My quest to level 5 World of Warcraft characters at the same time.

2007-03-13

Questing

After leveling from 60-62.5 in Hellfire Ramparts I can say that I am completely burnt out of that instance. I never was able to kill the last boss but I have come to the acceptance that Outland instances are not designed for a 5-boxer and there will be some encounters that are simply too challenging for me to beat at the appropriate level. For a regular group the fight wouldn't be nearly so hard but with my setup I can't effectively avoid fire spits and his front cone AoE attack.

At 62.5 I decided I couldn't take anymore Hellfire Ramparts so I decided to go questing. I ran over to Zangarmarsh and started doing every non-collection quest available. Doing that, I was able to bring in the rest of level 62 and hit 63 plus some. Hellfire Peninsula had a lot of collection quests but luckily Zangarmarsh has very few which is very nice for 5-boxing. I think I'm going to finish up all non-collection quests in Zangarmarsh and then head off to Hellfire Blood Furnace until level 64 at which point I will hit Coilfang Slave Pens.

One of the nice things about Burning Crusade is that there is a new instance at every level and the creatures in the instances are within 3 levels of each other. I have found that I level the fastest when I'm at the top end of the level range for an instance so now that I'm 63 I get a new instance every level which should help keep things interesting and keep the amount of disenchanted loot to a minimum. (http://www.wowwiki.com/Instances_by_Level)

I will probably take a break from instance grinding to do all the non-collection quests in each zone as well but due to running around with 5 grouped characters, I don't expect to be able to level off of non-collection quests alone. Instances are also better xp/minute though they can become quite repetitive.

On the macro/control front I respecced my Paladin to Protection/Retribution and my shaman to Restoration/Enhancement. I was finding that with my Paladin being the leader I needed someone else to be healer because anytime I was healing meant that was time I couldn't also be moving all my characters around. Now the shaman is the healer and when in-combat his follow-macro doesn't work. This means that my shaman will follow me into battle and start swinging but I can move the other 4 characters around freely without interrupting his heals. I do have an in-combat follow macro bound elsewhere so I can move him back into the fight where necessary but for the most part he stands still and heals/swings wherever he lands. With this new setup I am killing slower (only 2 real damage dealing classes) but I have found that my overall efficiency has gone up because I wipe less now and I can handle more pulls with less setup then I could before.

2007-03-01

Hellfire Ramparts

Outland instances are great. 710xp per kill in there while in a group of 5 which means once I get the instance down to the point of chain-pulling the whole thing (still learning the pulls at the moment) I'll be able to easily pull in 1500-2000 xp/minute, compared to the 500xp/minute I was struggling to maintain in mainland (for comparison, my priest/hunter solo leveled would pull in about 1000xp/minute grinding to 60 pre-BC).

In regards to Ramparts trash, there are a few groups that are very tricky to pull due to patrols plus spellcasters but I am able to use line of sight to get them where I want. I have to take a number of short "breaks" during the instance in order to wait for a patrol to show up or leave but for the most part it can be chain-pulled front to back.

The first two bosses in Hellfire Ramparts are pretty easy (orc and demon), the orc I can chain-pull right through now if my blessings are up and the demon I can kill reliably as long as I go in full health/mana. The drake + orc at the end is another story though and I have yet to even get to phase two.

The main problem is that all my characters are melee which means when he drops a fireball they all get hit. This in turn means I have to drag my characters out and then reposition them so they are facing the orc again. Once that is done I can usually get one heal off before another fireball hits everyone. In the end I just can't keep up on the healing, not because of mana or DPS but because I spend too much time running around dodging fireballs.

The next time I clear to him I think I am going to try putting all my characters except the Paladin into melee with the orc and then run away from the group with my Paladin. If all goes well my Paladin heals should keep me as the only one on the dragon threat list so I only have to move him around and heal the rest of the group. When the drake lands the Paladin should have aggro and he can stay alive until the orc drops at which point I can commence phase 2. Once there we'll have to see how things go before I determine how I will handle it.

Level: 60.5