I finally have an alt up to level 120 in World of Warcraft. 120 was the level cap introduced with the Battle for Azeroth expansion. That expansion launched over seven months ago, so this isn’t anything like a brag.
In a way, it is something of the opposite of a brag. Because the funny thing about my alt, an alliance druid named Alioto, is that he hasn’t been to Kul Tiras or Zandalar yet.
There are a couple of reasons for this.
The first is that while he did go to the Broken Isles in Legion, and has his feral spec artifact weapons, I fell off the wagon there after a couple of levels. The changes to druids between Warlords of Draenor, where I played him quite a bit, and Legion were enough to put me off the class. And that didn’t seem to get much better with the coming of BFA. Still, I might have given it a shot save for the next item.
Second, there is/was/remains the whole bit about how mobs scale up faster in difficulty than you do as your level and ilevel go up. That was a serious drag with my ret pally main, and I felt pretty good about playing him otherwise, and led to all sorts of angst in the community about levels and what not. Even I was wondering what the point of levels were if they actively made you feel weaker against the exact same content, and I kind of like levels despite their problems.
I am past that with my pally. He hit level 120 months ago and has boosted his ilevel past the point of punishment and it is fun again to go out and do world quests and follow the story line. When the expansion stops punishing you for upgrading things are pretty good, because aside from that I have enjoyed the zone content and the story line.
But I am not keen to dive in with alts quite yet. I will probably wait until I unlock flying on my account before I dive into that. And I am certainly not hankering to dive into BFA with alts that are classes that I feel weak playing to start with. I’d probably be okay with warrior, hunter, or death knight, all of which are ready to go, but my mage, rogue, and druids… those all feel like they would end up being an unhappy slog.
Basically, BFA has made me focus on my main even more than Legion did, and Legion really felt geared to make you focus on a single main to start with, something that was a bit jarring after the alt happy Warlords of Draenor expansion, where I ended up with a bunch of characters at level cap. And all of this was compounded by the fact that allied races came in with the run up to BFA, so Blizzard was essentially pushing alts by giving you a passel of new level 20s to grind up, while delivering an expansion that made leveling up alts feel like a chore.
Is it any wonder that Blizzard is fretting about levels and talking about crazy things like a level squish? In hindsight they seem to have set themselves up for trouble.
All of which is part of the public debate about WoW, but leaves out how my druid managed to get to level cap.
He got there via pet battles.
And not just any pet battles, but the battles against grand master pet tamer NPCs in the Warlords of Draenor and Mists of Panaria.
Due to the quirks of the way pet battles have evolved over time, the easiest way to level up your battle pets is to run through some daily NPC pet battles in those two expansions.
I have been over how I can run a level 1 battle pet up to level 25 daily without a lot of effort. With the right set of teams it is not a big deal, save for the occasional bad luck with the RNG. (I still highly recommend the addon Rematch for managing your pet leveling queue and teams.)
The side effect of running these pet battles, which are all in areas where the level cap was lower so they are pretty safe to travel through even if you haven’t unlocked flying, and completely safe if you have, is that they also yield experience for your character. They are all daily quests, but due to the fact they are pet battles, they scale up with your level, handing you a solid at level quest worth exp with each one.
Seriously, from where ever through to level cap each battle gave my druid nearly 4% of a level of experience. With Legion, and carried on with BFA, the master trainers became world quests, which means you need to unlock access to them and can only battle them when they are up in rotation.
While there is a limit to the number you can do on a given day… you can only battle each master trainer once… doing enough to level a pet up to 25 each day gets you a good chunk of a level.
In fact, I think the master pet trainer daily quests in all of the content up through Warlords of Draenor do the same, and there are a lot of them. There is even an achievement for doing them all in a single day, which I will do some day (with an alt well shy of the level cap). I haven’t done it yet because, for me at least, pet battles are best done in small doses lest they become tedious.
Anyway, there is a way to level up an alt. I’ll probably start in with another character… probably my mage, which is the level 110 alt I am least likely to ever play… and carry on with the pet battle dailies.
Addendum: I am not the only one on about mob scaling in BFA today.