I gotta tell you...I was worried when I put the first posting out there describing my Turkey Challenge to hit 70 on or before Thanksgiving. Mapping out the time it would take to hit that goal left me with a pretty overwhelmed feeling. I mean, I've done some marathon sessions before, but 16 hours in one day? That's a bit extreme, even for me. And you know, if I didn't actually have a goal to hit, I might just sit there and look at the clock and discover that I had played even more than that without even noticing. But with a goal and a deadline, it'll feel like work. Forget that.
So what to do? I really want 70, but don't want to be faced with extra pressure.
Well, the situation basically sorted itself out.
If you recall, the plan I laid out had me going to bed on sunday night at level 68, and needing roughly 10 hours of /played for each level.
Well, on saturday night, at level 67, grinding some ogres for a quest, my magical fairy showed up. And she showed up in the form of a Night Elf Druid who was lvl 64 and was grinding those same ogres. She was already in the area when I arrived, so I whisper to ask if she wants to cooperate to accomplish the quest rather than compete for kills. She's on board.
Nagrand seems to have lots of "kill N xyz mobs", and the number N seems to be 20 or higher most of the time. Very "grindy" and very conducive to grouping.
My initial reaction to working with my magic fairy was a bit skeptical. She moved extremely fast between mobs, and kept switching to cat form and running real fast to get places. My usual style is perhaps a bit more conservative. But I figured, "what the hey" and went with it.
Well, this ended up being about 2.5 or 3 hours of the most intense and efficient XP generation I've ever been part of.
To start off with, you've got the fast pace of moving between mobs. We never really got into too much trouble, other than when she'd get to a pack of mobs in cat form way faster than I could get there, so she'd be in a bit of danger till I showed up, but I was always there shortly to keep things safe.
Next, she clearly was not in Nagrand for her first time. She knew her way around the zone backwards and forwards.
And lastly, she totally knew how to combine simultaneous progress on quests like I've never seen. At one point, I actually had 10 completed quests in my log, just waiting to turn in. And these puppies give over 10k XP each for the turn-in, not to mention any XP from grinding while doing the quest. All in all, we did about 20-25 quests that night.
Ended up with just INSANE xp generation, without ever feeling the slightest pressure, because I was just following my magic fairy around.
So that left me saturday night, having dinged 68, and about one third of the way to 69.
Then sunday morning, I finished off some quests in Nagrand, getting about half way to 69, even with all the ninjas trying to post a flag in the ogres I killed (lots of quests where you need to put flags in corpses in Nagrand). Then I got bogged down with just group quests remaining in Nagrand. I did find a cool group that helped me take down the Son of Gruul. One of the guys in the group was a lvl 70 hunter, who was clearly involved in some hardcore stuff. He had sunfury phoenix bow, Legacy axe, Netherdrake flying mount, and just about all his equipment was purple. Cool attitude, too. Funny aside, to take down Son of Gruul, we got a group of 5, plus another group of 5 who let us take the first shot and then helped us with the kill. That guy was really tough. And mid-way through the fight, he flung me off this cliff so I had to run all the way around and missed half the fight. All hail the Beast Master, because even though I was out, my pet was still banging away, and keeping Ferocious Inspiration up to buff the group. But I digress.
Faced with the bogged down feeling, I did a quick check to my quest log and saw a delivery to Blade's Edge Mountains. Ok, I think I know where that is, so fly to Zangarmarsh and head up that way. Cool questing there. Right away, they give you 3 quests that are a piece of cake to do all at the same time.
Then there's a fun series of quests where you use Beer to pull mobs one at a time, and if you do it right, the elite guards that're with them don't aggro. Those guys are listed as "Sober Guardian" or some-such and don't respond to the "Brew Pull" technique. Funny stuff, and lots of XP to be had.
Ended up sunday night still in the very early mini-zones of Blades Edge Mountains, dinging 69.
To sum up, here I am monday morning about 3000 XP into level 69, and my Turkey Challenge seems to be pretty well under control.
And to add some icing to the cake, I dinged 3K gold, and then some, but I'm only reporting milestones in multiples of 500g, so shouldn't be too long before the next one ;-)
And I also got my first crit for over 2K damage, first aimed shot I took after dinging 68 and investing my third point in Mortal Shots. Haven't had one since, but then again, I don't use Aimed Shot very often.