Leveling Up and Cataclysm Again

Cataclysm is coming, and it will be upon us more quickly than we can imagine. Most things that we look forward to happen like that. It seems a distant thing, and then we wake up one morning and the thing we are looking forward to is upon us, and we have no real notion of where the time went.

With that in mind I and probably the rest of the World of Warcraft community have been keeping a close eye on the Cataclysm information, looking for anything new Blizzard releases, and also becoming familiar with the major changes that will rock the WoW world we know and love. The changes are big, and most of them look like they are going to bring about good changes, that will not only inspire new players to play, but may entice old players to reactivate their subscriptions. There is however one thing that is coming with the new expansion that makes me /sigh in real life.

Leveling.Sure it doesn’t sound like such a terrible thing, and some people even enjoy it, but I just can’t ever seem to get excited about it. Sure I enjoy seeing the new zones and experiences the often times witty quest text that Blizzard lovingly puts into the game, but at a certain point I just can’t stand it anymore. Usually this happens right around the last level, or next to last level when the grind seems to take forever, and I’m fairly sure that I will die of old age before I actually reach max level.

So far all I’ve done is QQ about having to level, and I’ve given no real reason why I personally dislike it so much. And really what do I have to complain about, since Blizzard is only adding 5 levels instead of 10 this time. I am pleased with Blizzard’s choice to only add 5 additional levels to the game, but I am still dreading that level grind, and here’s why:

The night the expansion is released I am one of those people that must go out hours before midnight, and stand in a line with a bunch of strangers just to be sure that I have my copy as soon as humanly possible. I could probably have it mailed to me, and it would be there the next day but that’s not good enough! Then when I get it home, I frantically unwrap the box (which is usually a rather trying experience, me and boxes do not get a long) and insert the CD in my drive and hold my breath as the load screen appears.

Once the load screen is up I read through the books that normally come along with the game, and hopefully by the time I’m done the game is done installing and I proceed to log in. From there it becomes a sort of obsession for me. Much like my desire to be the first (or as close as possible) to the front of the line to purchase the game, I must be one of the first people to reach max level. I have this inane desire to be one of the first players to experience the new max level content and that desire drives me to remain up nights, to deprive myself of sleep, and sometimes even neglect to shower longer than I would normally allow. My friends and family become distant memories of the past, and all that matters is that I reach my goal.

Now I know what you’re thinking, I don’t need to do any of this. I don’t have to be the first, and the content will be there regardless of if I do it in a week or 6 months, but I want to do it. Maybe it’s my competitive nature bubbling to the surface, but the need to get to max level and do the content is something I can hardly suppress.

Even when I manage to reach max level on my main toon the leveling does not end. I, like many other players, have several alts that I enjoy playing, and of course in order for them to experience end game content they too need to go through the leveling process. This can be a long and tiring process, depending on how many alts you actually have. I personally have three, which brings my level total from 5 to 20. I can tell you after the first time, the leveling process certainly loses some of it’s luster, and after the second or third you start to know the quest text by heart and it just becomes more tedious than fun.

After all this complaining I would like to say that there are some things I do enjoy about leveling. I enjoy the new (and usually most awesome) areas that Blizzard will introduce for us to do our leveling in, and the lore that comes along with it. As stated before, I enjoy reading the quest text (at least the first time around) and really getting into the story line. I enjoy leveling with my friends, and laughing as we all fail at new encounters, or get stomped by the huge monster that is wandering around the low level zone. But without a doubt, I’m happy when the level grind is over.

Take breaks – I should really take my own advice here, but taking breaks is important. Even if you just get up and stretch your legs I promise when you sit back down you will feel refreshed.

Have a plan – You don’t need to write it down, but when you first log on decide what zone you will start in and where you will go from there.

Ask for the help of strangers – If you are out leveling and need help finding something, or need assistance to complete a quest, don’t hesitate to ask those in the zone with you. You may come across a few not so nice people, but most will answer your questions and lend a hand. This is a great way to start new friendships.

Read each quest fully – I am guilty of this, I skip the quest text and wander around aimlessly trying to find what I need to complete the quest, only to find out that the answer was in the quest text all along and that I am now even further away from it than I was in the first place. Save yourself the trouble, read the quest text first there are many helpful clues there.

All in all leveling is not such a bad experience, and the good things usually outweigh the bad, but I still can’t help but think that maybe I should teach my daughter how to play so she can do it for me. Join us on our forums to share what you like and dislike about leveling, and some of your helpful tips for making the leveling process smoother. 

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