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New Ways To Play WoW: Hardcore, Pacifist, PvP Leveling

by: Jaime Skelton ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/18/2012 • Leave a comment

Since 2004, World of Warcraft has been a staple in many of our homes, but when you've gotten to level 80 once – or many times – the game play can begin to feel stale. Here are a few new ways to spice up your World of Warcraft.

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    Hardcore Mode Leveling

    Time to Start Fresh   Players of Diablo and other games with ladder-based ranking may already have a good idea of what “hardcore" mode means. The idea behind hardcore mode leveling is simple: once you die, it's game over. It doesn't matter how you die, or why – your character's life and existence ends with their first death.

    If it's your first time leveling hardcore, you may want to play a hybrid for the ability to heal themselves. Protection paladins and feral druids are particularly difficult to kill for a player who wisely uses their healing abilities. For a real challenge though, try playing a class like a mage, with little defensive or healing capabilities, and see just how far you can go.

    Tips:

    • Twinking a hardcore character is a generally good idea. Equip them with gear that has both the stats they need, along with a lot of stamina.
    • Hardcore leveling is easier with a buddy, or even an entire group – but be wary of the challenge of instances.
    • For more challenge, make your own ladder ranking on the server, with your guild, or just among a group of friends – and see who can get the farthest.
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    Pacifist Leveling

    Living A Life of Peace   Have you ever wondered what an MMO would be like if it never featured killing a single enemy? What would it be like in Azeroth, where everyone around you boasts about their latest kills? How far could you make it in a cut-throat world?

    The goal of pacifist leveling is to reach the highest level you can without killing a single creature. You must gain experience instead via exploring and completing quests that don't require killing creatures. Having someone grouped with you and killing creatures for you is cheating! Keep in mind that many quests require only an item that drops, and may be traded. You can use your own characters, or the auction house, to utilize even these quests to a higher level.

    Tips:

    • Like hardcore leveling, pacifist leveling benefits well from twinking. Focus solely on stamina providing gear.
    • Expect to die a lot. Prepare to have a little extra cash to help for repairs as well as buying items.
    • Druids and rogues make the easiest classes for the pacifist challenge, as they can use stealth to bypass hostile mobs, and also have a temporary speed boost when necessary.
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    PvP Leveling

    Preparing to Go to War   In patch 3.2, Blizzard introduced battleground experience. While players do not gain experience from the kills themselves, players do gain experience from winning battlegrounds, and even some from losing. The only exception to this rule is Warsong Gulch, if the losing side does not cap a flag.

    With this in mind, players can now effectively level from 10 to 80 solely via battlegrounds. With the inclusion of Bind on Account PvP gear, players can now free themselves completely from the questing grind and spend night and day in the battlegrounds. Because battlegrounds are populated cross-server via the battlegroup system, even players on the smallest battlegroups in the dead of the night will always have something to do.

    Tips:

    • Invest in the Bind on Account PvP gear. This, plus other twink gear, can help give your character a serious advantage in the battleground.
    • Be a leader. Your fellow PvPers are going to see a lot of you, and you will make a better impression if you lead and are reasonably civil.
    • Take a break when you get frustrated. If your PvP partners are dragging you down, take a break before you go into a rage.

    These new leveling methods should provide new, interesting ways to keep yourself interested in World of Warcraft. Have fun, and good luck!

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