The Wild Ride
The last two weeks have been a bit of a roller-coaster of nerfs and buffs to the Legion Event. When I first wrote Monday about the “elevator” it was really simple and fast to get a character through the levels, and it didn’t even require much attention to detail. Simply being in the zone allowed you to reap the entire lions share of experience. This unfortunately lead to a bit of a plague of afk leveling, because players would park in a relative safe spot and just wait for the phases to complete. The irony here is that I didn’t actually do this myself until the first round of nerfs, taking the experience down so much that the event didn’t really feel worthwhile. The positive takeaway of this experience is that Blizzard kept trying different combinations to see if they could find the sweet spot. I know of at least four different hotfixes that were applied to tweak this variable or that until we wound up with the one that happened last night, and seems to FINALLY restore the event to a level that isn’t AFK leveling, but still feels like you aren’t wasting your time. Also the new version of the event seems to reward group player, and dissuade players from some of the antisocial behavior that had sprung up.
For a period of time your best bet was to find a quiet corner of the zone to camp for demons and solo everything you could. This however lead players to getting rather vocal when someone was encroaching upon their turf. I mean I get the frustration because it could literally half your experience gained if another player touched whatever you had been soloing. A drive by dot could wreck your experience, and as a result folks were somewhat understandably grumpy about the experience. You can read my own twitter feed full of random comments about this over the week, so on several levels I have been grumpy as well. Since I have been writing about it I thought this morning I would talk about the various methods I have personally experiences, and which have good results if you are going into these events hunting experience for leveling, rather than loot boxes. You admittedly end up with more lootboxes than you could ever want as well, but that is just a fringe benefit.
Your Own Private Army
Scattered throughout the Invasion zones are a number of NPCs that can be saved. Several of them will fight along side you when you save them, and are really handy. I am sure I don’t have a full list, but here are some of the ones I know about and have used.
I am certain there are more, but wowhead is freaking out this morning. I know at some point I also had a dwarven hunter lady while out in Tanaris. Essentially they are scattered throughout the battlefield, and in Westfall they are often times inside the farm houses. Rescuing them essentially allows you to take things down more quickly because you have a battle minion following you around and attacking whatever you happen to be attacking. For example if I have the Crusader I tend to go after the huge mini-boss type baddies because the stun effects them and allows me to shred them. If I have one of the AOE minions… then I tend to focus on large packs because they will chew them up with AOE damage. I am not sure how many of these you can have at once, but I have for certain had two up at once and been just fine. Essentially when you have a couple of these battle minions up, you can run throughout the zone looking for packs of Legion mobs and shredding them for experience.
The option one of my friends tends to favor is to grab one of the many vehicles scattered around the battlefield and start laying waste to baddies with it. There is a shockingly wide variety of these available. For the alliance I know we have Dwarven Steam Tanks, Gnomish Spiders, and Darnassian Glaive Throwers. Similarly there are horde options as well including some weird undead thing that throws bombs. Once again the idea is to grab a tank, and just go to town wrecking as many demons as you can before you run out of fuel. Fuel being a buff that you get that shows how long you can be active in the vehicle. Personally I have had the best luck with the Steam Tanks because they allow you to just brute force large packs of mobs at once. Demolishers I think play a similar role for the horde, and allow you to just storm into a Legion camp and destroy everything in your path.
Chase the Skulls
Now personally after the patch I think this is the best option for maximum experience gain… and it seems like everyone else has caught on as well. Boss fights reward a silly amount of experience now. In my 70s last night I was getting 45k-60k experience per boss kill, and the various mobs scattered throughout the map and marked with Skulls in phase three… count as bosses. So new best way to gain experience seems to be to chase these around the zone, and I say chase because there will be a massive amount of flying mounts heading in one direction or another. The key here however is to stay alive. This is my only real complaint about the changes… is that with placing so much emphasis on boss kills, you are completely screwed if you are dead while the boss is taken down. If you are dead you get exactly zero experience for the boss kill, and makes the entire process a complete waste of your time. As a result you have to play super cautiously, especially as you near the end of the bosses health bar. I tend to disengage from melee range and use my extremely crappy channeled range attack just to make sure I am on the threat list of the boss but also giving myself maximum room to duck away in case of one of the many one shot boss abilities. Overall the changes are much better than they have been… and in truth you can end up with a lot more experience per invasion than you could even before the first round of nerfs. The big difference is that you have to be extremely active and constantly moving around zone and fighting to make that happen. Ultimately I think that was what they were going for, and I wanted to reward activity that helps the invasion out… and not activity that happens to get in through a loophole.