For the first 50 levels or so, I followed Jame’s Horde Leveling Guide pretty tightly. I added and skipped a few quests, but I followed the same zone progression.
I did this entirely solo and with a bit of rest. I was well ahead of the guide level-wise – about a level and a half ahead. When I got to level 52, I decided it was time to head my separate way and move as quickly as possible towards Outland.
Grind to 50 – Following the Guide
From 40 to 50, I continued to follow the guide pretty strictly. I was a bit ahead of the guide, so by the time I hit 40 I was into the Badlands. I followed the guide through the Badlands and Stranglethorn Vale.
While doing the Stranglethorn circuit, I ran into some drop rate problems with the Snuff quest. My advice is not to finish it before moving on to the last step of Bloodsail Buccaneers (where you kill the pirate captains on the boats).
You can continue to gather snuff on these pirate ships, so head over there if you haven’t finished the snuff quest. If you still haven’t finished, you can farm more pirates on the coast to finish it up.
Next, we headed to Dustwallow Marsh. I love the new quest area here (Mudsprocket). On both of my Alliance characters, I spent as little time as possible in Dustwallow, but I thoroughly enjoyed it this time around.
After a quick trip through Swamp of Sorrows and Badlands, it was time to head back to Stranglethorn. It was time (according to Jame’s Guide) to hand in the Green Hills of Stranglethorn pages. Unfortunately, I had leveled to the point where the quest was gray and I lost some XP.
My advice is to hand in the pages during the earlier trip to STV (early 40′s). By that point, you should have most of the pages, and it’s not too expensive to buy them all. In my case, I had them sitting in a Guild Bank – but I was holding off on handing them in to keep pace with the guide.
After breezing through Feralas, Tanaris, and the Hinterlands, I was roughly level 52. This presented me with a bit of a conundrum.
Deviating from the Guide – 52 to 58
The next chapter of the guide (51-60), picks up with some last quests in Feralas. From there, it takes you on a winding route through Un’Goro, Felwood, Azshara, Winterspring, the Plaguelands, and Silithus. Most of this running around is completely unnecessary.
First, let’s take a look at my goal. I don’t want to be in the Old World at 60. I want to be in Hellfire. As with past toons, my goal is to reach level 58 as quickly as possible and head to Outland.
Even if you don’t quest there, the massive xp boost from mobs (roughly twice what you get in the Old World) will allow you to level quickly, even from grinding. If you have some nice guildies about that can run you through Ramparts and/or Blood Furnace a few times, you’ll be sitting pretty.
Therefore, I can cut out significant portions of the guide. Silithus is unnecessary, and the Felwood, Azshara, Winterspring route is kind of inefficient. I decided to finish up Feralas, head to Un’Goro, wipe out the Plaguelands, and see where I was at.
After Feralas, I was about half way between level 52 and 53. I went down to Un’Goro and did every quest that I could do in the zone. I used James’ Guide to help map out quest circuits, but I added a few of the tougher quests and avoided the ones that took me to Winterspring. I also combined both of James’ Un’Goro circuits into one big session.
I earned roughly two levels here – putting me a bit shy of level 55. This is a perfect level to go to Western Plaguelands, so I headed there. Again, I used James’ as a guide to map out quest circuits and did everything I possibly could. I made sure to hit the extra little quests in the houses (there are some at the first three farms, as well as in the center of Andorhal).
I was also lucky enough to be able to solo Araj the Summoner at level 57. It’s great to be a broken Huntard.
I finished up WPL right around level 57. I headed east to EPL, gathered up the first round of quests in James’ Guide, and began farming away at Plaguehounds and Bats. By the time I got to Light’s Hope Chapel, I was almost 58. I did a few quests, dinged, finished my quest circuit, and headed to Outland.
If you aren’t ahead of the guide, you may want to do some of the quests in Felwood. This, or the optional circuit in the Burning Steppes, should give you the extra level or so to keep pace. It’s much more efficient, I think, than following the guide and doing the entire Old World quest circuit.
The Numbers – Time Played
Finally, let’s take a look at how long this all took.
When I hit level 40, I had just over 2 Days played. I hit level 50 at just under 2 Days, 21 Hours played. That’s roughly 21 Hours for 10 levels – about 2 hours per level. That took about one week of Real Time, so it probably includes about a level of rest experience.
Following my revised quest circuit (outlined above), I hit level 58 at 3 Days, 15 Hours. The last eight levels (51-58) took roughly 18 hours – just over 2 hours per level.
After hitting Outland, I hit level 60 in short order. I dinged at approximately 3 Days, 19 Hours – so it took roughly 2 hours per level in Outlands to hit 60.
Unfortunately, the party is about to end. The haul from 60 to 61 is much longer than 59 to 60. I anticipate it’s going to take at least 4-5 hours per level, if not longer, now that I’ve hit Outland.
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