A level cap of 60, no outlands, no Blood Elves, no Draenei, the good old days of “Vanilla WoW.” Then came the Burning Crusade expansion and all the hard won gear of Vanilla WoW was quickly obsolete, the new races came in, new PvP opportunities arose, and more.
And now comes the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. The Wrath of the Lich King expansion brings new gear (say bye bye to all the old purple gear,) the Lich King, Death Knights, and 10 new levels to earn.
Unlike the Outlands, the new continent, Northrend, doesn’t have any level requirement. If you want to send your level 1 explorer there then go for it. Mobs start at level 68 so if you actually want to fight something, then bring along a character of a little higher level. If you’re not high enough level yet then you should get to work.
If you are the type who likes to explore all the hidden areas (as I tend to do) then you will have a blast exploring Northrend. If you’re the type who like to level a little faster be aware that the quests in Northrend, like all the other WoW quests, will send you all over the place. Efficient leveling will require a little organizing of all of your quests.
As usual, when you hit any new area and start grabbing quests you will note that they send you in all directions, some are local and some send you to other zones. Figure out the most efficient path to hit your quests by making notes of where those quests send you and then do them in a logical manner. If you are going to go to the Big City anyway (for training, buying, whatever) then that’s the time to turn in your city quests.
Once people started hitting level 60 they immediately noticed that quite a large number of experience points were needed to hit 61. The same is true for the new levels. 70-71 is something of a long haul, especially if you aren’t organized. If you approach thing willy nilly you will find that each level will take a long time.
Grinding is the leveling method of choice for many, but with the super long levels from 70-80 this will be a very dull way to level especially after the initial glee of exploration wears off. Take whatever stash of Mountain Dew, pizza, and tunes that you laid in for your pre-70 grind fests and triple it.
The first people to hit 80 played in the beta test and learned all the routes and the sweet spots for a little extra grinding. They don’t do it by randomly grinding or by doing quests randomly.Bloodscalp saw its first 80 (Horde) at 1am on the 15th, but he wasn’t the fastest.
Nyhm, the first character to hit 80 on any server, said (in an interview with MMO-Campion) that he did it by grinding the crypt in Drakil’ji Ruins (in Grizzly Hills.) The monsters there pop up quickly and are neutral, so the grinding is safer. A healer seems to have been along for at least part of the ride. I don’t know that I could deal with 27 hours of straight grinding, but he did. He had the right spot, the right gear, the right team, and made it. I wonder if he even bothered to get training or to loot the mobs he killed.
For those who didn’t get to explore the world in the beta it will take a bit longer. One thing that will help you a great deal on all your travels is to grab a WoW addon called “Cartographer.” This addon lets you set waypoints which are a big help in finding your way around whichever zone you happen to be in, whether it’s the starter area, an instance, or Northrend. Grab a quest, locate the area that you want to be in, set a waypoint, and follow the arrow on your main screen. It’s a free download and the installation is as easy as any other WoW addon.
Do you need more info on a quest than the quest log provides? Thottbot.com has info on just about every quest in the game, no matter how small. Have a question about where to go or what to do? Thottbot.com has the answers. Under the quest data you will find the comments, and you should make it a point to read them. The really good info is located there. Another similar site is WoWhead.com.
“Quest Helper” is another addon and this one provides directions and info for many of the quests throughout WoW. It’s updated regularly so while it might not be 100% Wrath ready right now, it should eventually get there. Quest helper provides quest locations, info, and help, all in-game.