Mists of Pandaria Preparation: Alts

In the World of Warcraft, fortunes are made on patches and new expansions. Each new expansion and patch brings the opportunity for you to get gold-capped. Will you be the next in Mists of Pandaria? Now is the time to prepare! This series is about preparing for the next great gold rush in WoW: Mists of Pandaria!

Multiple Max-Level Characters
One of the most critical cogs in the gold-making machine is having multiple markets in which you participate. The more professions you have, the more gold you'll be able to make. But in order to get more professions, we need to have more max-level characters.

Unless you've already maxed out your character slots on your server, this is going to be an important step for you as you look to make your fortune. If you're sitting on only one or two max-level characters, this step is even more critical. Thankfully, leveling characters has never been easier. However, there are still some tips to share about the leveling process to maximize your efficiency while also making some gold along the way.

Simultaneous Leveling
Historically, I've committed to a single character and brought them up through the levels until they were level-capped, then started on my next character. While this is a workable solution, it's often not the most efficient. It's actually much faster to level multiple characters at the same time. Here's why:
  • Rested Experience
    Whenever you log off, your character will accumulate "rested" experience. When you are in an inn or capital city, you gain one "bar", or 5% of a level, of rested XP every 8 hours. You'll know you're receiving it when you see a little "zzz" in the bottom left of your portrait. In 10 days, you'll gain the maximum 1.5 levels of rested XP. When you return to your adventures, you will receive double XP for all kills, farming (herb/ore) and archeological digs. So if you level one character, then let them rest while leveling the next 2-3 to the same point, you'll return to some rested XP bonus.
  • Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
    If you don't mind the repetitive grind, level all your characters in the same zones. I've liked revisiting the remade starting zones, but I find it's faster to level through zones I know already. The first time through, I'm constantly checking the map and quest text for directions, but the 2nd and 3rd times through go much faster. If you're chain-running your alts through a single zone, you'll find the subsequent trips to get faster and faster as you learn the routes and locations for quests. You might consider taking each character through the zone, then starting back with the first for your next zone and repeating the cycle.
  • Shared Drops
    Another point in favor of simultaneous leveling is that your characters will be receiving the same "junk" as they level. Read my post about optimizing gold while leveling for some tips on how to sell the valuable goods (and how to identify what's valuable). Trade Skill Master will be critical to your success here. Use your first character to set up groups for the items. (TIP: The TSM tooltip tells you what group an item is in. If it's not in one, nothing will be listed so you know you should add it.) At the end of each zone (or whenever your bags get too full), mail all of the auctionable stuff to an Auction Alt and post away. I like to price this stuff to move out of my inventory, not necessarily make the most gold. If you want until all your characters have been through the zone, you'll be able to list everything in the largest groups possible.
Professions While Leveling
Next week's post will go into more detail about professions to use, but a quick word here about them. For most of my characters, I've opted to level with one or two "gathering" professions. Generally speaking, I don't like to level my production professions until I hit (or get near) max-level. I've found skinning to be the easiest to keep up to date with my current level, followed by mining and herbalism. But if you're using heirlooms, you're likely to out-level your gathering professions and will need to spend time "catching up." I like to build up rested XP (see above) and then use that on catching up the gathering professions.

I then use the resources from this farming to level my production professions later. If you have a lot of gold already, you might consider skipping the farming as it will definitely slow down your leveling overall if you have to go back to level your gathering skills. If you're short on gold, you'll want to do this and save the materials in your bank for leveling your production professions later.

One exception here: if you know one of your characters is going to be an enchanter, it's worth leveling it enough to be able to disenchant your unneeded quest rewards and old gear, which in turn helps reduce the cost of leveling your enchanter. You can also send the enchanter all your Bind-on-Equip gear you find while leveling if it doesn't sell for disenchanting.

Next Week: Professions

3 comments: on "Mists of Pandaria Preparation: Alts"

  1. Good stuff, I have been levelling alts as I am on a new server and no longer have all the professions on level 85s. This is the best time for levelling alts compared to other expansions, you have PVP levelling which is awesome up to level 60 and enjoyable after, you have 40% worth of heirloom, combine that with strategic use of holiday event quests and perseverance you'll have your professions filled out in no time.

  2. Got a max-level Main with Mining and Herbing, and a few Toons from 75 to 85, with every other profession, wouldnt it be better to just level the profession toons to 80 (i think the min level for maxed out professions will be 80 in MoP right?) instead of leveling them to 85?
    Leveling until 80 is very fast, but then it slows down in my opinion.

  3. @Heroic Fan Boy:
    Great points. I've taken good advantage of PvP, especially the Call to Arms feature that grants additional XP if you win. My rhythm includes questing/dungeons in the early levels of a PvP bracket and PvP in the latter half to give myself the best possible chance of winning matches. Holidays are stupidly powerful for leveling too, especially when they have an XP boost associated with them.

    The minimum level for Cataclysm crafting was 80 (the Wrath level cap), but some professions were gated behind a level 84 barrier because of the phased vendors in Twilight Highlands that had the patterns you needed to make the most gold. I'm unsure what Blizzard's plans are with regards to this, but I'm shooting for level 85 to cover my bases. It should allow me to level professions to max without leveling the toons to 90, but I only have X levels to earn (from 85 to whatever) if gating is involved, instead of X+5 (from 80 to whatever).

    If you take advantage of the rested XP and heirlooms, I've found Cataclysm leveling is still very fast, especially if you hit each dungeon at least once for the quest XP associated with the dungeons.

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