The Mighty Insta-90 Question – Which Class to Boost?

The question of the hour in our guild is, “What class should I level up to 90 with the Warlords of Draenor expansion?”  For some of us, it represents an opportunity to change up the group and play something new.  For others… well, me… who have changed up their character a couple of times already, it is still a chance to try something new after all these years without having to go through the work of catching up.

Through the years in Azeroth

Through the years in Azeroth

This question became all the more pressing when Blizzard announced that your free insta-90 boost would be available as soon as you pre-ordered the expansion. (If you pre-order the collector’s edition, you also get the pet and the mount and whatever else in-game they offer.)  Leaving aside the “that sure sounds like we won’t be getting WoD any time soon” aspect of the announcement, it seems like we could be granted our level 90 boost in the near future. (My pre-ordering as soon as it becomes an option seems per-ordained.  I am pre-pared… or something.)

So this seems like a perfect opportunity to bore people and start arguments by looking at the classes in World of Warcraft and my relationship with them.   And I might as well break them up into arbitrary categories to further horrify people.  So on with the debacle!

Already 90s

Classes out of the running for an insta-90 boost because I already have one at level 90, or will have one there before WoD ships. A look at what I guess I like in WoW.

Paladin – Back in March 2005, when I finally broke down and bought World of Warcraft, having been otherwise devoted to EverQuest II since November 2004, the first character I made was a dwarf paladin.

That was a mistake.  The paladin’s life was a hard one back then.  The only ranged attack you could pull with was limited to undead and demons.  Judgement was a strange beast.  Their epic mount quest was a serious chore, and no cheaper in the end for all the work.  Warriors were better tanks, priests were better healers, and just about anybody was better DPS.  The joke was that a paladin never dies, but neither do his foes.  Add in the fact that the snowy dwarven starter area that was the least interesting of the bunch and that I started out hating the dwarf character models and you might begin to understand why it took me some time to warm to WoW.  I deleted that character after not too long.

However, I did return to the class later, and stuck with it in the end.  Paladins have evolved over time and I have been happy enough playing one.  Picking up engineering as a profession filled in some of the class gaps back in the day.  I was always fond of the wrist mounted rocket launcher enchant that engineers could add.  The character I consider my “main” in the game is Vikund, my one and only paladin. (Ignore that low level blood elf! He means nothing!)  He was my first to level 60, 70, 80, 85, and 90.  He’s the guy, my “do all the things” character.  I don’t need another paladin.

Hunter – The go-to class for a lot of people when they want to solo.  I have always enjoyed the class, I have several on various servers.  If my pally was first to all those levels, my hunter, Tistann, was second.  He just hit level 90 this week.  I have always enjoyed the pet taming and interaction aspects of the class.  And while people often groan aloud when they see a beast mastery hunter show up in their Dungeon Finder group, you can be quite competitive with other DPS if you play right.  But I don’t need another one at level 90 just yet.

Druid – I think everybody has a class they are dumb for.  I would have told you that, for me, the class is hunters.  Then I noticed I had five druids over level 60, including two above level 80 on the same server in the same faction.  So as Earl has his warriors, and my mother has a collection of hunters, I have an army of druids.  There is a lot to like.  I tell people I have two druids on the same server so I can play all four druid specs… druids are so special that they get four specs… but I think I really just like flight form.  I jump off of high places just to invoke flight form mid-fall.  It is too cool.  But with two druids in the 80s, at least one of which will be level 90 before WoD drops, I don’t need to use my boost on this class.

The Mid-Level Blues

Classes I have worked on at various points, but which have never quite made it to level cap.

Death Knight – This seems to be cheating a bit as Death Knights start at level 55 and are close to 60 by the time they get done with their starter zone.  Mid-level at birth, depending on where you set the bar for “mid-level,” I never really thought much about DKs until I was pushing druid #2 through Outland and Northrend as a healer.  Then I noted how durable they were and figured that maybe this was a class even I could play the tank in.  So I rolled one up and he currently sits at level 64.  My main problem with him is that he is in 5th place after my pally, hunter, and two druids, so I do not get around to him very often.  But DKs totally seem like a class I could play up to 90… once the two druids are there… so perhaps it would be a waste to use an insta-90 on mine.

Priest – The first thing I rolled up when our old TorilMUD guild finally said, “screw this!” to EverQuest II, just as Kingdom of the Sky squelched onto the scene, and headed to WoW, was a priest.  This never quite worked out.  For me, a priest is a cleric in the D&D vein, wearing heavy armor, wielding a mace mostly for show, and dispensing heals while taking repeated punches to the face.  So it was in TorilMUD, EverQuest, and EverQuest II.

In WoW a priest is a holy guy that wears cloth vestments.  On what sort of Bizarro world does that make sense?

Plus we never really formed a group where I could be the healer, so my priest made it solo to about Stranglethorn Vale before I said, “To Hell with this!” and just focused on my pally and hunter.  The pally was the cleric I really wanted to play in any case.  Now though, with Dungeon Finder, having another healer around wouldn’t be a bad thing, and I am still pretty sure I wouldn’t want to level one up.  So there is possibility here.

Rogue – I actually rolled up a rogue for the instance group back in late 2006.  Blintz was going to be our DPS, lockpicker, and stealthy scout.  He is in at least one of the group shots at the top of the post.

And then as soon as the group hit 40, I swapped out Blintz for my paladin and barely ever played him again.  The rogue class and I aren’t very compatible.  Attacks are very positional, I never had a good feel for the skills, and I can never quite use stealth right.  These are things I also struggle with as a feral druid, but at least with the druid I can claim status as a backup tank and healer when Ula and Bung are blowing me away on the DPS chart.  So I am not sure being a level 90 rogue would change any of that.

Still, I keep thinking about him.  Every once in a while I will play him for a bit.  He has managed to make it to level 46 in the last six year.  But is a level a year really progress?

Never Got Very Far

And then there is everything else.

Warrior – I’ve rolled up any number of warriors over the years, but never found the time to focus on one.  Way back in the day there were drawbacks to being a warrior, at least if you didn’t have a healer along.  You needed potions, bandages, and lots of food around.  I chose a paladin to avoid all of that, and of course ended up with another set of problems.  Later on, when that was less of a big deal, I did tinker with warriors now and again.  But like the Death Knight, warriors were never high enough on my list to get enough play.  And the question remains, what would I do with one at level 90 is I had one?

Shaman – I recall leveling up a shaman once into the 20s, but I can’t remember when or on what server.  I think I was horde.  Maybe.  Clearly the class never stuck.  As with warriors, back in the day the class used to be a bit of a trial to get used to.  Later, with things smoothed out, it was simpler, but it still didn’t do anything I couldn’t already do, which is what you get when you play two classes that can do it all I guess.

Warlock – I rolled up a warlock once, but only played a couple of levels in.  This was back when warlocks were completely OP, as opposed to just being mostly OP.  Still, everybody I know who has a level cap warlock can burn stuff down like no other, so there is some allure there, even if I have never been good at the DPS caster role.  But if Bung decides he wants use his insta-90 boost to swap out his warlock and try something new, I might be up for the challenge.  The utility value of warlocks, with health stones, soul stones, and a variety of pets, is high enough that I would feel useful.  I’d just have to learn the class, though you could argue that I need to do so even with the classes I already have at level 90.

Mage – I do have a mage who is in the 30s.  He was part of the Worgen instance group we rolled up for Cataclysm.  I never really liked him all that much.  In part because of the Worgen thing… which I could stand until I found out the racial mount was just them running around on all fours… but also because of the “I’m not really a cloth wearing caster type,” which I have mentioned above.  I do not find the mage all that alluring as a class, so even if Ula decided to trade out, I am not sure I would step up to play one again.

Monk – And, finally, there is the latest class added to Azeroth.  I rolled one up and played it for a bit when we first jumped back into WoW last August, but wasn’t really fond of it, so I never bothered to get him out of the Pandaren starting area.  So I went and made a hunter… and a druid… because that is apparently how I roll.  The one thing that the monk has going for it is that it does fit my pattern of playing classes that can be all the roles.  Paladins and druids can play tank, healer, or DPS, and so can a monk.  If I play to that type, the monk should be good.  But, as I said, I didn’t enjoy the class when it started and, for no good reason, Pandaren monk tanks annoy me.  I cannot explain why.  So this is not a sure thing.

Make a Choice Already

So those are the options.  And, honestly, I am not sure what I will choose.  It likely won’t be until the very day the option becomes available… and maybe not even then.  There will be a point when I will press the button and do this, and I guess  I will just stew until then.

I will say that, at the moment, the leading contenders are the warlock, the monk, and the death knight.  My gut response way back when WoD was announced was a warlock.  But I could easily be swayed elsewhere.  I will be watching what other people say on the topic.  I see that Liore already has a post on this.  I expect that others will follow suit.

In the mean time, I’ll throw out a poll asking what you would do.  You can, of course, attempt to influence my decision in the comments.

20 thoughts on “The Mighty Insta-90 Question – Which Class to Boost?

  1. Codeblue

    Monk – This is what I am rolling up. I do not like the kung-fu panda ideals but it is what it is. I am rolling a tauren monk to be my insta-90. I wont know how to do anything about how to play him but they are a interesting (if not overplayed) class. I do not feel like leveling one up from 1 to 90 but insta-90 …I can do that.


  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Codeblue – Of course you’re making a Tauren. But a Tauren monk… hrmm? If nothing else, I will need to find you and get an honorable kill on your, as the only race/class combo we are missing for a guild achievement is a Tauren monk.


  3. Jenks

    My female Tauren monk is level 15ish when I stopped playing, but I do remember loving her attack animations. I’ve got a level 90 of just about everything else so that’s what I’ll be using it on.

    If I understand the plan of “dumbing down WoW: 2014 edition” correctly, stats on gear will benefit you no matter your spec. Triple role classes like druid, paladin, and monk will be hugely rewarded by that change.


  4. bhagpuss

    From my lofty position of three-months played and highest character 70ish I’d say Warlock. My 70 is a dwarf hunter and i really liked him a lot but the second character I made was a warlock and he was definitely more characterful. Priest was like watching an Andy Warhol movie of paint drying and death knight was a very pale version of several similar classes I’d enjoyed a lot more in other games but warlock really had something.


  5. Spidubic

    I have not played WoW in a long time but it has always tempted me to come back. I have a Druid at 83 that I loved. As far as insta 90 class I would most likely go Monk since I don’t have one.


  6. Piacenza

    I am/was having the same difficulty deciding, but I think you just helped me make up my mind. A druid. Really, though, I would like to see a new class :) Something completely different, with amazing new skills and abilities. Maybe a cyborg class, that could interact with both factions (at a cost, perhaps, or after a quest) and whose racial ability was telepathy or telekinesis or something, maybe with the race they chose to ‘borg’ with. Hmmm.


  7. sleepysam

    Druid. Don’t have one above level 5. Don’t have any hybrids to speak of, and looks fun to take various forms.


  8. Shintar

    Before I decided to re-try WoW, the insta-90 sounded like a good way of getting back into the game once WoD hits. Now that I’ve manually played a character up to 90… not so much anymore. The conundrum I find myself in is that if I enjoy playing a class, I would enjoy levelling it all the way anyway. But if I don’t enjoy playing a class, boosting it to 90 and then not playing it just seems like a waste. So I might not use such a boost at all.


  9. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Shintar – I think you are hitting at a pretty deep truth there. I think that pretty much sums up my apathy about doing the insta-level with my rogue. I would have a level 90 rogue I never played rather than a level 46 rogues I never played.


  10. John

    I see you don’t have a cloth class in high levels. So for aesthetic reasons(cloth transmog) and gameplay reasons (having a caster, unless you play your druid as boomkin) I would say priest..

    Why Priest? From the 3 cloth casters Priest and Warlock has the most awesome tiers for transmog. You already have a pet class(hunter) and in addition priest can perform 2 roles instead of pure DPS.

    So Priest is my suggestion


  11. Jimmy

    I use a horde druid as my max flight speed miner/herb gather. The boost to 90 only seems useful if you’re planing a utility toon like that. I think the real reason they’re doing the boost to 90 is preparation to sell it as a service.


  12. Isey

    I have 5 classes I love in WOW – all top level.

    In order –

    My Paladin. I love tanking and I love the flavor and style of the class.
    My Shaman. This class was SO MUCH BETTER when totems had more flavor and purpose, but I enhance and heal and it is tons of fun (I voted Shaman for you because you already have a Polly)
    My Rogue. The most favorite class to level solo-especially once you learn all the tricks
    My Druid – My first love and my gatherer/cleanup character. I tank with him too =)

    I started a monk but hated the playstyle of throwing kegs of beer to taunt, etc. Seemed silly even for WOW. And with their 50% leveling boost for doing a daily quest, you already level this class the fastest.


  13. NetherLands

    From a utility aspect, I’d say Rogue. You’ll be able to open up chests, and from cata content onward these always contain gold.

    Warlocks and Death Knights are quick to level, and Warlocks have a lot of tricks to learn to become effective so levelling regularly has its advantages. Death Knights are very clutter-free and otherwise straightforward, so while you could use the boost without a hitch, there isn’t much of a hitch to begin with.

    Rogues however are in something of an odd state, on the one hand removing of the immersive qualities has made them more straighforward (nowadays you just poop posions for example) but this also took away much of the variety out of levelling, and sneaking up behind to stab mobs over and over and over again gets shallow quickly. In PvP they are fun, however.


  14. Pingback: WoW – Who to Boost | Endgame Viable

  15. Jonny 5iVe

    @ Wilhelm, RE: Rogue

    Funny you mention the insta-level thing about a rogue in your comment to Shintar.

    Back in WotLK, I had a level 80 character of every class, except for the mage and the rogue.

    My mage was (and still is), level 64, and my rogue was about level 14.

    When cata dropped, I leveled my DK main to 85, and shortly after quit.

    About 17 months later, I decided to take advantage of the “Scroll of Resurrection”, so I waddled (I don’t walk anywhere) over to Looked at their forums, and lo’ and behold, there was a thread dedicated to sending you an invite for a free 14-days. I leaped on the offer, and within minutes received a selection of invites.

    The system also came with several benefits:

    – Free character transfer to the referrers server.
    – Free faction change (so you could play with the referrer, although not enforced).
    – Free account upgrade to include the Cataclysm expansion.
    – Free insta-level 80 character, in all blue gear to get you started.

    So, I have faced this dilemma before, and of course, I chose the rogue…

    My point with all this is to directly contradict what Shintar mentioned.

    I never liked leveling the rogue (I tried several times). This was some time ago, back when you didn’t get poisons until level 40+, but I never really enjoyed it.

    I did, however, see how much fun they could be at later levels from conversations with those in my guild, randoms in dungeons and BG’s, and later watching videos about raid tactics.

    I can safely say, I don’t regret that move. That rogue is now my main, and other characters barely even get a look in nowadays.

    Moral of the story?

    The utility of the classes you never stuck with beyond the early game, aren’t necessarily unenjoyable. They might just not come into their own for you until experienced at more substantial levels.


  16. Raziel Walker

    I was a (horde) shadow priest since lvl 11 in vanilla wow but quit before WotLK-Uldum, how are they as a class these days?

    My (dwarf) hunter was a close second and by the end I also liked paladin/death knight because I liked to solo as much of the game as possible. I was leveling a shaman at the time and that seemed quite a strong class as well.


  17. Zhen

    It should be noted with a monk you already have a leveling edge over the other classes. Starting at lvl 20 you get a daily quest at the peak of serenity. You also get said quest every 10 lvls in addition to the daily. These will stack up as well, so you can get a 50% buff to XP for one hour per quest stacked on top of any rested XP, guild perk! heirlooms, and event buffs. So just roll a monk to 20, log him in once a day for the quest and log out, then pick a day once a week to login and burn 6 hours of 50% XP boost. However, once you hit I think it’s lvl 85 this gets cut to 20/30% I believe. So leveling a monk is extremely fast, I’d use the boost on another class tha is more of a pain to level.


  18. Anonymous

    Monk is a terrible idea to boost. Leveling with a monk is already insanely fast. I’d go for whatever class you feel you’ll enjoy playing the most and powering through yet another 10 levels in the near future,


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