My Belf Paladin is leveling via 2 quests. The Jewelcrafting Daily and the Kalu’ak’s Preparing for the Worst. Because there’s so much more I need/can do. (When my wife wants to play her Paladin I return and do quests with her. We’re heading towards Shadowmoon Valley, the Blood Knight shield quest reward, then Northrend.)
My Human Paladin is now in full Furious PvP gear, having replaced a full set of Deadly PvP gear. (He’s still a noob in PvP though.) He’s collected some random Ret gear in the harder Heroic 5-mans, but is still carrying the +hit happy Titansteel Destroyer. He’s in 4/5 of the Tier 9 Prot gear, including Rimefang’s Claw. He’s got 60 more Badges of Triumph. Get the helm and complete the set, or collect 15 more and get the higher iLevel version. That’s my 2 options. Or I raid. Then I get Tier 10. In Tier 10, with access to Tier 11, then I get Tier 11. Then I await the next expansion and I get Tier 12. And all people at my level will be in the same two sets of gear. (All casuals catching up to the next lower tier. All the crafters in their gear. The levelers in their heirlooms.) (And all Tier gear replaced by quest reward greens this fall.)
Is that a lot of options? No. It’s very linear. My blacksmithing armor stopped at iLevel 200 since I don’t raid. (And there are no plans for weapons with a higher iLevel than 200.) All the crafting amounted to 2 sets of iLevel 178, for PvP, and a couple of pieces of iLevel 200 epics for PvE. 5-6k gold is nothing for an AH playa, but that’s not me. I’m lucky to have a few on epic flyers, but I’m not here to finagle cash from the machine to buy gear off the AH crafted by raiders.
While gear seems limited, so too is the progression path.
To get to Northrend, you will go to the Outlands. Oh, yes, you will. You will enter the portal or no Level 80 for you. (Okay, you can PvP in the non-existant 61-70 band to go from 63-68. Bring bandaids for your eyes though. And I guess you could do the … wait, there are no dailies in Azeroth. And you need to be 65 to start the Dalaran crafting dailies. I suppose you could skip Dalaran if you stayed in Azeroth until 65, and then got ported to Dalaran to do the dailies.) But, heck, that’s a lot of effort to simply skip a chapter in WoW’s story.
Otherwise, since I’ve been leveling numerous characters with the wife, and wishing to keep the game fresh for her, I’m trying not to repeat paths too often. We took our Belf Paladins through the Plaguelands to get to 58. But we had to make a few detours to pick up the last of the xp elsewhere. We took our Night Elves through Winterspring. But we wound up in Un’Goro and Silithus anyway, since we had to to get the last of xp, and the Plaguelands too. It was unavoidable.
I guess it’s my fault in that I want numerous characters, but don’t wish to repeat all this content over and over.
I’m hoping with the remake of Azeroth after the Cataclysm hits, that maybe we’ll see some new leveling paths made available. That Outlands could be skipped with some alternative questing tracks newly created.
I sincerely hope we aren’t shown the tracks from which we can’t diverge. Ever. Level 1 (for the Worgen and Goblins) until Deathwing’s death, one step directly in front of the other. The World (of Warcraft) is big. Bring on the options.