Pros and Cons of Leveling Before Cataclysm

I am at a point in WoW where I am slowing down my end-game gameplay.  I am attending raids, as a healer, since we are severaly depleted in the healing category.  I have just about as much Ret gear from ICC 10 as I can get, and my schedule does not allow me to run ICC 25 with my guild.  I have topped 61k gold, which leaves me with 14k more to my Cataclysm goal of 75k.  I’ll get there easily.  So, like I said before, my gameplay has slowed down a bit.

This leaves room for leveling another character if I want.  Should I faceroll another Paladin?  No, I’ll be doing that in Cataclysm for both Horde and Alliance it seems.  So what to choose?  I hate slow leveling, and I hate slow DPS.  Maybe a Warrior.  Yes.  My infatuation with Gnomes could help shove me in the direction of leveling another toon before Cataclysm.  But is it worth it?  Let’s weigh the pros and cons.


1)  Experience old world content one last time.  This could very well be the last chance we get to level with old world content.  Blizz is ripping Azeroth apart in Cataclysm, and is redoing every zone, inclusing zone level, quests, and gear.  I love the leveling aspect of WoW gameplay, so this is something that can give me one last hurrah running through old world content.

2)  Get another toon to 80. This helps because I use my alternate level 80 toons mainly for crafting support.  I HATE having to ask around or wait on other people to make potions, enchant gear, and craft items, etc.  I let my toons do the work for me.  With another 80 at my disposal, I can create an Inscriptionist alt in addition to my Alchemist, Tailor, Enchanter, Jewelcrafter, and Blacksmith.  Notice I do not have a Leatherworking or Engineering alt, since those provide the least amount of benefit to my Paladin-focused end game content.  Having one more profession at my disposal in Cataclysm definitely wouldn’t hurt.

3) Enjoy a solo adventure without guild or party hinderance. Don’t get me wrong, I love my guild, but stealth leveling another toon (unguilded), allows me to avoid any interaction that could distract me from my peaceful, solo gameplay.  I can stop whenever I want, without worrying about helping out or stopping what I am doing to assist others.  I believe everyone needs this type of gameplay at some point or another, and this is a great way to do it.  I’m not going to lie though, many of my guildies know my character naming schemes, so it’s not too hard to find me if they really wanted to!  This could be a great way to unwind before Cataclysm launches.

4) Benefit of understanding another class. If you raid endgame, nothing helps you understand other roles and classes better than having an exact toon of the same make-up.  As you level a class, you learn the ins and outs of DPS, healing, tanking, whatever your role is.  This is beneficial at anytime, not just pre-Cataclysm!


1)  Leveling bound to get easier in Cataclysm. Blizzard knows leveling from 1-85 will be a grind.  Look for them to make leveling much easier by giving us smoother quest flow, more complete zones, gear upgrades, more heirloom options with the guild achievement system, and possibly experience changes (my theory, not fact at all).

While Blizz will want there to still be effort involved in the leveling process, they fully realize that keeping people paying $15 a month will mean those same people leveling additional toons.  People get tired of end-game and need fresh starts.  Also, Cataclysm is aimed at bringing in a newer player population, mostly a younger audience.  So easing up the leveling process is going to happen.

That means that the current leveling process is longer, and at times more painful.  Some players hate leveling.  Hate it.  Waiting for Cataclysm gives people more incentive to create new toons due to an easier and quicker leveling path.

2) Gear Changes. Blizzard has said they are reworking the gear in the 1-60 game.  Look for statistical and cosmetical improvements with Cataclysm.  Will shoulder and head slto gear be available earlier on?  Will the new heirloom gear eventually double XP gain?  Will the re-worked stat changes significantly buff characters at earlier levels?  Everything is still up in the air sionce we have no concrete word from Blizzard, but mere mention of generalized info from Blizzcon and other interviews is enough to initiate a desire to hold off leveling until Cataclysm.

3) Waiting for specific Cataclysm changes.  I am just as eager as the next person to see what changes Cataclysm will bring.  Leveling professions will be easier, but how much easier?  What exact changes are we looking at in terms of leveling, gear, and other content?  Without specifics, making a decision to level another toon pre-Cataclysm can be put on hold indefinitely.

Regardless of pros and cons, it looks like I will start another toon.  How far this toon gets remains to be seen, since I have a knack for deleting toons when I get bored of them.  I do know it won’t be a Paladin, and it is very likely to be a Gnome.  Most of this depends on survivability and how quickly I can burn through quests.  If I make it past 20, look for an intro leveling guide here, and possibly more!

Will you level another toon before Cataclysm?  Let me know if so, and why or why not!


  1. Dietor says:

    I am! I too am leveling a warrior but mine is a dwarf. A warrior was always something I have wanted since I have seen titans grip. Now that heirloom is readily available, I will be titans gripping 2 arcanite rippers. I will also try to farm the trinket in brd for giggles. The one that has a chance on attack to make an extra swing. Should be fun 🙂

  2. Daniel says:

    I am planning on leveling a toon before Cataclysm hits. In fact, it is ironic because I too am leveling a warrior after a long 3 years of Paladin end game. Anyways, I also struggled with deciding whether or not to wait until cataclysm hits before starting, and the conclusion I came to was this:

    I will start the character now. In a few weeks, patch 4.0 will hit and I will start reaping some of the benefits of a Cataclysm game setting. As much as they might be changing the 1-60 leveling process, I really don’t care that I got to level 33 the “longer” way. It’s not going to be that much different, in my own opinion. Plus, I just want to start now. It’s as simple as that.

    I’m definitely looking forward to the leveling process changes when cataclysm hits. However, I don’t feel that it’s worth being patient enough so that I can start leveling with the changes from level 1. I don’t mind switching halfway to 85.

  3. JR says:

    Patch came out today and I’m not sure that I’m even going to take my 80 main to 85. People have been gushing about the new classes, etc, but no one has been talking about the nerfs. Just found out the hard way and my character feels terrible to play. Don’t know if I’m going to make it to Cataclysm.

  4. John says:

    I have an 80 rogue, and always wanted to play the role of a tank in wow. I’ve loved it in other games.

    I’m going to wait until cataclysm though, so I can role a Tauren Paladin (strange mix huh?). Either that or a goblin warrior. Still deciding which is the most wanted tanking class (besides druids).


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