We left off with an experience lock circa level 30 or just after. Between levels 30 and 40 there are a number of places in Azeroth worth visiting and questing through, if you're the type to quest. Last week I should have mentioned The Hinterlands and Desolace as a places to visit if you're locked at 30, because I feel they're often overlooked, which is unfortunate. The Hinterlands' storyline isn't as central to the overarching plot of WoW as Western Plaguelands, but it's got some fun flavor lore for both the Wildhammer dwarves (which does tie into the Cataclysm expansion) on the Alliance side and the trolls on the Horde side. Also some high elf versus Forsaken conflict, just to spice it up. Desolace has changed a lot in terms of scenery since the original release, and there's a bunch of enjoyable new Cenarion Circle quests to do there.
Okay, now that I've got that off my chest, on to the 35-40 options. There are enough zones and quests to justify locking at 35 if you want to. That being said, I think it's kind of a pain to lock every five levels, especially if you're primarily questing in EK as Horde or Kalimdor as Alliance, because you have to hop a boat to the other side of the world to do it. So I say wait until level 40, then lock your experience, and go back to some of the 35 zones if you missed them. You'll be overpowered for them, but not so much so that they're a complete
joke, and you'll have epic riding, which is nice.
At 40, you've got a spread of great zones, including Western Plaguelands (Andorhal
, 'nuff said), Eastern Plaguelands (The Paladin Pals
are one of my favorite quest chains in the entire game, no joke), Feralas, and Thousand Needles. Feralas has a great Emerald Dream and green dragonflight
quest line, and the Thousand Needles' revamp was extremely thorough. Every one of those zones is fantastic, in my opinion. There is one more 40-ish zone: Dustwallow Marsh. Skip it. It wasn't really updated with Cataclysm
, so everything there is old. I guess it's worth a run-through if you've never ever done it before, especially for Alliance to get a good look at Theramore before it gets nuked in later levels. Otherwise don't worry about it.
Zones for level 40
Accessible dungeons at 40:Level 50
Once you've had your fill of the 40 content and decided to start gaining experience again - this is where the game and zones can get truly overwhelming. There are a huge number of zones in the 45-55 range, especially in the Eastern Kingdoms. Part of this is because when WoW originally released, the last ten levels to the cap of 60 was designed to truly take a while. As a result there are a ton of zones that, with Cataclysm
, were smooshed down into much smaller level increments than originally intended. I seriously recommend locking in the late 40s to level 50 range, even if you haven't done it before. There are a ton of really fun quests in these areas, and some are more relevant to current game events than you'd think.
The Badlands is the most obvious choice here, with The Day that Deathwing Came
quest line being made famous in the Cataclysm
beta. The other major story you don't want to miss in the Badlands is that of Wrathion's
origins. Wrathion is a pretty important figure in Mists of Pandaria
, so hit up this zone and find out where he came from. Searing Gorge hasn't changed hugely, but there's some new stuff here for both factions that's worth exploring, and in the Burning Steppes you can hang out with John J. Keeshan
(Alliance) or Eitrigg
(Horde) to beat up some black dragons and Twilight Cultists, as well as both Blackrock and Black Tooth Grin orcs.
Kalimdor side we have Felwood, which has been revamped with some interesting Demon Hunter lore, for those who like that stuff, as well as Tanaris (45-50), Un'goro (50-55), and Winterspring (50-55). Silithus hasn't seen much change, so it's probably worth a skip if you've done it before. Tanaris and Un'goro - especially Un'goro - have new and fun quests and personalities worth experiencing.
A few areas just beyond level 50 include The Swamp of Sorrows (52-54), Blasted Lands (54-60), and Silithus (55-60). The first two were significantly updated, especially Allaince-side, in Cataclysm
, and the Blasted Lands even has a rare worgen settlement
Silithus remains basically the same as always, and is worth skipping.
Zones for level 45-55
Accessible dungeons at 50:
That's it for the leveling portion of PvE "twinking". There's another aspect to using experience locking for PvE purposes, and that has to do with completing end-game content at its original intended level. There are whole guilds built around this premise, or groups within guilds who actively pursue previous level cap raiding this way. Next week I'll be highlighting some of the things you can do while locked at a former level cap, so if you're an old-raid guild looking to advertise, leave a comment with your information and I'll do my best to feature you next week!See the guide for levels levels 1-35