World of Warcraft has considerably changed a lot over the last 15 years. Questing has become more streamlined and simple, with the game client pushing you towards important quests as soon as you login. This has been the case since Cataclysm with the quest boards located in Stormwind and Orgrimmar. These initiator quests would guide you to linear questhubs, which allowed you to blindly run around completing objectives almost on auto-pilot, while uncovering a short storyline. However, Classic WoW was the complete opposite. This article’s aim is to help prepare you for an almost ancient Azeroth.
Classic still boasts quest hubs, but they are almost ‘hidden’. The discovery of said hubs are largely upon the user, from the desire to explore. This is what is missing from a lot of MMOs these days, the desire to actually explore an area fully. Completing all quests in a specific zone won’t guarantee you a full level either; you’ll often find yourself needing to grind mobs or run dungeons to have a more fluid experience.
Since you’re here, you’ll already know what the main topic of discussion will be; Warrior leveling. Leveling a Warrior to 60 is a challenge in its own right, as it is one of the most non-solo friendly classes in the game. However, the rewards you will reap as a maxed level Warrior will be well worth it.
The following guide will be broken up into segments which will include questing locations, talent choices, and much more, with the aim to make your Warrior experience a pleasant one.
Before we get to the meat of the article, let’s first address those who may have only played WoW in the last few years. If you’re coming to Classic from any expansion from Cataclysm onwards, then there are a few changes to questing that’s worth noting.
Objectives and quests will not be displayed anyway, including the map. You will find yourself having to re-read your quest objectives from your quest log a few times if you get stuck, because there will be no help from the game’s UI. There are quest addons you can download, but getting immersed into a zone and getting lost is part of the Vanilla experience.
Mobs are hard to kill. Certain classes will struggle to grind mobs, compared to others. Unfortunately, Warrior is one of the classes that really struggles to grind mobs efficiently. It’s not uncommon for Warrior players to duo with a healer when leveling.
We touched on this briefly above, but completing zones doesn’t guarantee a specific amount of levels. The difficulty of each zone varies dramatically too, and you’ll want to prioritize easiest quests to level efficiently.
Best zones for Warrior leveling
Although it’s likely you’ll end up all over the place when leveling, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the zones that are better than others, for each faction. The zones listed below should be quested to completion, for the most part.
The Barrens: Aside from the infamous ‘Barrens chat’ and Mankrik’s wife memes, The Barrens is a very important zone for the Horde. It’s the meeting point for the races that live in Kalimdor, and with the huge amount of quests and mobs present, you’ll be leveling super fast. However, this isn’t uncommon knowledge, so be prepared to be competing for mob kills.
Silverpine Forest: This is the Eastern Kingdom’s version of The Barrens, there are lots of quests here, but you’ll probably find it’s more efficient to just go to The Barrens.
Stonetalon Mountains: Stonetalon Mountains has a few Alliance quest hubs, but it’s predominately a Horde zone. What makes this such a great questing area is that it’s adjacent to The Barrens in location and level range, and has some great quest chains.
Darkshore: Once the starting area for your race has been completed, you have a few options on where to quest next. For Alliance, one of the best zones to go is Darkshore.
Westfall: Due to its location and ease of access from Stormwind, Westfall is a popular leveling destination. However, it’s actually not that great to its difficulty. However, if you grab some friends and cruise through the quests, you can pop into Deadmines and make the whole trip worthwhile.
Loch Modan: Loch Modan is located East of the Dwarf and Gnome starting area, and is great for leveling. It isn’t as quest-dense as Darkshore, but there are a lot of easy quests. It’s a decent place to revisit later on and complete even if you out-level the quests.
The following zones are deemed as ‘contested’, meaning that there are equal amount of quests for both Horde and Alliance. These zones will have the most active world PvP activity in, if you’re playing on a PvP server.
Arathi Highlands: 30-40
Burning Steppes: 50-58
Eastern Plaguelands: 53-60
Hillsbrad Foothills: 20-30
Searing Gorge: 45-50
Stranglethorn Vale: 30-45
Thousand Needles: 25-35
Un’Goro Crater: 48-55
Western Plaguelands: 51-58
Warrior leveling talents
Leveling as a Warrior can be a real chore, so it’s paramount that you spec your talent tree efficiently. There are two leveling builds which the majority of players tend to go; two-handed Arms, or two-handed Fury. You can go dual-wield, but I really wouldn’t recommend it.
Arms is overall a better leveling tree simply because the damage output and damage taken values have less fluctuation. Arms is also a lot safer to level as if you are on a PvP server.
Fury’s benefit is that it can potentially have a higher damage output, compared to Arms, but you will also take increased damage. If you have a pocket healer to reduce downtime, then Fury can work quite nicely.
What you must not do though, is spec as Protection. You will do almost no damage. If you’re worried about being able to tank dungeons, you can tank everything on your way to 60 as Arms without any issue at all. Simply equip a sword and shield and have at it.
Warrior leveling rotation
While leveling as a Warrior, you shouldn’t really have many issues with your rotation. You’ll be fairly rage starved for the majority of it, and with the small amount of abilities you have, you’ll probably just end up hitting whatever ability is available.
However, if you’re looking to min-max as much as possible, the rotation laid out below is the most optimal. Be advised that you won’t have access to all of these abilities at the start of the game.
- Use Charge to initiate whenever possible.
- Cast Battle Shout if it has expired.
- Apply Rend, as long as the enemy doesn’t die way before the DoT has run its course.
- Use Execute if it is up.
- Use Overpower if it procs.
- Use Mortal Strike or Bloodthirst on cooldown, depending on your spec.
- Use Whirlwind, even if there is only one mob.
- Queue Heroic Strike when you have Rage spare. It’s worth noting that Heroic Strike won’t generate any rage when it hits, so the cost of a Heroic Strike is actually worth a lot more than the tooltip may lead you to believe. Sunder Armor can be a nice Heroic Strike alternative, if the mob has high defense.
Abilities to purchase
While leveling, it isn’t neccessary to purchase every ability that is available to you. You’ll want to save as much gold as physically possible so that you can purchase your level 40 mount. By only buying abilities you absolutely need, you’ll save a lot of gold.
- Level 1-10 – Learn every ability available. Accept and complete the quest to obtain Defensive Stance.
- Level 12 – Shield Bash, Overpower Battle Shout (rank 2).
- Level 16 – Shield Block, Mocking Blow, Heroic Strike (rank 3).
- Level 24 – Execute, Retaliation, Intimidating Shout, Battle Shout (rank 3), Heroic Strike (rank 4).
- Level 30 – Complete quest to obtain Berserker Stance. Overpower (rank 2).
- Level 32 – Execute (rank 2), Heroic Strike (rank 5), Battle Shout (rank 4).
- Level 36 – Whirlwind.
- Level 40 – Heroic Strike (rank 6), Execute (rank 3)
- Level 48 – Execute (rank 4), Overpower (rank 3), Battle Shout (rank 5), Mortal Strike (rank 2), Heroic Strike (rank 7).
- Level 50 – Recklessness.
- Level 54 – Mortal Strike (rank 3), Battle Shout (rank 6)
- Level 56 – Execute (rank 5), Heroic Strike (rank 8).
- Level 60 – Start buying everything you skipped before you start doing level 60 content.
Stat priority while leveling
It’s unlikely that you’ll get a large amount of options while leveling up in Classic WoW, but if you do, follow the below priority system.
Strength = Spirit > Agility > Stamina
Strength is our primary stat and will increase the amount of damage we can dish out.
Spirit in Classic is really nice because it increase health regeneration out of combat, which will reduce downtime. If you’re a Troll, it will also work nicely with their Regeneration racial.
Agility will increase your dodge and critical hit chance, which are both obviously beneficial.
Stamina will give you a raw health increase.
Warrior pre-raid best in slot gear
Below we will list the BiS (best in slot) gear that you should strive to obtain on your warrior before you step foot into raids. This list will change depending on what ‘phase’ the game is currently in, but for the foreseeable future, you should be looking at the phase 1 list below.
Some of the gear you might be lucky enough to get it before 60, so it’s important to always refer back to this list so that you don’t miss or pass up on a piece of useful loot.
Weapon: Mirah’s Song (Enchant: Enchant Weapon – Crusader)
Shield: Draconian Deflector (Enchant: Enchant Shield – Greater Stamina)
Head: Gyth’s Skull
Neck: Medallion of Grand Marshal Morris
Shoulder: Stockade Pauldrons (Enchant: Chromatic Mantle of the Dawn)
Back: Cloak of Warding (Enchant: Enchant Cloak – Superior Defense)
Chest: Deathbone Chestplate (Enchant: Enchant Chest – Major Health)
Wrist: Runed Golem Shackles (Enchant: Enchant Bracer – Deflection)
Hands: Stonegrip Gauntlets (Enchant: Enchant Gloves – Greater Agility)
Waist: Deathbone Girdle
Legs: Legplates of the Eternal Guardian
Feet: Deathbone Sabatons (Enchant: Enchant Boots – Minor Speed)
Finger: Naglering, Band of the Steadfast Hero
Trinket: Force of Will, Demon’s Blood
Warriors are a fantastic class, where you get as much out of it as you put in. Hopefully this WoW Classic Warrior leveling guide was useful to some, and if you feel like any changes must be made, or if I’ve made a mistake, please leave a comment below.