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The Leveling Expert on the New Heirlooms: DesMephisto Talks Alternatives

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We just found out the new heirloom set bonuses, and while they did seem a little lackluster, we couldn't quite be sure of their effectiveness. So we decided to go to the reigning expert on all things leveling, the 49-max-level-warrior having, speed leveling, charity-supporting, 4-hour to level 50 in Shadowlands madman, DesMephisto, to find out what was really going on here. He took a look at the bonuses and evaluated their usefulness, as well as suggested some alternatives of his own, so let's see what he has to say:


I’ve been waiting with excitement for a very long time to hear about the changes that would come to heirlooms. The removal of the 50% exp bonus was absolutely necessary because of how fast leveling has gotten. My mind raced with the possibility of seeing fun affixes added to heirlooms, things like movement speed, bonuses in specific areas, damage modifiers, literally anything...other than this.

First and foremost, on rested XP:

Your average player is going to take around 10-20 hours to reach level 50, based on the MrGM interview. Rested exp lasting 60% longer only means about a level. It takes approximately 10 days to reach full max rested for that 1 level. The modification that we see from rested exp will be next to nothing. We should be seeing players capable of reaching level 50 within a day depending on their playstyle - allowing for no time to acquire rested exp and thus making the heirlooms kind of useless.


Out of combat regeneration - how powerful is this going to be? Do I instantly heal to full? Having done a ton of speedruns on alpha and beta, not once have I ever had to sit around to heal. I’ve never needed to eat. The regeneration, unless wow suddenly becomes harder, really just feels like something was slapped on a box of generic-o’s.



Burst of Knowledge - this is an interesting and cool effect - but primary stat has always and will always be mostly useless. Enchant Weapon - Crusader Crusader gives 100 str and heals, the 100str is nice, but this is also when it basically doubles your current value - the more important thing is the heal alongside the proc rate. Crusader feels powerful - burst of knowledge? An enchant will feel more powerful than it.Enchant Neck - Mark of the Hidden Satyr Mark of the Hidden Satyr r  - feels powerful. Hell,Enchant Weapon - Elemental Force Elemental Force feels powerful.

What I would like to see:

2 pieces: 15% movement speed that stacks with minor speed to boots + WoD cloak enchant (gift of haste/vers/crit).


4 pieces: Proc that reduces cooldown and does AoE damage to all enemies around you splitting damage based on that number.

6 pieces: Gain the ability to use flying at level 10 (150%) and avatar like damage boost proc.
6 pieces: Gain the ability to fly at level 10 (150%) and gain access to all class abilities.

I honestly feel like heirlooms have been in a bad place for a very long time. I showcased that leveling with Azerite gear was faster than heirlooms in BFA which can be seen here: https://us.forums.blizzard.com/en/wow/t/50-exp-is-slower-than-20-exp-by-about-8-minutes-for-111-120-graph-and-numbers-inside/139904

Heirlooms have become glorified greens that level with you rather than powerful artifacts that were worth spending gold on to pass down to your “lineage”, so to speak.

We really need to see a full revamp - hell the inclusion of sockets on heirloom gear would give a sense of more power than the set bonus right now.


You can always catch DesMephisto over on his twitch, and he's having two special charity events this weekend (Saturday for Horde, Sunday for Alliance from 3PM PST to 5PM PST - for AOTC this week we're gonna start supporting Autistic Self Advocacy Network) as well as some possible mount giveaways with help from Jaina Buddies!


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These set bonuses are disappointing. I definitely was thinking similarly to Des.

Rested XP buffs have always been forgetful to me because if you're really into your character then you'll not encounter much use of it. Giving extra bonuses to rested XP is like encouraging you to not touch your alt for a set period of time, which is odd to me.

Their bizarre stacking buff that echoes too heavily to me of Diablo 3 ignores anyone who enjoys leveling through quests and zone story rather than mob kills.


All in all this is a very odd choice of replacements, bonuses that are extremely specific to circumstance, and not created with the player experience in mind.


This of course just being my opinion, so to be fair I'll offer a couple of ideas that I think would be better appreciated by a larger range of players and that can be equally scrutinized.

Personally I think perks and quirks like the following could be attached to individual pieces (or give the option to a player to activate 1 of 3 options per piece):

-small movement speed boost when on foot

-swim speed boost unmounted

-access to mailbox and/or bank

-reduced fall damage or short-lasting "glide"

-"camp" skill that gives level appropriate food boost

-high chance procs with tiny effects

-low chance procs with large effects

-reduced hearthstone cooldown or 2nd mini heirloom hearthstone


While these suggestions are also victim to circumstance, I feel they are more useful during the leveling process while actually actively playing, exploring, traveling, retreating, and managing inventory to keep you out in the wilds longer.

just my 2 cents🤷‍♂️

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I’m liking these ideas (both DezMephisto’s and TyZone’s comment above).

My faves:

  • movement speed bonuses (run, swim, mounted), but not in PvP,
  • earlier flying (making it slightly slower than ground mount, as DezMephisto suggests, is quite reasonable),
  • slowfall/glide,
  • “food” buff, (and maybe add flask and/or augment rune buffs, too?),
  • hearthstone cooldown.

Combat bonuses (that are triggered in combat, not on hitting a level which can often happen outside of combat) are good, too.

Maybe something profession-related? Perhaps faster gathering/crafting (but capped to pre-current expansion professions)? Maybe a “tools of all trades” effect (anvil, forge, engineering tools, etc.)?

I do like the idea of attaching small bonuses to individual heirloom items. Maybe give them a tertiary stat or gem slot? Perhaps there could be an item that gives slowfall/glide as an on-use effect (cloak? trinket? since there are non-heirloom items in game that do that for those slots)?

Oh, and in addition to the existing heirlooms (so not directly tied to this post), maybe an heirloom bag? Let’s say 20 slot and unique equipped, so as to not mess with the bag crafters market?

I’m not expecting any of the above, but I can dream, can’t I?

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8 hours ago, TyZone said:

Giving extra bonuses to rested XP is like encouraging you to not touch your alt for a set period of time, which is odd to me.

Or 'rewarding' you for time you can't play. I don't have a huge amount of time to play, so this feels great to me. (Not to disagree, though.)

8 hours ago, TyZone said:

Their bizarre stacking buff that echoes too heavily to me of Diablo 3 ignores anyone who enjoys leveling through quests and zone story rather than mob kills.

I think it's based in a fun idea. It's giving you the level-up temporary power boost so many games have (and even Wow heals you to full, right?). And then it doesn't just encourage you to kill as much as possible because you've got a temporary power boost, it rewards you for doing so!!

But it does appear uninspiring at least on paper. Stats are questionable. Most likely to occur when you're least likely to be in a good position to take advantage of it.  I wonder if the initial 2 minutes are meant for you to run to the quest area and then the gainable 2 minutes are the ones you're meant to actually take advantage of.

8 hours ago, TyZone said:

-"camp" skill that gives level appropriate food boost

This is amazing. Would be as useful as the necklaces. And I actually quite like the necklaces -- choosing between potion or run speed is meaningful. I feel like food might almost be another good option for that slot.

Now you've said it it needs to happen somewhere though.

8 hours ago, TyZone said:

-low chance procs with large effects

Large and long-lasting effects could be interesting. Encourage you to change the way you level for a short time. A 30min buff which increased XP gained from gathering nodes by 100% as an idea that wouldn't work. 

Would probably need to be optional though.

Also, I see a lot of people recommending movement speed boosts. Though it's the first thing that pops into my head too, I struggle to agree with the idea. They need to tread a line here between making heirlooms impactful and not making them feel obligatory like they are now. Move speed boosts are so useful it'd feel bad if you didn't have it.

I think their current bonuses do tread that line, and I think doing it through set bonuses is rather clever. But they don't feel amazing either, definitely.

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