Nearly there

10th April 2009 – 1.20 pm

Gnomesblight, my death knight, has been spending most of her time in Wintergrasp still. Most of the time is spent participating in the regular battle to control the zone, but in-between battles the zone is almost empty, with no regular quests or accessible entry routes or flight points, making it an intermittently productive area to gather crafting materials, particularly as it is a zone for 80th level characters. There is an occasional vein of titanium to be found amongst the plentiful saronite. Even in-between battles the zone remains fully PvP, though, so care must be taken, even if I seem to spend less time fighting off the Horde and more time fighting for resources with remarkably selfish Alliance players.

The problem with spending most of my time in Wintergrasp is that it garners no XP for my efforts, causing me to linger at 76th and 77th level for a long time. However, learning that there are daily PvP quests for Wintergrasp, which also earn Stone Keeper's Shards that can buy decent 80th level equipment, has me keen to be able to pick them up. A few visits to help the Argent Crusade in Icecrown soon has me gain a level and at 78th level I am able to get the Wintergrasp daily quests.

On the one hand, access to these quests is greatly beneficial, as I am gaining some good XP on their completion as well as the shards so that I can equip myself better as soon as I reach 80th level. On the other hand, being required to meet some fairly arbitrary objectives in order to complete the quests can encourage me to focus on quest completion rather than actively pursuing a winning strategy in Wintergrasp. Luckily there is also the Wintergrasp Veteran achievement, which helps me focus on winning the battle rather than complete a daily quest, as the achievement will take a fair bit longer to gain than reaching 80th level.

As it turns out, completing the Wintergrasp daily quests is quite an efficient way to gain XP, at least compared to the speed I've been levelling so far. Combined with the Dalaran cooking quest and an occasional Wyrmrest daily quest, the Wintergrasp quests push me to 79th level surprisingly soon after reaching 78th. As I have somehow kept Gnomesblight and Sapphire synchronised in levels most of the way through Northrend the new level gained on my death knight gives me a perverse desire to run around as my protection warrior again.

Rather than repeat the content of Icecrown I head over to Storm Peaks and start working with the goblins at K3 before heading in to the peaks proper to become acquainted with the Sons of Holdir. It is quite easy to get back in to the swing of questing and Sapphire reaches the lofty heights of 79th level before too long. With a burst of XP gained by taking both characters through the Halls of Lightning, as part of the daily instance quest, it looks like I might actually have not only one but two characters at the level cap before the next expansion.

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