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1-50 Shadowlands Leveling Without Heirlooms Is 2 Hours Slower (for DesMephisto)

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The removal of bonus XP on heirlooms has hit the beta and DesMephisto has promptly tested out what that means for the 1-50 (current 1-120) leveling speed. Previously he managed to get to the max pre-Shadowlands content level in 4 hours and 10 minutes (he actually improved on the time from the article linked later on), with all heirlooms, and now he's done it in 6 hours and 10 minutes without any (the tweet info below is a little off). Now, unfortunately this isn't a 1 to 1 comparison, as he had 20% less bonus XP from War Mode on the one with heirlooms, but it's still a solid comparison. Also, average players obviously won't be leveling that fast, as DesMephisto knows all the tricks, but the ratio for the change is still applicable, aka it took him 50% longer (and he's definitely going to try to get that current number down and level up faster in the future). As he mentions himself, it should take average players 9-10 hours for the process, which doesn't seem that bad, which somewhat lessens the hit from losing heirloom XP. However, an important note here is that Blizzard have stated that leveling hasn't been finalized yet, so there might be big changes still coming.

Let's see what DesMephisto had to say about the whole heirloom XP-less journey in more detail, including some important breakpoints the loss changed:

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So, they removed a major shortcut in previous speedruns where I would get a weapon that was ilvl 48 - it is now ilvl 14, so it turns out that wasn't intended (it had taken a while for it to be fixed). My overall damage felt approximately the same, stat distribution on heirlooms also seems off, with them being very weak in the beginning (no stats on items for the first 4 levels) and slowly powering up.

I leveled in Warlords. The exp modification and considering part of WoD is broken and still requires level 35 made the first 10-20 particularly frustrating and exhausting. I felt like I needed to do a lot more and relied heavily on bonus objectives to push to 20 before I could activate War Mode. At that point I went straight to Gorgond and things felt largely the same, even with the exp loss. Overall killing speed, completion, etc felt good minus major issues with ability distribution. The exp bonus wasn't something that I sorely missed, but honestly available items are still better than heirlooms and I'd need to see them largely buffed in value to make them feel worthwhile for having. They were a major investment that has left me a bit frustrated to see changed. Some heirlooms, like the rings, were major time sinks or difficult accomplishments that are in need of being looked at and offering unique aspects.

Ever since heirloom XP has been removed players have been expressing their serious dissatisfaction over the decision, as they've spent a lot of time and gold getting many heirloom pieces level to max, on several armor types for alts as well. We still don't know what will be replacing the XP bonus, and if leveling times stay as they are now it seems the removal of the XP bonus was a positive move for players, as whatever we're going to get should be better than this small boost to leveling speeds. Speaking of what we're going to get, here's DesMephisto again with some ideas on the matter:

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Legendary utility affixes would be a good idea - ability modifiers, IE travel form gets 20% movement speed, heroic leap can be cast 3 times, stealth increases your movement speed, the ability to fly at level 10 if you have max level heirloom set, changing trinkets to boost your damage/blood lust/etc things that actually make you interact with the world more than just % modifiers.

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A speculative 9-10 hours isn't that bad, either if you do it all in one sitting or take breaks. Now, how long does it take to down all the Shadowlands content...?

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WoW has so many talents and skills for each class that it may be difficult for many to follow WoW esports. The quicker it is to level alts, the more likely people will remain interested in the game, and WoW esports, because they are more likely to know what is going on with a larger background in a variety of classes. This relatively quick route to max level is a good thing. 

Edited by ignringerfinger
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On 7/18/2020 at 6:43 PM, Galiantbeast said:

9-10 hours, might as well stop calling it 'World' of warcraft and just call it current area of warcraft

Well, someone who cares will enjoy all the content from other zones.

But as most people don't care, it's better like this. After leveling 20 alts, i'm kinda sick of going through every zone every time.

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