Monday, February 15, 2010

Questing versus Random Dungeons

So I finally managed to get into a situation on Saturday evening that let me pull a little more comparable data on the xp to be gained from running random instances versus just questing. What actually caused this is that I was able to get into a very good instancing group, and everyone wanted to stay together and just keep requeuing for randoms each time we finished. As a result, I was able to continually run instances on my paladin for about 3 solid hours on Saturday night.

The end result, interestingly enough, was about 300,000 xp per hour. Note that in general, I did not have any quests related to the instances that we were running, so I didn't get any additional xp from quest turn ins on the instances, which would boost that number a little bit.

On the questing front, I'm able to consistently maintain an xp per hour of between 500K and 600K per hour. So, the end result is that it does significantly slow you down to do a significant amount of instancing while leveling.

Now - that being said - let me offer two very major caveats to this. This only really applies if you're planning to level a toon to 80 and then move on to your next alt to be leveled. If this is a toon that you're planning to use for end-game raiding, then there are significant payoffs to using the leveling by LFD method. First is that it's easily possible to accumulate enough triumph badges for 1-2 pieces of T9 gear that can be purchased as soon as you hit level 80. The second point is, if you never run any instances while questing, you actually won't have decent enough gear at the point you actually hit 80 to even queue for a random heroic, so you'll be stuck running regular instances for a while after hitting 80 in order to get the gear to be able to run heroics. And you may as well get xp for doing that while you go.

So, the choice is yours. If you're looking for endgame, it'll be somewhat slower overall leveling, but you'll be much more ready to jump in as soon as you hit 80. If you're just looking to hit 80 and move on to the next toon, you're better off questing.

5 comments:

  1. Hey Joar,
    Grats on getting 4 (soon to be 5) 80's so far. You're more dedicated than I am....I keep getting distracted while leveling.

    Now, you mentioned the difference in XP for your level 77 paladin. 300k dungeons vs 500-600k questing. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm hoping that the ratio isn't the same while leveling up a toon from the 20's to 60's.
    The vastness of Azeroth and the travel times that entails, plus low drop rates on some quests probably make it more of a even ratio of XP per hour. You can queue for dungeons while you're crafting or checking the AH, then come back to exactly the same place.

    I'm just kinda worn out on quests at this point, and was checking to see if you had a glimmer of hope for me.

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  2. @Bloodshrike

    I've been having a much harder time putting together any meaningful data for the lower levels for a number of reasons. One - the queues for dungeons at those levels, at least on my battlegroup can be incredibly long. Half an hour seems to be the norm for a dps slot. In addition, getting a quality group seems to be much less likely on some of these lower level instances.

    But, on a data free basis, I feel like you're right. It generally does feel like the rate is much more comparable at these lower levels than it is once you hit Northrend.

    Even with that being said, while questing does get old after a while, I'm not sure how much more Scarlet Monastery I can take! lol

    I'll keep working at it and will be sure to post something as soon as I've got some decent data to share.

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  3. Urggh, yeah, I didn't think about how long some of these dungeons can be. I'd hate to be forced to run Wailing Caverns over and over.

    For now, I'm taking advantage of the Love is in the Air cologne/chocolate daily and charm bracelet to the Leader dailies + Heirlooms to significantly boost the levels of all my toons under 50.

    I've found that I take off leveling once I get there, probably due to quests I find fun, or are intelligently chained together.

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  4. I have been levelling as a shadow priest, and while I got into a random much quicker as a healer, dps is more relaxing in the earlier instances where the tank may be a newb and just flat out run without regard to mana.

    I am enjoying the randoms as they provide a break from the grind of questing, especially in level ranges that put me in areas I don't really like (40-45 is a grind imo). Also you get gear!

    I have had a few awesome wands drop in instances, where the only other option is crafted or vendored.

    Overall I don't know the actual numbers, but it FEELS faster when you are doing something fun, to break up the routine. Having the randoms has kept me from getting bored and going to play another lowbie :D

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  5. @Faeith - totally agree with you. While I've run the numbers now - there are certainly times where I just can't bear to quest through a particular zone again - so even though I know it's going to cost me in terms of xp per hour, it's still worth it to me and more enjoyable to just queue for that dungeon. The only time it doesn't feel faster is if you get some random group drops and end up having to wait around for a replacement.

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