Monday, February 11, 2008

Ding 40, time for some horsies!

And hawkstriders as well!

As ever, the plans I (loosely) made for the group underwent some changes. Once they got to level 37 I picked up the quest to kill the final boss in Razorfen Downs and completed that, and then got them to level 38 shortly thereafter. So I decided early one morning to get them a few flight paths that I had not gotten yet. An hour or so later, with only two gankings to slow them down, the group had flight paths for Tarren Mill in Hillsbrad Foothills, Hammerfall in Arathi Highlands, Gadgetzan in Tanaris, and most importantly for the moment... Kargath in the Badlands. I cleared Uldaman for them, then picked up some of the quests and completed them over this past weekend. Along with a few additional clears, this was enough to get them to level 40 and allow them to purchase their mounts.

The next part of the plan will go into effect sometime this week, with a trip to the Swamp of Sorrows to pick up the flight path at Stonard. In the meantime, I expect I will take a few trips through Zul'Farrak and see how far that gets the group. Zul'Farrak and the Temple of Atal'Hakkar should get the group through levels 40-50. I will also need to remember to do the handful of quests for the outside area in the Hinterlands, which provides a nice quest reward or two, including a cloak with spell damage and healing. I run the group at limited times now (early on weekends mostly) to avoid gankers slowing things down. There are additional benefits to the limited schedule- they usually have 50-75% rested experience (or more) now, and it doesn't feel like such a grind. Clearing instances repeatedly gets pretty boring, even though it's relatively quick. There's just no challenge at the moment.

Once they get to a level where I need to get them actively involved, it'll slow things down but the challenge will add to the fun. The next patch (version 2.4.0) will apparently increase the experience gained from all quests in Outland zones. When the time comes to level up in those zones, there will be bonus experience waiting for them. This is a very very good thing! My plan is to take the group to Outland at level 58, do the early quests for some nice gear upgrades, then head back to Scholomance/Stratholme/Dire Maul to level to 60. At 60 I'll run Outland instances exclusively, and between the experience gains from instances and the added experience from quest rewards, the road to level 70 should be relatively short. This also means that I'll have lots and lots of outdoors questing to do once they hit 70, which means more gold.

Which is a good thing, since the cost of land and flying mounts will be borne by my shaman until then. Ouch...