Ravennus’ Quest Guide for Horde.
I want to begin by mentioning Azuarc’s leveling guide for Alliance, which inspired me to write a Horde counter part. Before reading much further, take a minute to become familiar with Azuarc’s level guide, Act 00: Prelude. Pay particular attention to his nine Efficiency Techniques, which should be considered best practices for leveling a character. Rather than repeat it here, you should hear it from the source.
A level guide should do three things for you:
First, it should get you to level 60, and beyond to level 70, reliably. If you follow it, it should get you there. It should keep you moving. You should always know what to do next. You must never be stuck in town, puzzling over your quest log full of impossible tasks, wondering what zone to visit next as 30 to 45 minutes of your precious game time tick by. You want to log in to your character and hit the ground running.
Second, it should give you challenges appropriate to your level. Nothing slows down xp gain faster than hitting your head repeatedly against a quest or named mob 2 or 3 levels higher than you, dying or retreating to reset. This type of challenge can be rewarding to overcome in a different situation, but the xp you gain will not compare to what you could have earned doing something more level-balanced in the same amount of time. At every level there are fun and significant things to do, stories to learn, named bosses to kill. There should be no reason to overreach to higher levels.
Third, it should show you the game. The World of Wow is vast, the artistry of many areas is stunning, the environment of each area is carefully designed and internally consistent, conveying strikingly different playing experiences between zones. A guide should introduce you to each one of these environments so that at its conclusion, you feel like you’ve experienced a majority of what the non-instanced game has to offer.
This guide is designed from the perspective that one of the most interesting and rewarding parts of leveling your character is the completion of quests. Questing is much more fun than grinding mobs, more entertaining than running the same instance 5 or 6 times in a row. It may not be the quickest way to 70 but it will certainly keep you more engaged with the game, more connected with your character, and by presenting you with unique situations it makes you an all-around better player. From the sages at Blizzard, “It is best to spend the majority of your time focusing on quests if you want to level up.” By concentrating on completing quests, this guide should fulfill the three requirements listed above.
To balance the three responsibilities of a guide, there are three facts about zones that we have to face as we are planning our path through the first sixty levels.
1. The first is that there just isn’t enough purple experience in a single zone to easily push a character through the ten levels it spans. Luckily, there is more than one zone for most level ranges. If the guide is going to reliably move a character to 60 without instances or hard-core grinding we will have to move between the zones.
2. The second is that when you first arrive in a new zone, two thirds of the quests are not useful for gaining xp. Usually they are too high for your current level, or they are group quests that the solo adventurer just can’t handle. Attempting these quests just leads to frustration and wasted time. A better use of our time is to finish the quests we are ready for and then move on to other areas, seeking challenges appropriate to our level.
3. There is a third fact that needs to be dropped into the discussion, as well. Unlike xp rewards for killing mobs, the color of the quest you turn in has no effect on the amount of xp that you receive for completing it, as long as it is not gray. Let me quote Blizzard’s website ( http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/basics/questbasics.html ) “You get full experience for everything but gray quests. Gray means that you'll get less experience for every level that the quest has been gray.” Because of this, there is no xp benefit from attempting quests that are orange or red. They will give the same xp as when they are green. The difference is that when they are green, you will be completing them two to three times as quickly. Since this guide generates a lot of xp from quest rewards, this piece of information is important to us.
There is also another reason for level-matching quests. If you are on top of the level range for a zone, you can solo quests that you would have to walk away from if you were a lower level. We get only a few shots at a given area before we say goodbye to it and move on. If you are level-matched when we meet Besseleth, the elite giant spider in Stonetalon, you get to face her and earn a bunch of additional xp. If you went to Stonetalon too early, you might not be able to handle Bessy, and you’ll just have to let her go. You’re probably not going to want to fly back from Ashenvale just to do one spider-fight. Break the cycle; prepare with patience.
How to use this guide
Each book in the guide is divided up into three chapters, representing a separate zone, or area within the zone. Each chapter contains several expeditions, or self-contained trips away from a town to complete a number of quests that target the same general area. The end of an expedition represents a natural stopping point where you return to a town and complete all the housekeeping that must be done. I suggest that you read through an entire expedition to get the objectives firmly in mind, instead of referring to it sentence by sentence.
A lot of the value of organizing the quests into expeditions is to minimize the down time getting back and forth. If you have to log off in the middle of an expedition, or find that your bags are full halfway through forcing you to return to an inn or vender prematurely, you’ll notice that the efficiency of each trip will be affected.
Try to avoid that by keeping up with your housekeeping at every opportunity. Between expeditions, repair everything, replace all your ammo, bandages, and drinks, and empty your bags completely into a mailbox or a vendor. You will rarely be near a bank, unless you make a special trip, but mail boxes are usually available. I have two alts: one I mail things to that I will need in the future; the other stands by the auction house selling cloth or anything of value that I can’t use, and sends back to my main AH purchases like bigger bags. Carry the biggest bags you can afford and your income will increase as a result, particularly if you have a gathering profession.
The guide will generally tell you where to pick up quests, and when to turn them in, and it will list the level of the quest when it is first mentioned. The job of the guide is to direct you to quests that you are ready for. I actually think it is a bad idea to roll into a new town and accept every quest you see. In fact, I do not recommend that you complete every quest that’s available to you. This guide is intended for the Warcraft soloist and a few quests are too annoying or too time consuming to interrupt our xp gathering rhythm. Many of them will be too high for your current level, tempting you to waste time and risk dying on foolhardy missions. Others will be group or instance quests that aren’t useful to our solo leveling. Escort quests fall into this category, as well. Feel free to join groups to complete these quests, if groups are available, but don’t spend too much time looking. There’s plenty of other experience out there from interesting solo work.
On the other hand, the guide will not give you every mouse twitch and button click. Whenever you leave the road, you must assume that you will be wading through a field of angry red mobs, even if the guide doesn’t explicitly state this.
Coordinates can be extremely helpful in the right situation. I will not give coordinates for every quest, but when I can save an entire paragraph of directions by just giving two numbers, that precision can be helpful to the quester.
Of the many mods and add-ons that are out there, having one that gives you coordinates is probably the most useful for questing. This is not because I occasionally use them, but because when the guide is confusing and you are completely stuck, helpful players in the game and most of the internet resources such as Allakhazam will offer you coordinates to help unstick you. MetaMap is a heavy addon that will do this and other things. TomTom is a very light mod that does simply this. Several other alternatives exist. For many, addons are a dark path, and coordinates are the gateway drug. Please mod responsibly.
For characters lower than level 40, a gathering skill is a valuable source of income. If you want to take a gathering profession, take it early so that it will level with your character. Nothing is more frustrating than being surrounded by beautiful veins, beasts, or herbs that you can’t gather because your skill is too low. Since you can’t gather them, your skill will never increase until you return to an area where all the mobs are gray and you run in circles picking 50 more mageroyal. That will definitely slow down your XP gains.
With all the questing that we’re doing, you will run across plenty of nodes to support the gathering skills and training runs won’t be necessary if you keep node tracking turned on.
The first book of the guide starts at level 14 in the Barrens on Kalimdor. For Orc, Troll, and Tauren characters, this makes the most sense. The Barrens is a good choice for Blood Elf and Undead characters too, although later in their lives.
The main benefit of the Barrens is the sheer volume of quests that are available, all within easy reach. With the well-placed flightpaths, four or five more peripheral areas open up plenty of leveling opportunities. This guide relies on moving around, seeking the sweet spot where character and quest level match perfectly. The Barrens gives us lots of options to fine tune that match. From a visual perspective, this area is easy to quest in. Colors are bright, sightlines are long, spaces are wide open. You can see where you are going and who is sneaking up on you. You aren’t constantly fighting through the clutter of vegetation, or the gray on gray color-schemes of the Undead lands.
We don’t remain exclusively in the Barrens. We will be visiting the lands of the Forsaken regularly and picking up the quests there. A better alternative for Undead, if it’s available, is to take the portal to the Blood Elf area. Eversong Woods and Ghostlands are some of the best designed and most visually appealing zones that Blizzard has created. No doubt learning from all the feedback they have received from the older areas, the expansion designers have gone to extra lengths to pack the area full of interesting assignments, free flowing xp, and the quest rewards are very generous. My recommendation is for Blood Elves and Undead to quest in Ghostlands until level 20 and enjoy the ride. Then join the rest of the Horde in Kalimdor.
If you don’t have the expansion, I suggest the Undead take that zeppelin ride to Durotar a little sooner.
While it’s true that a few quests in the Barrens begin at 12, anyone rolling into Crossroads three bars into level 12 will quickly find themselves seriously underpowered for the tasks they must face. At this very early point in our career, practically every moving thing in the Barrens is higher in level than us. What’s more, there simply isn’t enough quest xp there to effectively move a character to level 14, where most of the quests are targeted.
The ideal situation is to arrive at level 14, but your starting area usually doesn’t move you much past level 12. Make the most of the quests offered in the starting area, and don’t blast out of there as soon as you reach level 12. This includes making sure that you have completed any class related quests that become available to you at level 10 and above. Not only do they unlock important abilities, they also give decent xp as well.
Our strategy will be to visit the other race’s starting area, and complete the final quests there to give us the xp boost needed to operate safely in the Barrens. As an alternative, you could skip this prologue and arrive in the Barrens as soon as you wish. Then, plan on grinding between expeditions to reach the suggested level for each trip.
Our primary objective is to pull ourselves off of the bottom of the food chain quickly. Fortunately, at low levels several things make this easier. The primary thing is that every kill counts. At early levels, each kill moves you quite a ways toward the next level. Rested xp makes a huge difference here as well.
Now, more than at any other time, passive grinding can reward you with significant xp. As you are moving through an area, hunt every target that presents itself as an opportunity, yellow and red mobs alike. Don’t go out of your way to find the mobs, but if any cross your path, or are easily reached from the road, kill them for a boost of xp.
Also, for the next few levels, stay on top of your training and use your talent points. We don’t want to arrive at level 14 with 5 unspent talent points, still using that same wimpy spell we got when we were level 8. At higher levels training isn’t as critical to our success, but right now major abilities are being laid down and each advancement increases our capabilities.
If you are a Tauren, you should begin in Durotar. This has slightly better xp rewards, so it’s recommended for any adventurous Undead as well.
If you are an orc or troll, skip down to the Mulgore section.
This section is for Tauren and Undead to fully level to 14 before hitting the Crossroads. Our goal is to complete the Hidden Enemies and Dustwind Harpy quest series.
After exhausting the quests in Mulgore, Mackenzie, a tauren druid, reached Crossroads at level 12 +10 bars (50%). Obviously not enough to begin heavy questing in the Barrens. I pushed him into Durotar to level him a little further.
Run north of the Crossroads until you come to the road to Durotar on your right. Take that road and travel east, past Far Watch Post and over the bridge into Durotar. The road continues into the orc town of Razor Hill. Speak to Gar’thok in the orc bunker and pick up the quest, Encroachment(10). Leave Razor Hill by the same road which you entered, looking for quillboar on the left, up against the hills. Find scouts and quillboar there, and kill all that you need. Next, cross the road to the north to find dustrunners and battleguards. These low level mobs die quickly, so don’t be shy about killing everything you can reach. When your kill list is complete, return to Razor Hill. On your way into town at the western gate, speak to Takrin Pathseeker by the west road entrance to pick up Conscript of the Horde(12), then continue into town and turn your quest in to Gar’thok. (Completing Encroachment gave Mackenzie 6 rested bars at level 12.)
End of First trip.
Done in Razor Hill, leave town by the north road and run through the ravine toward Orgrimmar. When you emerge from the north end of the ravine, look for a goblin in a camp on the left side of the road. Accept the quest from Rezlak, Winds in the Desert(9). Run back down the ravine until you find a side canyon on the west wall. The supply sacks will be found on the ground among the harpies. Again, the low levels should make this a quick task. Return to Rezlak to turn this in. Mackenzie earned 4 more xp bars for this and moved him to level 13.
Rezlak has a follow up quest Securing the Lines(11) sending you back into the ravine. This time we’re heading to a canyon on the east wall on the opposite side from where you found the supply sacks. Fight your way through the initial Dustwind harpies and pillagers, staying to the right, and you will find a cave that marks the entrance to Drygulch Ravine. The target Savages and Storm Witches are beyond the tunnel. When you have your quota, return to Rezlak at the north end of the main canyon to complete the quest. This second Harpy quests gave Mackenzie 7 ½ rested bars of xp.
End of Second trip.
Our next quest starts from Thrall inside Orgrimmar. Find Thrall in the Grommash hold in the Valley of Wisdom. He gives you Hidden Enemies (12) and sends you to Skull Rock to search for a Lieutenant’s Insignia. Skull Rock is a cave system to the east of the entrance of Orgrimmar, very near the water. We have two objectives. The lieutenant’s insignia should drop within the first 10 kills, but you need to stay until you find and defeat the named mini-boss Gazz’uz. Gazz should drop an Eye of Burning Shadow, which begins the Burning Shadows(12) quest.
When both items have been found, return to Thrall to complete Hidden Enemies. In the next quest in the series he sends you to talk to Neeru Fireblade in the Cleft of Shadow near the entrance to Ragefire Chasm. The Eye also goes to Neeru Fireblade so find him to complete the Burning Shadows quest, and then read through his dialogue to complete Hidden Enemies. Return to Thrall to turn in this quest. Thrall responds with an instance quest for Ragefire Chasm, which you can take at your own discretion. At the end of the Hidden Enemies series, Mackenzie was 2 bars away from level 14.
End of Third trip.
While we’re still in Orgrimmar, pick up the flightpath in the Valley of Strength. Now we’re ready to return to Crossroads. Leaving the main gate of Orgrimmar, you can bear away to the right and head cross country until you reach the river. Then travel south along it until you come to the covered bridge and the camp of Far Watch Post. Directly in front of you as you cross the bridge is Kargal Battlescar, ready to complete your quest for Conscript of the Horde. Speak to him, and he will send you on to the Crossroads with Crossroads Conscription (12).
With passive grinding along the way, Mackenzie reached level 14 by the time he entered Crossroads and completed the messenger quest. You have now completed this Prologue. Skip the other half of it and move directly to Book 1.
If you are a Troll or Orc, and began in Durotar, you should make your way to Mulgore and complete the Ravaged Caravan and Preparation for Ceremony quest series.
As a Troll or Orc, your Durotar preparation sent you on to the Crossroads moderately above level 12. This prologue will hone your skills to near level 14. Marietta, a Troll shaman, made her way to Crossroads at level 12 +3 bars (+15%) and no rested experience. This is a classic worst case scenario, and as a result, Marietta will have to do a lot of passive grinding in order to keep pace.
At this point, the main tasks in Mulgore are complete. Follow the road to the east, up the hill to Camp Taurajo. Take the flight path and return to the Crossroads. The Prologue is now finished and you are ready to begin Book 1.
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