My First WoW Alt to 120

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.

The moment – who can tell me where I am?

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.

8 thoughts on “My First WoW Alt to 120

  1. Asmiroth

    Victims of their own success and lack of communication skills. When Legion launched, it was the first true scaling environment. Because of the way artifact weapons were core for all damage abilities, and the direct binding to their power levels through character levels, it was “simple” to keep enemy scaling in check. In other words, everyone would have an artifact weapon at X power by Y level. Shores + Argus did what all late content does… made mortals into gods. Epics rained from the skies and you could ignore almost all open world content in terms of danger. People played in that mindset with open content for a while…

    BfA scaling is so much different. There is no relation between character level and gear level… it’s all RNG. I remember going 8 levels without an upgrade to my weapon – felt like swinging a wet noodle. Even at max level it took 2 weeks to find a weapon of the type I wanted (staff), and once I acquired it, the game felt a LOT better.

    As big as Blizzard is, this expansion feels like the B team was doing a lot of stuff for the first time.

    All of that was found in beta. It was the main topic on the forums for 2 weeks after launch, and now only impacts alts. It’s too much effort to re calibrate something that is so large and so time-boxed, that people can only hope the next expansion doesn’t repeat the same.

    My gut tells me that the next expansion will just be achievement/rep hunting, that is account wide. Do this questline to unlock drops at this ilvl, and a reputation hurdle for some various bits. They can timegate the original questline, or the rep grind, and forego level creep. Makes the content relevant (from a growth/exploration perspective), and they can continue with their daily structure (to make it relevant long term).

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  2. Nogamara

    I don’t disagree on the mob scaling but I’ve not really noticed it being too bad, most of the time. Yes, sometimes from 116-119 a few stretches were a little painful, but not enough to deter me from leveling I guess. I think I didn’t go on full hardcore this expansion, and only really came back with 8.1.0 – but I’ve managed to bring 7 chars to 120, and while I agree that some were really easy (Retri Paladin, 2x Fury Warrior, DH), the others weren’t really a problem either (Balance Druid, Outlaw Rogue, Elemental Shaman).

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Nogamara – Everybody has their own threshold. Clearly I got through it, so it wasn’t impossible or anything. It wasn’t even necessarily hard, just grindy and annoying when leveling up made me feel weaker, which I do not equate with fun. And if it isn’t fun why would I do it?

    And, as I said, I did it with a class I am strong with, so the thought of getting to 120 with an alt isn’t filling me with joy, and getting there with an alt in a class I feel weak playing seems like a punishment I would rather just avoid.

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  4. Alunaria

    I wish they would go back to a different model, where we work up towards dangerous zones – that later on becomes easier as we gear up. I do not understand the need to keep us grounded in such a way, that repetitive stuff continue to take just as long now, than 50 item levels since.

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  5. Solf

    I ‘have’ to ask — did you try Pet Charms (or whatever they are exactly called) for pet leveling? When I went on a binge in BfA, I would just do WQ/pet battle (there’s usually at least one) that awards Pet Charms and buy ‘instant lvl 25’ items to level the pets I cared about. You can do that on every alt that you have — although I think it may require unlocking WQs in BfA, so probably just your sole lvl 120 character for you.

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  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Solf – There are a couple of issues on the pet charm path for me. For openers, the pet charms you earn everywhere outside of BfA, shiny pet charms, got deprecated and can only buy a couple of things now, so you have to get the polished pet charms which come only from BfA WQs and missions.

    So I used to get tons of pet charms that were useful to spend, now I only get a few.

    And the polished pet charms are also used to buy battle pets from various vendors as well as buying marked flawless battle stones, which upgrade the quality of battle pets. Before I use charms on ultimate battle stones, which run 60 charms each, I need to collect all the pets for which charms are currency and upgrade any lesser quality pets.

    Meanwhile, buying the insta 25 is something of a hard sell because I can get a battle pet up to level 20 in three battles, and 25 either with the weekly allowance of leveling stones or with three more battles. Basically, it is quicker to get them to 25 by leveling them than going out to earn the upgrade, which competes with other items I want to buy.

    Also, this ignores the side benefit of leveling up some of my lesser alts by running those three to six pet battles daily. (And when the pet battle bonus xp week rolls around I can easily level 3 pets from 1 to 25 in about 9 battles.)

    So I wouldn’t throw away an ultimate battle stone if I got one… there is a garrison quest that gives you one when you unlock the pet battle building and a rare quest now and then that gets you one, so I think I have one or two stored away in case there is a pet I need to get to 25 for something special, but otherwise it is not worth my effort to buy those.

    But I am a bit obsessive about getting and leveling them all, so I may not be a stand in for the typical user.

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  7. Solf

    Hmm, yeah, makes sense, I really thought those are less than 60 apiece.
    I guess it only worked for me because I had 3 or 4 alts who could do these quests. *And* because I don’t care about ‘having them all’, so I wasn’t fussed about collecting charms to buy a pet that didn’t seem useful combat-wise. Still have a couple of thousands of them between all of my chars :)

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