More In-Depth Wrath Preparation

So I got to thinking about more specific things to do and things to know for Wrath of the Lich King. Between places to travel and things to buy, what can you do to be ready for our trip to Northrend. To all you Alliance, some of the quest specific information and travel details doesn’t apply to you. Sorry. But don’t worry, it’s not all Horde stuff.

Getting to Northrend and early Questing

First of all, how are you going to get there. Being the industrious folks that you are, a lot of you probably already read about the new zeppelins for us Hordies. Heading out of Orgrimmar, on your right you will see a new tower where you will find one method of getting to Northrend. Taking this Zeppelin will land you right in the center of Warsong Hold, current residents being Garrosh Hellscream and Saurfang himself. For you Alliance, you have a fancy-shmancy harbor inside Stormwind.

Make sure to pick up the flight path located at the very top of Warsong Hold. You should have a quest at some point that will have you travel up there and take a magic carpet ride to scout out the surrounding areas and assess certain threats against the Horde expedition. Make note, however, that all the profession trainers are at Vengeance Landing and Valiance Keep if you are Alliance. There is no Auction House in Northrend, nor class trainers. You are going to have to travel back to the old continents to do that, just as before. But fear not, Dalaran has town portals just like Shattrath does.

There are a number of quests to start you off all around Warsong Hold without having to travel more than a few feet outside.There are a number of quests to start you off all around Warsong Hold without having to travel more than a few feet outside. These are off the bug-killing, bomb-planting variety. But you can expect these quest mobs to be dead as soon as they spawn as they will be targeted by the gobs of people starting to level, just like you. While you are in the Borean Tundra be sure to do the quest chain that starts with “The Wonderous Bloodspore.” This chain will lead you to the quest “Hellscream’s Champion” which will let you pick up the Fury of the Raging Dragon which will be a great weapon choice, especially if you like guns or haven’t had a chance to pick up anything better before your trip to the frozen north.

This is especially popular for new Death Knights as they can actually pick up this axe at level 68 if they get help with the final steps in the quest (or solo it depending on the current balance of DKs) ;) For you Alliance folks, the comparable chain starts with the quest “Finding the Phylactery” from inside the Wailing Ziggurat.

If you don’t prefer the view of the frozen tundra, you might choose to venture to the Howling Fjord. You can make this trip from a Zeppelin located on a new tower outside the Undercity. You will actually arrive at a town called Vengeance Landing where you can complete a series of quests that will eventually lead you to New Agamand, near the southern edge of the zone. There are a lot of quests hubs in this zone, including some that a lot of people end up missing. If you choose to level here, make sure you find time to head to Kamagua and Scalawag Point, located on the two islands of the west coast of the zone. The pirate quests are especially entertaining and you can get a pretty nice trinket from the chain as well.

Early Instances

Utgarde Keep

There are a couple instances you can tackle very early on in your expeditions in Northrend. The first one being Utgarde Keep, located in the Howling Fjord. Our good friend the Lich King makes no hesitation in making an appearance. The instance yields good loot, has plenty of humanoid mobs for cloth and can be a great way to get experience if you find your server unusually cramped.

The Nexus

You will find the Nexus off the northwest coast of the Borean Tundra in an area known as Coldarra, which houses a small quest hub. Given the limited amount of mobs here you will most likely find fierce competition for the outside mobs. The instance, however, is a bit longer than Utgarde Keep but can be a nice alternative.

Gear and Specs

I want to see about…dropping Focused Aim during the leveling process as I am less concerned about +hit when fighting equal level mobs.As I am going through my bank, I am thinking about what gear I am going to level in. Am I going to roll around in PvP gear? Or just bust out the Tier 6 and hope any unfriendly encounters involve me and someone worse than me or worse geared than me. But there are other things to consider as well. Leveling specs may not necessarily be your current spec. I thought about it last night, thinking about individual talents what their role was, as well as which ones will help me level and which ones could be replaced by something more conducive to grinding.

I am not sure what the best leveling spec is going to be but I am pretty confident that it’s not my current spec.I want to see about putting more points into Endurance Training and dropping Focused Aim during the leveling process as I am less concerned about +hit when fighting equal level mobs. Other talents I might consider is Spirit Bond if I feel my pet would use the extra healing, picking up Aimed Shot for any pesky healing mobs (although I don’t remember any in particular), or perhaps even putting more points into Survival for Scatter Shot. I haven’t quite made up my mind yet.

Gear is also something to consider. There are a number of items you might have that may not be awesome for raiding or PvP but are great for grinding. Chances are you can think of a few. For example, do you still have a Power Infused Mushroom lying around? While not the most amazing trinket ever, as we level we want to limit our down time by any means possible. This includes limiting how much we need to drink or eat, or even rez pets. So focus on those talents and abilities that will keep you going strong. As Hunters we are already one of the best leveling classes but are still plagued by mana. Perhaps even bringing some buff food or making some MP5 elixirs if you are an Alchemist to help out with leveling might reduce our downtime. I plan on having a couple stacks of various buff items just in case.

The Gold Sinks

It’s going to be expensive. So let’s go through a little breakdown of costs that you can expect in Northrend. First Aid training is going to cost you 50 gold, and each other profession, including Cooking and Fishing, will cost 35 gold. So if you are leveling professions be sure to have just under 200 gold set aside to cover training. Also consider that you will need to train new recipes to go along with your professions, which all vary in price. Hard to give a ballpark number here, but since you can choose which ones you want to train you can control some of the damage.

Blizzard also decided that flying mounts are becoming a gold sink again, and rather than implementing a quest to unlock your flying mount as they originally said, there is now a cost attached to it, which will ring in just around 1000 gold. Ouch. Of course this is just leveling stuff, as I don’t need to remind everyone about the cost of enchants and gems. And of course you have the new glyphs, Blacksmith sockets, yadda yadda. But that’s not our concern just yet. :)

Other Random Notes

As I mentioned, there are no class trainers or Auction Houses in Northrend, but here are just a couple other things to remember:

  • Dalaran is located in the Crystalsong Forest. The easiest way to get there is from the Dragonblight. You can get in from a quest at level 74 or getting a Mage Portal or Warlock summon.
  • Dalaran has Town Portals and banks just like Shattrath.
  • Tabards from various factions function differently now. Rather than Exalted rewards, they help you with the Exalted journey. For example, if you want to raise your Warong Hold rep, you can buy their tabard, wear it, and run any instance you want. Any rep earned there is now Warong Hold rep rather than any faction the instance is tied to.
  • Every raid can be done in a 10-man or 25-man version. Loot scales accordingly. The philosophy is like this: Imagine you could run Black Temple with 10 people. Rather than receiving Tier 6 loot, you would receive a tier lower, so in this example, Tier 5. That’s how Blizzard plans to scale it.
  • There *is* a flightpath in Sholazar Basin at the Nessingwary Camp. You just have to build it first.
  • Don’t fly directly over Lake Wintergrasp, as you will end up being dismounted. Unless you want to be in Lake Wintergrasp. (Unless of course they changed the dismounting thing)
  • Kamagua in Howling Fjord, Moa’kai Harbor in Dragonblight, and Unu’pe (I think is the name) in Borean Tundra are Tuskarr Villages with turtle boats you can use to travel between these three locations. In case you want to level in Borean Tundra but want to train your professions, use these guys to get there and back again.

If I missed anything you are curious about or what clarification of, I will do my best to answer your questions or if you have something you want to add as well. I also will most likely append this post if it is good information that people can use. This was the stuff that ran through my head as I typed this post up so it’s very possible I missed some key information. Obviously this isn’t an in-depth leveling guide. Any thoughts, comments, questions, yadda yadda. You know what I put here by now. :)

About Drotara

Drotara (or BehemothDan) considers himself a geek on many levels. A web developer and programmer by trade, he has no shortage of geeky hobbies. When not fulfilling husband and daddy duties, he enjoys WoW, the WoW TCG, Magic: The Gathering, and great board games with friends and family.