I’m not an expert on the topic of leveling your shaman from 1 to 60. There don’t seem to be many tips on efficient leveling of a shaman though, so I’ll present my uneducated opinions.
First, some general tips that apply to all classes:
- Unless you have a high level toon to bankroll you, get 2 gathering professions like skinning and herbalism. They are great money makers, and you won’t waste time leveling an expensive crafting profession.
- Do lots of quests. From level 20 to 60, the quest experience is amazing.
- Use a leveling guide. like the ones found at wow-pro.com.
- If you don’t use a leveling guide, an addon like lightheadd will help you study the quests without alt-tabbing out to a browser.
- When you spend talent points, always look for max damage. No other talents matter as much for leveling as the ability to kill things faster. After damage talents, look for talents which lessen downtime. For a shaman, Shamanistic Rage is a good example as it lasts 30 seconds, regens mana, and causes you to take less damage.
- Don’t buy any expensive gear as you level. It will become obsolete so fast that it will make your head spin, especially with the new experience system. Buy *cheap* greens if you find that your gear is really outdated.
- Make a “bank toon” that sits in a major city and performs all banking and AH duties. I have a level 1 priest for this. Mail stuff back and forth between your main and your bank character. It’s amazing how much time this saves in travel.
- Level your first-aid skill. Make bandages, use bandages, love bandages. If you use a bandage, you don’t have to waste mana healing or waste more time eating.
- Level your cooking skill with meat you loot from animals. The better recipes will add buffs. If possible, you should always have a well fed buff.
Specifically for Shamans, here are some tips for the different level ranges:
Level 1-20: you’ll be doing a lot of lightning bolts and melee. Any gear that you buy or choose from quests should help the damage of these if possible. Nature damage bonuses and anything that increases melee damage is great. I spent my talent points in the enhancement tree, but I think that was a mistake. I probably should have gone for the damage talents in the Elemental tree. Enhancement really doesn’t seem to kick in the damage until around level 40 or 41 when you get stormstrike and dual wield.
Level 20-30: Be sure to train your travel form and use it all the time. It saves a lot of time moving from place to place. Get your totems as early as possible to get max XP from completing the quests. Start saving up cloth for turn-ins in the major cities. you’ll need a total of 240 each of wool, silk, mageweave, and runecloth. The XP received from the turn-ins is high and you get rep if you’re looking for that mount other then a kodo or elephant. You won’t be able to farm all of the types of cloth, and you’ll use some cloth for bandages, but keep these turn-ins in mind for the future so you don’t have to buy the cloth from AH later. At level 20, you’ll notice that the experience from quests goes up a lot. Skip any quests that are a pain or a waste of time. You really don’t have to do them. You probably won’t have to grind much either.
Level 30-40: Quest, quest, quest. Be sure to experiment with your new damage abilities to find the right combinations for you. Always have windfury applied to your weapon. It’s the best imbue you have. Remember your totems when you get in a pinch, especially stoneclaw. If you’re following Jamie’s leveling guides, you’ll find that you get way ahead fast. You can drop entire zones if you don’t like them. If you’re an herbalist, I suggest not dropping Swamp of Sorrows as there are a lot of nice herbs there that sell well on AH
Level 40-50: If you’re looking for the fastest possible leveling and you’re not enhancement, now is the time to switch. Be sure to pick up dual wield at 40 and stormstrike at 41. Get yourself some nice slow green maces or axes with strength, agility, and/or attack power bonuses. Have windfury on both weapons all the time. No other imbue is better at the moment. When grinding, use Shamanistic Rage every chance you get. It will reduce your downtime. If you’re feeling wealthy, or you have a wealthy high level, put firey or some other damage enchant on your weapons. If you’re cheap, don’t worry about the weapon enchants. The weapons will probably be obsolete in five or six levels anyway. Get your mount as soon as possible and say goodbye to ghost wolf form. Faster travel means faster leveling. Get the riding speed enchant on gloves, and the spurs for some boots. If you like instances, be sure to look up “carrot on a stick” on thottbot.com. Start saving up for your your epic mount now. It’s around 600g total.
Level 50-61: You may be looking forward to the outland, but do all of the quests you can stand in azeroth as the experience you get for the old world quests is very high, even as you get above level 60. Get your epic mount as soon as possible. That thing is amazingly fast. When you hit level 57 or so, consider buying some greens from AH that come from the outland. The bonuses on the greens are much higher then anything you’ll find in azeroth, and the extra power will help you speed through the grinding quests. Once you’re in the outland, you may want to start looking on AH for the higher level blues for your chosen spec. You have plenty of time, so don’t buy something if it’s not cheap. When you hit the high 60s, you’ll have gear waiting for you that will help you contribute in instances faster, and get you into raiding faster… if that’s what you want.