WOW: Tips for Server First Level 85

Something to note before I start:
1) Firstly this guide is not for the fain-of-heart readers. It is an in-depth guide that I have formatted as much as possible to try keep it readable.
2) Secondly this actual goal is not for the faint-of-heart in general. In fact it can be very dangerous feat to try and achieve in terms of real life health and safety problems. If you are seriously going to consider attempting this, I would highly recommend that you consult with your local Doctor etc before doing so.

With Cataclysm just around the corner, excitement is mounting and people are beginning to plan and plot alike..

There are several topics about how to attain realm firsts on several different forums, however they are all heavily plagued by ignorant people giving the wrong advice, trolls saying things simply like "you must have no life" and other saying "you have to be Asian to do it". - all of these things are wrong and I am here to clear up any doubt and give you a straight forward, well planned and success guaranteed action plan. Yes it is over the top from what most will do when trying to attain this, but others don't realize how much effort and time and even money people put into attaining this feat of strength.

In-game Support Requirements:

First off you MUST have a support team of dedicated players out there to help you if you truly want to consider the possibility of being World/Realm/Faction/Class first level 85. You also need to keep in mind that those helping you won't be able to be online/available for the ENTIRE 48-72 hours (give or take) that you will be attempting this. Therefore you MUST have 2-4 backup players who you can rely on - work out a shift system where you all get a chance to have a break while someone else takes over.

You must have: (Please note, you should ONLY group with the people listed below when it is necessary - such as you aren't killing anything - otherwise you loose xp)
  • A warlock - This is necessary at all times, I would highly recommend having several. You are going to want to have 1 (with 2 others assisting) to go ahead and summon you to all the flight points when necessary. If necessary you can have a warlock go to the FP, logout and hop on another level 80 to help you with the rest of the roles listed below, and then hop onto their warlock when it is needed. You also want a warlock (with 2 others assisting) to go ahead of you to all the main major quest locations or quest objectives so that you can get to each of your destinations ASAP.
  • A mage - This is a good idea for the class buffs, (int, slowfall, dampen magic, etc) but also for Portals to major cities where you can train spells - yes warlock would be faster but it required 2 MORE assistants, this should only be used when you absolutely need to train spells. A key concept here though is to utilize your time. If you MUST train spells, get a RL friend to hop on your character and train while you go to the bathroom, stretch or eat.
  • As many classes as possible - that can give you out-of-group buffs. Make sure you have a healer who can heal and ress - you should NEVER EVER die at all, but your team must ONLY help you by healing/dpsing the mob if you will DEFINITELY die without their help, otherwise you loose xp from that mob.
  • A 3 person mount - so that when you need to travel somewhere you can hop on and go take a bathroom/food/stretch break while your friends transport you to your next location where you have to hand in a quest or kill a mob.
  • A mount with a vendor - You are going to want to keep your bags as clear as possible.
  • An all-purpose support team - players who can clear unnecessary mobs out the way. If you need to collect 10 Crates and 10 Crates only, you join a group with 5 people and while they clear all the mobs around the Crates you look the Crates. When done you leave group again.

Real-Life Support Requirements:

The ideal setup would be to have 7 Real Life friends + you who know each other's character inside out, including keybindings, UI, button placement, etc - so that they can take turns playing each others characters while 1-2 of them sleep/rest for a bit. These 8 Real Life friends would take the place of some of (or even all) of the in-game "support team".

It's highly recommended to have at least 2 Real Life friends + you + in-game guild support or w/e when you attempt this. With this kind of rotation you will do:
  • 1 of you 3 playing the character you want to get to level 85 ASAP.
  • 1 of you 3 assisting that person in real life by doing everything from looking up quest/mob/npc location and information, to passing them food and drink, slapping you in the face to help concentrate (lol) or taking over from you to do the spell training and distance traveling while you go to the bathroom or stretch.
  • 1 of you 3 sleeping/resting - you can create shifts so that you all get to sleep a certain amount. I would recommend have the person who works the best under stress start first, and then also have him finish the last leve - as those two parts are the times where it is very intense.
A BIG thing here, that not many do, is have that extra person there to assist you with information on quests/npc locations and such. I will talk about how this can be so beneficial a bit later down.

Beta Testing Preparation:

As you all know, Blizzard have sent out several Beta testing invites to random players, as well as specific players and groups of players (such as communities and guilds). There are several Beta keys for sale on the market - yes many are scams but it's still obtainable.

First off you need to choose the class that you are most comfortable with and know will level fast with. I'm not going to tell you what class / spec you should play because of the ongoing changes to all classes, as well as any class would do well if you really try, though for simplicity's sake and other reasons I'm going to recommend a Retribution Paladin with Tanking offspec. (Self heals, Self buffs, High survivability - you MUST NOT DIE, High damage output, Good AOE and having a tank offspec will allow you to get into dungeon groups or solo hard quests when if you don't have an in-game support team).

I'm going to break down what you need to do once in the Beta testing into several stages:

Observations and Learning:
  • Level your first character from 80-85 slowly. Don't rush it and make sure that when you are leveling you are concentrating 100%. Don't watch a movie at the same time, don't talk to friends, don't keep alt tabbing to look at forums or watch porn (no seriously lol).
  • You MUST have Fraps or another good Game Footage Recording program running where you basically document every single part of your leveling experience.
  • Once done go back and edit out all the useless footage and cut the footage into different zone folders and then into different quest hub folder or how ever you want to organize it. Just make sure it is easy to find what you are looking for.
  • I recommend you then watch the entire video and document everything that you do in a Notepad file or something (Step 1 - pick up x, y and z quests at x-quest hub location. Step 2 - kill x mob for x quest at y-location. Step 3 - turn in x quest at x-location.). I know it sounds like a lot of work - it is, but here is how it helps: when the real time comes and you get stuck or can't remember 100%, your assistant then does a quick word search in the file for the specific quest name or quest mob, he/she finds exactly which folder and video file it is in, watches the video and shows you exactly where to go.
  • Learn the dungeons well as you level. Note when and where you get dungeon quests and take note of when you you have them ALL. Because once you have them all, that is when you want to do the dungeon ONCE when the time comes to proper leveling in order to minimize downtime and maximize experience.
  • Make sure that you take note of all the places where you get stuck, highly confused, go the wrong way and end up needing to backpeddle, etc.
Try do better:
  • Put your recording program on again
  • Once you have reached level 85 on your first character, you have edited all your footage and gone through your notes of where you went wrong the first time etc, now it's time to do it AGAIN - still at a slow, relaxed pace - but this time try and do it as differently as possible. Be adventurous, think outside the box. Look for faster ways to do things, or adjust your questing order (to maximize quests done with least amount of traveling possible)
  • Repeat the steps above listed in the first stage of your Cataclysm Beta Testing Preparation, document, record, edit, consult on how to do it better etc.
Put your experience to the test:
  • Now is when you put yourself to the test and see how quickly you can go from 80-85 AGAIN this time at top speed, taking all the shortcuts you can think of.
  • However something to note: Do not necessarily do this in one long session like you would do so when the real time came. Rather go for minimal amount of /played time (without cheating by logging out when ever you need to check up on something or when ever a certain mob isn't spawned - cheating in the end only cheats yourself).
  • This is now where you can evaluate how well you work under pressure, you tests your concentration levels and so on and so fourth.

In-Game Preparation:
I'm going to try keep the rest of the sections as short as possible because they are very self explanatory.
  • Food Buffs - get your cooking to max level so that you can make fish feasts. Get your in-game support team to stock up on cooking mats so that they can level their cooking and provide you with even better food buffs.
  • 25 Quests - this is optional, some say it works wonders some say it's a waste of time. Complete high level quests in as close an areas as possible so that when the expansion is released you can quickly hand them in for a nice quick bonus. Though do keep in mine this can set you back a bit in terms of starting areas getting too crowded too quickly.
  • Flask - need I say more, have a nice supply of flasks, focus mainly on flasks with high dmg output buffs and survivability or less downtime. Keep a few tanking flasks (hp boosts, etc) handy in case of tight situations and soloing group quests, same goes for healing flasks if your class supports it or you need that bit of Mp5.
  • Health Pots / Mana Pots / Bandages - needless to say, get as many as you can.
  • Bag Space - This will be eternally helpful. You know the deal, time to fork out some cash for 4X [Portable Hole].
  • Enchanting Scrolls - a big reason why people often don't upgrade their say Tier 1/Tier 2 or Tier 5/Tier 6 when leveling isn't always because they can't find upgrades, very much not true. It's more because they don't want to spend time/money on enchanting and gemming their new gear. The only real thing you should be worrying about when upgrading gear is set bonuses. Therefore have 3 full sets of Enchanting Scrolls for different pieces of gear ready. Meaning you can replace an item 3 times while leveling.
  • Gems - same thing goes for gems as it does for Enchanting Scrolls. Have enough gems to re-gem your entire set 2-3 times.
  • Gear - look this is a difficult one, you can't prepare materials to make Cataclysm profession items because A) people need to level up their profs to get them and B) people need to farm and sell the mats for them. However if there are certain items that you can prepare yourself for making (this is where beta comes in handy) then do so.

Must have potions - Now these are what really make a HUGE difference:

Stat Boosters:
  • [Destruction Potion] - Use: Increases spell critical chance by 2% and spell power by 120 for 15 sec. (1 Min Cooldown)
  • [Indestructable Potion] - Use: Increases armor by 3500 for 2 min. (1 Min Cooldown)
  • [Potion of Speed] - Use: Increases haste rating by 500 (31.71% @ L70) for 15 sec. (1 Min Cooldown)
  • [Potion of Wild Magic] - Use: Increases critical rating by 200 (9.06% @ L70) and spell power by 200 for 15 sec. (1 Min Cooldown)
  • [Heroic Potion] - Use: Increases Strength by 70 and temporarily increases health by 700 for 15 sec. (1 Min Cooldown)

Utility Potions:
  • [Shrouding Potion] - Use: Shrouds you from nearby enemies so you seem less threatening to them. (1 Min Cooldown)
  • [Invisibility Potion] - Use: Gives the imbiber invisibility for 18 sec. (10 Min Cooldown)
  • [Free Action Potion] - Use: Makes you immune to Stun and Movement Impairing effects for the next 30 sec. Does not remove effects already on the imbiber. (1 Min Cooldown)
  • [Swim Speed Potion] - Use: Increases swim speed by 100% for 20 sec. (1 Min Cooldown)
  • [Swiftness Potion] - Use: Increases run speed by 50% for 15 sec. (1 Min Cooldown)

And last but not least, a trusty 2-3 stacks of
  • [Stratholme Holy Water] - Use: Inflicts between 438 and 562 damage to Undead in a 10 yard radius. (1 Min Cooldown)

Best 5 man setup for dungeon grinding:
Well as I mentioned earlier, only once you have all the quests for a specific dungeon, you then do the dungeon. Therefore you also want to complete this dungeon as quick as possible with as little hassle as possible so here is a recommended group setup based on current class dynamics - yes there are hundreds of more combinations too but this is recommended:
  • Druid - Feral
  • Shaman - Resto
  • Warrior - Fury
  • Paladin - Retribution
  • Rogue - Combat
  • Make sure one of the dps is a Draenei.

Avoiding the Crowds:
Of course when Cataclysm is released, there is going to be an enormous amount of people online checking out the new content, leveling like mad or just generally trying to grief other players. Here are some tips:
  • Low Population Server - less competition
  • Low Population Battlegroup - slightly less 'server lag' and less chance of there being problems
  • PvE Server - no ganking, although if you have a full 5-10 man in-game support team you could argue that a PvP server would be better since you can simply remove any opposing faction competition from existence. I suppose a RP server would be ok too, you might actually get more support there.
  • Problematic Battlegroups/server - research which battlegroups and servers in your WoW Region are the most, or have been in the past, unstable and stay away from those.
  • Have a backup plan! - Have two servers / battlegroup choices with an 80 + team ready to switch to that server if your main server goes down right at the beginning. If it goes down like an hour or so after you have started leveling there is no point in switching servers, you would be too far behind. so use that time to stretch, eat, bathroom, but never loose focus. You can still use it to your advantage by being one of the first to long and get ahead of everyone else. If you can remember what quests you were on or which ones were coming up, go do more research on them or remind yourself what needs to be done.
  • Don't always follow the zones in their obvious progression. For example in Outlands it was Hellfire > Zangarmash > Terokkar > Nagrand etc as the obvious progression line. That is where everyone is going to be. In WOTLK one of the realm first achievers did Howling Fjor first, then went to Dragonblight. Then during 3am and 9am they went back to Borean Tundra because if was an offpeak time for most and would be less crowded.
Food and Drink, Exercise etc:
When you think of long gaming sessions like this, most people automatically think lots of Caffeine and Energy Drinks. This is wrong for this sort of thing because in the end they leave you dehydrated and even more tired or just unable to concentrate - yes they do work initially but not a good idea in the long run.
I don't have much time left to go into details here so I would recommend consulting a nutrition expert or a doctor on this, they will be able to provide you with endless information on what to eat and what not to eat.

Detox - do a full body detox a week long body detox before the expansion - google has good information on this.

Green Tea - start Drinking a lot of Green Tea (it really isn't as bad as everyone thinks, I drink 3-4 cups daily) every day for 2 weeks before the release, and keep drinking Green Tea through your leveling session. It has a small caffeine content which will keep you coffee addicts vaguely satisfied while going so long without coffee. The benefits of green tea are endless, just to quote a few websites off the top of google's list at a glance:
  • It is used to treat multiple sclerosis.
  • It is used for treatment and prevention of cancer.
  • It is used to stop Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
  • It is used to raise the metabolism and increase fat oxidation.
  • It reduces the risk of heart diseases and heart attacks by reducing the risk of trombosis.
  • It reduces the risk of esophageal cancer.
  • Drinking green tea inhibits the growth of certain cancer cells, reduces the level of cholesterol in blood, improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.
  • It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular diseases
  • It is used to treat impaired immune function. .
  • Some researches show that, drinking green tea regularly may help prevent tooth decay by killing the bacteria which causes the dental plaque.
  • helps against formation of cancer
  • controls diabetes
  • helps prevent heart disease
  • makes your complexion acne-free, healthier
  • aids in weight loss regimen
  • retards the aging process
  • calms your digestion
  • helps with your bowel problems
  • excellent and safe during pregnancy because it provides you with a mild stimulating effect.
Again it's endless, spend some time reading it and really give it a go, it helps a lot.

Easy Access, hassle free, HEATHY foods - seriously, don't eat junk food it will just slow you down. Some people say just each hot pockets or pizza or chicken fingers or what ever is easy. My recommendation is keep your diet as balanced as possible. The strategy I have given you lets you afford to have breaks to eat properly.

Don't go to the toilet - No really WTF, I've seen so many people say hold it in as long as possible, don't eat a lot so you don't need to go to the toilet, don't drink too much else you need to piss. That is really bad in both the short term and long term. You should ALWAYS keep yourself hydrated with WATER only - no Coca Cola crap. Really, don't be worried about going to the toilet, though I would recommend try to flush out your system a bit before the release (the detox will help a lot with that).

Don't get drunk / high - It's pretty obvious but I'm saying it for the sake of saying it, don't drink alcohol, don't smoke weed, don't take drugs (EVER - ok well moderate alcohol is fine for every day life ^.^ but yeah especially during this leveling session stay away from that stuff.)

Exercise and stretching - you should be doing exercise everyday, but even if you are or are not, you need to do some form of exercise now and then while leveling just to help your blood flow etc. Every 20 minutes you should do an "in the chair stretch" where you do stretches such as twist your back a bit so you are looking behind yourself while keeping your legs facing forwards, move your arms, legs, back neck, feet around again to help with blood circulation and energy levels.
Something which I have found awesome, is having something called a Rebounder (which is basically a mini trampoline which actually has enormous health benefits. Every 30-40 minutes get up and take a quick walk around your room, do some full body stretches and jump on the Rebounder for 30-60 seconds.