Battle for Azeroth: Alliance Leveling Guide

Having played through multiple alts, I’ve worked out my best ways of leveling through the zones.

General notes: 

  • The goal of this guide is to provide climactic story experience;
  • Without getting lost in side questlines;
  • And leaving no side questlines behind.
  • Exploration achievements will be completed on the way.
  • As well as all flight paths opened.
  • The order of the zones is optional.
  • Each zone provides ~4-5 levels upon full completion.
  • You will hit level 120 by the middle of your third zone.
  • I choose to put aside gathering and war campaign quests until level 120 – not to distract from the zones, but you may choose to do them in between.
  • Leave all dungeon quests and dungeon runs until 120! I’ll explain this further.
  • Beware of the spoilers ;)

Drustvar

Drustvar is a straightforward story with small number of side questlines.

drustvar-leveling-map

  • Start with Fallhaven and clear the witch corruption to earn your tavern and flight path (1);
  • Do Carver’s Harbor and solve a cult problem (2,3);
  • Save stranded kid explorers from troggs (4);
  • Clean the Barrowknoll cemetery on your way to Hangman’s Point (5);
  • Prove Lucille Waycrest innocent at Hangman’s Point (6);
  • Solve the crazy fisherman’s trouble (7);
  • Solve the trouble at Fletcher’s Hollow (8), return to Hangman’s Point;
  • Solve Gol Koval troubles (9), then hearthstone to Boralus and fly back to Fallhaven;
  • Do the yeti and Order of Embers in the mountains (10);
  • Finish the questline with Drust druids (11);
  • Complete Arom’s Stand (12);
  • Proceed to the south (13);
  • Clear the Crimson Forest – this is a long and climactic story (14);
  • Earn your flight path in Anyport (15);
  • Solve mushroom problem (16);
  • Do Corlain (17);
  • Do Whitegrove Chapel (18) and don’t forget to sail/travel by water strider to the island to complete Explore Drustvar (19);
  • Storm the Manor grounds! (20)

The zone is a lead-in to Waycrest Manor dungeon.

Tiragarde Sound

Tiragarde Sound leveling is split in half in two even parts: north and south of Boralus. I choose doing the north first and finish with the zone climax in the south which leads you back to the capital.

tiragarde-sound-leveling-map

North: 

  • Go to Hatherford with your bundle of furs quest and solve a witch problem in Alderson’s Lumber Yard (1);
  • Solve Thovas Base-Camp (2);
  • She sells sea-shells on your way! (3);
  • Hunt beasts and save a Timmy from troggs (4);
  • Complete Norwington Estate prancing and tortollan story (5);
  • Save castaways from sirens (6);
  • Hunt with the Roughnecks! (7);
  • Complete Anglepoint mystery (8) – a climactic and long storyline with lots of swimming and grinding;

South: 

  • Travel with your lead-in quest and clear Ashvane Foundry (9);
  • Go to Bridgeport and take the quests, but don’t go with Flynn yet (10);
  • Go to another town on the shore and proceed to the gnome steam resort (11, 12);
  • Help hunters from Kenning’s Lodge (13);
  • Solve the mine trouble (14);
  • Now return to Bridgeport, go with Flynn to clear the castaways and sirens quest (15);
  • Proceed to Freehold outskirts and Freehold itself (16);
  • Fly to Vigil Hill by quest and repel the invasion (17);
  • Participate in the zone climax in Boralus (18).

The zone is a lead-in to Freehold dungeon.

Stormsong Valley

The zone has mutiple themes – mostly you help the farmers to repel different threats, as well as solving the mystery of a lost Kul Tiran fleet.

stormsong-valley-leveling-map

  • Learn more about the fleet mystery in Boralus (0);
  • Storm through the ‘gates’ and meet Brother Pyke in the zone capital city – Brennadam (1, 2);
  • Solve a lost caravan trouble and kill some saurolisks (3);
  • Advance with the main story towards totem-enslaved citizens (4);
  • Solve the Mildenhall Meadery mystery (5) and open a flight path;
  • Advance with the main story and fight in the Brineworks (6);
  • Proceed to unveil the threat at ship parking zone (7);
  • Storm Sagehold (8);
  • Proceed up to the entrance to Shrine of the Storms (9, 10);

Here ends this big story arc which leads into Shrine of the Storms dungeon. But we have more troubles in the west and more than half zone unexplored!

  • From Shrine, fly to Brennadam to witness… Horde invasion! Help to protect the city (11);
  • Help a smaller village in the north (12);
  • Lay waste to the Horde base in Clearcut (13) and leave it for now;
  • Find an old sunken treasure in Deadwash (14);
  • Help the farmers with quillboar invasion from Briarback Kraul – this is a long and grindy questline (15);
  • Help the mill town to cope with ettin (16);
  • Start your acquaintance with naga in Seabreeze village (17);
  • Solve naga problem in Fort Daelin (18);
  • Aid tortollans in their ecological efforts against the Trade Co. (19). Here you can give in your tortollan pilgrimage scrolls from treasure chests.

When you finish up the zone leveling, you will get Jaina’s questline. Jaina’s questline requires several dungeon runs:

  • Waycrest Manor
  • Shrine of the Storms
  • Tol Dagor
  • Siege of Boralus (mythic-only)

That is why you postpone the dungeons until 120. This way you could do zone quests and Jaina quests simultaneously, and also get gear for 120 instead of poor leveling items.

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Renaming My Priest

So far, I’m happy with my alt name roster.

  • Gorhaug – is an awesome orc name, fits my warrior too.
  • Jammu – sounds quite tauren, and is a bit playful cause you could think of ‘jam’ (as in ‘strawberry jam’)
  • Fearella – this fits my warlock, a pretentious goblin who just had to try on a name to run from. Even if she’s actually quite cheerful.
  • Schlitzchen – I was happy with the name of my goblin shaman since the beginning.
  • Anibell – suits my paladin, a light, sonant and powerful name.
  • Baisa – is for my gnome hunter, quite a neutral gnome name.
  • Paitsu – this one has this oriental vibe, and fits my gnome monk perfectly.
  • Micromantica – this is my main frost mage. It is quite inventive. Probably  I would have chosen a more gnomish one for a new toon, but it would mean changing her identity completely. This name has the longest history in my WoW.

I wasn’t so happy with my rogue gnome’s name Pietra. It had some… Italian vibe, which has nothing to do with her personality – a focused, secretive ninja, a shadow blade. A couple of days ago she was changed to a more gnomish and roguish Pins.

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And now with the last of my toons – the priest. Here she is:

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Her name in Cyrillic spelled Ауринко (Aurinko), Aurinko meaning ‘the Sun’ in Finnish. I was quite happy with the name. Yet upon transfer the nickname had to be changed into Latin letters, and it was obviously taken. I didn’t think this through, and just switched one letter to Aurinka.

Now I’m thinking of changing it.

What do I want?

  1. Preferably starting with an ‘A’
  2. Two or three syllables, to make it short and shiny gnomish (Addie, Izra, Pommie, Tilly, Kelsie as player and NPC examples).
  3. At the same time, flowing and smooth like elven and draenei names. A bouncy name like Kelsey fits prefectly to a rogue or a hunter, but not for a caster, especially a healer caster. Think Oulu, Auri, Moana and stuff like that :)
  4. The idea is to convey the idea of clear skies – may or may not contain a reference to birds, skies, clouds, rain, rainbow, light, color white or color blue, sun, aura, also priesthood things, angels – or make you think of it when reading the name of senseless letters.
  5. Obviously, with a chance of not being already taken :)

I’d be grateful for a brainstorm in the comments! I’ve literally broken my brain during the past two weeks. Every idea may be the new name or a spark that will ignite my creativity :) Let’s play?

Trivia: Mostly Pictures

First of all, this:

List

My last week’s project of doing the second zone per leveling toon is almost complete. I’ve got half of Drustvar for Anibell and half of Tiragarde for Paitsu, and we’re good. Then my toons will be hitting 120 midway through their third zone, like this:

Fearella – Voldun (120)
Aurinka – Drustvar (120)
Baisa – Stormsong (120)
Gorhaug – Zuldazar (120)
Anibell – Tiragarde (120)
Pins – Drustvar (120)
Paitsu – Stormsong (120)
Jammu – Voldun (120)

The longest questing is with your first toon of course as you read all the quests and do not know shortcuts or where to go at all. Other alts do speed leveling… but the last one also reads the quests to make it certain that you didn’t miss any fun and/or important details.

I like gathering questing! They are most informative, and either they have something funny or they are touching in the quest texts. My favorite so far is this Herbalism one where you turn into a plant and learn from the bees how to pick flowers:

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Actually I’m putting off most of them till the endgame.

Did you notice that not all quests are available for every toon? I cannot calculate why this happens, certainly not about your item level or actual level.

The examples could be the gnome junkpile in Tiragarde, fishing tales in Stormsong, the cult in the north border of Drustvar/Tiragarde.

This is something you cannot miss: for example, you have to take a photo of a gnomish junkpile and therefore see the quest there, but not all the toons do. For a quest of fishing tales, you take it at Fort Daelin, and this is where I hit 118 with my rogue. No such quest. Only Aurinka the Priest got that out of 4 Stormsong completions.

So, Zandalar offered this precious piece for Jammu:

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This was the most fun questline of how a goblin scientist and a zandalari witch doctor try to combine their efforts to ensure the white brutosaur coupling… Yes, this is the result – we restored their mojo! Unfortunately, the male is that small now, but witch doctor says that Nature will find a way. I’d like to see that now.

Micromantica is now revered with 7th Legion and Ready for War!

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The story just calls for To be continued… Do we wait until the next patch? I’m eager to see it!

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Schlitzchen has also seen the part before last in the Horde’s ready for war. A brilliant insight into Forsaken souls.

Schlitzchen has run an Uldir wing – as expected, Horde’s lore is provided by Talanji, not Brann. Canonically it’s obviously Horde that raids there. I laughed a bit how Talanji was literally shocked how stuoid titans contained something so dangerous instead of destroying it :)

Finally, just a Nazmir pic of my warrior Gorhaug :) I think I managed to convey she’s barely out of her teens, and beautifully so :)

DnPeNaBW0AIJZMD

Uldir: A Peep into Halls of Containment

The first wing of Uldir is up and running – Halls of Containment. The wing contains three bosses – Taloc, MOTHER and Zek’voz.

Uldir-Scenery-Central-Hub

I came drastically unprepared. This is actually funny :) A friend of ours came to visit yesterday (she lives across the road, so it’s a common thing), and I’ve remembered that we have a new raid available only after a couple of hours and a couple of beers :) So I excused myself, left her and my wife chatting, and logged in to manage this before bedtime :) Naturally I didn’t repeat the tactics which I read before. Queue time being less than 3 minutes (I didn’t even get to my first world quest) didn’t help. So, I had to check the things on spot.

Uldir doesn’t look as easy as the Emerald Nightmare. The only thing that makes it being the ‘first’ is the bosses’ health bars. I felt that the fights were very quick, like killing a stubborn rare mob of elite sort.

Scenery

The looks are beautiful – this ring in the central hub, those titan machines, and at the same time this uneasy rotten addition. This blight is more prominent in Underrot, but like Emerald Nightmare’s red blobs, it’s certainly quite unique and somehow cozy in a twisted way. In the raid it is masterfully intertwined with titan building, so it’s the nice place to walk around.

There is not much trash, and the trash encounters are not long and/or annoying, just your normal guys. Remember how EN just swarmed with them – I hated that satyr pipe after the first boss. Trash are blood trolls of course.

Lore

Lorewise, I think the Alliance gets a nice lead in – considering that this is certainly Horde’s raid. We’ve been around the raid when we settled an outpost in Nazmir, I think Brann and Keeshan explained the things to us.

And there is Brann in the raid itself to explore and explain. Obviously he can’t pass by titan structures, and he has some experience with Old God defilement (Yogg-Saron, anyone?). I will see what the Horde version of the raid looks like on weekend.

Bosses

I think they were not as easy as the first expansion raid would suggest. They have certain mechanics to be figured out, and following them is crucial for success.

Taloc – this construct was damaged by a goblin walking tank, and from the subsequent falling through the roof deep down (this happened during Nazmir leveling questline).

Taloc is nothing to worry about during the first two phases (cudgel and elevator), and it was a mess in the third. I was always having different blobs following me, and I need to read the tactics again to see how to avoid. Nevertheless, I didn’t die, and Taloc came down with our first try.

MOTHER – is a boss for group coordination, and this is punishing a lot. There are three rooms divided by grid. Raid has to move through the grid to another room to avoid a wipe when MOTHER will purge the current room in three minutes.

The problem is, every player passing through the grid will damage the whole raid, and also spawns a blob add which is to be killed asap. So the idea is to bring small groups through the grid to let healers cope with the damage and not allow too many adds at once. If the whole raid passes at once, it’s an obvious wipe.

Our first try was an obvious wipe in the second room. On our second one, more people understood the idea, so it was a success. It didn’t save me from kissing the floor though. Me and several guys (no tank, no healer) went first to the next room, adds chomped some vital pieces from us, so when the rest of the raid moved after the boss, they obviously killed me.

It’s an interesting mechanic, and I think this will be one of the best and most remembered.

Many-many points to Blizzard for MOTHER’s voice! It’s mechanical, artificial, and very pleasant to listen to. Such a difference from normal titan’s booming in low key.

Zek’voz – I hated his appearance. It’s so unimaginative, yet another qiraji or mantid’s big bug. Just a common bug.

There’s nothing too complex about the encounter – step out of the bad, bring the bad to the edges of the room, catch an orb, kill adds if any, and damage possessed players. I generally liked it. We wiped at 1% the first time for there were too many players catching an orb – so too many possessed to cope with. I also helped by deliberately running into the add-spawning void zone (I thought it was the place where the orb comes – now I learned my visuals).

My loot out of 5 tries (3 bosses and 2 coins) was an off-hand from MOTHER. As I currently equip a wand and an off-hand, it was a nice upgrade.

Uldir-Zekvoz-down

Generally the first wing and the raid as a whole is nice. I liked the visuals, the boss variety, the imaginative mechanics and the lore part. Basically – everything. Let’s see what’s next :)

BfA: Do You Feel At Home?

With all the aspects of the launch now live, I want to ask: how do you feel about the world we’re now living in?

I’ve seen pretty much everything about the zones and the gameplay except for the first raid (LFR tonight!), and I must say I’m not only settled, but extremely comfortable with the expansion.

Leveling

I’m enjoying leveling a lot. Replayability is great. There’s a lot of variety within the same zones. You can pick your questing hubs, and it’s never as straightforward as Stormheim or Highmountain. And certainly having different experience for Horde/Alliance helps.

Leveling pace is insane, you hit 120 way before you finish the three zones.

Zones are an eye candy and very pleasant to travel through… hell, just to be there. Exploration is bliss, I feel like there are many stones left unturned yet. World quests take you to the places you’ve never been to. There is always an option of a sudden discovery!

Dmv7ipkWsAUKF5k

Professions

I’m not a fan of these hydrocore-whatever mats I presumably need from mythics – and I will not craft this type of gear. But overall professions on leveling feel like they should. There is a nice progress feeling, little to no questing (although open world would be nice for crafting ones). I’ve hit 150 on skinning and 142 on tailoring. I’m enjoying leveling professions, and I’m already getting some benefit from them – for example, I’ve replaced all gear for a leather toon with 225s upon reaching 111 level.

Scrapper is genius, as well as mats dumping options (warfront and emissary contributions). No, I think it’s not the time to wave the professions away – even if the crafted gear may be a purely cosmetic transmog option. They’re not bound to make an extreme difference and be your second job – they’re to add flavor.

Gearing Up

The initiate leveling -> dungeons -> heroic dungeons -> raids routine is ultimately broken, and this is so good.

Basically we are not obliged to do any activity except we want to. You can suit up via dungeons, raids, world quests, warfronts, reputations – choose what you like. And easily so.

It’s a playground for casuals like me, and for altoholics (also like me). You are now not requested to repeatedly run the one and only type of content to get this miserable 5-10 ilvl to access raids. If in a hurry, combine several options, and you will skyrocket a fresh toon in no time.

I think for the first time I’m not anticipating my alt level caps with misery, with the looming perspective of re-running same dungeons to puke degree – and this is great.

Let this sink in: upon 120 you gear up in a relaxed mode, and do things of your choice.

Conclusion

All the gameplay so far is simply amazing (not you, island expeditions).

A month into expansion I’m not sick of leveling content with alts, but I’m re-running it with pleasure. I have a whole world in front of me.

I have my many carrots to run for, and I may do so in a very relaxed mode, in the greatest variety of ways WoW managed to offer so far. Doing so in the continents I simply don’t want to leave – so cozy they feel.

I’m feeling at home.

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A Month into BfA

I’m checking in with my milestones now :)

September 10

Sep10

My core gameplay is still devoted to leveling, and it’s still a thing for the upcoming weeks.

My leveling goal now is to cover questing for zone #2 for every toon.

Fearella added Zuldazar to her list, and this made her 118. She’ll hit 120 by the middle of Vol’dun.

Nazmir was completed 3 times, one go left for Gorhaug. I think it’s my most favorite Horde leveling zone now.

I have a thing now for the Alliance toons of completing the tedious northern Tiragarde first, heading to cool Ashvane/pirate south afterwards. I don’t really like the north for being Nesingwary-grindy, and including a whole bunch of underwater questing in the end. Yes, even with quest breathing/swimming buffs this is awful. I hope they would solve us a proper walking for the upcoming N’Zoth lore – would not like Vash’jir 2.0.

Micromantica has completed the one before last questline towards Ready for War. It was an awesome fight in the open, uncharted sea! When I was requested to jump off the Horde ship and signal Falstad to pick me up as a final quest, it was really scary. First several seconds I did not have the signal flare action button, and figuring out whether I will die in the waves, or they will save me was quite immersing! It was rainy, low clouds, no visible shores, and the only two ships were hostile!

Speaking of sea battles, as a Hordie you may get a world quest in Tiragarde to jump on a Highmountain eagle and assault a massive Kul Tiran ship. Please pick another quest :) I was required to kill ten sailors, a cook, a commodore and a tidesage. I’ve killed literally a hundred of mobs before I figured out where the targets were, spending 20 minutes. It was an awful and dangerous grind. At least Bwonsamdi would be happy with the souls’ income :)

The Hordies on EU realms have assembled enough resources for warfronts, and I was able to queue. My, it’s been amazing! At first you think that the fight will take forever – actually it is not. You just go and do things, and they lead to victory.

It’s easy to solve the requirements on spot, it’s pretty obvious what to do. It’s the fun thing from the beginning to the end, and I’m glad to announce that all about warfronts is highly replayable and rewarding. Schlitzchen has got 370 wrists for the quest and 340 hands as a victory reward. How do you like that? And now that the Horde will have Arathi claimed, I’m ready to kill some rares for extra improvement. This activity definitely beats up raiding – now I can do LFR for transmog and story only.

Did they succeed to makes us feel like we’re inside an RTS game? By all means! Warfronts are so much fun!

Warfronts-Victory

P.S. The aftermath of Teldrasil burning has settled with my Horde toons. Our army is called Honorbound, and it’s a tongue in cheek towards Sylvanas ways. We barely see her too, and I think of her as a much hated and despised boss for my Horde toons. We fight this war properly, straghtforward and with honor. And this is good.

I don’t really care what happens to the character – the only thing I know that she will be gone by the end of expansion, and we just have to wait and fight with honor. Which Blizzard allows us to do :)

 

Leveling Progress

September 3

Progress

September 7

LP2

No falling back! :) As you see, Anibell, Paitsu and Jammu leveled a bit – now no toons are below 113. We’ll see what weekend will bring us.

Some trivia thoughts along the way:

  • I’ve really grown to like Nazmir and Stormsong Valley: each zone has been leveled through 3 times already. Jammu has not earned the Nazmir mark yet, but she has only the final onslaught quests left. It’s a mere pleasure to be there.
  • You can decide to switch zones midway! It’s another option to vary your leveling experience. For example, Paitsu has full proof of Lucille Waycrest innocence on her hands, and she just decided to go and do the northern part of Tiragarde instead of returning to execution point. Hope they don’t hang her…
  • Some insane amount of skill points with herbalism and skinning on the way, mining is harder.
  • Micromantica has earned 332 ilvl with world quests – now she’s definitely will be eligible for Uldir with its 340 rewards, right?
  • Two Revered reputations so far: Proudmoore and Storm’s Wake, Order of Embers coming tonight.
  • I’m barely Honored with Magni – it’s the worst yet.
  • So far, so good.

There is a small amusing thing I’d like to share :) Monks in WoW are not your fast brawlers. Their rotation is slow, like destruction warlock’s: you hit, and your fingers rest waiting for GCD to roll. It’s not that they are weak, on the contrary, they’re powerful. But it calls for a very relaxed gameplay.

When in the fray, I caught myself on the thought (in Legion too) that I constantly do small turns with A and D buttons, just to feel the gap between the blows :) Obviously it’s a subconcious desire to turn the monk into a quick and super fast fist-fighting machine like we are used to seeing in kung fu movies :) I’ve embraced the idea that they are not, they’re a mortar type rather than a machine gun… and you just need to ‘Relax. Enjoy’ this pace. No more turns :) And now I know that if I choose my monk to play this evening, this will be a restful and thoughtful gameplay. Serenity!