World of Warcraft: Breaking down that level 120 wall

So, I hit level 120, like, a month after the rest of you. And that was the easy part.

As has been well-documented before me and is now going to be further documented BY me, there’s a nasty wall that you hit at level 120 thanks to Blizzard’s scaling technology. Zones and mobs that used to be a breeze now hit like a Mack truck. Three-player mobs are all but impossible for my newly minted 120 Death Knight to beat, even with all sorts of cooldowns going off. Questing has slowed down because of this, and my enjoyment of progressing has diminished now that I (ironically) feel much weaker than I did at 119 (or at 110, for that matter).

The only way out of this quagmire is to gear up, as is the long-standing tradition of World of Warcraft. I know that if I can push my item level high enough, all this will go back to feeling normal and then, hopefully, rather easy.

But the question is, how? What’s the best path to take at 120?

My first thought was “world quests,” because I’ve been conditioned by Legion. However, with only one-and-a-half zones under my belt, I didn’t have the three friendly reps needed to unlock world quests. So I shifted course and moved over to Drustvar for the time being until I got that rep. Still working on that, but hopefully I’ll access it one of these nights.

The only other way that I see right now is through normal mode dungeons. Yes, I’m so pathetically weak that I don’t even have the item level needed for heroics. This is fine and normal, but it’s not my preferred route right now. For one thing, Battle for Azeroth’s dungeons are way, way too long. There’s so much in the way of trash mobs, and at least for those of us struggling to gear up, it’s kind of a slog to get through them. Even so, I’ve gamely queued up for them and crossed my fingers for some blue loot that will help to pull my item score closer to 305.

And while the dungeons are long at this point, at least they’re pretty interesting! I haven’t seen them all yet, but my favorite so far is Waycrest Manor, because I am a sucker for haunted houses. This one is quite well done, too. My only complaint is that everyone keeps pushing forward and there’s always combat to be had that I can’t stop and take all of the screenshots that I want to do.

My hope is that within a week or so, I’ll hit 305 on gear, access heroics (and better gear), get world quests going, and work my way up toward warfronts and LFR. I don’t need to be top-tier or anything, I just want to be good enough so that combat is breezy fun rather than annoyingly tough. Past that, I’ll start figuring out alternative goals, such as pursuing island expedition rewards and getting that rep for allied races. Plus, there’s always my poor level 116 Hordie who could use love and the whole same process.

7 thoughts on “World of Warcraft: Breaking down that level 120 wall

  1. Marathal September 25, 2018 / 10:40 am

    Things feel better at 340+ iLvL. Getting there is a pain. I might suggest flying over to Arathi when your side can farm rares. Stay off to the side, get a shot or three in, stay alive, collect 340+ gear, pets and mounts.

  2. Asmiroth September 25, 2018 / 11:10 am

    You should be able to pick up an i320 cape from any faction vendor with whom you are Honored. That will likely boost your item level, and make WQ rewards go up too.

    If you want free gear… head to Arathi. There are ~20 or so rares found throughout. Each has a chance to drop i340 gear for any slot.

    Waycrest looks amazing. I do like Tol Dagor as it’s a prison break in. The themes are really well done.

  3. Isey September 25, 2018 / 1:36 pm

    warfronts guarantee 340 gear minimum, not sure if there is a min entry level. Alliance have the scenario for a few more days before I start chain running it on my Horde

  4. Jawn September 25, 2018 / 7:14 pm

    My main is at 356 and it’s better, but not as much as previous expansions. I understand why they implemented the scaling, but I don’t think it was worth it.

    My alt should hit 120 tonight and I could always tank for you if you want a slow trip through normal dungeons. 🙂

  5. Syp September 25, 2018 / 10:17 pm

    Thanks, I appreciate it! I have WQs now, so I’m closing in on 305 and heroics…

  6. Minimalistway September 26, 2018 / 8:07 am

    Faction vendors provide some useful gear, wait for warfront to end on Alliance side (2 days remain i think), so you can go to Arathi Highlands and hunt rares, many people will do the same, warfront itself needs ilvl 320, so it’s not an option right now.

  7. Gevlon October 1, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    Go to the AH. You can buy 380 gear from $10 equivalent. Much better spending your time than grinding.

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