Levelling continues to go well for our little worgen duo and they are almost ready to go to Outland. In a way I'm almost surprised by how well we are doing. We started out with nothing, on a server where we'd never played before... and while I had quite a blast levelling alts back in Cata, the old world revamp hasn't been without its issues. I had alts that outlevelled whatever content I was doing way too quickly, and where seeing everything go grey just sapped my motivation to continue. Trying to level professions as you go turned into a veritable nightmare - I'll never forget the human hunter I had who spent more time farming grey mobs for leather than actually doing quests, until I eventually abandoned her in frustration. More than one attempt at levelling as a duo died in the early levels when one character was a miner or herbalist while the other one wasn't, as the experience gains from gathering made it bloody impossible to comfortably stay around the same level.
On the plus side, we never really outlevelled our regular quests too badly, despite of the gathering experience, running every dungeon except the Deadmines at least once and doing the cooking and fishing dailies every day. We were always ahead of the levelling curve, coming into each new zone about five levels late, but by that point experience gains had generally dropped off to such a low level (without stopping completely) that we could comfortably continue completing quests without having them turn grey on us (with the possible exception of the first couple of zones we did - it's very hard to make it through all of Darkshore's over ninety quests without outlevelling any of them for example).
Due to us almost always working on green difficulty content, our levelling speed has been relatively sedate and keeping our professions up to scratch hasn't been too bad either. There are massive amounts of mining and herbalism nodes in the revamped old world, so our alchemy and blacksmithing haven't really been starved for materials (though Goldthorn is still hard to come by for how much of it you need to level up).
The secondary professions have been a bit trickier. For example you move through the "cloth tiers" quite quickly at first, and then end up getting nothing but Mageweave for twenty levels or so (or at least that's what it felt like), which makes keeping up with first aid a bit awkward. I expect that we'll be okay though, assuming that they haven't removed the Runecloth drops from early Outland or anything. Cooking is mostly fine as long as you make sure to save any and all meat drops you come across for later, as you'll often come across a particular kind of meat at the wrong level in respect to your cooking. Keeping up with your fishing also helps immensely of course.
Speaking of fishing, I was very surprised to see that you don't actually need a fishing pole to fish anymore now... and my first gut reaction was to be annoyed at yet another instance of unnecessary simplification of the game, but I soon found that I actually quite like this change. The "stick with a piece of string attached" graphical effect is quite cute, and it's nice not to have to worry about changing your equipment if you're only just stopping at a pool in passing. The fishing hat, pole and lures can still come out if I actually sit down at a dock to fish "properly" for ten minutes or longer.
Archaeology is the one profession I haven't been able to keep up with, as much as I would have liked to. My pet battling has also fallen behind, despite of my initial enthusiasm for it. I believe that neither would be impossible to keep levelled as you go along, but you'd have to focus heavily on travelling around to dig/challenge random pets and neglect other parts of the game in the process. I suppose Blizzard designed these features more as something to do at endgame than as an alternate way of levelling, but I suppose it's good that the option is there for those who want to be really hardcore about it.
We've only really been focused on completing all the quests in each zone we decided to tackle (we went for the Darkshore -> Ashenvale -> Stonetalon -> Desolace -> Feralas -> Thousand Needles -> Tanaris -> Un'Goro path) and doing all the dungeons. After my last post we only did Uldaman, Scholomance and Stratholme via the dungeon finder and had no more issues with unpleasant people in those runs. I had forgotten that Scholomance was also redone for Mists of Pandaria and was therefore a bit confused while trying to keep up with the new story in the usual dungeon finder rush, but it was just about bearable. Dire Maul, Razorfen Downs and Zul'Farrak we decided to tackle with just the two of us and had no issues with any of them, except for dying a few times to the guard captain in Dire Maul North, as his combination of fear and summoning of hard-hitting adds was still pretty painful at the level we went in.
Quick Weekend Post -- D3 Cosplay
5 hours ago