or, My Characters: Let Me Show You Them, Part 5
My Fury Warrior dinged 53 today, and I realized abruptly that I'm a mere five levels away from Outland. How did that happen?
Alright, let me back up a step. In late January, some fellow George Martin fans decided to re-roll from the European server they'd previously been on to a US server to start a new raiding guild. (Two of them, Halkale and Baelor have blogs of their own.) Almost exactly five months later, Fire and Blood (the name an allusion to Martin's series "A Song of Ice and Fire") downed Mother Sharaz in the Black Temple. A solo player on no particular schedule, such as myself, doesn't really have much business being in such a high-powered guild. Fortunately, they were willing to let me keep a slow leveling alt on their roster anyway. In the World of Westeros, messages are carried by trained ravens, and thus was born Greenraven, a Tauren Fury Warrior with the darkest raven-black skin and horns WoW offers.
At the time, my old Pally (who would later become uncrushable without setting foot in a TBC instance) was just hitting Outland, and the draw of rapidly replacing all of my gear with stuff that was raid quality just over a year previously was more attractive than leveling through old world lowbie content. I burned through to the mid-20's and parked Greenraven to start earning rested exp state. Once I'd finished the uncrushable project, I picked up Greenraven and played him as my primary character for April and early May, which left him in the low 40's. Greenraven was quiet again until the previously discussed Midsummer Firefestival, which saw him leapfrog up to his current level in basically a week.
The point being, I've been very surprised at how quickly the trek to Outland has gone. My first level 60 character took me about 7 months worth of gaming time from re-roll to the final ding. This time out, if you exclude all the time where I either wasn't playing at all or was playing other characters, I'd say I'm on pace to reach level 60 in three months worth of gaming time. Some of that is greater efficiency on my part, but nowhere near enough to finish leveling in half as much time (especially when you consider that I have never previously had a Horde character above level 30, and that I was doing this on a server where I had no assets or such cheats to get a head start on bags, gear, etc).
Blizzard has really done a good job adjusting the pacing of leveling. When I finished leveling the mage to the cap (both times), I wasn't really ready to even consider making the journey again. Now, the experience is sufficiently fun that I'm seriously debating which of my two shadow-casting cloth-wearing alts to rescue from mid-20's limbo next, and I haven't even finished the current character yet. Don't get me wrong, leveling more alts isn't a complete replacement for having stuff to do on your main, but the process has been streamlined to the point where it's fun to try out new and different things. That's a win for everyone.