Wrath of the Lich King Leveling Tips

18 Tips for Leveling in Northrend in Wrath of the Lich King Classic

The insanely popular World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King expansion came out in 2008. Here we are, 14 years later, getting ready for WotLK Classic.

Many of you have been there, done that already. Why would you bother reading tips? Because Wrath Classic has some changes. We can now benefit from resources we didn’t have back in the day. You think you are prepared, but you’re not. We won’t ding 80 as the absolute noobs we were more than a decade ago.

Here are some things to consider while adventuring through Northrend.

1. Avoid the login queue – How to not get mad at Blizzard

During the original Wrath of the Lich King, WoW hit a record player base of 12 million subscribers. Will Wrath of the Lich King Classic pull the same trick? Most likely not, but we expect oodles of players assaulting Northrend in the first days.

Wotlk queue
Try to avoid the queue at all cost

The dreaded login queue will plague our screens once again. While this is entirely on Blizzard’s end, we can take precautions. Start the game and log in ahead of your normal playing hours. This way, the hours spent in the queue won’t chip from the playtime.

2. Don’t rush to Northrend at level 68 – How to not have a hard time in the beginning

You can hop on a boat or zeppelin and get to Northrend as soon as you hit 68. However, that doesn’t mean you should. Obviously, your main is already 70, but if you want to play WotLK Classic with an alt – maybe a shiny new Death Knight – you might be tempted to heed the call of the frozen wastes at level 68.

As beguiling as it may sound, you will have a hard time in Northrend two levels lower than intended. Mobs in the level 70 starting locations are harder to kill than Outland mobs around your level. You will end up gaining XP slower.

You also might not meet the level requirement for questing in the next zone and be forced to grind in the starting area.

Be patient, do quests in Netherstorm or Shadowmoon Valley until you reach The Burning Crusade level cap and then head to Northrend.

3. Prepare 25 Outland quests – How to steal the start

Reports show that you can achieve almost half a level using this method. The dailies on the Isle of Quel’Danas give good XP once the level cap is raised.

Look for other TBC max level quests that give XP beyond the cap. Remember that you can check the quest details with the Questie addon.

Fill your journal to the brim with quests, complete them, and wait until the expansion is released to turn them in. It’s a nice and easy way to secure some “free” WotLK Classic XP.

4. Don’t forget your rested XP bonus! – How to get double XP from kills

With the risk of sounding like your mother still telling you – a mature adult who plays the game of their youth – to put on a jacket before going out, we are respectfully reminding you that a good offline session in an area where you earn rested XP goes a long way.

Characters earn rested XP by logging off in an inn or a city. You get a bubble of rested XP for every eight hours spent in such an area. It’s possible to accumulate a maximum of 30 bubbles. Now, something that you might not know is that you also earn rested XP when logging off somewhere else, however, at a much slower pace. You need 32 hours to get one bubble.

So, use the hearthstone before going offline and log in the next day to enjoy the XP bonus. To make the most of it, run dungeons while the XP bar is blue.

5. Unlock Northrend flying the moment you reach level 77 – How to simply not walk into Icecrown

Wotlk leveling flying mount
Move fast to level fast

Your first WotLK Classic character will be ground-bound until level 77. Consider this a chance to show off that Amani War Bear or a fancy low drop mount you were lucky enough to obtain. Speaking of, we hope that you have the Journeyman Riding skill unlocked.

Once you reach level 77, you can learn Cold Weather Flying for 1,000 gold. The trainers are in Dalaran, K3 in Storm Peaks, and River’s Heart in Sholazar Basin. You need to have learned Expert Riding to unlock Northrend flying.

If you don’t have Artisan riding yet, check in with the trainers at Honor Hold/Thrallmar and Valiance Keep/Warsong Hold for reputation discounts!

Faster movement equals faster mob killing, faster questing, and thus faster leveling. Prioritize getting the fast mount and Northrend flying above everything else!

At level 80, you can buy Tome of Cold Weather Flying and mail it to your level 68 alts.

6. Don’t buy gear – How to not be a copperless fresh level 80

Did you see that sweet BIS for leveling Bind on Equip item at the auction house? Cool, don’t buy it! Get gear upgrades from rewards, not from the auction house!

You’ll get plenty of upgrades from level 70-80 quests and dungeons. Buying gear is a luxury, not a necessity.

Unless you’ve spent TBC Classic working the auction house and providing services for your fellow adventurers, you won’t have too much gold to spare in the beginning.

Like most people, you will want to start raiding asap. This means that you’ll have to spend money on glyphs, enchants, gems, and maybe some pre-BIS gear such as the 8,500 gold Kirin Tor rings.

7. Don’t forget about glyphs – How to be less of a filthy casual

Wrath of the Lich King brings glyphs into the game. These Inscription products have all sorts of nifty effects ranging from performance-enhancing to utility. You can use glyphs from level 20.

Many players will level up Inscription which means that the auction house will have no shortage of cheap glyphs. Don’t go for the recommended glyphs for your specialization just yet unless they are affordable. Look for glyphs that provide utility and can help you when questing and running dungeons.

8. Use consumables to boost stats – How to level like a pro

World of Warcraft consumables is not just for raiding. Neat ingestibles with practical long or short-term effects can save us a corpse run.

Most TBC Classic raiders will still have level 70 raid consumables in their bags. Flasks are great as they last through death. Use Outland raids leftovers (food including) to boost your stats when leveling in Northrend.

Use cheap foods and drinks from the vendors to replenish HP and mana. Don’t be afraid to freeload on baked goodies from Mages! These consumables should also come in handy.

  • Elixir of Water Walking – It allows you to walk on water. It’s great because it also works with mounts. Use this to quickly traverse bodies of water until you get flying at level 77.
  • Elixir of Greater Water Breathing – Does exactly what it says for one hour.

9. Increase your speed– How to not be a turtle

The faster you move, the faster you level. Assuming that you have unlocked the fast ground and air mounts, here are some consumables that will allow you to move quicker as a pedestrian.

  • Swiftness of Zanza – It increases the run speed by 20% for two hours.
  • Swiftness Potion – Makes you run two times faster for 15 seconds. Use it to quickly put some distance between you and the mobs you pulled by accident, or to cover ground faster.
  • Swim Speed Potion – Increases swim speed by 100% for 20 seconds. Specially made for those who do not like underwater areas.
  • Boar’s Speed boots enchant – Gives minor speed increase and 9 stamina. It’s great for leveling.
  • Azure Silk Belt – 35 ilvl cloth belt that increases swim speed by 15%. You can keep it in the bags and equip it when needed.

10. Questing or dungeons? – How to level faster

The math has been done and the numbers don’t lie. The number-one power-leveling method is mob grinding. It’s the fastest, but also the least achievable unless you are backed by others.

It’s usually the streamers, content creators, or popular members of the community who do this for entertainment.

Most people are under the impression that dungeon spamming is faster than questing. Technically, they are not wrong. Elite mobs give better XP than the normal ones. However, we must consider two things: the dungeon lockout and how fast you can find a group.

The WotLK dungeon lockout prevents players from doing more than five dungeons per hour. Typically, this shouldn’t be a problem. How fast will you find a group depends on your role, time of the day, and server fullness.

In the first weeks, this won’t be a problem. As time passes, the number of players and their appetite for dungeons diminishes. So, the recommendation is to mix questing with dungeon runs.

11. Don’t ignore quests! – How to not miss out on essential stuff

While spamming dungeons surely sounds tempting, quests play their own part in the grand scheme of things.

WotLK introduced the phasing mechanic that puts players in instanced phases based on their advancement with quests. Access to NPCs, locations, and interaction with others will be restricted if you are incorrectly phased.

Besides phasing, there are things you can miss if you give certain NPCs the cold shoulder. WotLK has three Ring of Blood similar quests with helpful rewards.

The Culling of Stratholme quests allow you to skip the intro on future incursions.

Shoulder enchants from the Sons of Hodir and Argent Crusade dailies are too unlocked by questing.

Don’t dread questing in Northrend because WotLK improves this process. Quest hubs and routes are more streamlined. Server layering will be in place at the beginning to make sure that zones aren’t overcrowded.

Also, don’t rush into a dungeon as soon as you meet the level requirement. Use Questie, or another resource, to discover all the dungeon quests before entering. Dungeon quests give good XP.

12. Don’t worry too much about reputation before level 80 – How to not waste time

WotLK has this controversial feature that allows level 80 characters to easily gain reputation from dungeons.

Wotlk Faction Tabards
Tabards allow you to grind rep in WotLK

Just equip a faction’s tabard and the mobs in level 80 dungeons will give reputation with said faction.

The trick is that you need to be friendly to buy the faction tabards. How do you get friendly? That’s right! Quests!

13. Visit the class trainer each time you level – How to not be a noob

Pay a visit to the class trainer after dinging to see what new spells and abilities you can learn. Ranks are still a thing in WotLK.

Use the /cast name of the spell/ability macro instead of the actual action. The macro will automatically use the highest rank. You’re welcome!

14. Consider buying the Dual Specialization talent – How to be role flexible

WotLK introduces the Dual Specialization talent. It allows players to have two talent and action bar configurations they can switch on the fly.

The talent costs 1,000 gold. It’s not cheap, but it might be beneficial as it allows more role flexibility. It all depends on your class and the roles it can perform.

For example, you can have a damage-oriented specialization for leveling and a tanking or healing specialization for dungeons. Being a tank or a healer greatly increases your desirability when looking for a dungeon group. You can quickly swap specs when the situation calls for a role change.

15. Postpone gathering until you get the flying mount – How to die less when leveling

For the most part, Northrend is an unwelcoming place filled with monsters that will attack you on the spot. Gathering on foot is hard. It is much easier to farm after you have your flying mount. Not to mention that monsters are likely to ignore a max-level character.

However, don’t neglect professions as gold is important in Wrath of the Lich King. When it comes to max-level shopping, The Burning Crusade is a boutique, and Wrath of the Lich King is an emporium.

16. Keep your bags clean and make a bank alt for mats – How to not hear Inventory is Full too often

Bags fill up quickly, especially when leveling. Whenever you see a vendor, get rid of all the junk. Nowadays we have add-ons that do that for you. From time to time, do an inventory check and lose the items that you no longer need. You can use online resources to see what the item is for in case you forgot its purpose.

Make a bank alt to store ores, plants, cloths, ingredients, and other things without immediate use. Mail between alts is instant.

Have the biggest bags you can afford. Don’t forget that you can get four additional bag slots by attaching an authenticator to your account.

17. Use Addons – How to get less frustrated when leveling

Everyone who leveled in the original Wrath of the Lich King remembers the Quest Helper addon. It was eventually rendered unnecessary when Blizzard introduced similar functionality in Patch 3.3.0. WotLK Classic will launch without this feature.

However, beta reports show that quest items have been made more visible thanks to a sparkling effect. That’s nice, but still not enough. Here are a couple of addons that will help with leveling.

  • Questie – The most popular Classic leveling addon shows available quests, locations, tooltips, progress, and more. It has a comprehensive in-game accessible database that you can use to find quests thanks to filters such as zone, dungeons, etc.
  • Rested XP Guide – Leveling guide addon with optimized routes. It includes profession guides.
  • Dugi Questing Essential – A powerful leveling and questing addon that simplifies the process.
  • LFG Group Bulletin Board – This addon filters the chat channels for dungeon requests and presents them in a well-organized manner.
  • TomTom – A navigation assistant with many features such as coordinates and waypoints.
  • Leatrix Plus – Many quality-of-life functions assembled into one tool. Automation functionalities allow players to automatically clear their bags of junk, repair, turn in quests, accept/block invites, and more.

18. Buy the Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth – How to be the envy of others

Many of you will laugh and question the validity of our previous 17 tips. That’s understandable. Who even has that kind of money? The mount costs 20,000 gold (16,000 with the Kirin Tor reputation discount).

You can find this fantastic beast at the Magical Menagerie Shop in Dalaran. The city opens its gates to players at level 74. You probably won’t have the means to purchase it at level 74, but put it on your wish list for later.

Apart from blocking the mailbox, this mount has other great functionalities. It has vendors that sell reagents, food, water, and ammo. It also provides repairs. It can accommodate two passengers no matter their level, so you can carry your lazy poverty-stricken friends across Azeroth.

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