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World of Warcraft Column: Bill's Least Favorite Classes to Level

By William Murphy on August 10, 2012

Editor's Note: Title has been changed to better reflect the content's intent. Sorry for ruffling feathers. - Bill

I got to thinking this week. Though World of Warcraft is definitely one of the MMO world’s most casual games when it comes to leveling characters and questing through content, there are still some classes that outshine others in terms of ease of leveling. And some, eight years into Azeroth’s existence as an MMO, that really feel like pulling teeth when it comes to the 1-85 climb. The Death Knight is out from the get go, being that he starts off at 55 and is an absolute powerhouse leveling to the cap.  Playing the Monk in beta for Mists of Pandaria tells me that it too will be a very powerful early leveler. But let’s talk about five other classes that just can’t seem to compare to say, the Hunters, Mages and Death Knights of the world, no matter how hard they try.  Yes, we’re well aware that all WoW classes are relatively easy to level with by nature of the game’s progression. But still, there are some that just don’t have the oomph of others, and these are them in order from “Best” to “God this is boring”.

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5.) Rogue

The rogue is actually a pretty beefy powerhouse of single-target DPS… but he’s squishy. Great in PVP if handled well, he’s still one of the game’s few classes that has to be often really careful of positioning when leveling up in the open world. They’re the glass cannons of melee DPS folks, and if you’re used to playing a more sturdy class, the rogue can be a real pain. Though he’s definitely the least annoying of our five worst classes to level.

4.) Warlock

The Warlock… he’s pretty much right on par with the Rogue due to being squishy, but once he starts to get some killer pets (which is really early on in current WoW), he’s just about as easy to level as the Hunter.  The only thing that makes him difficult is the fact that he actually requires some measure of thinking to play in a solo manner.  He’s squishy, but the pets can keep most of that at bay if you’re smart about it.

3.) Priest

The Priest used to be one of the game’s hardest classes to level, until their Shadowform made them synonymous with the term “Facemelt”, and players began to harness some serious DPS while barely watching their own HP dip. Sure it still requires you to slog through some early levels, but there’s another win with the Priest… play the class right and you’ll be needed throughout the game in dungeons and that makes leveling super swift and simple.

2.) Warrior

The Warrior, at least in my memory was more painful to level than the other pure melee damage class, the Rogue despite being far sturdier. Why? Because early on in the game, the Warrior just doesn’t have a lot of tricks to knock down that ol’ HP very fast. Perhaps things have changed, and I’d love some current WoWarriors to chime in, but what I remember of the warrior was a long boring slog through the first 50 levels of the game, and then it got worse. But that was Pre-TBC days, so maybe it’s gotten better since the game has seen its share of “difficulty tweaks” since then.

1.) Paladin

The ol’ Pally. He’s one of WoW’s easiest classes to play, but that doesn’t make him fun to level. There was a running joke back in 2004/2005 WoW that a Paladin player could start a fight, go make a sandwich, smoke a cigarette, and fill out the census before returning to his desk and the Paladin would still be standing there whacking that same kobold.  WoW’s designers even famously stated at BlizzCon that the Paladin was designed to be the beginner’s class. It’s never been the case that the Paladin is hard to play. It’s just that he’s the most boring one to level… period.

What about you? What classes do you think are the worst to level in WoW? Did we leave one out?

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