This is very relevant to me personally at the moment because like a lot of players I’m trying to level two more characters to level cap before Mists goes live. Some aspects of leveling a new character are very different when it’s your first character versus your tenth. But I firmly believe that in either case, one thing is always true : Leveling (even fast) does not have to cost you gold — you can make money while you level.
In fact, some ways to make gold are just plain less painful to do when you can multi-task and earn XP or profession skill at the same time. Here are my key recommendations :
- Whatever you do in WoW, always have fun.
- If this isn’t your very first character (and for most I’m sure it’s not), send yourself a small gold stake to start. You don’t need a lot, just enough to be able to train and repair whenever you want without thinking about gold. 1000g is plenty. And send yourself or buy a few bags, of course.
- Use a simple addon to track your incoming and outgoing gold.
- Use an addon from the Auctioneer Suite to display vendor sell values in tooltips, and choose quest rewards accordingly.
- Don’t spend gold on gear.
- Choose primary professions to level with and don’t be afraid to change them later. Many of the best professions to have at level cap are not the best ones to level with. On top of that, power leveling most non-gathering professions when you are at level cap is pretty easy.
- Level secondary professions as you level. The profession dailies in Shattrath, Dalaran, and the Cataclysm ones give good XP, gold, and the Cataclysm ones even give skill points for fishing and cooking.
- Exception to #5 — ignore Archeology until you have a flying mount.
- Go to the Faire! The Darkmoon Faire profession quests give good XP, gold, and +5 skill points each week the faire is open for each primary and secondary professions.
- Watch out for skills falling behind your level. Now that the XP required to level has been reduced, it’s easy to get behind and find your skinner unable to skin your kills as you quest at level. Don’t let that happen to you.
- Take time to gather and sell low level materials. This goes for herbs, ore, and leather if you have those professions, and dropped items like cloth. Use these items in your main gold making business if you can.
There are no absolutely right or wrong choices for class, race, professions, or leveling method. The first point above applies here, choose something you find fun. What has worked for me lately is to take herbalism on all my levelers, because I’m a scribe. I funnel those materials into my main business. For a second profession I either choose another gathering profession (mining or skinning) or a profession with a profitable cooldown like alchemy, which just happens to go well with herbalism. (Alchemy is trivial to power level, but the materials required aren’t always available on every auction house.)
Another choice would be to level a profession that has some kind of timed gates to getting recipes, like jewel crafting or inscription. These profession force you to do quests or research once per day to get all the “stuff”, so it makes them harder to level later, but still not impossible.
“But wait” you say, “I just want to power level to cap then I’ll worry about gold.” It may be true the absolutely fastest way to level is to ignore gold, and if you really want and need to do that, ok. But most people just don’t level as fast as possible, even if they say they will. You can level just as fast or faster than most and still make money easily. In addition, if you ignore gold while you level you are missing the opportunity forever. So look out for losing gold while you level — you don’t have to.