In the past I've complained about people skipping content with the obsolescence of every raid that isn't ICC and heirlooms to speed through leveling. I decided to go a step further and do that to an entire expansion of content.
My mage is now level 68. He has never been to Outland. I first wrote this with the expectation that he'd get to 70 and eventually 80. But he's only 68 and now I'm bored with him. I can't think of any new or interesting way to play him and I'm not going to level him just to have him higher level. So he's 68 and I don't see him moving from there any time soon.
It began innocently enough: I don't like Hellfire much anymore and hadn't done the late vanilla content in a long time. This is my own fault, for having too often sent alts out there at 58. This time I decided to change that and not be in any rush at all. I decided to stick around in Azeroth for a bit longer, just so I could skip Hellfire and comfortably go into Zangarmarsh; meaning 60 or 61 (not that I needed to be that high, but I figured that's what I'd end up at after the zones were done). Eventually that idea stopped appealing to me, so I though I'd try for Terrokar. Then it hit me: why not skip BC entirely?
Outdoor non-elites stop at around 58 unless you go into the Silithus hives. But instances get a bit higher and if I didn't mind elites, I could keep getting XP up to the 8 level maximum range, meaning 68, so I could get all the way to level 69. If sanity abandoned me entirely, instances and raids could be found with mobs of 61, 62, and even bosses at 63. That would be level 72! I wussed out.
He went to Northrend at 66, since he could no longer queue for old world instances and there were very few mobs which gave XP anymore. Conveniently, the rhinos were nicely packed for AoE grinding and were only 1-2 levels higher as long as I avoided the bulls. From my extended stay in Azeroth I'd gotten my skinning up high enough to skin them, so that was fully taken care of. And no, I didn't go to Outland to learn skinning. Instead a level 62 mage was dodging mobs on his way to Taunka'le Village. Fishing was obviously a non-issue.
He did have two major problems which would require waiting a year and farming a year, respectively: cooking and tailoring. There's a 15 point gap between the very last vanilla cooking and Northrend. The only way to fill this outside of Outland is the harvest festival, which he missed, since at the time he wasn't yet going to entirely skip Outland. Tailoring can be done, but it requires a very rare pattern drop from MC.
Based on this tailoring search we can see a few bits of useful information. Runecloth headbands last all the way until 340. That means only 10 levels to go with potentially difficulty materials or patterns. Alas, everything else seems to end at 345. Except there's an exception: Flarecore Wraps end at 350. Given a whole lot of patient farming, AH scanning, and gold, I could reach 350 without ever needing Outland or netherweave cloth. I planned to work on this, finding bits of felcloth on the AH, farming it now and then, and trying to form MC raids. Alas, I then found that cooking was impossible unless I wanted to wait nearly a year. I decided that wasn't worth it. I'd compromise and just buy netherweave and the needed meats and recipes. I wasn't personally killing anything, so it's okay (not really).
Gear was surprisingly not much of an issue. Sure, we all know leveling is easy, but he was going to Northrend with vanilla blues. At the time his gearscore was 759, with the lowest and highest ilevel being 58 and 65, the higher being thanks to the dungeon 2 chain giving bracers. Then he got a couple crazy awesome green drops and doubled his spell power; once he hit 67 and could use them. Upon hitting 68 he was able to start the quests and replaced everything pretty quickly.
So when can I expect my title: Octonde of Azeroth?
The paradox of progress
3 hours ago