The Horde and Alliance forces are already assaulting the Scourge fortresses all across the Northrend, and it is time to help those brave warriors and their holy crusade against the Lich King’s forces. But how to level your character up quickly to start the real battle against Arthas’ undead legions? In this WotLK Leveling Guide, we will provide you with a detailed WoW Classic Horde and Alliance leveling guide for Northrend 70-80 leveling, helping you reach the WotLK max level quickly. Read on to learn more!
Wrath of the Lich King Classic brings a lot of changes to the game, and the leveling process is no exception. However, there are not many differences from previous expansions:
- Players will need less XP to level up to levels 60-70;
- You will earn experience for participating in Battleground PVP;
- Riding skills are available on level 20 and 40 (instead of 40 and 60) by about half the previous price;
- Heirloom items (the ones that increases the XP earning rate) are now available for purchase by 80 level characters;
- A range of quests and elite monsters were redesigned and are now easier to defeat.
Why Fast Leveling is Important in Wrath of the Lich King Classic
Many players ask: why do I need to take so much effort to level up fast in the first place? Well, this very much depends on your personal in-game goals. Players who want to be one of the top players in PVE content or participate in Rated PVP should definitely do everything they can to get to the max level as soon as possible.
This is especially important for PVP, because the faster you start getting PVP currency, the better your gear will be, and, consequently, the easier it will be for you to fight your way to the top PVP ranks.
PVE-wise, fast leveling is also important, because your guild or raid static will definitely want you to be ready for raids as quickly as possible. Also, a good PVE player always has one or two subsequent characters also ready for raiding and this is where the ability to level up fast will be your best friend.
Also, some fast leveling methods can be used to farm WoW Gold in sizable quantities. For example, you can get a good supply of in-game currency at one of the grinding spots. But more about that later.
If you have at least some World of Warcraft gaming experience you should understand that there are three main ways of quick leveling in the game:
- Dungeon Leveling;
There are pros and cons to each method. For example, Dungeon Leveling is without any doubt the fastest way to level up in Classic WoW. However, if you choose it for your character, you will not only miss a lot of interesting story, but also lose the opportunity to level up Professions (like Mining or Herbalism) while getting experience.
Also, Dungeon Leveling can take much more time if your class cannot play as a tank or a healer. One can say that Dungeon Leveling is much more boring than Questing because you have to fight the same pool of dungeons repeatedly.
At the same time, Questing, as a leveling method, can also be fast enough (at least for some classes with the ability to quickly burst crowds of enemies) if you know perfectly where to go and what quests to complete.
Plus, as stated above, while questing in an open world, you can efficiently level up gathering professions to ensure stable income once you get to the max level. If you want to learn more about that and other methods of gold making in the game, check our Gold Farming Article.
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Do not think, however, that you have to stick to one strategy. You can mix both Dungeon leveling and Questing to make your leveling process less boring, have the opportunity to level up your Profession skills, and get some dungeon gear. All of these will be helpful in questing. But let us discuss both methods more thoroughly.
If you decide to keep to the Dungeon Leveling strategy, the most important thing for you will be keeping your between-dungeons downtime to a minimum. The best possible scenario will be to have a stable and reliable group of 5 players, who are planning to play with you all the way from levels 70 to 80. Otherwise, especially if you are a damage dealer, you will waste a lot of time searching for a group without any guarantee that the people you find will know what they are doing. And even if you manage to find a party of good players there is no guarantee that the group will not break up after one or two runs.
Dungeon Leveling can easily be more efficient than Questing in the open-world, but only if you start farming the next dungeon a few minutes after you finish the previous one, keeping your XP/hour ratio very high. Of course, this is only possible with a premade group of dedicated players who want to get to the max level quickly. Even during the first weeks after the WotLK Classic launch.
Note that to be efficient in Dungeon leveling you should：
- Know the mechanics of every encounter by heart;
- Be able to get the most out of your gear and spec (no one wants a bad player in a team);
- Be supportive and friendly - you are playing with other people, after all, so try to minimize your toxicity if you have it.
Also note, that if you have no premade group, the process of finding a group will be much easier for you if you play as a healer or a tank. If your class can carry out any of these roles, do not hesitate to do so even if you are planning to play as a damage dealer once you reach the max level.
See the list of WotLK CLassic Dungeons below:
|Levels||Dungeon Name||Dungeon Location|
|70-72||Utgarde Keep||Howling Fjord|
|73-75||Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom||Dragonblight|
|71-73||The Nexus||Borean Tundra|
|75-77||The Violet Hold||Dalaran|
|77-79||Halls of Stone||The Storm Peaks|
|79-80||Halls of Lightning||The Storm Peaks|
|79-80||The Oculus||Borean Tundra|
|79-80||Utgarde Pinnacle||Howling Fjord|
|79-80||The Culling of Stratholme||Caverns of Time|
|79-80||Trial of the Champion||Icecrown|
|79-80||The Forge of Souls||Icecrown|
|79-80||Pit of Saron||Icecrown|
|79-80||Halls of Reflection||Icecrown|
Here we listed all dungeons that were added to the game over the course of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion back in the days, so expect them to be added in Wrath of the Loch King Classic simulary.
Questing is a default leveling option for most players, especially if you are planning to earn experience solo. The pros of this method are obvious:
- You can play on your own schedule;
- You can level up Professions as you go through zones;
- Tons of content will keep you busy, thus maximizing your XP/hour ratio;
- You will not miss any of the excellent stories presented in Northrend.
However, to make your questing as efficient as possible, you should carefully plan your leveling process. It can be roughly divided in three parts:
|Combat||The actual combat when you kill enemies or carry out other quests’ objectives. To make this process faster you will need to optimize your build (including learning new spells as you level up) and get better gear (Dungeons will be ideal for this).|
|Recovery||The time you need to restore your mana or health, change talents, weapon enchants (like Death Knight’s Rune Engraving) and so on. To make your recovery time as low as possible, consider investing in food and drinks. Also, if your class cannot heal, consider leveling up the First Aid profession to make bandages (which will also be more than helpful in any unexpected PVP events).|
|Travel||The time you spend traveling between zones, complete current quests and take new ones, and so on. Usually, this takes a lot of time, so it is extremely important to optimize your questing route. Questing addons like Questie will be helpful for this.|
Most players consider only combat time when estimating their possible leveling time, which is incorrect, because you will need to optimize your leveling schedule as a whole if you want to achieve some degree of efficiency.
While all classes can do quests and slay tons of enemies without any problems, some of them, like Hunters or Warlocks, can do so much faster than others. However, this does not nullify the importance of recovery and travel time optimizing for these classes.
So, if you want to level up in WotLK Classic quickly you will need to have a solid plan with your leveling route, travel and recovery time, talents and gear, planned beforehand.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that in many WotLK leveling zones, there are many more quests than you actually need to get through the zone’s initial level. So, you do not have to complete every single quest in the zone or finish all quest lines before traveling to the next zone. Some questlines, however, lead to dungeon quests with excellent rewards, so they can be worth your time.
All quests in your quest log are displayed in different colors, depending on the quest level. These colors will gradually change as you progress towards the max level:
|Red||Objectives of red quests will be of much higher level than you (5+ levels). We do not recommend completing such quests, because it can take a long time, thus reducing your XP/hour ratio.|
|Orange||Orange quests objectives will be 3 or 5 levels higher than you. Most players can complete such quests, but we recommend doing so in a group, to minimize completion time.|
|Yellow||These quests are roughly your level (2 levels above or below). Such quests are usually your best shot.|
|Green||These quests are lower than your level (from 3 to 10 levels). Doing them should not be a problem.|
|Gray||Gray quests are significantly lower than your level (more than 10 levels lower). You will receive only 10% of the quest’s XP reward, so doing them is not worth your time.|
When questing solo, we would recommend you to focus more on the quests that are slightly lower than your current level, so you can complete them at a faster pace. However, if you are questing in a group, Orange or even Red quests should not be a problem.
Questing in a group
Questing in a group is considered by many players to be a poor leveling choice, which is actually not true. Yes, there is an experience gain reduction for each member of a group, but when playing with other players you can kill enemies and complete quests’ objectives twice as fast, while minimizing your recovery and travel time. An exception to that can be quests where you need to collect items from killed enemies, but since your combat time is also reduced in a group, this should not be a problem.
See the experience gain reduction rate in the list below (assuming that you gain 100 experience for killing a monster):
- Solo: 100 XP;
- Group of 2 players: 50 XP per player;
- Group of 3 players: about 39 XP per player;
- Group of 4 players: about 33 XP per player;
- Group of 5 players: roughly 28 XP per player.
So, to decide whether group leveling will be beneficial for you, you will need to compare the XP reduction rate to how much faster you will complete quests and kill monsters (note that XP reduction will not affect the XP you gain from completing quests).
Usually, group questing allows players to earn experience at a much faster rate than solo leveling, not only because of increased combat and recovery time or lower chance of being killed by enemy players, but also because playing close to other people makes gameplay more enjoyable.
This option is not for everyone, and considered by many to be a very poor choice, not only because of the boringness of the process itself, but also because of the inefficiency. There are so many quests (way more than you actually need to get to the max level) and dungeons in Northrend, that grinding mobs will put your XP/hour ratio down to a minimum. Also keep in mind that while grinding, you will not get better gear making your leveling process even longer.
However, if you want to use this method despite all cons, here are some good XP grinding spots in Northrend:
- Dragonblight. There are plenty of Scarlet Onslaught camps a little north from the destroyed town just below the Naxxramass. There you can non-stop farm enemies with a high respawn rate, earning about 500 exp per kill at levels 71 - 72.
- Almost the same location in Dragonblight. A little south from the Naxxramas amidst the field is the Wintergarde Mausoleum. You will need to go further into the tunnels, clearing rooms of enemies along the way until you reach an earth tunnel leading to a distant part of the Mausoleum. There you will find tons of fast-spawning enemies, which can easily be killed in large numbers. An excellent location for non-stop killing enemies.
- The city of iron-dwarves Thor Modan in the north-eastern corner of Grizzly Hills. There are less enemies than in the two previous locations, but you will receive more gold and other valuable loot, and the XP earning rate is very good. Note that the enemies’ respawn time in Thor Modan is comparably long. So nothing stops you from moving out of the city once you clear it out and deal with the iron golems on the surface. This will give enemies inside Thor Modan enough time to respawn.
- Icecrown, just west of The Shadow Vault. There you will find plenty of dueling vrykuls with extremely high respawn rate, plenty of valuable loot, almost no travel time between packs of enemies, and over 1000 XP from each kill. Be careful, however, since most of the enemies there will be level 79 - 80 with a lot of punch to them, so having a decent gear and at least level 77 - 78 is strongly recommended.
- The south-west corner of Icecrown, The Fleshwerks. Your target here will be crowds of skeletons, who will grant you about 300 XP per kill on levels 77+, but they have so little HP you will most certainly one-shot any of them. Your XP/hour rate here will hit the skies, and not only that: the amount of gold you loot there is absolutely astonishing! The only thing is that if you complete a quest-chain around the location, the continuous spawns of the skeletons will cease, so you do not want to do these quests too soon.
- South part of the Storm Peaks, Forlorn Mine. There you will find plenty of vrykul miners. The XP/hour when farming this location may not be much, but the enemies there are not aggressive, so you can easily aggro as many as you can kill, without the risk of taking too much damage.
Note that during the initial phase of the expansion all these locations might be too crowded to farm XP efficiently, but you can always use them later, when there are not as many people leveling. You should also keep an eye on enemy players, because good grinding spots are as much of a red flag for world-PVP fans as daily quests locations.
If your class cannot deal much AoE-damage, you can grind mobs in a group of two, more players in a group will result in significant reduction of XP earning rate.
Zone Completion Order
As already stated above, if you want your leveling to be as efficient as possible, having a solid plan of what zones you want to complete and in what order, or even what questlines you want to get through, is extremely important. Sure, you can not plan everything perfectly if you do not have a ton of experience in fast-leveling from previous expansions, but you should at least know your zones order.
We recommend you to follow the route listed below. Keep in mind that both the Horde and the Alliance can do their leveling in the same zones, with the only difference being the exact location of quest-givers:
- Howling Fjord or Borean Tundra (68-72) – You can choose any of these locations, depending on your personal preferences. Note that if you want to get dungeon quests to Utgarde Keep, you should choose Howling Fjord.
- Dragonblight (71-75) – Choose this location if you want to get some reputation with the Wyrmrest Accord.
- Grizzly Hills (73-75) – A great number of players consider this location to be one of the most beautiful in the game, so leveling here should be a ton of fun.
- Zul'drak (74-76) – This location will be a great choice if you like the aesthetic of troll civilizations and also want to get dungeon quests to Gun’Drak.
- Sholazar Basin (76-78) – Another beautiful location with two important reputations to level up.
- Icecrown (77-80) – This location is the main fortress of the Scourge, so prepare for tons of powerful enemies.
- Storm Peaks (77-80) – This location will be very hard to navigate without a flying mount.
With more specific things done with, it is time to talk about more general tips that will help you in your leveling routine:
|Manage your breaks||While being 1-2 minutes AFK from time to time may seem insignificant, it can lower your XP/hour rate significantly and take hours of time over the course of 70-80 leveling. Of course it is impossible to not have breaks at all, but you can at least try to take them at the right time. For example, during a long flight through a flight path when you cannot control your character.|
|Take the Right Gear||The faster you can kill enemies, the faster your leveling will be. This is obvious. So try to get the best gear you can find. This is especially important for melee DPS classes, because the impact of a weapon on your damage output is extremely important.|
|Do not Forget About Consumables||Of course, you will not have access to end-game consumables, but having food and drinks to restore your health and mana will save you a ton of recovery time.|
|Mount||Yes, these are important. The best possible scenario will be if you already have an Epic mount before starting your journey in Northrend, but if you level up a new character, try to save gold whenever you can to buy it as soon as possible.|
|Level up Professions||While leveling up Professions can slow you down a bit, remember that they will be extremely important once you get to max level. Professions like Skinning, Mining, or Herbalism are easy to level up during questing, since you travel around the world anyway, which cannot be said about a range of crafting professions.|
|Level up First Aid||This Profession is the one you should 100% level up during your questing or dungeon runs. Free healing with all resources easily dropped from enemies, is a secondary profession, and does not count towards main profession slots. Absolutely must have.|
|Focus more on AoE if you can||Single target damage is cool, but if you want to complete quests quickly, you should try to aggro more than one target simultaneously. It is easier on some classes (like Feral Druid, Mage, or Warlock), and harder on others (like Warrior or Rogue), but sometimes having a good AoE damage is essential, especially when dozens of players are trying to complete the same quest.|
|More About Dungeon Leveling||If your ultimate goal is to enjoy the story of the expansion your choice should be Dungeon Leveling, because to level up fast via Questing you will to skip a lot of storytelling: taking quests without actually reading the plot, leaving the story-scenes in an open-world and so on.|
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In conclusion to everything mentioned above, we can safely say that even an inexperienced player can level up his character from 70-80 in about a week, while playing no more than 3-4 hours a day, if he carefully follows this guide’s instructions. You do not have to be a war-torn WoW veteran who plans his every move ahead, to level up efficiently. All you need is just a little bit of consideration and planning.
We sincerely hope that this WoW WotLK Leveling Guide will help you level up your character quicker.