World of Warcraft has changed dramatically since the “glory days” of the vanilla version, before the Burning Crusade expansion. Many classes have come in and out of glory. Today’s environment pushes players to try to maximize their damage. Leveling to end game as quickly as possible is now the goal for many. However, there are alternative ways to level characters outside of choosing a group role and dungeon grinding to 90. I’m going to discuss my three favorite classes to play while leveling and doing quests.
Just a disclaimer here, though. The content involved in this article is the opinion of the author, not the overall Leviathyn staff. I understand that other players have favored playstyles. These are the three that I find the most fun when playing World of Warcraft. Don’t get me wrong, other classes are great (see my Discipline Priest guide to see my main character in action), but these are the classes I’m having the most fun leveling.
Starting with the Shaman, you’ll start to see my playstyle. I enjoy playing a class that has some support abilities for grouping for quests on occasion. However, I want it also has the combat ability to take care of itself. The healing abilities of the Shaman make surviving while questing one of the easiest things to do. While leveling through the first 60 levels, its a great technique to level as restoration. The ability to stay alive goes up a lot, while still keeping the base damage abilities that allow you to outlast a fight. The biggest drag is mana after getting out of the first 40 levels.
In dungeons, which can be done easily early on, mana isn’t a factor for a while. However, leveling is more entertaining while questing after hitting the mid-30′s.
- Totems add tangible buffs that allow you to mix and match
- Orb buffs are a great way to keep track of remaining charges
- Weapon buffs add a renewable weapon effect that provide a decent buff to certain actions, including damage
- Ankh allows self-ressurection through Reincarnation
- Not a ton of damage makes some fights when solo drag on
This one can be overwhelming for new players. For people familiar with several of the other classes, though, this one is one of the most fun experiences I’ve had in an MMO.
Druids now have four possible specializations (Restoration, Guardian, Feral, and Balance). These give them the ability to heal, tank, or do melee or ranged damage, respectively. The hybrid ability of this class makes it a great class for people who have a hard time focusing, but can’t bear to roll a new character every time they want to try something else.
To put it in perspective, when leveling my Druid, I played as Feral (essentially) up to 15. After that, I switched to Restoration and healed some dungeons. I then switched to Balance and did quests with my cousin for a while. In Outland, I played Feral, in Northrend I played Restoration. Once I made it to the Cataclysm content, I started to tank dungeons with Guardian. The ability to constantly pop between specs, while you have to maintain several item sets, is the biggest draw to me.
- Hybrid class can fill all roles
- Survivable with healing abilities that can be cast in any spec
- Flying and swimming forms make traveling cheaper and easier
- Great for people who change their mind often or get bored easily
- Maintaining multiple gear sets for the specs can be a chore
Warlocks are a puzzling thing. They are the most entertaining class to play solo. So many different minions and abilities allow the Warlock to essentially sit back and apply their damage-over-time attacks (including curses and spec related attacks). Questing is interesting and situations allow you to adapt with your technique to accomplish the quest goals.
The downfall of the Warlock comes in dungeons. Damage is extremely difficult to come by in a consistent manner early on in dungeons. This discourages many players from leveling, since many people are now so used to grinding away in dungeons to level their characters. If done exactly right, Warlocks can compete, but they are dreadful on average.
- Entertaining use of minions and curses to destroy your opponents
- Menacing presence and epic combat graphics
- Survivable in solo with health drains and other methods
- Healthstones and soulstones allow for conjurable “potions” and targetable resurrection stones
- Low damage output in dungeons without large amounts of practice or full heirloom gear while leveling
- Complex rotation and priority system for beginners
The above listed classes are simply my three favorite classes to quest with. I immediately removed classes that I’ve played that I’ve had difficulty with surviving while questing:
- Warriors, Death Knights, and Paladins have an issue of being overrun if not careful
- Mages are too squishy
- Priests don’t have enough balance to damage vs. defense to survive easily
One of the possible additions to the list could be Monks, but I haven’t given Monks enough time in questing to really have a solid grasp of their survivability. Rogues are fun, but not while solo questing, since it takes practically forever to complete tasks. The technique for playing rogues practically requires single target fights to succeed.
If I left anything out, or if you want to explain why your favorite class is more fun to level, explain in the comments below.