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MultiBear's Ramblings

Levelling Through Boosting in World of Warcraft

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*takes a deep breath*

This is by no means a comprehensive guide, but I thought I'd share some of my own habits and experiences when it comes to boosting characters in World of Warcraft. In recent months I've used the Recruit-A-Friend program to level up a large number of new characters across five accounts, mostly through dungeon boosting.

While any class can boost with varying results, my personal favourite is by far the Frost Death Knight. Howling Blast allows me to take out most packs at range before they even notice there are lowbies on /follow behind me. On the rare occasions that I'm waiting for a Frost or Death rune to come off cool-down for Howling Blast, I pop Unholy Blight (talent) so anything that gets close gets infected and will attack my Death Knight (or immediately drop dead from that, depending on the level of the instance).

I've also had good experiences with Windwalker Monks, where I mostly spam Spinning Crane Kick. While that does increase the chances for the lowbies to be spotted, most mobs immediately get hit by me, and very rarely get to tickle a lowbie. Either way, the lowbies are almost always on follow.

For boosting from 85-90 I mostly use a hunter, but that has more to do with the fact my main is one and I'm addicted to the combination of my Misdirect-to-pet macro followed by Barrages. Oh, the carnage... *dreamy sigh*

Dungeon Objectives
Anyway! The biggest change in recent times is that all dungeons now have scenario-like objectives. Complete those and you get a chunk of extra xp at the end, and I tend to grab any bonus objectives along the way as well. It adds up very fast, particularly when you've got the Recruit-A-Friend deal going. Blackrock Depths and Stratholme come to mind as being absolutely loaded with bonus objectives, meaning you won't have to spend as much time in those level ranges anymore.

The dungeon completion xp also means that you can park characters at the start of an instance and just complete it with the booster. I think I've only done that for the Stockade, the Ramparts and the Lost City of the Tol'vir myself. For anything else I dragged my lowbies along to ensure they'd get all the xp from mob kills as well. Unless it was blatantly obvious that simply taking out the objectives for the dungeon completion bonus was the quickest way to go, I didn't bother testing and timing it, as it all went incredibly fast anyhow.

The Teleportation Trick
Something to keep in mind that can help you save time is that when a character drops group inside a dungeon, they'll get teleported outside of the instance in about a minute's time. So, to quickly get out of some dungeons that are a long run back, you can have your booster and one lowbie drop group (make another lowbie party leader first). That'll teleport them outside, and then you can group up again and use the summoning stone in front of the dungeon to get everyone else out before resetting and heading back in. Invite, Accept and Leave Party macros all speed this up greatly, of course.

I wouldn't recommend this at the Scarlet Monastery though, as the summoning stone is a considerable distance from the dungeon entrances, and there's mobs outside that may want a stern word with your lowbies. If you're certain your lowbies will be safe outside, you can also have them just summon your main out instead.

I make a habit of turning off auto-loot on my characters, and having my main loot any cloth, greens and patterns from the lower level instances. I leave the rest as it's not worth vendoring, but the rest can be nice to stockpile, disenchant, auction or save for transmogs, depending on your fancies.

The reason I disable auto-loot on the lowbies as well, is to make it less messy to pick up quest items when needed. I have to do so manually then of course, but I can just pick the items I need and won't end up with all that junk in their bags. For me, that's a plus. As is having a Findle's Loot-a-rang on all my characters. With that, looting becomes a breeze. No need to select targets, and no need to hit that IWT (Interact With Target) key.

Picking Destinations
With Horde characters, I started boosting them by taking them into Shadowfang Keep at level 11. With Alliance characters, I started with The Stockade at level 15. In most cases, I took my characters into the highest level dungeons they could enter, with a few exceptions. If the quests of the current dungeon just became available, I'd likely do another run to grab that xp as well. I also postponed moving on if my characters got to a certain level where, with one or two extra runs of the current dungeon, I could skip the next dungeon completely and head on to a higher level one still - saving on travel time.

Another thing I've done is compiled a list of all the dungeons, along with what level characters are able to enter them, and what level the quests will become available. Such lists have always been a big help to me when it comes to making quick and informed decisions about what level to aim for before moving on, and where to head to next. I've gathered this information from all the various dungeon pages on Wowhead, although I've made adjustments where I knew the information to be inaccurate.

I'll see about posting the list soon so it can be used as a reference for as long as it's valid.

Boosting from 85 to 90
Although the Recruit-A-Friend bonus currently ends at level 85 still, I tend to boost from 85 to 90 as well by chain-running the Stormstout Brewery. I let my lowbies wait on the ramp before the first boss when I beat the ook out of that ookin' dooker, and then park them against the wall behind the first boss while I complete the rest of the dungeon. That way I don't have to drag them into the area with virmen, and they still get xp from everything else in the dungeon (note that the virmen themselves don't give xp).

A run like that takes about 7 minutes, after which I teleport out like I described earlier, summon everyone out, reset and head back in. Mostly thanks to the dungeon completion xp at the end of each run, that allows me to get four characters from 85 to 90 in just over two hours. I occasionally run Mogu'Shan Palace instead for a change of scenery, which you can enter at 87, but those runs take about 12 minutes or so if I remember correctly - it's been a while. I tend to listen to something like Tek Syndicate episodes on YouTube when I do that, in order to prevent Repetitive Brain Injury. Yes, that's a thing. *twitches*

Being Smart About Granting Levels
Last but definitely not least, if you're interested in levelling multiple teams and would like to save yourself a lot of time, it's a good thing to be smart about granting levels. While it sounds tempting to level two teams to level 85 and then use the 42 granted levels on each of those characters to instantly turn a level 1 into a level 85, there might be smarter ways to go about it. One thing to keep in mind is that a character that has had levels granted to itself, can in turn grant half its levels to yet another character, so with a little bit of math and planning, you can save yourself a lot of work.

Especially so, if you consider that not all levels are equal. When you grant a level to a level 1 character, you've saved yourself about two minutes worth of levelling. When you grant a level to a level 82 character, you've saved yourself a lot more than that. After all, in general the higher a character's level, the longer it takes to progress to the next level. Therefore, you can also optimize how you spend your granted levels. I'll explain further.

For example, if you level and boost your characters to level 43, then granting them 42 levels gets them to 85. That means you've only had to boost from Shadowfang Keep/The Stockade until you hit Stratholme, completely skipping the remaining vanilla dungeons, all of the Burning Crusade dungeons, all of the Wrath dungeons (heresy, I know!) and all of the Cataclysm dungeons. And yet, you've only used up 42 granted levels. Any characters levelled like that, also still have 42 levels to grant themselves, so you can set up a waterfall effect. That saves a lot of time as particularly the low levels just fly by.

Depending on whether or not you enjoy/prefer to quest until you can start with boosting, you can also shift the levels by as much. For example, you could grant 10 levels to a level 1 Horde to get them to level 11 so they can enter Shadowfang Keep, and then boost them to level 53. After that, you grant the remaining 32 levels to get them to 85. The time you'd spend questing to get to level 11 can be offset by the extra time you spend boosting them from 43 to 53. Personally, I've done both simply to mix it up and make it a little less repetitive, and also did things like questing until level 8, then granting levels to 11 or 15 depending on faction. Math is your friend and you can just do what you like best.

Obviously, this works best and easiest if you have set up a closed Recruit-A-Friend chain where all accounts can both give and receive granted levels, but it's by no means a requirement. Blizzard recently gifted me five new accounts and as I didn't want to lose my main account (as it's entirely comprised of collector's editions), that wasn't an option for me. With a little extra math and planning, I was able to drag it out as much as I wanted to receive nearly the same effect - so don't let that discourage you.

Wall of Text! It Burns! It Burns us!
Yes, Gollum, it does. But to wrap up, I hope some of you can benefit from my rambling, whether it's to improve your own levelling experience, or because you suffer from insomnia and needed something to help you doze off. In which case: sleep well!

Happy boxing!

Updated 06-29-2015 at 04:39 AM by MultiBear