I have to say that I think Blizzard is hitting the sweet spot with World of Warcraft’s leveling in the 9.0 era. It took me about a week, week-and-a-half to get my gal Gwenders here from level 1 to 50, and that felt like a good pace. It did slow down considerably in the 40s, but she certainly wasn’t hurting for sources of questing XP by the end.
About 20 levels into playing her, I got inspired by a post I read somewhere about how fun playing a Survival Hunter was, and so I decided to try it out for myself. Survival isn’t a spec that I ever really thought of much — after all, wasn’t the point of a Hunter big guns and lots of pets? But it’s such an underdog of a spec that it has that semi-unique angle to it, and I found that irresistible.
It’s definitely a mess of a spec with no cohesive look or feel. You’re flinging bombs, shooting poison crossbow bolts, calling down birds, and whapping bad guys with a staff — all while using a harpoon between fights to pull you to the next bad guy. Yet it’s weirdly fun, once you get into the groove of it. It does put down single-target mobs pretty quickly, and I like the mobility of the harpoon.
So I’ve been going back and forth between Beast Master and Survival depending on my mood. BM is more of a laid-back approach that I’ve done a million times before, while Survival is great for when I have more energy and want to look like I’m a staff-fighting legend.
The expansion of my choice for Gwenders was Warlords of Draenor, and let me tell you, it’s been a GREAT pick. I never have been as down on Draenor as most WoW players, because the leveling experience, zones, and Garrison system are all a treat. I love having a base from which to start and end my adventures, and I sorely miss that elsewhere in the game (and no, class order halls aren’t the same at all).
In fact, over this Halloween season, I’ve been busting my butt trying to get the garrison decorated. That meant getting as many resources as I could, paying a chunk of gold, and then quickly doing five days of dailies. But that’s worth it, because it’s an overlay that I will leave on year-round.
Now that I’m 50, I still want to finish up Draenor’s storylines on the Hunter and work on my garrison some more. I need to gear her up, but that’s probably going to have to wait for a few weeks until the next Timewalking dungeon event. I’m in no rush — I want to get my Draenor engineering capped, then maybe take her to Legion for that realm’s questing/engineering/class mount. I might also start a fourth character, but I’m kind of waiting to see what Blizzard is thinking in terms of Shadowlands’ schedule. Honestly, if the studio delays it until 2021, I’d be totally OK with it. I’ve got more than enough fun stuff to keep me occupied for the time being!