Levelling in Draenor



This is going to be a killer.
Possibly quite literally if we don’t plan ahead!

While this is a general overview of what we will be doing its also a nice little taster of what we can expect. If all else fails, dungeons all the way so we don’t encounter ‘the scummy Horde’…

The Dark Portal


Once in we get a pop up to tell us of the new quest and from there on in, it’s an hour long intro into Draenor and the shutting down of the Dark Portal.
“An hour!?!” -Yes. This is where the new lvl 90’s who have boosted get to slowly grasp the basics of their class.

Starting with the ‘Dark Portal’ Quest and finishing with ‘The Home Stretch’ which then sends you out into Shadowmoon Valley.

Shadowmoon Valley

SMV 6.0

We Alliance will be starting off our actual exploration of Draenor in Shadowmoon Valley, which will keep us safe and secure until level 93. That is, if you avoid Socrethar’s Rise and Darktide Roost (both positioned at the south of the map) like the plague as both areas are lvl 100 dailies. From then on out we’re on our own in the big bad world.

Fiona also makes a reappearance here with her caravan!

However at level 94 there is another questline there. Some steps of the chain require a group to kill the mobs you need to encounter but if it’s a way to keep us safe for a little bit longer it might be worth it rather than running straight into Talador. If xp is lacking and you’re not quite the right level for this questline then you can always run the lvl 92-94 Gorgrond dungeon ‘Iron Docks’.

Shadowmoon Valley is also the home to the lvl 100 dungeon ‘Shadowmoon Burial Grounds’.


T 6.0

Talador is a lvl 94-96 zone. As the Horde will be approacing from the north and Frostfire Ridge into Gorgrond it may be beneficial to grind it out and get into these quests before they end up here.

Essentially the old/new Terokkar Forest, the Arakkoa are still here outside the city of Shattrath, although a more powerful foe than when we last saw them. Their home is the next zone down Spires of Arak.

Annoyingly, the warp stalkers are back with a vengance, so be careful where you tread!

This is also the next place that we can venture into a dungeon. The lvl 95-97 ‘Auchindoun’ the massive mausoleum to the south of the zone, which also houses its own questline where you get to work with the Shattered Sun Offensive again.

After this its onwards to the next zone we need ‘Spires of Arak’.

Spires of Arak

SOA 6.0

The bird-mans home land, Spires of Arak, is lvl 96-98. All that currently remains of this in the old/new land is Skettis. The rest of the ‘Cape of Stranglethorn’ look-alike has been blasted to hell once outland was created (does make you feel a little sorry for the Arakkoa.)

There is a dungeon housed in this area too. The rather pleasant sounding ‘Skyreach’. At lvl 97-99 you can go straight in from the ‘Auchindoun’ to this one without setting foot outside.


N 6.0

This zone is lvl 98-100. The last zone needed before the big ‘ding’.

Its also going to be the place that is going to be hella busy. The Black Market Auction House has moved its base of operations from the Veiled Stairs to here which means that people will be flocking over to the Ring of Blood in the north of the zone.

While it is not a nesessity to quest here as the ‘Shadowmoon Burial Ground’ lvl 100 dungeon will open up after you have burned through the ‘Skyreach’ dungeon previously along with the remaining Gorgrond dungeons ‘Grimrail Depot’ and ‘The Everbloom’ both of which are also lvl 100.

The dungeon structure.

The dungeons themselves in order:

Bloodmaul Slag Mines 90-93 ilvl 530
Iron Docks 93-95 ilvl 550
Auchindoun 95-98 ilvl 570
Skyreach 97-100 ilvl 600
Grimrail Depot 100 ilvl 615
The Everbloom 100 ilvl 615
Upper Blackrock Spire 100 ilvl 615
Shadowmoon Burial Grounds 100 ilvl 615

Heroic versions of these dungeons award ilvl 630 gear.

Not only are we able to do these as normal dungeons, they also open up as heroics. These are available as soon as you have completed the silver level in The Proving Grounds of you want to queue up in a pug. If you want to head in with a pre made group it requires no special ‘badges’. Although good luck in getting to the one in Frostfire Ridge!

After conquering the HC modes then come the Challenge Modes. The dailies for these types of dungeons have a chance to award LFR ilvl gear. There is also a chance for them to contain gold, crafting mats and Apexis Crystals. Seeing as Normal and HC Raids are open before LFR, these dailies will give you the raiding gear needed to start conquering Highmaul. Although, it must be noted that LFR this time around will not drop tier pieces, so we will have to wait until the raids themselves to get those.

The raiding schedule looks a little like this:

  • The multiple raids in the first Warlords of Draenor will open over time, with Blackrock Foundry opening a number of weeks after Highmaul.
  • Week 1 of Warlords will have no raids unlocked. Week 2 will have Normal and Heroic Highmaul unlocked. Week 3 will have Mythic unlocked.

So By week three we should be well on our way in terms or raiding if everything has gone to plan!

Other ways to obtain gear.

The aforementioned Apexis Crystals are needed as a currency for Flawless Epics. These require you to have the ‘standard’ version and then up tp 20k of the crystals to ‘transform’ it into the Flawless version.

The crystals can be obtained from:
The dailies in Shadowmoon Valley – eg; Assault on Darktide Roost
Garrison support quests – eg; Assault on Pillars of Fate
Killing rares for more crystals (~34) or normal mobs for ~1 crystal each.

Garrisons also provide ways to get gear, with the missions you can send your minions on and the length of time you want to send them away for can up your chances of them coming back with gear for you.

Quests are very quick and generally used to level up your followers they take about 10-15 minutes. Higher level quests can yield player loot.
There’s the option for sending minions to a scenario will take longer, about 2-3 hours but has a higher chance that you end up with player loot.
If you don’t mind your minions being away for some time (read that as 1-3 days) then you can send them to a dungeon which will guarantee player loot.

Successful missions will yield a variety of loot, including follower-specific gear and usable player gear. Player gear available will include some normal mode raid pieces and maybe a few heroic raid quality items towards the end of the raid tier. Mythic raiders will be fine without making use of their garrisons.

Legendary questline.

This is back again. With the quest to obtain a legendary ring. Good news is that the developers decided that it wasn’t so great to have to repeat the whole grind on Alts so this *fingers crossed* it’s definitely out of the equation!

The first thing you get is the Pure Solium Band which is needed to create your ring. This comes from Skyreach dungeon so right at the point where dungeons are going to be providing better gear for us. The start questline is picked up from your Garrison so please make sure that you don’t leave that dead at the start!

Over the course of the expansion you get the chance to continue on the questline to upgrade this ring further and further. Taking it from a 640 ilvl to 680 ilvl and then finally to 710 ilvl. Don’t loose the ring, guard it like Gollum!

Garrisons themselves.

As discussed on MMO Champion from blue posts and developer chats.

  • Having a garrison is mandatory, but what you do with it is up to you. It will work well with the story that you experience while leveling, but if you level with dungeons you can catch up on your garrison later.
  • Garrisons will offer a some normal raid quality any maybe a few heroic raid quality items towards the end of the raid tier.
  • Mythic raiders will be fine if they don’t do anything with their garrison.
  • There will be some account level restrictions that ensure that you don’t have to do everything with your garrison on every alt.

The Garrison blue prints open up via quests or at lvl 100 you can purchase all of the blueprints.
– As your Garrison is level 1 to start with, you are able to get all of the blueprints for the level 1 buildings once you develop your Garrison to level 2. So via this method, if you picked two buildings to begin with, one you level up you have access to all of the blueprints for the other buildings you could have picked and therefore change the buildings if needed.
– At level 2 the blueprints for all the buildings open up in different ways, this is where getting to lvl 100 and getting them all in one go may be more benificial. You need to be lvl 96 to get the small building blueprints. lvl 98 to get the medium blueprints or lvl 100 to get the large.
– To get the blueprints for the lvl3 Garrison, you have to get various account wide WoD achievements. On the plus side, the blueprints are all account bound so your alts can use them as well.

Get talking to a creatively named Garrison Ford to get yours up and running.

One thing that does happen is that your Garrison can get ‘Invaded’. It seems that this little joy comes from a quest giver in your actual Garrison. Clicking and accepting starts the whole thing rolling.
Your Garrison gets attacked in waves and amongst everyone there driving back the attacking forces you get to escort people around to safety. The mobs do and will go into your buildings and eat people alive given half the chance.
Sucsessfully fend off the attackers and you get a small boost in production for your efforts as everyone is hyped up by your feat of strength.

There is also a ‘rare’ quest that you can pick up to get a nice peice of loot. While it might be tiresome to log in every day to try and get it (and to complete things in your Garrison anyway) its worth it to try and get it; and once you do you can forget all about it!


So this is an example of  a Garrison and the items I picked to go in it. They are all level 1 buildings. (Garrison Resources are below)

  1. Menagerie – Requires ‘Battle Pet Roundup‘ and costs 50 Garrison resources.  Allows pets to hang out in my Garrison and also give you the chance to get rewards from the Elite Pets which come in that you can battle. Best get those pets levelled up!
  2. Lunarfall Inn – 150 gold and 100 Garrison Resources. Each day a vendor with a dungeon quest that offers a reward will come and hang out at the Inn.
  3. Stables –  150 gold and 150 Garrison Resources. You can capture and ride exotic mounts and also interact with outdoor objects while mounted… Does this mean I can herb farm while still on my horse??
  4. Storehouse – 150 gold and 50 Garrison Resources. Access to my personal bank at this level.
  5. Scribe’s Quarters – 150 gold and 50 Garrison Resources. Allows the creation of Inscription items; Inks, Glyphs, Pigments, Papers and other magical items.
  6. Salvage Yard – 150 gold and 50 Garrison Resources. Turns other peoples trash into your treasure.
  7. Herb Garden – 50 Garrison Resources. Requires the ‘Clearing the Garden‘ quest. Allows the planting and farming of Draenor herbs.
  8. Trading Post – 150 gold and 100 Garrison Resources. A trader shows up each day allowing the trade of craftings mats for Garrison Resources (once level 2).
  9. Mage Tower – 150 gold and 150 Garrison Resources. Allows you to collect Ogre Waystones from Ogres in Draenor. These power your chosen Waygate on Draenor.
  10. Fishing Shack – 50 Garrison Resources. Requires the ‘Fish Fight‘ quest and level 94. Allows you to catch small fish at your Garrison and also unlocks the daily fishing quests.
  11. Lunerfall Excavation – 50 Garrison Resources. Requires the ‘Things Are Not Goren Our Way‘ achievement and lvl 92. Allows you to mine Draenic Stone which can be converted to work orders for Draenor minerals. (Once your town hall is at lvl 2 then the entrance opens for the mine to be able to kill the quest mob)

To get all of these I will require a lot of Garrison Resources! These can be obtained by the Trading Post at level 2 or Lumber Mill at level 2 (once you lay down the 100 needed for it in the first place) and also from killing rares, completeing quests and PvP (sob) There are also a ton of chests hidden all over the zones that contain resources/crystals etc so its worthwhile trying to find the ones in Shadowmoon Valley at least.

If you want more information as to what to have, followers you can use etc… I’d go to the Wowhead guide here.

Crafting Epics.

Joy oh joy, crafting epics again!

The Garrison will be useful for this as there is a way to create crafted items even if you don’t have the profession itself. Which may dictate what you put in plots to get those items you need.

  • Work Orders provide useful crafting reagents, which can be completed at your building and then turned into crafted items–even if you don’t have that profession.
  • Missions are completed by your Garrison Followers and can reward follower experience, gear, vanity items, and even additional followers.

So what crafted items can we get. You can equip three although off-hands don’t count so you can have one crafted main-hand and one crafted off-hand and still have another two things.

The crafted items are 630-640. Weapons and trinkets as well as gear.
Blacksmiths can craft Steelforged Hammer for example. Although if you are not a blacksmith but have a Forge at level 2 you are also able to create this if you have the mats. This can be upgraded by using Steelforged Essence.

Theres a nice list at WoW Professions that lists all the new crafted items on there.

The trick will be working out how much of the materials we need to craft the gear, so how many mines we need etc… As the quicker we can get the mats together the quicker we can get the items made. While its not essential to have the profession in question as you can ask the NPC to make it for you if you have the right Garrison Building to go with it a Blacksmith who has a forge could quite possibly make two (one actually done by him/her and one actually done by the NPC) if we get the mats together in advance.


This expansion seems to focus a lot on teamwork in the beginning. if you’re levelling in a team it’s about working out who is going to be doing what and such forth and how. Things are expensive so it might be beneficial to have a ‘banker’ for the group to trade anything that you don’t need so that there are some finances for that all important mine upgrade that will benefit the team etc… It sure does help if that said Banker is a Auction House player and can seemingly magic gold out of the air!

As much as levelling soley in dungeons would be an ideal, work constraints are going to be an issue with ensuring that everyone is online at the same time. While having Proving Grounds Silver in the spec you want to queue for HC dungeons is technically not needed if everyone is online at the same time, its going to be beneficial to enable people to catch up if they are not online as much as the others and its also a nice legacy achievement for the next expansion!



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