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Alt Leveling Tips for World of Warcraft

Updated on February 27, 2012
M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer has been a gamer for more than 20 years, with a preference towards adventure games like the Legend of Zelda and Tomb Raider.

This picture does not include all of my alts; just those over level 60. If you can believe it, this isn't all that much. (Also note, since the writing of this article, my death knight and hunter have both reached 85 and I have a paladin who is 70.)
This picture does not include all of my alts; just those over level 60. If you can believe it, this isn't all that much. (Also note, since the writing of this article, my death knight and hunter have both reached 85 and I have a paladin who is 70.)

I’m what you would call an ‘alt’coholic in World of Warcraft. I’m not interested in end game raiding, and the epic gear I get for my capped characters is usually limited to basic pvp and dungeon rewards. Therefore, the real meat of the game, for me, is creating a new character and leveling up all over again. Below is a compiled list of tips that help you level up in regard to both speed and story elements. Keep in mind, this guide is designed for those who already have a character at the level cap, not necessarily someone who is new to the game.

An example of heirloom gear.
An example of heirloom gear. | Source

Heirloom Gear

Before you start to level your new alt, you’re going to need to do something on your main character. In the game there are weapons and armor called “heirloom” items that essentially adjust their stats to whatever level you are and provide a boost to xp gains. Their text is in a yellowish color and they can be obtained through various methods. The honor points  earned from PvP can be used to purchase heirloom gear, as well justice points which are earned by using the dungeon finder tool. There are also heirloom rewards that can be obtained through your guild (providing it is high enough in level and you have the proper reputation) and certain quests (like the fishing derby). Make sure to check the levels listed on each heirloom item because some only last until level 80, after which point they will no longer provide the experience boost. Also note that not all heirloom items have an experience boost either. Generally weapons and trinkets don’t have it, but all of them will tell you what the equip bonus is. Get as many of these as you can and ship them to your alt. These items will not only help them level faster, but they will also give your alt an edge against monsters and other players in the same level range.

As of the writing of this article, heirloom vendors can be found in Dalaran, Stormwind, and Wintergrasp. This may change with future updates.

Juggling Rest XP

If you’re unfamiliar with rest xp, it basically works like this; when you are logged out of the game, your character earns rest xp. This is represented by a small marker on your experience bar, turning your experience blue (rather than purple) until you reach that marker. While you have rest xp, killing monsters rewards double the amount of experience. So if you are looking to level up fast, rest xp is a great tool to use. You earn it very quickly if you take the time to log out at an inn. These are the places where there are innkeepers that you can attune your hearthstone to. Just log out when you see the little ‘ZZZ’ under your character’s portrait. Now, chances are, if you’ve already leveled a character to the top, you know what rest xp is, but the trick to using it effectively with an alt is juggling characters. For example, let’s say that I used up all my rest xp on my paladin, but I still want to play the game. I could just play the paladin earning normal xp, but then leveling would take longer. So I will instead alternate between leveling the paladin and another alt (so that they always have rest xp when I’m playing them) or alternate between the paladin and my main character, who could be earning heirloom items, new gear, or new profession recipes. There are always things to do in WoW, even when you reach the level cap. So you want to make sure that you do those things while your alt is gaining rest xp, so that each time you play that character, they’re earning xp at 200% the normal amount.

Leveling Zones (Familiar vs Unfamiliar)

For this suggestion, it depends a lot on how you play the game. If you’re trying to power level your alt to the cap, you might not have much interest in story or the environment you’re playing in. In this case, it would be to your benefit to level through the same zones you leveled your main character. The advantage of this is that you know all of the quests already, making them quicker and easier to complete and you don’t have to really read any of the quests either because you already know the story of the area. Familiarity will translate to quicker leveling. If, however, you like the stories in wow, then going to new zones that you are unfamiliar with, is the better option. When you are engrossed in a storyline or a new environment, you think less about leveling which can make the grind less painful (if you even think of it as a grind). I personally enjoy the latter. There is nothing more fun to me than choosing a new race, class and zone to level up because it makes the game feel fresh and new.

Mooching off your Main

Other than xp gain, there are a lot of little things that slow you down when leveling. For example, if you are the proper level to earn your epic mount (100% speed increase) but you don’t have the money, then you would be completing quests much slower. This is where your main again comes in handy. They can provide money, crafting materials, enchantments and glyphs that would otherwise be unavailable to an alt who doesn’t have the money, profession, or time to run around gathering materials. It’s a lot faster to shoot around on your flying mount earning money, than it is for your alt on their 60% speed mount. Plus, mailing things to your alt is instantaneous.

Zone and Guild Buffs

In addition to heirloom gear and rest xp, there are also buffs that can increase your experience gain. These generally come in the form of zone-wide buffs and guild buffs. For the zone-wide buffs, these are tied to pvp. Every once in a while you might stumble across a world pvp objective, such as capturing a tower for your faction (either horde or alliance). If you flag yourself for pvp and capture this objective, you give everyone else in the area, who is the same faction as you, the same buff. Sometimes this is a buff to damage and sometimes it is a buff to experience gain. The hard part is weighing the danger of capturing the objective versus the benefits of the buff. Sometimes there is no one in the area to oppose you, and other times it can be a slaughter. Off the top of my head, zone buffs can be obtained in Silithus, Hellfire Peninsula, Zangarmarsh, Terokkar Forest, Nagrand and Wintergrasp, however that list is not comprehensive and is subject to change.

Guild buffs are similar in that it applies to everyone in the guild, however these buffs are only available if your guild is the proper level to unlock them, and you have the necessary reputation with the guild to tap into them.

Location of the experience bar, PvP tab and the dungeon finder tab.
Location of the experience bar, PvP tab and the dungeon finder tab. | Source

PvP and Random Dungeons

I think it’s important, when leveling an alt, to keep things interesting. Do more than just quests, otherwise you might get bored fast, especially if this is your second or third run through the game. A great way to mix it up, and still get experience, is to join battlegrounds and random dungeons (accessed by their respective search tabs to the right of your character tab). The dungeon one is a no brainer because you often have quests that lead you into dungeons, and they produce high amounts of experience. The battlegrounds, however, might not be as obvious. When you complete objectives in a battleground, you receive a small amount of experience. If you frequently win then it will add up quick, but frequent losses make this method not very efficient. The purpose, however, is to shake things up and give yourself something new to do. And, if you use all these methods in conjunction, you’ll have another character at the level cap in no time.


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    • M. T. Dremer profile image

      M. T. Dremer 6 years ago from United States

      Zakmoonbeam - Leveling an alt can become an art form after a while; soon you've got a character from 1 to the level cap and you barely felt the grind. It's fun stuff. Thanks for the comment!

    • Zakmoonbeam profile image

      Michael Murchie 6 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Good advice, similar to what I have used in the past. Voted up!

    • M. T. Dremer profile image

      M. T. Dremer 7 years ago from United States

      Rusty - Yes, the main is a powerful tool when leveling alts. And, the more characters that you get to the level cap, the more resources you have to draw from for later alts. Thanks for the comment!

    • Rusty C. Adore profile image

      C Levrow 7 years ago from Michigan

      Good suggestions. My favorite is when the main can send the alts money and cool items!