Classic WoW Launch Strategy | Weapon Progression: How To Get Ahead of The Crowd
Classic World of Warcraft is going to be released in the summer of 2019 and the day of launch is going to be nothing like we've seen in the past because of the "sharding" mechanic. This system, in my opinion, attempts to even out the playing field when it comes to speed leveling from 1-10 between new players and seasoned veterans. Nobody really knows what the most optimal line of play is going to be in terms of getting out of the starting zone the fastest. Because of this fact, the information displayed in this guide is going to cover all of the variables in each starting zone.
When it comes to speed leveling, there's no amount of information out there that's going to give you an edge against people who have experience and have actually practiced their leveling routes. Fortunately for you, this group of people will be the minority come Classic launch and hopefully these tips and tricks will still allow you to enter into The Barrens or Darkshore before it gets crowded!
Before we get into detail, I believe the sharding mechanic is going to benefit the more traditional leveling route in the starting zones. Completing all of the quests in the 1-5 area is probably going to be more efficient than leaving the starting zone right away with a few buddies and farming level 5 and 6 mobs until you're level 5. Blizzard has also stated their not interested in changing the 1.12 data and therefore won't be implementing dynamic respawns, which again favors questing over purely grinding mobs. The way this mechanic is going to be implemented during the first few weeks of Classic's launch is going to be completely foreign to all Vanilla wow players and whoever can figure out the most optimal way to level in the starting zones with this system will reap the rewards.
This mechanic from my understanding is extremely different from sharding in terms of the overall effect it will have on the leveling experience in the starting zones! With sharding, I imagined you would have anywhere from 10-30 shards for each starting zone in each server on launch day. Now there's potentially only going to be 2-4 layers of players on each server at a time increasing the density of the amount of people in the starting zones! This makes some of the considerations and strategies in this guide much more viable than if we had sharding implemented!
The treasure chests loot table on the Classic WoW Beta do not reflect the loot tables presented in this guide! These loot tables were from various private server databases as well as Classicdb which may explain why they differ from the Vanilla treasure chests loot table. My best guess is that these tables were introduced in The Burning Crusade and then became the general reference for Private servers. Rather than taking the information off the guide, I'm going to keep it there because of the value I think it brings in encouraging you to think outside of the box!
THE GOLDEN RULE
You should Always try to kill level 1 mobs over level 2's during your first quest because of the difference in health and the amount of resists and misses you're going to encounter against mobs 1 level higher than you. The additional experience gained from the mob 1 level higher than you doesn't translate into a faster leveling experience. Killing mobs equal to or 1 or two levels lower than your current level is generally going to be faster than picking on mobs above your level. If you can complete the first few quests before everyone else in the starting zone because you focused on level 1 mobs, you're going to get ahead of the curve much quicker! This trend should generally be followed during your time spent leveling 1-10 in a solo environment.
If you decide you want to group up and leave the starting zone and kill mobs 5 or 6 levels above your base level, realize that you'll only gain additional experience from mobs 4 levels above your base level. So a group of level 1's are going to want to focus on killing level 5 mobs and then level 6 mobs and so on as you level up outside of the starting zone. This could be advantageous because of the fact that you could have access to some of the quests as early as level 4 in the 5-10 zone and get a jump start on everyone else that way. Again, I don't think this is going to be the most optimal play because of sharding but it's something to consider.
This next tip is a personal favorite of mine. We're going to use the Mulgore starting zone for this example. There are 4 quests to complete before you're sent to the Eastern part of the 1-5 zone in Mulgore to complete 3 additional quests in the Bristleback encampment. As a druid, I normally finish the last quest The Hunt Continues in the South West and turn it in and have either 2 bars below level 4 or I barely ding level 4 depending on how many Mountain Cougars I had to kill in order to get 10 pelts. Often times many people head to the East to complete the remaining quests The Battleboars, Rite of Strength, Break Sharptusk and Attack on Camp Narache after completing The Hunt Continues and they're only level 3. This isn't the worst strategy in the world but if you were to grind a couple of mobs before you returned to Camp Narache to ensure you would hit level 4 upon turning in the Cougar quest, you would then be able to train your level 4 abilities and grind through those last 4 quests much faster than everyone else at level 3.
Now the reason this is a risky strategy is because even though you're going to grind through mobs faster than them because of core abilities learned at level 4 like moonfire and rejuvenation, they may still complete the quests faster than you and move onto the 1-5 zone before you. Keep in mind, its better to move onto the next zone even if you do have a little bit less experience than the other person because you're going to continue to be able to complete quests ahead of the pack and it's like a snowball effect. Once you declare your dominance and complete questing zones before everyone else, you're going to continue to level ahead of the crowd and not get caught in purgatory like everyone else trying to kill Plainstriders in The Barrens.
This pattern of quests is similar in all 6 starting zones.
TRAINING AT LEVEL 1
Now this tip will blow your mind! At level 1 every class has an ability available to train for 10 copper. Now every class besides rogue and warrior can train their level 1 ability right away by vendoring their food and water for 10 copper! (rogues and warriors can't do this because they only start with food) Unfortunately, most classes have a useless ability to train at level 1 like Track Beasts or Mark of The Wild. These spells aren't going to increase your leveling speed, rather it's going to slow you down! Although, Mages, Warlocks and Shamans can train Arcane Intellect, Immolate and Rockbiter Weapon at level 1 which are extremely powerful spells to start with! Arcane Intellect gives you 30 mana which is equal to an extra Fireball. Immolate is probably the most impactful spell out of the 3 because it allows you to tag and kill mobs faster than anyone else at level 1, and Rockbiter Weapon makes your melee attacks hit from 4-6 damage a swing to 8-10 damage a swing. Also I must give credit where credit is due, KARGOZ was the first to point this out!
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!
In terms of speed leveling and efficiency, you should always be doing more than what you initially set out to do from point A to point B. If a quest sends you to collect 10 cactus apples, you should be tagging and killing boars along the way even if you don't need to kill these mobs for a particular quest. The experienced gain from grinding mobs alongside your questing route levels you up faster than just completing quests alone. Generally, this rule should be exercised during your entire leveling experience from 1-60.
On a fresh character you're going to need to set up your action bars and keybindings. Preparing beforehand and practicing when and how to most efficiently do this will allow you to tag a couple more mobs than the rest of the competition and allow you to get out of the starting zone a few minutes faster than everyone else.
Whenever you're returning to a questing hub you should be organizing your inventory and you should know exactly what you need to vendor and possibly purchase when you run by a general goods vendor. If you need to buy food and water or train your abilities, you should be prepared to click through the NPC tab as quickly as possible so you can get back into the world.
MANAGE YOUR MANA
The most skilled players will always keep track of their mana bar and ensure that it's never completely full. If your mana bar is full, it means that you're missing out on the opportunity to gain experience from killing mobs. Mana regenerates the fastest when you're out of combat, but while you're in combat it begins to slowly regenerate after 5 seconds of your last cast spell. This can be a tricky mechanic to master and it takes a lot of practice and experience to understand when it's most efficient to use your mana or when you should reset the regeneration and just melee the last 20 HP on the enemy. The difficulty comes from the fact that it's very situational and depending on if you're going to tag a few more mobs or return to an NPC, determines whether or not you should drain your mana or preserve it.
Another scenario that will spring you ahead of the competition is being able to effectively drain your mana on the last mob before you level up. Once you level, your health and mana is instantly restored to 100% and if you have another mob in range and ready to attack, you're going to be able to kill 1 or 2 mobs quicker than everybody else. If you manage to do this perfectly from levels 1-5 you could possibly kill 6-8 mobs faster than everyone else which will give you a few extra minutes in the 5-10 zone all by yourself.
YOUR HEALTH IS A RESOURCE
This strategy is equivalent to the mana dance, but for melee situations. Those who can tag additional mobs at a time and still survive will be able to steal a few mobs from the competition and then heal up all at once faster by using a consumable rather than waiting for a few health ticks. Again, this takes a lot of practice and experience to be able to determine when you can begin running to your next mob and pull them while you're still in combat. Additionally, you should always be moving around and running to the next point of interest while you're in combat. In Vanilla wow mobs don't have a leash where they return to their original spawn point after a certain distance, as long as you continue to tag the mob as you run.
The art of teleportation during levels 1-10 is nothing to scoff at. Using the graveyards to your advantage will be one of the biggest time savers in the starting zone. Before level 10 you're not penalized with resurrection sickness by using the Spirit Healer, which decreases all your base attributes by 75% and damage dealt by 75%. This practice could also be utilized during levels 11, 12 and 13 effectively because of the +1 additional minute of rez sickness gained from levels 10-19. From level 19-60 you will receive a 10 minute debuff which is detrimental in terms of speed leveling but could still be utilized at higher levels if you know you're about to travel for the next 10 minutes!
Knowing where the graveyards are in each zone will allow you to determine where you'll be teleported if you were to die at a certain point. Upon death you'll be sent to the nearest graveyard, which in some cases can set you back a couple of minutes like in Dun Morogh if you die near the Gnomergan entrance at level 8, you're going to be sent back to the level 1-5 graveyard instead of the one in Kharanos. Or in Mulgore if you're questing in the southern part of the map at level 6 and die by the gnolls along the wind breaker between the 1-5 zone and the rest of mulgore, you'll be sent on the other side of the wall and have to travel all the way around the map to retrieve your corpse.
In Vanilla WoW Hearthstones have a 1 hour cooldown! If you're able to map out your leveling route between 1-10 and effectively utilize your hearthstone on the hour, you're going to save yourself precious minutes compared to everyone else. The trick in the starting zone is knowing when to use your hearthstone rather than the graveyard technique and then effectively having your hearthstone ready for its first use in the next zone you travel to whether it be The Barrens, Darkshore or Loch Modan.
Your gold may be one of the hardest resources to manage in Vanilla wow, especially in the starting zones when you're trying to max out your up-time in combat by buying as many Ice Cold Milk's as possible at 1s 25c for 5. You have to balance your purchases of consumables and your abilities that you train in order to get out of the starting zone as quickly as possible. There are a few tricks to managing your gold such as only training certain abilities or finding a couple of weapon crates which will score you a quick 5-20 silver.
One last thing to keep in mind when trying to increase your leveling speed is that you don't have to loot every single mob that you kill. you're going to be moving 90% of the time and sometimes that last swing or last instant cast spell puts a marginal amount of distance between you and the mob and its just more efficient to continue running rather than stopping to loot every single mob. Again, another hard system to perfect unless you're familiar with the loot that drops from each mob and determining whether or not you need the copper.
Weapon progression is everything in Vanilla WoW for melee classes and even spell casters at low levels. No matter how much you level up, that Worn Shortsword is still going to only do nearly 1-3 damage each hit. At level 5 it may consistently hit for 5 damage, but the point is the sooner you get your hands on a better weapon, the faster you're going to be able to grind mobs for quicker experience gains! Let's take a look at the basic weapon vendors in each starting zone.
Level 1-5 Weapon Vendor
This weapon vendor can be found in each of the 1-5 starting zones. Honestly these vendors are completely useless and really only here to allow you to repair your gear. The amount of increased DPS is so little compared to your starting weapon, it's not worth spending your hard earned cash on these weapons. Especially when you get a weapon upgrade on the last quest for each 1-5 zone.
Level 5-10 Weapon Vendor
This weapon vendor can be found in the main questing hub for each level 1-10 zone after you leave the starting area. Typically on a fresh server the prices of these white weapons are absolutely insane and not a reasonable option for you to upgrade at the expense of training your abilities for a few levels. Although, there may be one or two exceptions depending on the leveling route you decide to take. Keep in mind that these vendors are the same for each starting zone, but each race and class have different weapon skills at level 1. All warriors can use two-handed swords, but the Undead are the only race that have the 2h sword specialization at the start of a new character. For all the other warriors you'll have to train this specialization at level 10 in the appropriate city.
If I were to roll an undead warrior in Classic, I would highly consider running out of the starting zone and grinding mobs with another warrior or two until we got enough money for a few Two-Handed Sword's. (This replaces Undead warrior's Worn Shortsword) The price for this sword is only 3 silver and 42 copper and only requires level 2 to equip! On a typical private server launch where the 1-5 zone is flooded with players and is a complete mess... I could see this strategy being viable. Unfortunately, I think this method fails in a sharded environment. But I'll leave that up to you to decide, by the end of this post you'll be able to formulate numerous alternative strategies like this one with the information provided!
Green Weapon Vendors
There are specific Macesmith's, Swordsmith's and Traveling Salesman's who sell low level green weapons in the 1-10 and 10-20 zones which can be a great option for many different race/class combinations! These vendors are evident in nearly every zone for each level bracket, but after level 18 or so the usefulness of these vendor greens decline because of the accessibility to better weapons through quests and dungeons. Now the monetary investment it requires to buy one of these items is great and is going to require you too possibly grind a little bit more than you normally would in order to afford these weapons on a fresh server, but I believe in specific situations it could be "BIS". Here is a list of the green weapons I would consider going after between levels 8-19. Darkshore and Teldrassil are the only "starting areas" that don't have access to these vendor weapons but every other starting zone does.
Gun and Bow Vendors
Hunters ranged weapon is as equally important as their melee weapon when it comes to weapon progression. The four starting zones Hunter's level in are Mulgore, Durotar, Teldrassil and Dun Morogh. Each zone has a quest that rewards either a gun or a bow except for Dun Morogh! This means that Dwarven Hunters are going to have to depend on gun merchants in order to upgrade their ranged weapon in the 1-10 zone. Weapon Merchants in the cities may provide certain weapons that aren't available to your specific leveling zone gun merchants and bowyers, so make sure you plan out your weapon progression from 1-20 accordingly.
Mages, Priests and Warlocks all have access to wands and if you can get access to the Lesser Magic Wand as early as level 5, you're going to increase your kill speed on mobs tremendously. The earlier you can get your hands on a wand the better. No race or class begins with a wand so you're going to get your first wand from either a quest, dungeon, profession, or buy one from a vendor. Kargoz made a guide over the Lesser Magic Wand and Greater Magic Wand and how to get them on a new character or server with the enchanting profession. In short, you need an enchanting skill of level 10 for the Lesser wand and an enchanting skill level of 70 for the greater wand.
If you don't get the Lesser Magic Wand at level 5, you won't have a wand until the second zone where you'll start to get quests that reward wands. There are 0 quests that reward wands in the 1-10 starting zones. If for some reason you reach level 15 before completing one of these quests that reward a wand, you can buy your first wand from a wand merchant found in the capital cities.
Here's a list of all the wands that could potentially be your first on a new server:
Westfall - Torchlight Wand, Spark of the People's Militia
Loch Modan - Dwarven Flamestick
Darkshore - Elven Wand, Moonstone Wand
The Barrens - Branding Rod, Flaring Baton
Silverpine Forest - Cinder Wand, Wand of Decay
Kargoz's Wand Guide
Treasure Chests in the 1-10 starting zones aren't really discussed very much in terms of speed leveling and I think it's due to a couple of reasons. For one, no one highlights the simplicity of these chests and their loot table. Chests in every other zone have loot tables with 300+ items and an assortment of gear and world drop recipes, but the chests in the 1-10 zone have a loot table of 113 items. Every treasure chest shares the same template in terms of loot, every chest is guaranteed 1 consumable, 1 reagent, 1 white or grey item and 1 green+ piece of gear or weapon as well as a few silver. Additionally, each chest can contain extra health or mana potions, recipes and even bags appropriate to the level zone that it's found in.
The great thing about the chests in the starting zones is they only have 7 different green items they can drop and 3 of those 7 items are a 1h sword, 2h sword and a 2h axe. So 14% of the time you're going to loot an overpowered weapon for a level 5 character! The DPS increase is absolutely insane compared to all other weapons you can actually obtain at level 5. Of course there's always a catch and unfortunately only a few race/class combinations can actually equip these weapons at level 5. The fact that you can't train different weapon specializations until level 10 makes these weapons have that much more of a unique use.
- Humans, Night Elfs, Gnomes, Orcs and Undead warriors are the only characters who can equip Notched Shortsword at level 5.
- Undead warriors are the only race/class who can equip Training Sword at level 5!
- Orcs and Dwarven warriors are the only characters who can equip Severing Axe at level 5 as well.
The loot in these chests is predictable and therefore allows you to strategize your leveling route and possibly gain some leverage in terms of trading with warriors who can equip these weapons or group up with them and increase your leveling speed because of their huge increase in DPS at level 5. You don't have to be a warrior to use these weapons to your advantage. Duo leveling is a hot topic and it's been proven to complete quests in the area faster than everyone else, spring boarding you to the next zone ahead of the crowd.
If you're not a warrior and don't plan on leveling beside one, you still have a 25% chance to pick up a Minor Health Potion and a 0.25% chance to pick up a 6 slot bag as well. The green weapons you find can score you some extra silver for training professions or buying consumables and you still have an opportunity to gain some green leggings that will ever so slightly aid your character's gear progression. We'll go over each starting zones treasure chests and how to quickly obtain 1 or 2 before everyone else on a fresh server.
Class Weapon Skills
- All weapons (excluding wands)
- Daggers, 1h Swords, 1h Maces, Fist Weapons, Thrown, Guns, Bows, Crossbows
- 1h 2h Axes, 1h 2h Swords, Daggers, Staves, Polearms, Guns, Bows, Crossbows
- 1h 2h Maces, 1h 2h Swords, 1h 2h Axes, Polearms
- 1h 2h Maces, 1h 2h Axes, Staves, Daggers, Fist Weapons
- 1h 2h Maces, Staves, Daggers, Fist Weapons
- Staves, Wands, Daggers, 1h Sword
- Staves, Wands, Daggers, 1h Sword
- Staves, Wands, Daggers, 1h Maces
Now if you do happen to pick up one of these green weapons and want to train the weapon proficiency at level 10, here's a list of each cities weapon trainers and what they teach. There are also powerful weapons that are quest rewards around levels 8-10 in each zone that you may be able to train to use at level 10. So keep in mind which race/class combination you're going to roll in Classic and then after analyzing each zones quests and each cities trainers, you can prepare your weapon progression efficiently. Keep in mind that it costs 10 silver in order to train each weapon skill which isn't cheap for a level 10 character.
Starting Zones Analysis & Quests
Each starting zone's classes have a unique set of weapon skills that will determine which weapons you can and cannot use from the weapon vendors, treasure chests and quests in each zone. We're going to look at all of the weapon quest rewards in each of the 6 starting zones. Additionally, I'll also point out the green weapon vendors in the 1-20 zones, as well as the gun and bowyer merchants. This last section should give you all the information you need to know in order to map out your characters weapon progression from levels 1-20 ensuring that you get ahead and stay in front of the "wave" on Classic launch.
Durotar has 3 quests that reward weapons.
This quest that rewards your first upgraded weapon is available at level 2 without any prerequisites. In a fresh environment, it may be optimal to complete the first few quests in the starting zone along with Vile Familiars and leave the 1-5 area once you hit level 4 and upgrade your weapon. With the correct route, you'll be able to pick up the quests for Tiragarde Keep in Razor Hill at level 4 and then continue questing through Durotar ahead of everyone else!
- Vile Familiars
This series of quests begins in Sen'jin Village at level 4 and sends you to Razor Hill where you'll then need to kill Fizzle Darkstorm, a level 12 mob surrounded by level 10's and 11's in the North West. Return to Razor Hill, Seek out Margoz to the North East, Collect 6 Searing Collars from the level 10 mobs in Skull Rock and then return to Margoz to upgrade your mace or dagger. Completing this quest as early as possible is going to increase your leveling speed because of the raw melee damage you're going to be able to deal afterwards. This quest chain really isn't solo-able until level 8 but if you could convince a few rogues, shamans, and orc warriors to complete this chain with you at level 6 for the upgraded weapon, this could be a great plan B on launch day. This upgrade is going to be most impactful in a solo situation but if you're duo or trio leveling through the 1-10 zone, you normally don't need to go off the more traditional leveling route for a weapon upgrade because you're going to be more dependent on spells. It's sort of a catch 22, it's not ever the best strategy but it could put you back in the game if needed!
- Skull Rock
This quest can be started from Rezlak, a goblin found at the end of the ravine as you're running towards Orgrimmar. Hunters should complete this quest as soon as possible because their next upgraded bow won't come until level 11! Shamans, Mages and Orc Warriors should consider doing this quest at level 7 as well if they haven't already upgraded their weapons at the vendor.
- Securing the Lines
Excluding the starting zone vendor (1-5), there are 3 weapon vendors in Durotar that supply weapons and bows. Trayexir is a troll Weapon Merchant in Sen'jin Village who sells both melee weapons and bows. His location can be advantageous for hunters who want to buy Hornwood Recurve Bow as soon as they leave the 1-5 zone or for shamans who want to pick up Walking Stick right away as well. The only issue with this strategy is that you most likely won't have enough silver to buy these weapons on a fresh server as soon as you leave the starting zone. Although if you were to get a few lucky drops and found some grey weapons that vendored for a lot or you executed "The Hidden Path Exploit" and picked up the Tier 2 weapon crate, you could definitely have enough silver to upgrade your weapon right away. Alternatively, there's a Weaponsmith and Bowyer located in Razor Hill.
Treasure Chests D
Wildly enough, Orc warriors are the only players in the Durotar starting zone who can equip any of the weapons from the treasure chest at level 5. Compare the DPS from Notched Shortsword and Severing Axe to the quest rewards and vendor weapons in the zone and you'll see the huge advantage you gain from getting one of these at level 5.
There are a few chests that can be looted before anyone else on a fresh server and a few hidden ones that many people may overlook. Running around in game and identifying where these chests are before Classic WoW's launch will allow you to add them into your leveling route and hopefully give you a few health potions, bags and a little bit of extra silver to use towards training and consumables.
Class Weapon Progression
How To View Weapon Progression
This is an example of what your weapon progression would look like for each class in the 1-10 starting zone. You have to factor in the weapon specializations for each race before they can train additional weapon skills at level 10 and the quest rewards from each zone. Keep in mind money is going to be scarce on a new server and honestly buying vendor weapons won't be viable unless you stumble upon a few lucky drops that vendor for a lot of silver or you map out a specific plan in order to upgrade your weapon at the vendor. On an ALT, or secondary character, buying weapons from the vendors is much more practical and efficient.
I won't lay out the weapon progression list for each race and class because of the many different variables that affect how you choose to progress your weapons. You may decide to buy weapons from vendors or train certain weapon proficiency's at level 10 to make certain quest rewards or treasure chest weapons useful. But I want you to be aware of the possibilities and different strategies you could implement in terms of weapon progression. Keep in mind most classes that cast a lot of spells like priests, mages, and warlocks aren't as dependent on progressing their melee weapons.
Although, a shaman will find that upgrading his Primitive Walking Stick with the Walking Stick at level 3 is extremely beneficial because of the type of weapon he's upgrading. Normally 1 handed upgrades at low levels are so insignificant that it doesn't make that much of a difference, but on the flipside 2 handed upgrades are insane from levels 1-10! Take for instance the Orc Warriors going from the Primitive Hatchet quest reward (or the vendor weapon Large Axe) to a Severing Axe they find from a chest as soon as they leave the 1-5 starting zone!
The Tauren starting zone has a couple unique quests that reward powerful weapons which can pole vault you ahead of the crowd because of the layout of this zone. Each starting zone has a completely different blueprint in terms of race/class combinations and quest rewards, but Mulgore is one of the more simple zones in relation to classes available and the design of the quests. Warriors are going to have access to a game breaking weapon upgrade at level 5 and Hunters and Shamans and Druids can upgrade their primary weapon at level 6! One thing I like about these weapon upgrades at low levels in Mulgore is the synergy between all the classes! Hunters, Shamans and Druids can all group together to kill Ghost Howl, a level 12 rare spawn, and they all benefit from the quest rewards! Warriors are going to have to group with other warriors in order to kill a level 12 mob as early as level 5 in order to receive the best level 5 melee weapon in the game!
This starting zone quest will be completed by most who choose to level on the more traditional route rather than leaving the starting zone at level 1 and grinding mobs. The novelty of the quest rewards is more exciting to point out than the minor upgrade each class gains with these weapons. The dagger and the 2h Axe can't be used by any of the Tauren Classes which makes you wonder what Blizzard originally intended for the cow race! Did Blizzard actually have rogue's in the lineup for the Taurens just like every other race in the game? Or were the druids supposed to share the dagger specialization from 1-10 like the Night elves? Maybe they actually thought Orc warriors and rogues would ditch Durotar in a crowded environment like a fresh launch to level in a more spacious environment like Mulgore. I'm 99% sure none of that is correct but it's fun to analyze the game design and philosophy of the most successful MMORPG of all time which still holds true even 15 years later!
- Rite of Strength
Supervisor Fizsprocket is so INSANE, it's what inspired me to compile all of this information together! This quest can be completed as early as level 5 and rewards warriors with the highest DPS weapon obtainable for any class at level 5! You're going to absolutely obliterate anything in your way and speed through levels 5-10 because of this weapon. Whether you choose to complete this quest as soon as you leave the 1-5 zone, or complete the first wave of quests at Bloodhoof Village, you're going to open up your options in terms of getting to the Barrens before everyone else.
This could be a great catch up mechanic if you fall behind in the 1-5 zone. You can just skip a majority of the first wave of quests in Camp Narache and head straight to the Venture Co. Mine with 2 or 3 warriors and obtain the Goblin Smasher. Most of the quests in Bloodhoof Village aren't prerequisites for the rest of the quests in the zone so you can start working on the other half of the quests that no one has begun after you finish Supervisor Fizsprocket.
This will put you back ahead of the pack and you're going to be grinding through mobs at 2 or 3x the speed of everyone else! Keep in mind that the mobs are levels 9 and 10 in the mine and Fizsprocket is level 12, so you're definitely going to need to convince a few warriors to help you out! If you can start Camp Narache ahead of everyone else and complete the first wave of quests and then do Supervisor Fizsprocket second, it may be enough to secure your position ahead of the crowd as you level into the Barrens!
- Supervisor Fizsprocket
As for everyone else, you have the opportunity to plan your leveling route in a way that allows you to be the first one to kill Ghost Howl, the rare spawn wolf North West of Thunderbluff. He drops Demon Scarred Cloak which is a quest that can be completed at Bloodhoof Village at level 6 and rewards you with 1h maces for shamans and druids, and a fast 5.0 DPS gun for hunters! Having a powerful 1h mace to finish off mobs for you from levels 6-10 is unmatched. If you get this mace as early as level 6 I would bet you would complete the quests in the zone 30 minutes faster because of your ability to grind through mobs.
Again, it's sort of counter intuitive to pick up these weapon upgrades for casters while you're duo or trio leveling because of the raw power you bring with your spells, but it may be worth it to convince a few players to venture towards Thunderbluff and pick up some professions while you look for Ghost Howl! Hunters are rewarded with a gun that has a speed of 1.9 seconds which is faster than any of the other ranged gun you'll find at this level! The fast speed will allow you to get an additional ranged shot off if you kite the mob, although it will require you to restock on ammunition more frequently.
- The Demon Scarred Cloak
This last quest is a part of a chain that is 6 quests long. It requires you to run from point A to point B, 1 or 2 more times than you normally would to complete the rest of the quests in the zone. Therefore no one ever really gets to the end of the quest chain before moving onto the barrens and the quest rewards aren't really that good considering it's one of the last quests you're going to complete in this zone. I'll highlight it in this list but personally I won't end up completing the quest chain during Classic WoW's launch.
There are two vendors in Mulgore that are going to supply you with weapons. The Weaponsmith and Gun Merchant can be found in the Western most tent in Bloodhoof Village.
Treasure Chests M
Unfortunately none of the Tauren classes can use the 1h sword, 2h sword or 2h axe from the treasure chests. That shouldn't stop you from scouting them out though and knowing where they are in order to increase your chances on picking up some health potions and 6 slot bags! Of course the additional silver gained from vendoring some of those weapons makes the chest well worth it. Luckily the Tauren have 2 really good quests that provide great weapon upgrades as early as level 5 and 6 making up for the lack of useful weapons from chests.
The Undead have very few quests that reward high level weapons and the 2 quests that do require levels 8 and 9 to complete. This nullifies our strategy of leveraging low level quests that reward over powered weapons for our level, but you should still prioritize completing these quest chains as soon as they become available so you can finish out the zone with a high DPS weapon. This may be one of the best races to go for the Lesser Magic Wand if you roll a Mage, Priest or Warlock because of the bountiful amount of humanoids in the area which will drop enough linen cloth needed to craft a wand by level 10. Generally, as an undead player trying to get ahead of the curve, you're going to have to really map out your leveling route from 1-10 and especially take notes on your 10-20 route if you're going to bounce around between The Barrens and Silverpine Forest.
The starting zone has consecutive quests to one quest chain that reward the weapons for the 1-5 zone. Typically you're going to complete all of the quests in this zone for the additional experience so the order of these quests isn't as important as understanding the layout of all of the quests in this zone and knowing how to quest through here most efficiently with an additional Plan B or C.
- The Scarlet Crusade, The Red Messenger
The next quest that rewards weapons is "The Family Crypt". This is a Quest chain that involves 4 quests and rewards a very powerful 2h mace and staff. The quest chain can be acquired in the Inn at Brill at level 7 and will send you towards the Northern part of the map multiple times. It's best to coordinate quests alongside this quest chain so you can move onto either Silverpine Forest or The Barrens shortly after. Mages will be the only class able to use the rewards from levels 7-9 but Warriors, Mages, Priests and Warlocks can all train staves in Ogrimmar at level 10 as you make your way to The Barrens if you were to choose this route. The weapon trainer for 2h maces is in Thunder Bluff so that pretty much nullifies this reward unless for some reason a Tauren were to quest in Tirisfal Glades.
- The Family Crypt
Our last series of quests that rewards a dagger and a 1h axe is "At War With the Scarlet Crusade". This 4 part series of quests can be started at level 5 and sends you to 4 completely different parts of the zone each time. I don't have experience with speed leveling through Tirisfal Glades, but it seems like one of those series that you never completely finish because you're ready to move onto the next zone before you make it to the final quest. The rewards aren't that great either. You can either choose a dagger or a 1h axe that can't be used by any of the Undead classes without training from the weapon masters. Rogues may consider making this quest chain a priority in order to advance to the next zone with an upgraded dagger, but all the other classes should count the end of this series out in terms of speed leveling and advancing your weapon progression steadily.
- At War With the Scarlet Crusade
There's one weapon vendor in Tirisfal Glades who sells the standard list of items for the 5-10 starting zones. Rogues may find it useful to upgrade their dagger with the Stilleto if they don't plan on completing the "At War With the Scarlet Crusade" quest chain, or even purchasing it 4 levels before they were to upgrade to the Ceremonial Knife.
Treasure Chests TG
Tirisfal Glades has the fewest amount of Treasure Chests in its starting zone but it shares an advantage with Teldrassil because of the fact that it has a "free" chest surrounded by passive mobs in the 1-5 area. Additionally, Undead Warriors can use both the Notched Shortsword and Training Sword at level 5! So if you decide to roll a Warrior in Tirisfal Glades come classic launch, I expect you to practice the run from the starting zone to the 2nd floor of the biggest house on the right that's full of passive mobs. If you're to actually obtain either of these weapons, you're going to absolutely crush the starting zone and almost guarantee your spot ahead of everybody else because of the grinding potential you gain from levels 5-10 with either of these weapons.
There's a second chest in the 1-5 zone at the end of the spider cave which is actually surrounded by aggressive mobs so it's not as easily accessible. There are 5 chests you should look out for in the rest of the zone and I point them all out in the video below. My personal favorite is the chest in the North East that's hidden under a giant turtle shell!
(I didn't highlight the 2 chests in the 1-5 zone in this video, check the last video at the end of this post for that.)
Elwynn Forest has a total of 3 quests that reward weapons. The introductory quest in the 1-5 zone, A murloc quest that can be picked up at level 7, and of course the Wanted: "Hogger" quest which can be started as early as level 5! There’s also a level 10 rare spawn west of Goldshire who has a 20% chance to drop Jeweled Dagger, a nice weapon for Rogues or Warlocks!
The quest “Brotherhood of Thieves” can be completed as early as level 2 and doesn’t have any prerequisites. Like most of the other starting zones, this quest can be completed as soon as possible and you may find it advantageous to leave the starting zone with your upgraded weapon and trained abilities at level 4 and find a quest or two in Goldshire that don’t require you to be level 5 to begin. This is purely just a suggestion and by no means the best path to travel down, although as with the rest of this guide, I want you to have the information needed in order to be more aware of your situation on launch day when things start to go badly or you get behind!
- Brotherhood of Thieves
The Murloc Quest in Westfall is picked up on the East Elwynn Bridge which is closer to Redrige Mountains than Goldshire. The Quests in this area can be picked up as early as level 7 and “The Bounty on Murlocs” only rewards 1h weapons. Again, maybe completing the first wave of quests in Goldshire and then heading straight to this questing hub at level 7 to upgrade your weapon may be a big enough play to get you ahead of all the people questing through Elwynn Forest who are unprepared! Once you have your hands on an upgraded weapon, hopefully you’ll be able to grind through mobs a little bit quicker and hit Westfall at level 9 or 10 before everyone else. (You may need to look up the minimum level requirement for quests in Westfall or any other zone if you implement this strategy)
- Bounty On Murlocs
Our last quest “Wanted: Hogger” can be completed as early as level 5! This is awesome for mages because they can get a really overpowered staff as soon as they leave the starting zone! Compare Balanced Fighting Stick to the vendor staff Walking Stick. This is also a great weapon for Warriors and Priests and Warlocks to equip at level 10 when they train the staff proficiency before heading to Westfall. Surely you can convince 4-6 other mages to come help you kill Hogger as soon as you leave the starting zone for this sweet staff!
- Wanted: “Hogger”
There are 3 different vendors located in Elwynn Forest. The traditional Weaponsmith is located in Goldshire, there's a Bowyer located in the Eastvale Logging Camp for all of the Dwarf and Night Elf Hunters, and lastly we get our first look at some of the vendor greens available from levels 1-20. Antonio Perelli walks on the path in between Redridge Mountains and Goldshire. Depending on your strategy, you could leave Westfall at level 13 or 14 and head to Redridge Mountains with 70 silver ready to upgrade to a 2h mace. You could also consider traveling to Redridge Mountains at level 17 with 1g and 23s ready to buy Blessed Claymore! Whatever you do, act fast because there are only a limited number of these weapons available at a time!
Gladius, Tomahawk, Cudgel, Stiletto, Two-handed Sword, Large Axe, Wooden Mallet, Walking Stick, Hornwood Recurve Bow, Laminated Recurve Bow, Fine Shortbow, Ironwood Maul, Heavy Spiked mace, Blessed Claymore, Executioner's Sword
Treasure Chests EF
Elwynn Forest has treasure chests around every corner which can greatly benefit your chance at picking up a 6 slot bag early on and generate a few extra silver for those abilities and consumbales! Human Warriors are the only class that benefits from the Notched Shortsword from levels 5-10. Warriors can train 2h swords in Stormwind and Rogues can train the 1h sword specialization for 10 silver at level 10. Additionally Warriors and Paladins can take the tram to Ironforge and train the 2h axe specialization if you snag a Severing Axe and you could even take it a step further and continue your journey into Loch Modan! (the chests in the 1-5 zone are highlighted in the video at the end of the forum)
Dun Morogh offers some of the highest DPS weapon rewards in the 1-10 starting zone compared to all the other races. After leaving Coldridge Valley, you're going to have 3 quests that reward weapons as early as levels 2, 6 and 8. We'll discuss a few strategies that can get certain race/class combinations ahead of the pack in the Dwarven and Gnome starting zone.
The quests in Coldridge Valley that reward weapons are the first two quests in a 4 part quest chain. This quest chain needs to be completed in its entiretiy in order to complete Frostmane Hold and The Reports in the 5-10 zone.
- The Troll Cave, The Stolen Journal
The first wave of quests you pick up in Kharanos involve this next quest chain that is 4 parts long. On nearly every speed run I've watched in Dun Morogh most people complete this chain alongside their other quests because of the convenience of the objectives. You won't need to rush to complete this quest chain, but upon completion rogues, Orc Warriors and Hunters will gain a slight upgrade to their melee weapons. It's interesting to point out that the staff rewarded, Gnarled Short Staff, is arguably worse than than Walking Stick because of its slow attack speed and nearly equal DPS. Again, keep in mind that money is scarce on a fresh server, and on a Mage it may just be more beneficial to buy a 15-20 Ice Cold Milk's for the price of the Walking Stick until you complete this quest chain.
- Return to Bellowfiz
Now the quest to kill the elite level 11 yeti in North East Dun Morogh can actually be completed as early as level 6! This means that all Dwarf Paladins should consider altering their leveling route from 1-10 to accommodate completing this quest with a few other paladin friends at level 6 in order to maximize the 2h mace that it rewards! The power level of this strategy is almost as equal as the Tauren starting zone quest which rewards level 5 warriors with a 2h mace that does the same DPS!
- Protecting The Herd
The last quest in Dun Morogh to reward weapons grants a 1h mace and dagger that have high DPS numbers considering they're 1 handed weapons. This quest can be completed as early as level 8 and it's on the border of Dun Morogh and Loch Modan. Most people complete this quest on their way to Loch Modan, but I'd be interested to see if it would speed up leveling times for solo rogues to complete this quest before they completed the quests in the Trogg area in South East Dun Morogh. I think if the level requirement were level 7 it would actually be viable, but it's worth taking notice nonetheless.
- A Pilot's Revenge
There are 3 different weaponsmiths in Dun Morogh and 1 Gunsmith who can be found on the path in between Coldridge Valley and Kharanos. Unfortunately for all the Dwarven Hunters, Dun Morogh doesn't have any quests which reward guns, so you're going to have to rely on Hegnar Rumbleshot to hook you up with an Ornate Blunderbuss at level 4! If you can somehow save up 4s and 14 copper in Coldridge Valley, you should pick up this gun on your way to Kharanos! Even if that means selling your gear for a few extra copper, it will save you time in the long run!
Treasure Chests DM
Dwarves have the Find Treasure racial which locates treasure chests on your mini map! As for the characters who can use the weapons found in these chests at level 5, Gnome Warriors can equip Notched Shortsword and Dwarf Warriors need to look out for Severing Axe. There are 2 treasure chests that can be found in Coldridge Valley, one just outside of the Troll cave and the other is found inside near the back of the cave.
(the 2 chests in Coldridge Valley are showcased in the last treasure chest video at the end of this forum)
The Night Elves have 6 different quests that reward weapons! A few of them are rewarded on the last quest of a long quest chain and there are a few that don't have any prerequisites. Compared to some of the other zones like Mulgore and Dun Morogh, there are no overpowered weapons available through a quest at level 5 or 6. Instead you're going to have to stick to practice leveling through this zone efficiently or using a guide or watching others speed run it in order to feel comfortable about getting ahead of the crowd as a Night Elf.
Night Elf Specialization
The starting zone quest can be picked up at level 3 and it offers your standard weapon rewards for all of the classes. One strategy I like to implement as a Druid is choosing the dagger over the staff because of the fast weapon speed! Even though it does slightly less damage, from levels 4-8 often times you just need one or two melee swings to finish a mob off. Missing with a dagger at this level is much less detrimental than missing with a staff with a speed of 3.10 seconds. This is one of the few instances where you could choose a weapon based on its speed rather than its overall DPS and it actually be a better choice.
- Webwood Venom
The rest of the quests that reward weapons are tied together in more of a linear fashion than any other races starting zone. This makes it hard to single out certain quest chains and obtain an upgraded weapon faster than anybody else leveling through the zone as well. You're better off sticking to a guide or watching @Bornlesszero quest through Teldrassil as a druid! I'll still list off each quest that rewards weapons so you can possibly prioritize these quests over some of the others. "Druid of the Claw" and "The Relics of Wakening" and "Ursal the Mauler" can all be completed as early as level 6 so you may consider knocking these quests out first if the rewards benefit your class!
- The Relics of Wakening, Ursal the Mauler
- Druid of the Claw
- Crown of the Earth
There are only 2 weapon vendors in Teldrassil, a generic Weaponsmith and Bowyer which can both be found near the Innkeeper in Dolanaar. Hunter's are definitely going to want to pick up Hornwood Recurve Bow as soon as possible because the Crown of Earth quest chain isn't going to be completed until you're level 8, 9 or 10, if at all! Whether you complete the quest chain or not, you're going to want to buy the Laminated Recurve Bow either off of Jeena in Dolanaar or the Weaponsmith in Darnassus.
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There are a few key treasure chests in Teldrassil that you can obtain before anyone else if you're aware of them! First off, there's a free chest at one of the Grellkin camps located directly West of where you initially spawn in. These mobs are passive and like the Tirisfal Glades chest, as a Warrior you should head straight for this chest for a chance to pick up Notched Sword! On your way out of the 1-5 zone you should turn left and follow the mountain line towards another treasure chest which is easily accessible. If you're not a warrior, you won't be missing out on much if you don't stumble across a chest or two!
(the 2 starting zone chests are displayed on the last treasure chest video at the end of the forum)
Green Weapon Vendors 1-20
Here's a complete list of green weapons available from specialty vendors from levels 1-20. These vendors can be found in Elwynn Forest and the rest of the secondary questing zones excluding Darkshore. It takes an experienced player to manage their finances in a way that allows them to buy one of these weapons on a fresh server in a timely manner. One of the best value buys is the Blessed Claymore because of its fair price and the fact that it requires level 17 to equip. This is BIS for level 17 with the exception of one or two weapons. The reason a higher level weapon offers more value than a lower level weapon is simply because you're going to spend more time with it equipped. It takes significantly longer to level from 17-20 than it does from 13-17. Most people don't ever buy weapons off of these vendors but if the price is right and it offers an upgrade for you, you may want to make a purchase that keeps you leveling ahead of everybody else!
Bonus Chest Video
I truly believe a traditional questing route that's been practiced and fine tuned will beat out any type of weapon progression focused strategy to level faster. Although, I believe there are very specific instances where implementing some of these strategies into a fine-tuned guide would actually increase its leveling speed.
Tauren Warriors receiving Goblin Smasher at level 5 and Dwarf Paladins getting Coldridge Hammer at level 6 has the potential to increase your 1-10 times with these classes. The weapons from the battered chests give you an astronomical advantage over everybody else if you can get the correct weapon at level 5 for your characters race/class. These 3 details were the reason I compiled all of this information together!
It's interesting to compare each starting zones race/class weapon specializations and the weapon rewards in each zone. The layout of the rest of the quests in the zone effect whether or not this strategy is viable as well. There's so much more freedom in Mulgore compared to Teldrassil. You actually have access to huge weapon upgrades for every Tauren class at levels 5 and 6 without any prerequisite quests. Teldrassil quests reward more average weapons and are gated by quest chains.
It fascinates me to see the usefulness of the Treasure Chest varies from each starting zone to the next because of each races classes and weapon specialization! I love looking into the complex but simple game design that Vanilla WoW was built upon and it continues to display replay ability and offer new methods to progressing through the content.
This guide was not meant to tell you to go from point A to point B, rather it's purpose is to supplement your previous knowledge of the game and hopefully you can use this information and implement it into your old leveling route or come up with completely new solutions. I also intended this guide to be a "catch up" mechanic for those who fall behind on launch day and need to jump a few quests ahead and get a new weapon to grind, in order to avoid getting eaten up by the massive wave of players. Unfortunately I think a lot of this guides power is going to be shot down by the fact that we're going to have sharding in the 1-10 zones on launch day. On any other private server launch without dynamic respawning, I think this guide will be Tier 1 and effective in more ways than one!
My goal is to get you to think outside of the box and provide you with the appropriate resources to do so. There's nothing I'd like more than to see people create new content because of this guide or to see people play the game differently because of the information presented here. It keeps the game fresh for each individual and contributes to the lifetime and longevity of Classic WoW, making it a more enjoyable experience for everyone. I encourage you to add value to the community in everything you do, whether it's creating videos or writing forum posts, or playing the game in a positive way and contributing to others success. At the end of the day, it's the community that makes this game such an enjoyable experience!
Thanks for taking the time to read through the entirety of this post. I really want to hear your thoughts in regards to weapon progression in the starting zones and whether or not it makes that great of a difference overall! If you want to share your own critiques of the guide or even your own leveling strategies, I'd love to read about them in the reply section! I hope this information is of some value to you during your journey in Classic this summer.
Nano last edited by
Incredible effort. I look forward to digesting this over the next days!
Looking forward to read this as well when I get the time!
dignrigs last edited by
This is awesome and in-depth! I love it, thanks so much for making this. Super useful!
Great info! It seems like the Trisfal Glades and Teldrassil treasure chests could be farmed due to sharding. Is that a possibility?
@Nephretiri haha I’ve thought about that dude.. could see some crazy exploits because of the sharding mechanic. Obviously I’m not encouraging it lol but yea imagine getting to a chest out in the world before everyone else and just swapping groups with all your guildies on the server.
ive read this twice now and feel like reading it again even though im playing a mage but im reading all the classes even the alliance part cause its really good made definently gonna read this a few more times before launch
@Graysfordays one minor comment: you mention Fine Light Crossbow, but in patch 1.10 its damage was 20-20 (source: https://web.archive.org/web/20060415032146/http://wow.allakhazam.com:80/item.html?witem=15808), putting it about normal compared to other similar bows/guns at that level. It wasn't buffed to 29-29 until patch 2.0.1 (source: https://web.archive.org/web/20061231163559/http://wow.allakhazam.com/item.html?witem=15808) so it likely won't be in its buffed state in Classic.
@Vemp ahhhh very nice catch, thanks for pointing this out! I'll make sure to annotate that on the post and future video! thanks for the feedback.
@Bloodkfrost I'm flattered thanks man, Vanilla WoW game design always peaks my interest!
Wow very detailed guide! It shows that you are very knowledgeable and put it a lot of effort, keep it up!
Holtzy _ last edited by
Great, informative, and super insightful guide my man! Keep up the effort. I appreciate your obvious passion for the game @Graysfordays!
another platinum guide, first class, excellent piece of work
WoW! Gonna take me a bit to get this in my brain. I never thought of the chests as potentially increasing leveling speed through a weapon upgrade. It seems so obvious now! Time to memorize chest locations!
@Jhaman unfortunately from what we've seen in the beta the treasure chest loot tables in the 1-10 starting zones are different than the private server databases I pulled this from. those green weapons drop in the 1-10 zones but not normally out of chests, rather a random drop from any mob.
@Graysfordays damn. Well I still cant wait for Classic. Gonna be exciting just picking up grays!