It took five months, but I finally hit level 40 with my first character in WoW Classic.  That might seem pretty slow… lots of people have been level 60 for a while now… but I have been pushing a group of characters through the game in parallel, not to mention spending some time getting characters to the new level cap over in EverQuest II.  And I am in no hurry in any case, spending more time going into various side areas to see the things I might have missed back in the day.

And in getting past level 30 you do end up with opportunities to see more things.  While even at lower levels the rise in quest levels in zones encourages you to do a couple zones in parallel, past 30 it becomes something of a requirement.  I think one of the reasons that leveling past that point starts to feel difficult is that you have to have some insight into where you might go to pick up a few quests in your level range.  Tistann, my hunter, went all over.

Hunting Ravagers in Desolace

There are little bits and threads of quests in Desolace, Theremore, Thousand Needles, and Stranglethorn Vale that send you back and forth or lead you to other locations for a bit, like a diversion of the Swamp of Sorrows.  I had forgotten about a group that lived there, though I am sure they won’t enter into the story in any significant way.

You’re from where now?

And while I was out I also poked my nose into neighboring zones, like the Blasted Lands and Tanaris to pick up flight points and set myself up for later ventures.

The sights around Tanaris – Do I want to know how hanging people ends up with all that blood?

But eventually I was in Stranglethorn Vale, the southern end, when the moment hit and my hunter rolled over to 40.

I missed the ding, but here I am seconds later

And there I was.  I finished out the quest I had going and recalled back to Ironforge as level 40 brings with it a whole host of new things.

New Skills

There are always some skills to learn or upgrade every other level, but 40 got me Aspect of the Pack, the group buff version of Aspect of the Cheetah that lets everybody run 30% faster.  There was also Volley, a new shooting skill, and Track Giants to add to my list of tracking options.  I always feel blind when I play another character after my hunter because I get used to tracking very quickly.

New Pet Skills

There were also some pet skills to upgrade, including a new version of Growl for my wolf, to help him keep aggro.  This actually feels a bit overdue as he had been having trouble holding aggro for the last couple of levels.  I supposed that help keep my melee skills up to date, but it will be nice for him to be a little stickier going forward.  I just have to get him to level 40 now so her can use it.

New Ammo

Level 40 gets you the next tier of ammo, the accurate slug, that increases the amount of damage each shot applies.  I also upgraded my gun at the auction house, as the one I was using was a few levels past its prime.  So I can throw a lot more damage down range.  The wolf is going to need that new taunt, and until he gets up to where I can train him, I am going to be getting more time to work on my melee skills I guess.

New Armor

Technically one of the skills I got at 40 was the ability to wear mail armor, but I am putting it in its own category because this feature is on my list of “Why?” questions that go back to vanilla WoW.  Playing WoW Classic has reminded me of that list and I should probably do a post on it.  But still, why did Blizz think that changing armor type at level 40 was a good idea?  They got rid of that, but only much later.

I suspect that Blizz just assumed people wouldn’t obsess about it and pick up new gear as it became handy, which would just prove that Blizz doesn’t know people very well.  I started collecting mail armor drops from about level 35 forward and have been hording turtle scales to make mail armor, a leatherworker skill, but I am still mostly wearing leather.

A Mount

Of course, the big thing that comes with level 40 is the ability to buy a mount.  Unfortunately, after dealing with the above, I am well short of the gold needed.  I had about 30 gold going into level 40 and a little more than 12 gold once I got everything settled.

Of course, part of the problem is that I end up sending the good equipment drops to my alts rather than selling them at the auction house.  I have two characters that will be upgrading to plate armor at 40, so I save every such drop I see.  And, of course, with several characters in rotation I don’t end up with a lot of time spent on just working on earning gold.  So it will be Aspect of the Cheetah for a while now as I don’t think I have 100 gold across all my characters combined.

But, as I said, I am not in a huge hurry to get anywhere.  I’ll have the gold at some point, but for now I walk.

3 thoughts on “Forty

  1. Ula

    Congrats Tistann!!! Is this First in Guild too, or did Earl sneak in and level several guys to 60 by now?

    May I suggest an edit: “Of course, part of the problem is that I end up sending the good equipment drops to my alts AND MY GUILDMATES AND THEIR ALTS rather than selling them at the auction house.”

    Thank you for the mats, Tist!


  2. bhagpuss

    Grats! I finally cancelled my account a couple of days ago. I haven’t logged into WoW at all since some time in October, I think. Maybe it was early November. I didn’t plan on stopping but as so often happens to me one day i was playing and the next i wasn’t. I kept thinking I’d pick it up again but I never did and eventually it became clear I wasn’t going to.

    I really enjoyed levelling up to the mid-40s. If it had stayed like that I’d have made it to 60 but it became less and less enjoyable as I made it into the 50s. The sheer amount of travelling by then meant that in a three hour evening session I probably spent an hour to an hour and a half running along roads, sitting on griffons or waiting for boats. The gameplay itself also became very repetitive and one-note even by MMORPG standards and the community aspects, all that ad hoc grouping that made the first few weeks of Classic such a great experience, dried up almost completely. Everyone I met seemed to have turned from a collaborator into a competitor.

    I remember almost exactly the same experience in my first run through WoW, back in WotLK. That experience was alleviated by doing a lot of Battlegrounds and i did think I’d come back and do the same once they were added but it never happened. I do remember that, when i hit the wall in the mid-50s, I was able to move to Burning Crusade a little early. I don’t think it was level-locked or even if it was the knowledge that it was waiting at 60 must have been enough to get me through. I didn’t actually like BC when I got there, but I didn’t know that would be the case at the time so it was enough to keep me going for a little longer.

    It’s very clear that the developers back in the vanilla era expected most people to move from levelling by overland quests to levelling in dungeons. All the questlines push that heavily. I didn;t realize just how much of a “group required” game WoW was back then. I always thought of it as the premier solo MMORPG and my WotLK run did nothing to disabuse me of that impression. I’d say that once you get to the fifties it becomes a pretty poor solo experience even compared to other games of its time, partly because those didn’t have such a grinding gear-change.

    I may come back at some point but for now I’m done. And this should probably have been the core of a post of my own rather than a comment (and may yet become one) so apologies for that.


  3. Shintar

    I always figured that the change in armour type was one of those RP-inspired things that were still a thing back in the day. At least for warriors and paladins the progression from squire in chain mail to a knight in full plate makes some sense to me. That said, I never quite understood it with hunters, because all the stereotypical fantasy hunters that I can think of wear leather, regardless of “power level”.


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