So you’re leveling up an alt or your first toon. You’re rocking through old Azeroth, saving Gnomeragan, fighting pirates in Booty Bay, defeating Scourge in the Plaguelands, and then you DING! 58!! That magical number.
Or you’re working your new Death Knight through Outlands, saving Sporeloks, fighting Arrakoa, keeping the demons at bay, and then you DING! 68!! Another magical number!
So at both 58 and 68 you can move on to the next expansion of the game and finally do those quests. You’re ready to go! Or are you? How do you decide if your character is ready for the next expansion?
I joined the game late. BC was released just 2-3 weeks after I started my account. So when I was running through the world of Azeroth, most people were crushing the Outlands. I worked hard at Troutwort the Out Of Ammo. I was pretty horrible, but I tried hard. And eventually I started to get the hang of it so that by the time Elgar and Schubert came around they did much better. Anyways, when Troutwort dinged 58, he didn’t head right to Outlands, he was in Silithus at the time and wanted to get some things done, though my friends and guild said, why?!? Just get to Outlands, trust me. I leveled all the way to 60 before I finally hit Outlands, making sure to get my professions up to max level as well. Troutwort was ready.
For Troutwort, being ready meant having professions leveled and skills maxed. I didn’t know what Outlands had in store for him, so I wanted him to be as ready as possible. Of course I got there and anything I did from 58 to 60 seemed, well…worthless. I remember feeling almost a little sick to my stomach when I realized Cenariun Circle and Cenariun Expedition were not the same.
Elgar didn’t wait until 60 to hit Outlands, and instead healed ramps at 58 and got out there as fast as he could. He still had his professions up, but after Trout, I realized getting to Outlands as soon as possible was very beneficial. Schubert, Kitty, Sibelius, etc. all followed suit. Get professions up, then get to Outlands at 58. Even Floy (death knight) leveled up her blacksmithing and mining to 300 before hitting Outlands.
When I did the recruit a friend program and got a another mage and hunter up to 58, I didn’t wait for their professions. It wasn’t necessary and they hadn’t kept it up since they were burning through levels.
I generally encourage everyone to hit the next zone once they ding 58 or 68 depending. The rewards and experience is worth it. My good friend dinged 68 a while ago, but she refused to hit Northrend until her leatherworking was to 350. She didn’t want to have to go back. She wanted to be able to be done, which I totally understand. She had to go back from Outlands to regular Azeroth to finish up LW the first time and didn’t want to have to do that again.
Professions are a little tricky that way, even cooking and fishing. Do you wait to hit the next zone until your professions are ready for the next zone or do you go for it and worry about professions later? Aside from possibly mining, I think it’s fairly easy to get the gathering professions up to max before you level to the point where you can increase the max. But some of the crafting ones can be a pain if you aren’t willing to invest much cash. I actually respected that she waited for her profession to be ready before continuing. I plan on doing the same with Kalinnikov and Sibelius and even Floy, I think the blacksmithing will be my biggest challenge to get 350 prior to 68.
Though it did get me thinking, on all my more recent re-rolls, I’ve decided to do simply gathering professions. I have little desire to level any of the crafting professions a second, or even third time in the case of LW and enchanting.
I’m assuming I’m fairly average with my technique for leveling professions as I go and making sure I’m ready for the next zone. I’m not a “race to 80” type. But perhaps there are other philosophies on this.