In two weeks of moderate playing, that also included a significant amount of raiding and Conquest badge farming on my main, my baby mage sped from 58 through the Dark Portal to Outlands, and up to 68 and into Northrend this weekend. This is thanks primarily to the many alt leveling changes that dropped in Patch 3.2.
Despite my long-standing dislike of Hellfire Peninsula, I forced the mage to start there, knowing it would quickly provide her with significant staff, hat, and boot upgrades. I did not need the chestpiece since she is rocking the new badge heirloom chest in addition to the shoulders. Together, these pieces provide a 20% XP increase from both questing and killing monsters. This is on top of any rested increases she had from time-to-time.
As soon as she dinged 60, she purchased her flying mount, now available at Thrallmar. This was the final key component to her zooming through the next 8 levels.
I cherry-picked my way through my favorite quests in Hellfire, Zangermarsh, Terrokar Forest, and Nagrand, hitting all the key quests with gear upgrades. I made sure to stop over in Mok'Nathal for the cooking recipe quests, and in Netherstorm for the cool pink goggles. I fully explored the map in each zone, grabbing the flight paths too. Each uncovered zone netted 1200 or so XP on average; in my final day in Outland as I finished up and got the Outland exploration achievement, I earned a solid 6 bars from exploring alone.
Some reminders for mages in this leveling phase:
- Be sure to go back to Ashzara any time after 60 to quest for your polymorph pig spell
- You can learn your Shattrath teleport at 60, then the portal at 65
- Especially if you have the boost from badge gear, keep up your mage armor at most times; the extra mana regen can keep you going from evocation cooldown to evocation cooldown, instead of having to drink every few pulls
I have not yet started any Northrend questing, but I did go through a few essential ready steps:
- My 80 sent her the heirloom tome of cold weather flight(costs $1,000 g from the cold weather flying trainer in Dalaran) so she could immediately start flying at 68
- I flew from Vengeance landing to Moa'ki Harbor, then up to Dalaran, grabbing flight paths as I went
- Once in Dalaran, I set my hearth there (can train for the teleport at 71)
- Got started on the cooking dailies