Leveling strategies for Legion?

The past couple of days I’ve been thinking about how best to go about spending my time for the first couple of months in Legion. Clearly, there is no “one size fits all”, but I think I’ve isolated a few factors to consider.

Gear level at the start of the expansion. My first premade character in the beta was a template hunter, which started out with 680 gear. It felt very underpowered and indeed died several times during the quest line to get the baseline artifact weapon. After the artifact it felt a tad more sturdy, but with combined gear level still hovering around 690, attracting more than 2 mobs at once can get dicey.

Once I was able to do a character copy from live, I tried an ilvl 720 hunter, and there was vast difference for the better. So I think I am going to try for a minimum of ilvl 700 for all my alts before bringing them into Broken Isles. That is really not difficult to do — 695 Baleful gear along with some crafted pieces at 715, maybe a Conquest ring or shoulders, and some valor upgrades should easily do it. In fact, spending the time to get the valor upgrades may be superfluous.

Profession leveling. Right now my sense is that it will be just as easy to level professions at the same time as I do each character. It might ever so slightly delay reaching 110, but I do not think it will be enough to notice. With zone scaling, there is really no advantage to waiting until level 110 to go back and pick up profession quests — mobs do not die more quickly, and we still will not have flying so getting around will take the same amount of time. And I think the sooner I can level my critical professions the more it will help in gearing up my characters.

Artifact weapons. Right now I am thinking that I will initially pursue only one artifact weapon per character, which implies I will pick one spec and stick to it for a few months. This is chancy, of course, because Blizz really cannot be trusted to not “balance” your spec into oblivion at the drop of a hat. I have two hunters that I usually level first in any expansion, so if one is BM and the other is MM, that gives me a little insurance. Not much, but a little. And having only one artifact weapon eliminates the problem of dividing your accumulated Artifact Power, of having to decide whether to have two mediocre artifact weapons or one high powered one.

Leveling order for alts. This one is tricky, but I think, once I have picked a main, then the order for alt leveling will depend on their professions. Whichever ones seem to be most valuable for my main will be the ones to get leveled first. My main hunter has LW/skinning and my alt hunter has JC/mining, so those seem to be no-brainers. After that, I’ll just have to see. It may turn out that just getting alts past the baseline artifact weapon quest will be sufficient to get them to useful production for professions with a few quest lines.

Zone plan. Here is where zone scaling is really nice. I get bored rather easily with grinding through the same series of quests more than once or twice, so my plan for zones in which to level is that I don’t have a plan. For some, I will do one or two levels in a zone then move on, for others I may try to exhaust quest lines in a single zone before moving on. Part of the quest line for eventual flying in Legion involves what boils down to completing a large portion of the quests in every zone anyway, so at least one character — probably my main — will start working on that as soon as possible.

Class hall stuff. Yeah, in spite of what Blizz says, these are basically watered down garrisons, with all the annoyances but fewer of the perks. The fact that they are the main quest hub, yet Dalaran is the place where you have to be for things like bank, profession quests, etc., is just bothersome. And not for nothin’, but I absolutely do not feel like I am the Big Dog Main Hero Hunter in the hall, when there are a dozen other hunters running around with the same artifact weapon and the same Hati. The fantasy fails spectacularly for class halls, in my opinion. For that reason, I am not going to spend a lot of time developing class hall quest lines for my alts until relatively deep into the expansion.

LB-Too many Hatis
We are all special…


Things to save for later. Eventually I will go back and do some of the things I intend to skip during the first few months. I will probably do an off spec and accompanying artifact weapon on at least my main and a couple of alts. I will max out every profession. I will probably get at least one of my healers raid-ready. I will explore the areas I initially skip. I will tame a few Broken Isles beasts for my BM hunter and maybe my MM as well. At some point I will roll a Demon Hunter just because.

Honestly, if Blizz sticks to their new schedule of an expansion every two years, I suspect there will not be enough time to do all things I want to do in Legion, so as usual I will not be bored or complaining about lack of content.

(And now I realize I may have just talked myself into pre-ordering Legion.)

What about you — any special plans for the first few weeks of Legion?

3 thoughts on “Leveling strategies for Legion?

  1. Really good listing, I think you’ve nailed all the factors. (Question: can we do dungeons at level 102?).
    What I “want” to do is keep my Mains firmly in mind as they are who I am investing my time and progress. It is possible that I’ll find a random profession Alt that is having a blast, which (all told) would be great.
    I wonder about the scaling zones, if they cap at 110; returning with some ilevel gear might make finishing the zones a breeze — racing to 110 might have some merit.
    When it comes to my army of Alts, some may want to get to 110 for the world quests with little interest in the leveled Artifact and I may be on the look out for the “safe zone” to chain pet battles just for the steady xp and mindless grind.
    My first task is the Artifact, then it is opening all the zones on the map with flight paths. Mount up and run, run, run. Establishing my hearth at (new) Dalaran should be easily done and a welcome change from past expansions.

    1. Yes, you can do normal level dungeons at level 102 — not sure which ones right now as I am not logged in, but I did note that I have the option to do a random dung as well as 3-4 specific ones. Now that I have the BM “rotation” — such as it is — more or less down pretty pat, I may try and step into a couple just to get a taste of them. If so, I’ll write a few words about the experience.

      And you are right about higher level gear making the 110 level zones easier, so that is definitely an option I did not think of if you want to delay professions, thanks for pointing it out.

      By the way, you will get a special Dalaran hearthstone (very short cutscene type quest reward) that returns you to the flight area, so you will be able to keep a hearth somewhere else if you want, maybe faction capitol city, since there so far is no AH in Dal, although there are tons of portals.

  2. hi, i will start on my 2 hunters (bm skinning+leatherworking + mm Herbalism + Inscription) + dk forst ( mining + jewelcrafting) they all got the ring above ilvl 750+. these guys will do first the weapen questline. My main hunter BM will do the “Nesingwary” questline (lot of skinning and wildlife killing). the rest i still need to see were they will start after the weapen quest. On the Beta i also had to start on a new alt lvl 680 gear now after almost 2 weeks and lot of Disconnection in the game last week iam now lvl 108 and ilvl gear 750+. So when Legion will come live and my hunter go first ilvl 731 from wod he will be 110 in 1 a 1.5 week (if the severs dont have problems 🙂 )
    And do the fly questline to get flying ready (when that comes live)

    On the professions (all of them secondary to) i want to lvl them all to lvl 800 before end of this year (so lot to do) but i have lots of flask and food from wod ready to use first).

    The only problem i got/have is the Artifact weapen lvl up but we will see. the other problem i have that u must go back to Dalaran for the professions to make gear so a lot of traveling to do then.

    And Legion will come live when i must work agian 😦

    happy hunting to u all

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