The idea for this experiment came during my run from 70 to 80 in Northrend. My plan was to hit 80 through questing, as opposed to grinding mobs or dungeons. I also wanted to have as many high level quests as possible left when I hit 80 for the gold.
Northrend has two starting zones, Howling Fjord and Borean Tundra. Most people picked one and then moved on to get to Icecrown as soon as possible. However, I took a different approach. I started in Howling Fjord and did all the quests needed to get the I’ve Toured the Fjord achievement. Then, instead of moving on to Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills, or Zul’Drak, I jumped over to Borean Tundra to clear out those quests and get the Nothing Boring about Borean achievement.
By clearing out the zones in level order like this, I was able to hit 80 with two and a half zones left to clear. By the time I cleared Icecrown I had enough gold to buy my epic flying skill, plus I got to experience a lot of the content in Northrend.
This experience got me thinking. What would happen if I used this method to level from 1 to 80 instead of just from 70 to 80?
I never had a chance to follow up on that question at the time. I took a break from WoW. I actually missed most of Cataclysm. But now that I’m back and Mists is close, I thought I would return to it.
The purpose of this experiment is to answer these questions.
- If I clear out all the Loremaster achievements in order of the level of the zones, when will I hit 90?
- How much gold will I have when I earn The Loremaster?
- When will I be able to afford the different riding skills?
- What other achievements will I be able to earn in this process? World Explorer and The Seeker are possibilities along with some others I suspect.
You will notice I said 90 instead of 85. I am starting this before Mists is released on September 25th. However, if I reach 85 before then, I am going to stop and wait for it. The Loremaster achievement is always updated to reflect the new zones added in an expansion. I want this experiment to reflect those new zones.
I’ve set a few rules for myself.
- The only help I am getting from my main is bags. I hate running out of room so I’m allowing myself this perk. However, no gold, heirlooms, or other items.
- No professions. It would be easy to pick up a gathering profession and use it to make some extra gold along the way. However, I want all the gold I earn to come only from quests and drops from mobs killed completing quests.
- Any quest rewards I cannot use will be vendored, not disenchanted.
- Any BOE greens will be vendored. If I get a BOE blue or purple, I will send it to my main to sell on the AH. I can’t let those go to waste.
- The only things I will spend gold on are talents, riding skills, and one mount per skill. That means one ground mount, one epic ground mount, one flying mount, and one epic flying mount. However, if the patch that allows account-wide mounts drops before I have purchased a mount, I will use one from my main.
I created a Worgen mage for this experiment (Blaidd pictured above. Blaidd is the Welsh word for wolf). I picked a Worgen because I haven’t done their starting area yet and am interested in it. I picked a mage for a few reasons.
- Mages are awesome. Seriously.
- Blink – I hate running around before getting a mount without it. I know I get a mount at 20 and don’t get Blink until 16 but it will make those 4 levels bearable.
- Teleports – I am going to be moving around Azeroth a lot. Teleports will make it much easy to get where I need to go.
- Food/Drink – Being a mage, I can conjure my own food and drink. I won’t have to waste money on them and will be able to make some extra gold selling what I find.
Here is the order I am going to tackle the achievements.
- Worgen starting quests
- Darkshore – 10-20
- Bloodmyst Isle – 10-20
- Westfall – 10-15
- Loch Modan – 10-20
- Redridge Mountains – 15-20
- Duskwood – 20-25
- Wetlands – 20-25
- Ashenvale – 20-25
- Stonetalon Mountains – 25-30
- Arathi Highlands – 25 – 30
- Nothern Stranglethorn – 25-30
- Cape of Stranglethorn – 30-35
- Hinterlands – 30-35
- Southern Barrens – 30-35
- Desolace – 30-40
- Dustwallow Marsh – 35-40
- Feralas – 35-40
- Western Plaguelands – 35-40
- Eastern Plaguelands – 40-45
- Thousand Needles – 40-45
- Badlands – 44-48
- Felwood – 45-50
- Tanaris – 45-50
- Searing Gorge – 47-51
- Burning Steppes – 49-52
- Un’Goro Crater – 50-55
- Winterspring – 50-55
- Swamp of Sorrows – 51-55
- Blasted Lands – 55-60
- Silithus – 55-60
- Hellfire Peninsula – 58-70
- Zangarmarsh – 60-63
- Terokkar Forest – 62-70
- Nagrand – 64-70
- Blade’s Edge Mountains – 65-70
- Netherstorm – 66-70
- Shadowmoon Valley – 67-70
- Borean Tundra – 68-72
- Howling Fjord – 68-72
- Dragonblight – 71-80
- Grizzly Hills – 73-75
- Zul’Drak – 73-77
- Sholazar Basin – 75-80
- Storm Peaks – 77-80
- Icecrown – 77-80
- Mount Hyjal – 80-82
- Vashj’ir – 80-82
- Deepholm – 82-83
- Uldum – 83-84
- Twilight Highlands – 84-85
I’m definitely interested to see how this all shakes out. Wish me luck!