I’ve been away from World of Warcraft now for a few months. Not entirely by choice, but I had a little one to look after and there was no way I could keep up an active Wow schedule with a new baby. Well, after accidentally buying some game time I now have a whole month to try to get as much WoW time into my busy new-parent lifestyle. Happily, this coincided with the release of Patch 7.3.5.
For those not familiar with the latest patch, it’s the big patch before the next expansion Battle for Azeroth s released so there’s plenty of big changes. One of the biggest changes was to put the same zone level scaling utilised in Legions throughout the rest of the game. So the base level for each zone is unchanged but the upper bracket scales to your character. So, if you want to go to Silverpine Forest at level 56, well you’ll be facing enemies of an appropriate level. Want to skip as much of Outland as possible, and head to Northrend you can do that too.
The stats of the enemies have been tweaked accordingly. Stats for Heirlooms have also been nerfed, Dungeons now require a bit more skill even with full heirlooms and now any you can fly in any continent as soon as you gain flying, as long as there isn’t a pathfinder achievement.
So, all that stuff making the earlier levels a different experience. Well, different from the one I’m used to. I’ve generally just heirloomed up, and blasted through the content as quickly as possible just to get to the end game. I pop the new character a few hundred thousand gold to mean they want for nothing, and just get through everything as quick possible. Even changing zones every couple of levels to maximise the XP.
How am I going to Play World of Warcraft Differently then?
Well, this time around I want to try to capture that new character feeling, that I haven’t felt for so long. So, as a sort of World of Warcraft challenge to myself I have started a new character that will follow the below rules…
- Created on a new server
- On the faction you’ve played least with
- On a class you’ve never fully leveled (if possible)
- You’re not allowed to wear any heirlooms
For me this meant creating a Draenei Paladin. I’m a Horde player normally, and although I have one or two alliance characters they were all created quickly to experience the latest content. I’ve never taken my time. Paladin is one of the only two classes I’ve never leveled to 110. Mage being the other one.
I already love the experience. Enemies aren’t dying in one hit, and without my existing gold supply, I spend most of tyhe early game with only coppers to my name. When I bought my first 6 -slot bag it felt like Christmas. It’s nice to get a rare drop, and think “Wow, this is so much better than my current gear” which you just don’t get leveling in heirlooms. There are also no zones that you’re forced to go through. You can pick and choose to go through the zone you want providing you hit the minimum level of course.
Patch 7.3.5 hasn’t completely solved all the leveling issues. I still find most of your tradeskills pretty pointless for leveling except gathering professions which can give you enough cash to buy what you want. However, what it definitely has done is breathed new life in to the leveling experience. My new character is still rather young in level terms so maybe it’s a little too soon to know if it’s going to be a new and refreshing joy all the way up to 110 but I’m very interested in finding out.
How do you find leveling after Patch 7.3.5? Is it everything you wanted it to be, or are there still too many flaws to make leveling fun again? Let us know in the comments.