[Ultimate] Instances Leveling Guide For World of Warcraft

The Techniques of Instance Leveling

If you haven’t tried instance leveling on World of Warcraft yet, then you owe it to yourself and your toons to try it out.  There is truly no faster way to get to level 80 than to instance level for all of your playing time.  It doesn’t matter if your character is DPS, a healer, or a tank, instance leveling will get you to the top the fastest.  However, just as DPS, healers, and tanks all have their own very specific roles in dungeon groups, they all have very specific techniques when it comes to using the dungeon finder.

DPS Instance Leveling Technique

DPS, or Damage Per Second, characters are a dime a dozen because it is far easier to just deal damage inside the instances rather than taking a leading role like a tank or holding the lives of your fellow party members like a healer does.

Running a DPS toon through the dungeons is the perfect way to learn all about WoW and how to work together as a group.  That being said, DPS characters usually have a very long wait for an instance group.  This is why DPS characters will find instance leveling to work the best if they run quests during their downtime.  This basically means that DPS characters should queue for an instance the moment they log on and then hit the quest trail.  For new players, this is also the perfect way to experience a little bit of the old World of Warcraft leveling system that we all had to deal with for so long.  However, a quick comparison of how many levels characters will get by questing alone will show exactly why instance leveling is a necessary part of getting to level 80 in a timely fashion.

Instance Leveling Technique For Tanks

Tanks are the opposite of DPS because very few people are comfortable tanking.  Tanks have to hold aggro on the mob inside the instance while DPS is raining down the destruction.  This can be quite difficult when it comes to some of the DPS classes that also throw down a lot of threat.  Most tanks also have to have a general idea of which way to go inside the dungeon because it’s pretty much up to them to lead.  They have to know how much of a mob their group can handle and be able to formulate strategies of where to pull the mobs to.

Because of all the responsibility involved in tanking, the ratio of tanks to DPS is generally pretty low.  It’s so low, in fact, that there usually aren’t enough tanks to go around.  This is why tanking classes will almost never need to do any quests outside the dungeon.  It’s pretty much an instant queue for tanks when it comes to the dungeon finder, so tanks should limit the quests they do to only the ones needed to progress in the game.

Healer Instance Leveling Technique

Healing classes fall somewhere between tanks and DPS.  They may have to do some quests, but they will probably have to do far fewer than the DPS classes will do.  If you’re a healer who’s instance leveling, then just play it by ear.  Be prepared to do a few quests, but don’t plan on doing a lot.

The Best Way To Level: Instances

Instance leveling has taken World of Warcraft by storm, and no one who’s leveling a character can afford to miss out on the action.  One of the most-asked questions is about the best way to level.  Instances are definitely the answer, thanks to the dungeon finder.

So how does one go about practicing instance leveling?  It’s very simple. Just click on the “Looking for Group” button on the bottom of your interface.  It looks like a large green eye.  This will bring up the dungeon finder, and from there it’s just a matter of choosing which one you want to run.

Level Instances: Random or Specific

One of the first things you will notice when using the dungeon finder is that you can choose either random dungeons or to queue up for a specific one.  In most cases you will want to choose the random dungeon option.  This is because running random instances earns you an extra bag of goodies at the end of the run and some bonus experience.  Of course usually the items in the bag of goodies won’t be worth much to you because the same few items keep appearing in those bags, depending on your level.  However, enchanters will love that bag because it does give them another item to disenchant and get some enchanting materials from.  Other players can vendor these items, so it also provides a little bit of extra gold.

Occasionally it will be a good idea to choose specific level instances because you may have been running random instances all day and one specific dungeon that you have all the quests for just doesn’t come up.  It’s definitely worth it to queue for that specific dungeon because getting several quests done all at once will probably get you an extra level or two of experience.

How To Level: Instances For Everyone

Another thing you will notice when using the dungeon finder is that you have to select a role for your group.  If your class can’t even be a healer, then that option will be grayed out, and it’s the same with the tank option.  It’s very important to choose a role accurately because nothing is more annoying than landing in an instance with a tank who doesn’t know how to tank.  It can be very tempting to choose the tank role because there’s little or no wait for tanks when it comes to queuing up for an instance, but some players just shouldn’t tank.  It will be very clear to you early on whether you will make a good tank for the long run.

DPS classes will definitely want to make good use of their down time while queued in the dungeon finder.  For some levels, the wait for a DPS to get into an instance can be 20 minutes or more.  The best way to make the most of your leveling time while you wait is to complete some quests in the meantime.

Hunter World of Warcraft

The New Instance Leveling Guide

What’s the fastest way to get to level 80 on World of Warcraft?  That may seem like a trick question, especially with all the leveling guides that are on the market these days, but the fact of the matter is that there is no quick way to get to level 80 without utilizing the dungeon finder tool.  The dungeon finder was introduced to WoW in patch 3.3, and it allows players from all the servers in each server group to find groups to run instances.  This means you will play with players from other servers, and it also means that you don’t have to wait until your server’s peak play times to be able to find a group.

The Problem With Old Leveling Guides

For as long as World of Warcraft has been in existence, the age-old question has been about the fastest way to get to the top level of the game.  The highest level in WoW right now is level 80, and when the Cataclysm expansion arrives, it will then be level 85.  Of course many WoW players love the process of questing and leveling, but there is just too much additional content to enjoy at the highest level.  Level 80 is where much of the social interaction occurs, and it is where players get the chance to get better and better gear.  This is why traditional leveling guides have been so popular.  Players want to get to enjoy that end-game content as soon as they can.

However, the problem with all of those old leveling guides is that they are now pretty much obsolete.  Players find that they earn their levels so much faster than what the old guides account for that they are simply leveling too fast for the guide to keep up.  This results in skipping entire sections of the guide and often getting lost.  Before one instance, the player was supposed to level in one area of the game, but after he ran a couple of instances by level, he then had to run across the map to another area of the game to keep questing.

The Instance Leveling Guide Solution

This is where having an instance leveling guide comes in handy.  Guides like Dugi’s Dungeon Leveling Guide are written specifically for players who are instance leveling their toons.  Dugi’s makes it easy to skip quests, and it takes into account the speed involved in instance leveling.  All the references to grinding are now gone, and players can find themselves earning several levels in just one session of gameplay.

Dugi’s even includes color maps for the lower level dungeons.  The makers of WoW never thought their lower level instances would be played much, so they didn’t even bother to include maps for them in the game.  This can make it very difficult when you’re trying to figure out which way to go, so the maps included in Dugi’s Dungeon Leveling Guide are very valuable.

All in all, this new way to level characters has turned the game upside-down, and an instance leveling guide is the perfect solution to finding your way.

The Best Way To Level: Instances All The Time

If you’re looking for the best way to level, instances are the answer on World of Warcraft.  Instance leveling has taken over as the fastest way to level, for a variety of reasons.  So exactly why does instance leveling take you to level 80 so quickly?  Let’s take a closer look.

More Experience Per Second

Instance leveling definitely gives you more experience per second during every moment of your game play.  Sometimes it may be difficult to tell, but there are just too many factors that go into instance leveling to make it a surefire way to get more experience per second.  For example, you have a lot less downtime in between kills.  You will take on mobs of four or five all at once in some cases, which means you may have four or five kills in just 30 seconds or a minute.  Compare that to just one kill per 30 seconds or a minute when you’re solo questing, and you’ll see what I mean.

There’s also a lot less travel time in between kills when you’re instance leveling.  For one thing, you don’t have to spend a lot of time traveling from place to play, and when you are traveling, you’ll be able to queue up for an instance while you’re en route and pick up some more experience in instances along the way.  The dungeon finder takes you right to your random or specific dungeon instantaneously, no matter where in the game you are.  It eliminates the need for travel time to get to these instances, and you’ll spend a lot more time killing creatures and getting experience because there are far more mobs packed into a smaller space in instances than there are out in the solo questing area.

More Gold

Instance leveling will also help you make a lot more WoW gold.  Previous leveling methods sometimes resulted in toons getting to level 80 with little or no gold, especially if you used the refer-a-friend bonus and received 30 levels overnight.  However, instance leveling gives you a lot more access to things like enchanting materials and cloths, which can be sold on the auction house for a lot of gold.  It may not seem like much to sell a stack of linen cloths for one or two gold pieces, but it adds up after a while, especially if you’re instance leveling and picking up linen cloths right and left.  In fact, players who used the refer-a-friend system to gift each other those 30 levels will find that it is much easier to gear up to the level they are and catch up with the amount of WoW gold they need to be effective at their new level.  After all, those 30 levels can’t take you to level 80 (although they certainly take you a long way!) because of how the refer-a-friend system is set up, so there will still be the need for instance leveling after you receive your 30 levels.

The Best Instances By Level: Wrath of The Lich King

Instance leveling is now the fastest way to get to level 80, and most of the time you’ll be queuing up for random dungeons.  However, sometimes it is helpful to know which specific dungeons to run, so here’s a quick rundown of the best instances by level for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.

Levels 68-71: Utgarde Keep: — Technically the Wrath of the Lich King expansion doesn’t begin until level 70, but you can actually travel to Northrend and queue for instances as soon as you reach level 68.  In fact, you’ll find that instance leveling in Utgarde Keep for levels 68-70 will make those two levels fly by in just a couple of runs.  This is because the monsters are a much higher level than you, but being in a group with four other people makes it easy to kill them.  To queue for Northrend instances when you reach level 68, you’ll first have to make the boat trip to Northrend and then choose to queue specifically for Utgarde Keep.  It’s the only Northrend instance you’ll be eligible for.

Levels 71-73: The Nexxus – The Nexxus is a very long instance compared to the other level 80 dungeons, but it will certainly give you a lot of experience when you run it between levels 71 and 73.  Just remember that the last boss of this instance can be especially difficult because your healers aren’t quite geared enough to heal through the de-buff.  Just remember to jump!

Levels 73-74: Old Kingdom – Old Kingdom is a relatively easy instance to run, and it will probably keep coming up in the dungeon finder time and time again, so get used to seeing it.

Levels 74-76: Violet Hold – You can start queuing for Violet Hold at level 74, although the instance quests for this dungeon don’t become available to you until level 75.  Just pick them up right outside the entrance to the Violet Hold instance.

Levels 76-78: Halls of Stone – The Halls of Stone is another very popular instance, and you’ll probably see it a lot in the dungeon finder.  It’s also very easy to pick up the quests for this in the areas around the instance itself.

Levels 78-80: Trial of the Champion – This instance is a lot of fun because it’s quite a bit different than the other instances in the game.  The first part of the instance involves a jousting part in which you have to ride horses and knock your opponents to the ground.  It’s certainly an interesting experience, although you will have to learn some new skills to complete Trial of the Champion successfully.

Once you reach level 80, you can begin queuing for random heroic instances.  This completes your instance leveling experience, but it doesn’t mean you’re done.  The best way to get geared enough to run higher level 10- and 25-man content like Icecrown Citadel is to do chain heroics, build up badges, and get gear from drops and badge vendors.

Shaman World of Warcraft

The Best Instances By Level: Classic Dungeons

Instance leveling is a relatively new phenomenon in World of Warcraft.  Players who don’t have a large group of friends who also play WoW always used to skip all the quests associated with the five-man instances, especially the lower level ones, but now the dungeon finder allows everyone to experience all of the instances.  Here’s a quick rundown of the best instances by level for the classic dungeons, which are all the ones that existed before the Burning Crusade expansion came along.  Of course some levels only have one instance to choose from, so choosing the best instances by level for those was very easy.  You can’t start using the dungeon finder until you reach level 15, so that’s where we’ll start.

Levels 15-17: Ragefire Chasm –  Right out of the gate, players who are instance leveling through the dungeon finder will draw Ragefire Chasm, which always used to be a Horde-only dungeon.  However, thanks to the new instance leveling system, Alliance can run this one too.

Levels 17-22: Deadmines — This is the classic early instance for the Alliance.  Many players always used to group up and run the Deadmines even without the dungeon finder, but now it’s easier than ever, and Horde can run it too.

Levels 22-27: Blackfathom Deeps – Blackfathom Deeps is an underwater dungeon located in the Ashenvale area.  Once again we have an example of Horde players getting the chance to cross over and play an Alliance instance.

Levels 27-32: Gnomeregan or Razorfen Kraul – These two instances are pretty much a toss-up.  Gnomeregan is the Alliance dungeon, and Razorfen Kraul is the Horde instance, but the dungeon finder allows players of both factions to play both of these two instances.

Levels 30-42: Scarlet Monastery – Levels 30 and 40 will fly by while you’re running any of the four Scarlet Monastery instances.  They’re really about the same, and it’s very difficult to tell the difference between them once you’re inside.

Levels 42-47: Zul’Farrak – ZF is another instance many players use to play even without the dungeon finder.  It’s huge, there’s an extra boss to do, and the drops in this instance make it worthwilfe for the entire four levels.

Levels 47-52: Temple of Atal’Hakkar – The Sunken Temple is another instance that seems to come up an awful lot for these levels, but it really can be a rather quick run despite its size, and you learn to either love it or hate it.

Levels 52-60: Blackrock Depths — Players in this level range will get tired of seeing of seeing Blackfathom Depths because it is the only instance for much of this level range.  However, the good news is that the more you run it, the more you’ll run across players who have keys to unlock new parts of the instance.  Also starting this instance at level 48 will really help you burn on to level 50 quickly.

At level 58, your best bet is to cross over to the Outlands and begin running Burning Crusades instances, but there are a couple of classic ones like Molten Core that are still worth a run or two at this point.

The Best Instances By Level: Burning Crusade Dungeons

Instance leveling is the best way to power level your World of Warcraft character, and the new dungeon finder system makes it very easy.  All you have to do is queue up for a random instance, and the dungeon finder will do all the work of locating a group for you.  What makes the dungeon finder even better is that it pulls players from all the servers in your server group, which limits the amount of time spent waiting for a group.

Of course one of the things players are usually wondering about is which ones are the best instances by level.  It’s just as easy to queue for specific instances, and sometimes you might have to choose a specific one instead of a random one in order to get the one you want.  Here’s a quick rundown of the best instances by level for the Burning Crusade part of the game.

Levels 58-61: Hellfire Ramparts – You can queue for Hellfire Ramparts as early as level 58, and the amount of experience you’ll get from being in a Burning Crusade dungeon at level 58 is well worth it.  However, you will have to complete several pre-requisite quests before you can queue for Hellfire Ramparts.  Check your instance leveling guide to find out about those pre-requisites.

Levels 61-63: Blood Furnace – When you reach level 61, you may land in the Blood Furnace as part of random instance leveling, but you will have to complete the pre-requisite quests in order to be eligible for the quests that can be done inside Blood Furnace.

Levels 63-63: Slave Pens and Underbog – These two parts of the Coilfang Reservoir look a lot alike once you’re in them, and you probably won’t do too many runs through them before you’re on to the Mana Tombs.

Levels 64-66: Mana-Tombs – Characters that use mana will be slightly annoyed with the Mana-Tombs because there just never seems to be enough mana available.  However, the gear bonuses make this one worthwhile.

Levels 66-68: Auchenai Crypts, Sethekk Halls, The Steamvault: Auchenai Crypts and Sethekk Halls continue the storyline of Auchindoun, right after Mana-Tombs, and the Steamvault will take you back to the Coilfang Reservoir.  Any combination of these three quests will do.

Levels 68-70: As soon as you reach level 68, it’s time to head to Northrend.  Technically, the Burning Crusade doesn’t end until level 70, but you can enter Northrend at level 68.  The reason you will want to finish up your last two Burning Crusade levels by instance leveling in Northrend is because of how fast you will earn those last two levels.  Instance leveling in Northrend for levels 68-70 is much faster than finishing up in the Burning Crusade instances, mainly because the monsters you’re killing are several levels higher than you are.  However, being in a group with four other people will certainly make it doable, even for squishy classes like mages and priests.

Jason Smith

I am a former Marine who works as a Software Engineer. I have five US States left to visit. My sarcasm is legendary as is my knowledge of movie quotes. I can name the song or artist of just about any 80s or 90s song. I like whiskey, wine, coffee, soaking in hot springs or my hot tub. I enjoy getting out hiking, and taking pictures, along with metal detecting & magnet fishing from time to time. I do enjoy the occasional gaming by breaking out the original NES or SNES. I do spend a lot of time building other websites, (about 30 some in total).

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