A friend of mine mentioned that there was a really good healing trinket to be had in the Brewfest instance. Remembering how the Halloween rings boosted my iLevel during Cata as I was building up to start LFR, I knew I had to try to get that trinket. The problem was, I was level 85.5 and needed to get to 89 by 10/14 in order to start running the instance. That gave me a little over 9 days to earn 3.5 levels (and 4 of those days we weekends when I can string a bunch of hours together).
Leveling faster than ever
MoP was released on September 25th, and as I usually do, I started a casual climb to max level. Typically, it takes me a few months to run through all the quests and zones to finally reach max level, as I play multiple games and enjoy alts. This time, I have a goal and determination to reach it.
I started as every level 85 does, in The Jade Forest. The quests in this zone introduce me to the concepts of MoP, and the method that Blizzard has decided on for questing – hubs provide 3-6 sets of quests. Each set opens up when the previous group is completed, eventually leading to a redirection quest that points you to the next quest hub(s). In each of these hubs, you learn about the races, residents, and politics of Pandaria.
Finished running through the quests in The Jade Forest, I quickly burned through most hubs in The Valley of the Four Winds and The Kun Lai Summit, reaching level 87.5 after the first weekend. I was blessed with seemingly unlimited 'rested' XP as well in these areas as my character had sat in Orgrimmar for the past few months without much activity. I felt certain that in a week (with a full weekend ahead), I would reach my goal and start running the Brewfest instance.
I did not have much time during the week to advance – only reaching 87.9 by Saturday morning. I was not deterred – I would easily run through to my goal with plenty of time to spare, so I set off.
Saturday, I spent a bit of time finishing off some quests in Kun Lai Summit, when I decided I should find the main city – The Vale of Eternal Blossoms – so I could bind to save the time from flying back from Orgrimmar each time I needed to hearth. As I went in search of this city, I also ran through the farmville area and decided to level up some cooking for the new 250 and 275 Int recipes. Farmville seems fun right now, but I can see it becoming tedious after a month or two.
After binding and cooking I found the quest-line for Townlong Steppes and began to enter the final stretch of my mission to 89. I reached 88.8 by noon on Saturday when RL took me away from the game, but I was not worried – 89 was within reach and I still had Sunday to work on getting the trinket.
Sunday morning dawned fresh and clear, and I was ready to make the final push to 89. I ran through hub after hub in Townlong Steppes, and was actually starting to get low on 'rested' XP, but I had enough to get me through to 89. Finally, with a series of quests where I had to kill a bunch of krik'thiks, I saw the finish line. I knew with at least one of the 3 quests turn ins, I would reach 89, and I did.
Where's the Beer?
I was so happy to have attained my goal – to have leveled almost to max level in under 3 weeks since the expansion came out – this was definitely a record for me. I immediately hit the hearth button and headed back to the Vale. Once there, I clicked on the Dungeon Finder to go grab my trinket.
But there was no listing for the Brewfest instance. Hrmm – No problem, I must have to do some quest or something – I remember seeing a bunch of exclamation points in Orgrimmar when Brewfest started, that must be it, so I ran to the portal room and jumped to Orgrimmar. Where were all the quest givers? Ok, maybe I was in the wrong place, it had been a week or so since I saw them all, I'll just go to the tents outside the city and start things there. Wait a minute – where are the tents? Where is the Brewfest??? As confusion sets in, but before I run to the almighty google for an answer, I click on the calendar. I rarely check the calendar, but somehow I remembered that it was there, and to my horror, Brewfest ended at 3am on 10/14. 3AM!!!! Finding this out after I had just hit 89 at 11am was not what I wanted. What kind of event ends at 3AM?!? At least it could have gone until noon? or midnight? but 3AM? ARGH!
On the Bright Side
I guess I get to wait another year before I can get my trinket – by then I probably won't need it. Looking on the positive side though, I am almost up to 90, and with a little more effort, I can reach max level and start 'end game' with most of the other 'race to the top' players. And of course there is the ring from Halloween…