Keeping in theme with my thoughts on the hurry-up-and-level crowd, I was taken completely aback at how early you can reach old level caps now.
Let’s look at history so far.
Grimmtooth (that’s me) popped 70 near the end of the Shadowmoon Valley chain1. I popped 80 running quests at Frosthold. And at 85, I was near the end of Twilight Highlands. So, first time on everything, not too bad.
Near the drop of Wrath, Jasra popped 70 in Netherstorm. This is also pretty close to endgame, but the fact is, she never saw SMV until she went back to work on her nether drake quests.
Since then, however, things have really compressed.
- Faiella hit 80 in Grizzly Hills – I had to take her to Icecrown to run a number of quests afterward for RP-ish reasons, otherwise she’d've never met her maker, so to speak.
- Slithmere and Kutath each hit 70 in BEM. Neither saw any quests in SMV or Netherstorm. From the looks of it, Orlee will hit that as well.
- None of my lowbies have finished all the quests in older Azerothion zones before the quests turned gray. The only way you get Loremaster is if you run quests that don’t advance your XP.
Also note that in my own case, hitting 85 in Twilight Highlands was accomplished without completing all of the zones in the expansion – I went back and ran Vashj’ir just for the title2. But the point being, Cataclysm started out pre-compressed.
How far will it be compressed once MoP comes out? I’m guessing you’ll pop 85 in Uldum assuming you skip one of the starter zones altogether. Deepholme if not.
This kinda bothers me. Surely, all quests are going to be run eventually, anyway. But it would be nice if the zones were constructed and weighted properly, and kept that way.
I mean, why do we even have heirloom gear? What’s its point? If its only point is to speed you through content that’s already been compressed to the same level as a YouTube video, then why not just sell pre-leveled max-level toons3?
Blizz, open your eyes and acknowledge the problem. Acknowledge that you also helped create it. And do something useful with it other than offer more XP for that stupid scroll.
<cynic> Why, I bet you could charge $25.00 a pop for that.</cynic>