I Hate Leveling

I’m sure many, if not all, of you have heard the term “altaholic” before. I never considered myself one personally. I have lots of characters on several servers but I never considered them “alts.” When I started playing the World of Warcraft over a year ago there were 2 things that I thought would be quintessential to my gameplay experience, an Orc Warrior, and a Human Paladin. The first character I ever made was an Orc Warrior, the first character I ever planned on making was a Human Paladin. Then I saw how ugly all the human males looked, an unfortunate holdover from the facial abomination that was Warcraft 3, and I wasn’t, at the time, interested in having a female character. I think even before I started playing the game, I knew I wanted to tank, so it only seemed logical that a “big strong man” be the gender of my tanking class, as sexist as that is, but oh well. That, and both my brother and father played Horde characters, so if I wanted to play with them (and get free money and gear and dungeon carries) I was going to have to play a Horde also. I made my Orc Warrior at work one day and, playing around for awhile, got him to level 13 while just experiencing the game on my own, without anyone to talk to.

When I finally decided that I wanted to play the game for myself, and not just use work’s test account on occasion, I created a Blood Elf Paladin (who would one day become the invincible tankadin my main is today), my father made one too and the two of us sped through all the beginning quests in Eversong Woods. He had been playing for a year or so and had leveled one of every race through about level 20 so he knew all the starting zones really well. I was a little dismayed at our breathless pace because I wanted to read the quests and experience the newness of the game experience, not be led from point-A to point-B in impatient fashion like someone using QuestHelper. Using Refer-A-Friend we hit level 14 or so in about 2 hours of me lagging along when I decided I was unhappy with my character. The fact that my father and I both chose identical hairstyles and color independently of each other (thereby destroying my naive belief in character-individuality unprecedentedly early in my character’s life) soured the appeal of my Paladin and I left him to rot. I re-created my level1 Orc Warrior, after deleting him from work’s account so I could have my name back, and proceeded to make him “my main”

Because I had three months of Refer-A-Friend triple-XP, and I’m a person very interested time efficiency, I would do tons of quests in my free time, then wait till my father got home, I’d turn in all my saved quests, gain three to four levels, grant him some levels so we’d be equal again, then just repeat the process until I hit 60. At first this wasn’t so bad, but by the end of the three month period he was really perturbed that he had basically become just an XP buff to me. Since if I played only one character in the beginning I would quickly leave him in the dust and waste triple XP bonus by doing so (because I just have immensely more time to devote to this game than he does, him being a responsible adult and father, me being a terribly irresponsible adult who runs from responsibility whenever possible); so I decided to create 4 more guys and level them concurrently. I ended up with a protection paladin (my original character), a protection orc warrior, an orc rogue, a forsaken warlock, a retribution paladin, a tauren fury warrior, an orc beastmaster hunter, and then 2 character slots which have rotated around quite a bit.

I would level all my guys except my Orc Protection Warrior at the same time. My brother was kind enough to give me access to his account and I would get every instance quest for every instance on 5 guys, then run each through the instance as my brother’s Lv70 Merciless-Gladiator geared Blood Elf Marksman Hunter. I would gain 3-5 levels per instance including quest turn-ins, so I’d just go from one instance to the next until I hit about 45. Ragefire Chasm, Wailing Caverns,  Shadowfang Keep, Blackfathom Deep, Razorfen Kraul, Scarlet Monestary, Zul’Farak, then they’d be on their own to quest their way up. I took most of them through Tanaris, Felwood, and Winterspring with a few going to Un’Goro. At the end of Refer-A-Friend I had a lv60 Protection Warrior, a lv60 Protection Paladin, lv60 Retribution Paladin, lv60 Rogue, lv60 Warlock, lv50 Fury Warrior, and a lv50 Hunter. I had also leveled a female Draenai Protection Paladin to 51 (who I later deleted to make room for my male Draenai Deathknight, who I later deleted to make a Blood Elf DK, who I later deleted to make a Forsaken DK…), a lv19 Gnome Rogue twink (who I later deleted to make room for my lv19 Tauren Feral Druid twink, who has now since been leveled to 25 because of all the MASSSIVE changes to twinks since 3.02 came out).

Anyway, as I was saying, i hate leveling. All of that was done before 3.02 went live and the Wrath of the Lich King expansion came out. At the end of it all, it felt like I was a little burned out from some kind of massive grind. I had devoted all my free time for three months to this game to ensure I got my money’s worth and my RAF bonus’ worth. I had 6 60s, 2 50s, my father had a 70 and 8 60s. In the end, it felt like a justifiable time expenditure. I had fallen out of love with my Orc Warrior (because he was parked at 55 for so long while I leveled up all my other characters to 60) and fell back in love with my protection paladin. By the time he hit 30 and learned Seal of Light, I was very nearly immortal while leveling. Where once I was tentatively pulling one mob, killing it slowly, and repeating the process, I was pulling 2 and 3 and 4, and not dying. Now, level 80 and heavily raid geared, I can pull about 30 level 80s or so, and not even start to sweat it, nevermind blowing CDs and hoping, but it all began back there at the tender level of 30 :). So when Wrath came out, my Prot Paladin became my leveling priority, and months later, he was finally 80. Like the beginning of my WoW gameplay experience, I took my time, did every quest and read them all. I enjoyed my leveling experience very much. But the one thing which really gave that character a new lease on life wasn’t his class mechanics, it was the Barbershop. Without it, I would still hate my paladin. He had been relegated to my AH bitch for the longest time while I hated his guts, then he got a haircut and some dye and he had a new lease on life. I enjoyed looking at him, enjoyed playing him, and enjoyed that he didn’t have the identical hairstyle and color as every other blood elf I ever saw, for the most part. As I leveled him through Northrend to 80 and genuinely enjoyed my experience, I never once had any doubts that I would do this all again with all my other characters. And then I dinged 80…

Like the biological nuclear clock countdown finally ticking midnight, I was instantly and irrevocably transformed. The second I hit 80 all I wanted to do was run dungeons, get gear, and become the same type of superman that my brother had allowed me to glimpse as I used him to powerlevel my low alts. Visions of grandeur as I powerleveled my father and brother’s low level alts with dungeon runs and us 3-manning older content none of us had ever been level or gear-appropriate to participate in flooded my head. I had never once run an instance with a level appropriate group, I was always being carried by people far overleveled, so it was time to learn my class, my spec, and gear up! The game began for me at 80, completely by surprise, contrary to all my expectations.

Now, many, many, many months later. I finally have a 2nd 80. I leveled up my Retribution Paladin to 80 because I had become addicted to the paladin immortality that even the Retribution spec had some of. He died easier, but he destroyed things quicker, in the end it all worked out. Once he hit 80, I started farming instances for emblem of heroics and boss drop gear. Eventually he was pre-raid geared, I was satisfied to never use him again, and I went back to my beloved tank, who I no longer have any problems proudly proclaiming as my “Main.”

My Orc Prot Warrior now sits at 68 with 2 pieces of heirloom gear. I’ve done 10 quests or so in the Fjord. But he has been my Mining Bank and Blacksmith for ages and ages, and despite the best of intentions, don’t know if I’ll ever level him, even with heirlooms and Northrend flying at 150% speed. My Rogue is 62, he is my new AH bitch. I had fantasies of griefing people in the real world with endless sap-chains and a 40man rogue stealth-raid of Stormwind to hijack the city and leave the populace sapped, not dead, but that dream gets further from my by the day. My Orc Hunter is still 50. I will never play him again until Blizzard removes consumable ammo. He is my leather bank bitch and he sits in Thunder Bluff forever, logging on only to clear his mail. My Warlock is 72, he actually had a shot. I have a tank, a healer, and a melee dps. My warlock is the closest I can get at the moment to a ranged DPS class, but honestly, I don’t think I’ll have the patience to get him to 80, even though I’d kinda like to. My Tauren Fury Warrior sits in Orgrimmar forever, the most sad and pathetic of all my characters because of his dirty Scarlet Crusade Tabard and Sul’Thraze epic 2H sword from combining Sang and Jang’thraze from Zul’Farak. I wanted a Tauren tank warrior because nothing says “big strong man” tanking like a geared up male Tauren warrior, but alas, it is likely not to be. My retribution paladin I have since run through toc10 and countless heroics to become another tank in full 226 and toc5/10 gear. I made him a tank to help my guild because we were short on tanks and I couldn’t run 2 raid lockouts on the same guy. He is slowly gathering dust now as I’m getting burned out from carrying people on my tanky shoulders, but he is there, geared for toc25 if anyone ever needs him, but gearing in heroics wasn’t the same as leveling… My tauren druid will probably never get out of his 20s, as much as I would love to see what it’s like to play a tree, a crit-chicken, and a bear tank. I guess that’s what pre-mades on the PTR are for…

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