when it comes to fresh 110 toons. They get sent a care package of one Scroll of Insta-Rank 20 Artifact Power buff, and go through World Quests while they finish off their Order Hall questline. I try to get them geared to the point where I could use them for a Heroic dungeon, LFR, or even maybe a Mystic dungeon run should I feel so inclined. I’ve done this with one Death Knight, two Demon Hunters, and now the Monk is getting “The Treatment”.

I’m not sure exactly why I’m doing this, to be honest. Maybe it’s just the completionist in me. I do enjoy using the Monk. Even with sub-800 gear, he’s tearing up the DPS charts. And the mobility is pretty sweet too. He might not have the dash or double jump or gliding of a Demon Hunter, but back to back Cyclones and a Flying Dragon Kick really gets him hustling across a map.  He’s also got a Skinning / Leatherworking profession tandem, which has been a nice way to get Obliterum powder. The boy’s earning his keep.

I struggle to call him an alt. It’s like when I was playing the Demon Hunter. There are things about the class and character, that really appeal to me. Running my last couple of LFR raids with my DH, I felt like I was clipping some of my DPS due to Fel Rush putting him just a bit out of position. The Monk has a little less mobility than the Demon Hunter, but he can sit in the pocket without gimping his DPS.

I’ve got three other characters – two Warriors and a Hunter – who dinged 110 and were put in their garrison to pick flowers and make Hexweave bags. They so far have not tugged on my heart strings, but they are filling my bank with gold. I have no problem giving those characters the “alt” tag. My gold bank appreciates their efforts.

I’m not sure what the plan is once my Monk finishes his Order Hall questline. I only plan to go as far as to get him his class title and third relic slot. So once he gets to that point, and is sitting at a respectable iLevel spot, he might move back into his garrison. Maybe I’ll work on advancing some professions. I have an Orc Hunter that I have to level at some point – he’s literally my bae, the first character I created when I started playing WoW during Burning Crusade.
Do you have many characters at 110? If you do, are you using them all or are some of them just gathering dust? Are they alts, or just “multiple mains?”

Best Leveling Addon

ding110

I’m going to say three things that some people might find *gasp* controversial. Game-wise, at least.

  1. Warlords of Draenor was one of my favorite expansions.
  2. I hate Mists of Pandaria. Not hated, hate. Like, still do.
  3. I use leveling addons, and will damn well pay for a one if it’s good enough.
head_explode

Mind. Blow. Right?

 

“ROKK!” shouted the masses (if three voices could, in fact, be considered masses).  “EXPLAIN THYSELF!”

Sure thing, brumblefarts (Wait, what? — Editor). It’s pretty simple.

  1. WoD made me an in-game millionaire with only five to ten minutes of “work” per day. Had I started sooner, that would have been multi-millionaire and I’d be pimping around on that million-gold spider mount today.
  2. Leveling in MoP was so boring, so time-consuming, so loooooooooong, that I actually walked away from WoW for an entire year. Doing more than a handful of quests gave me a headache born of frustration. No expansion, no video game in my entire life, gave me that kind of negative physical reaction.
  3. I hate wasting my time.

Now I should have prefaced this entire thing by saying I don’t care about WoW Lore. I’m barely interested in reading quest storylines, but I will most likely not remember them. I will read only the quest text that says “Choose your reward.”

What’s this? I’m being handed a note here from the Hurt Feelings Department… *sigh* (Do I really need to say this? I shouldn’t have to spell out… Okay, fine. FINE. Fine.)

I understand that many people who play World of Warcraft enjoy the rich story, the expansive lore, and the clever quest text. I am by no means marginalizing how they choose to play, nor implying that how I choose to play is better or worse than how others choose to play.

(Well said.)

You do you, snowflake, is what I’m saying here.

(*sigh* So close.)

I’m generally not the “Log into WoW and look at the flowers” kind of guy. I’m not a tourist, much as I might want to be. I’m a DO WERK kind of guy, and I want to do it in the most optimum way possible. I don’t like wasting time, and running around trying to find the best way to get up a cliff to cut some goblin’s ear off is wasting time.

It’s an unspoken truth that “the game starts at level cap” (quoted because people say this, so I guess it’s not really that unspoken). To its credit, Legion has been quite enjoyable to level through (due to mob scaling and the various side quests of Class and Order Hall missions). But after running through every zone about three times now on six different characters, I just want to get through it as fast as possible.  

Like I said, I enjoy using leveling addons. For Legion, I’ve actually bounced between two of them. One of them, Zygor’s Leveling Addon, I paid for because I wanted to get my Alliance characters leveled quickly. However, this was before people started talking about Conslegion. Since then, I’ve used it to level some Alliance, and all one of my Horde.

Truth be told, I enjoy both addons. They take me through different routes, so things stay somewhat fresh as I beat the content to death over and over. But each addon has its charm.

What do I like about the Zygor addon?

  • It’s very thorough. Step by step guidance, with a custom TomTom arrow to make sure you don’t get lost. It explains what to do for certain steps of a quest. For Legion content, it even has guides for Suramar and Class/Order Hall questlines.
  • The guides are available for all expansions, not just Legion.
  • It’s more than just a leveling addon. It has guides for rep grind, making gold, holiday events, pets and mounts.
  • Constantly being updated.

While it sounds like the cat’s pyjamas, there are a couple of things about it that really tweaks my trousers.

  • It’s a paid guide, and you pay for everything. You can either pay a one-time fee for each individual guide (Legion Horde and Legion Alliance are separate guides, despite essentially being the same damn thing). Or, you can become a monthly subscriber which gives you access to everything, past and future, for $8/month.
  • It’s a system processing beast. When I load Zygor, it chugs up 175MB of processing juice because the game loads everything in one shot. I’ve had my system hang up and crash occasionally during loading or big fights. I can’t say 100% that it’s because of the addon, but it seems to be a common issue shared by many who use it. Definitely frustrating when you just want to finish a quest, but you keep crashing to desktop.  

And then there’s the Conslegion addon. Hey, if it’s good enough for World First players, it’s damn sure good enough for me. What is it about Conslegion that floats my boat?

  • The price is right – Free. Nothing wrong with free.
  • Like Zygor, Conslegion guides you through the zone questlines quickly. It sticks mainly to zone storylines, avoiding side quests. Very streamlined, as you would expect from an addon designed for World First leveling.
  • It’s a very processor-lite addon. Bare bones, covers quests for a handful of zones.

Fills the bill, so to speak. So what’s not to like?

  • It’s only good for Legion leveling zones. It won’t help you get through Suramar, Order Halls, or any other expansion outside of Legion.
  • Now that the expansion is months old, Conslegion isn’t updated as often as other leveling addons. It still occasional bugs on certain steps, and since World First has come and gone, cleaning up those bugs isn’t exactly a priority.

So which is better? Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either one. Conslegion will get you to 110 just as fast as Zygor will. But Zygor will get you through the entire Suramar questline, as well as the Class and Order Hall questline. Plus, if you have alts that you want to level up to 100, Zygor can help you with that as well. You’ll have to pay RL $ for it, but it’ll do the job. Assuming you don’t get disconnected.

Of course, you can choose not to use anything and level up the old fashioned way. Tab out and check Wowhead when you have questions. Follow the in-game map. Whatever works for you.

Level Headed

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There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

That’s a figure of speech and not an open admission of sadism. I feel like I need to clarify that sort of thing because this is the Internet after all and some of you are pretty twisted.

Not me, though. Nope. Right as rain here.

Of course, that gets called into question when I decide to level another alt to 110. To be fair, it didn’t start off that way. At first, it was just an experiment to see how much gold I could make on a new server. I had a boosted toon on a Horde server, but rather than level up yet another DK I decided that my farming toon would be a Demon Hunter. No twinking, no locking his level. Just run my farming route and let nature take its course.

Now my DH is 110 with an iLevel of 822. It’s been fun, so I’ll probably finish off his Class quest, get him his Slayer title, and then call the experiment complete. I have to admit, I actually enjoyed leveling this time around. Probably because I didn’t do it the way I did over the past four toons. I learned a few things, and if I level another character I may do this again.

What did I do? What did I not do?

  • I didn’t follow the zone storylines. Been there, done that four times already. Wasn’t excited to do it for a fifth. Not entirely, anyway. My priority with my DH was as a farming character, and that’s what I did. Grinding mobs. Picking flowers. I focused on that, and every quest that did not involve doing something involving the lore/zone storylines. I did the Profession quests. Order Halls.  Class quests. I snagged his other artifact weapon just for the XP.  
  • Zone storyline quests fill in the gaps. Two things suffer when you level outside the main quest lines – your artifact power and your gear. I got a little bit of each from completing the occasional random dungeon, but it wasn’t until I started doing the zone storylines that I started getting some meat on those bare bones. Mind you, I was already 108 when I started pushing zone content for the fifth time. But even those two zones that I did run were enough to get me a respectable iLevel by the time I reached 110.
  • PVP paid off. I’d queue up for dungeons while I was leveling, but it wasn’t until level 108 before I even considered dipping my toe into queueing for random BG’s. I could select two that would not be up for random selection, and the wait time was shorter than dungeons. I was surprised by how much XP I was being awarded for winning. I didn’t pull exact numbers, which could be reason enough for me to lean this way if I level another character. The gift box at the end of the BG also had the potential to provide artifact power, gear, or gold. If and when I level up another character, I may start this a bit sooner and take note of the spoils of victory.

Like I said, I’m still working on Captain Demon Hunter. He’s not quite finished his class quest. But while he may not be a Slayer yet, he was killing the content in his own way. Get it? Slayer? Killing the content?

JOKES, people.
Also, Happy Holidays.