In the early expansions of World of Warcraft, when certain classes outperformed others...
Warrior Leveling Guide for WotLK Classic 3.3.5a
In the early expansions of World of Warcraft, the Warrior class has always been one of if not the most difficult and frustrating classes to level. This is due to the classes limited toolkit arsenal, lack of raged abilities, lack of sustain and a high gear dependence that often causes the Warrior to fall behind other classes of similar levels in damage output.
In more recent expansions Warriors had their toolkit revised which put them on par with other classes and improved the leveling experience significantly. However, during Wrath of the Lich King Warriors were still a hard class to level. Contrastingly, despite being an awful class to level, during endgame content Warriors are very effective at playing their roles in the game, known for their berserker strength and unmatched martial prowess.
The class is able to perform both tank and damage-dealing roles, benefiting from prolonged damage-output with little to no downtime unlike other classes. When around level 60, leveling speed begins to pick up as you will not have access to all of your abilities and will begin receiving good weapons and gear that will allow the class to defeat targets adequately enough.
Some of the harder quests, such as Elite quests, are often skipped when leveling as a Warrior unless you manage to find a group to do the quest with, as a solo Warrior it will be extremely hard and not a good usage of your time.
The following WotLK guide is a basic overview of leveling as a Warrior and seeks to provide useful recommendations and information that new players to both the game and class can benefit from, to improve their leveling experience.
The information that will be provided is also Warrior-specific, and so other classes will not benefit from following this guide. Furthermore, this guide does not seek to provide a quest-per-quest leveling route, and instead will focus more on providing guidance for the many leveling choices you will make when leveling a Warrior, to make the leveling process as smooth and easy as possible.
Warrior Leveling Tips
The following are some general leveling tips that can be followed as a Warrior to improve your leveling speed and efficiency. These are as follows:
- Regardless the spec you plan on playing, you should always have a one-handed weapon and shield in your inventory in case you quickly need to fill a tank role and use abilities such as Shield Wall or Shield Block. When leveling, you will often find certain quests too hard to solo, and so having the ability to quickly jump into a tank role whilst you find someone else to deal damage for you is always useful.
- Be careful not to pull too many mobs, as if you get swarmed you can easily die. Always be aware of your positioning when fighting mobs. As a Warrior, you are able to equip a Bow, Gun, or Crossbow in your ranged item slot. You can use these weapons to pull mobs away from their packs and in an area that you have more room to kill them in. Some mobs will begin to flee when they are low on health, and so you should try to position yourself so that the mob will flee in a direction that there is no other mobs.
- Make sure to always carry level-appropriate food with you, as the class has no self-healing abilities. Having plenty of food in your inventory will reduce downtime in between fights as you won’t have to wait that long for health to regenerate. Always make sure to top up when running low.
- Warriors are able to wear Cloth, Leather, Mail or after level 40 Plate Armor. This comes down to your playstyle and chosen spec, but sometimes you will come across a Leather piece of gear that gives you more damage than a Mail or Plate option. You can decide in these sorts of scenarios if more survivability or damage is going to improve your leveling speed.
- As a Warrior, weapons deal most of your damage unlike other classes that may be more spell reliant. This means that weapon upgrades should be prioritized as this is the most effective way to increase your leveling speed, as having more damage will allow you to down mobs and targets much faster, ultimately allowing you to progress through quests and zones faster.
Best Warrior Leveling Spec
The Warrior has three specialization options to choose from with three different talent trees to allocate points in. Each of these three specs focus on using different weapons, as well as different tactics within the battlefield. The three Warrior specs to choose from are Fury Warriors, Arms Warriors, and Protection Warriors. Warriors are also able to play both tank and damage-dealing via these specs. Some of these specs perform better than others with regards to leveling, however.
The first of the three Warrior specs is Arms Warriors. This specialization focuses on dealing damage via their weapon, which for this speak is a 2-handed weapon, and their arsenal of bleed damage-dealing abilities – such as Deep Wounds and Rend. Arms Warriors are the most preferred spec to level a Warrior as, because it has lots of useful tools in the classes kit including a good blend between survivability and damage as compared to the other specs of the class.
Furthermore, the Arms spec predominantly deals damage based on the equipped weapon, not ability ranks, and so this means that upgrading your weapon should be prioritized over other gear upgrades. Due to many of the Arms Warriors most useful talents and abilities coming later on in the game, this spec tends to be a slower class to level early on but picks up later in the game. This is the preferred and recommended spec to level a Warrior as for both new and experienced players.
The next Warrior spec is Fury. Fury is a faster-paced, powerhouse spec with less survivability than Arms warriors, but more damage. The sacrifice of having less survivability makes this spec not a good choice for leveling, as you will struggle with solo questing a lot more if you choose Fury over Arms. This spec is also very gear dependant, again making it not a good choice to level as. Fury wields two weapons at once, able to wield two 2-handed weapons, and focuses on burst damage as opposed to Arms Warriors steady bleed damage dealt over time. Although a very fun spec to play at max level, beginner players are not recommended to choose Fury when leveling.
The final of the three Warrior specs is Protection, the tank spec. Protection tanks rely on a shield and 1-handed weapon for their kit and abilities, and as such have the most defence of the Warrior specs, consequently have the least damage. All Warrior specs struggle to solo level in Wrath of the Lich King, but this spec is the hardest of all Warrior specs. It is highly advised not to choose to level as a Protection Warrior, as it is a much slower and less efficient spec. The only exception would be if you choose to grind dungeons only, as in a grouped scenario with other players, the utility of having a Protection Tank is a viable option. However, for solo questing, this spec will struggle a lot.
Overall, it is recommended to choose an Arms Warrior spec if you plan on solo leveling, as this spec is the easiest spec to solo quests with as a Warrior.
Questing vs Dungeons
Most classes that are able to quest efficiently are always recommended to focus on quests for the majority of their experience gain in Wrath of the Lich King, as there are many benefits towards being self-reliant on your experience gain and not having to rely on group up with other players. This is largely due to most classes having at least one spec that can level effectively via quests, as the specs will have decent survivability and damage output.
Warriors however are one of the exceptions. Due to all three specs performing very poorly with regards to solo leveling, dungeon spamming becomes a viable option for the class, and is the more popular leveling strategy for Warriors in Wrath of the Lich King. This is especially true if you choose to build a Protection tank, as since tanks are the much more in demand role for dungeons, finding a group will be much faster than as a damage-dealer. However, the sacrifice here is that you will then be locked into playing as a tank, and so if you ever wish to solo quest, you will find it much harder than if you were an Arms Warrior.
Protection Warriors do perform greatly as a tank in dungeons throughout all levels of the game, making this a very viable option for efficient leveling. As a beginner player, it is still recommended to level as an Arms spec as although you will find it harder to find a dungeon group, you will have the option to solo quest.
One of the most useful professions for a Warrior which is a must have for the leveling process is First Aid, as it offers healing which the class does not have otherwise. This is an absolutely essential profession for Warriors to choose when leveling, as without it you will have lots more downtime and will lose a lot more battles with mobs.
This profession will offer you a lot of utility in sticky situations when you accidentally pull extra mobs and are running low on health in a solo questing setting. Even at max level, First Aid is often a good profession to have as a Warrior also, and so leveling this profession whilst leveling up your character can be an efficient use of your time. It can be essentially required for Warrior leveling.
Mining is another great spec to choose for Warriors to level up as, because as well as offering a passive income that comes with doing any gathering profession where you can sell the gathered materials on the Auction House, Mining gives players bonus Stamina depending on the skill level in the form of the passive ability Toughness. This can scale up to 60 Stamina at 450 Mining. Mining is also a great choice to choose for Warriors, as you can also use the materials gathered for professions such as Blacksmithing or Engineering.
As mentioned above, Blacksmithing and Engineering can be good endgame professions for Warriors, and as such leveling up your Mining throughout the leveling process and acquiring the materials needed to level Blacksmithing or Engineering can be beneficial. As a Blacksmith, you can also craft yourself some decent gear that can come in handy whilst leveling as you can upgrade items that you are struggling to find a replacement for. Engineering can also provide some utility abilities that can come in handy whilst leveling, like having the ability to craft grenades and bombs.
Important Class Quests
There are some very useful class-specific quests for Warriors that should definitely not be skipped. These are as follows:
- At level 10, Warriors gain the Defensive Stance quest chain which also gives you the Taunt and Sunder Armor abilities. This quest chain is very useful regardless of if you plan on playing a tank role (which the stance and Taunt ability are relevant for), as the Sunder Armor ability will increase your damage output on targets as it reduces the targets defence.
- At level 30, Warriors will receive the Berserker Stance quest chain, which will see them travel to the Barrens regardless of their faction, where they will fight on an island with an NPC and will be rewarded with both the Berserker Stance and Intercept. Berserker Stance is essential for damage-dealing Warriors and so this quest cannot be skipped.
- At level 40, Warriors should do the Whirlwind Weapon quest chain which although is very long, you will eventually be rewarded with the choice between either a Whirlwind Axe, Whirlwind Warhammer, or Whirlwind Sword. The choice you make will depend on your spec as each weapon has different specs, however these are very good items that will most likely see you through till late Classic content, and as Warriors rely on their weapon for most of their damage output, this will increase their damage output significantly.
- Finally, at level 50 the Sunken Temple quest chain that all classes receive will also offer Warriors with some very useful items and gear. Warriors will choose either the Diamond Flask, Razorsteel Shoulders, or Fury Visor from this quest chain as their reward, all of which are very useful and will last you many levels. Diamond Flask for instance will last the longest, which offers healing on activation and strength increase with only a 1-minute cooldown, which can come in very handy for tough fights and when running low on HP. Furthermore, as a trinket it will last you the longest as there are not many trinkets available in Outlands via questing.