Tag Archives: leveling challenge

Pet Leveling Challenge Update – level 35

Time for a new Pet Leveling Challenge update. I have to say that I did wuss out a little bit.


I’m still doing things only by pet battling, but I ‘allowed’ myself to start doing pet daily & weekly quests. It was extremely time-consuming to travel from place to place on foot, and there was really no way for me to gain any coin, so it would’ve been this way forever. I wasn’t even able to use the taxi service.


Ugh. I’m not going to be flush with cash at all, especially because I’m still avoiding the Auction House as a part of the Ironman rules. I also transferred her from my mega high pop main’s server to a different one when they opened up free transfers, so now when the queue on the main’s server is too long I can still log onto this character.

The result of both of these actions is that idea of logging onto that character doesn’t make my skin crawl anymore. While it would’ve been cool to hit level 90 in Northrend on foot, the idea of having to, for instance, walk all the way from the Alliance base in Howling Fjord to the area where fjord worg pups live alone made it extremely unlikely she’d be hitting 70, let alone 90.

The reason I mention the worg pups is because mine is still Common quality. I figured while doing this challenge, I’d have more than enough opportunity to capture all the rares in the areas I could access (places like Pandaria and much of Cataclysm content are still off-limits, because you have to complete a quest to access them). Getting those rares make for an easy carrot as I’m grinding through this punishing slog, but I’m so sick of looking at my remaining Common pets, especially as I level other alts through Northrend. Those worg pups are right there.


Just right over there. Sigh.

And that’s a big part of why I’m kicking this leveling project into high gear. At this point, I’ve been avoiding leveling the bulk of my stable, because once my pets get too far above the level of wild pets, I have to go on only PVP fights until I level my character and schlep to a new area. I’ve been in the Arathi Highlands for ages. It’s really difficult to say, especially as I get toward the top of the pet levels curve, just how many I’ll need, so almost all my pets have been in stasis around level 11 until I can get this done. Warlords of Draenor is right around the corner, so I really need to get a move on here.

The other thing I have to report is that, because of this project, I’ve been doing a good deal of playtesting about player XP through pet battles. I’ve made a previous post or two on the topic. This is a level 88 character, battling with a full team exactly the same level as her opponent.


(click to increase size)

So, once I’m able to roll around Swamp of Sorrows or Un’goro Crater, that’s it. That’s the most XP I can get from a battle, as long as I’m not trying to fight single pets. The player XP also scales down if I fight with pets slightly higher than my opponent (around 20K XP per pet level at this player level). The only scaling in player XP from there on up will come from my leveling up. This is kind of both awesome and awful. I am glad I don’t have to rush to Northrend, but I’m curious how quickly that scaling will happen, and just how quickly I’ll want to ditch this project again.


The Iron Pet Leveling Challenge

I saw this over on Blog Azeroth (a great resource if you’re a blogger). Since it was pretty much the first community blog challenge I’ve seen that would fit into the topic of this blog at all, of course I had to give it a shot.


The challenge is to level a character to 90 from only pet battles. No quest XP. No kill XP. No professions. Exploration XP is OK, because you kind of have to explore as a pet battler. No new gear after you pick up your obligatory safari hat from the mail.


I know what you’re saying. “Oh but that’s so easy now. I knew this one guy, Tommy? He went from 85-89 in like 5 hours from pet battling.” Well, this challenge is unique in that it starts off hard and then gets harder. At some point there’s a breakpoint (I mean, there has to be, right?!) and from there it gets easier & easier until you can coast to the finish. I think this is intentional, because Blizzard intends for you to actually play your character in the lowbie levels.

When I say ‘easier’ vs ‘harder’, I mean less or more time-consuming. There’s really nothing hard per se about lvl 1 pet battles. It’s when you start doing the math, and see that XP bar creep up more and more slowly as you level that you see where the ‘hard’ is in this challenge. It’s bizarrely psychologically difficult. This may also be because I chose a Dwarf, and it’s just all freaking snow all the time. Makes for thrilling screenshots too.

And yes, it is psychologically difficult. Here’s a slightly fudged graphic to help explain why:


The gist is, the XP needed per level grows at an alarming rate, but your XP from battling barely budges. At level 1, each fight is 3.5% of a level, and you need to do 28 battles to gain the 400 XP required to level. Contrast that with level 5, where each fight is 1.1% of a level, and you need to win 93.3 battles, 2800 XP, to level up. It just keeps getting slower and slower so far.

Theoretically I could go fight some higher level pets to speed things up, but I’m level 5. There’s almost nowhere else for me to go where I won’t aggro everything in the zone yet. I have been toying with using higher level pets and getting less XP per battle but chewing through battles more quickly, after a twitter tip from Farli of The Overcut. Regardless, I’m already almost out of level 1 and level 2 pets, all of which were duplicates of pets I’d already leveled. You can see I took off my safari hat at some point, and this is why.

My entire stable of pets was already up to 10+, so I won’t get to do much to actually improve the pets I want to keep until I can start battling level 5+ pets reliably. I may get some of these in the Loch Modan area, around level 10 for me. I’ll get a lot for sure once I get to the Wetlands but this won’t happen until–sweet baby jesus help me–I’m level 20 or so.


I’m not sure yet whether I’ll take ‘help’ (ie, gold) from higher level characters, but if I don’t that means no mounts, and no taxis except for the handful of free ones between capital cities. It seems more in the spirit of an Iron Man, but the thought of that makes me want to lay my head down on my desk and give up already.

‘No Quests’ may also restrict entry to places like Deepholm. Without a personal flying mount, this may mean all of Cata content. Maybe even Pandaria as a whole, too. I know it restricts me from getting to the Vale, but man. MAAAAN. Also, no combat means no killing critters to free up spawns for battle pets, which stinks. However, I’m definitely ignoring one of the central rules of the ‘official’ leveling Ironmans – permanent death. I feel like this is already soulcrushing enough, and I know that if I add in that rule, if I do die I’m just done. Plus, I figure I’m going to be going to places I’m stupid low level for, there’s virtually no way I’m not going to die.


This is one of the few times in WoW where I’ve actually thought to myself, “what in the high holy hell are you thinking” while I’m doing it. Usually my abject moronitude is just an afterthought, but this time it’s like my brain would punch me in the face if it had arms.

Current Level – 5

Current /played – 4hrs 56 mins

Current number of unsolicited ginvites – 18  20. I got 2 more when I logged in to take an extra SS for this post.