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wow paladin icon Leveling Retribution vs Protection

Posted by Khor | 6/24/2009

Here is one thing I have figured out about World of Warcraft...I love leveling. Call me crazy, but something about the 1-80 grind is fun for me. Here is my chronological order of leveling toons and their outcomes:

  • Khorio - Level 63 Human Paladin (deleted)
  • Merican - Level 61 Human Warlock (deleted)
  • Greenleaf - Level 60 Night Elf Druid (deleted)
  • Khorana - Level 80 Gnome Rogue (Alt)
  • Khoala - Level 71 Gnome Mage (Alt, AH toon)
  • Khor - Level 70 Gnome Warrior (deleted)
  • Khorio - Level 66 Dwarf Paladin (deleted)
  • Khorbin - Level 70 Dwarf Hunter (deleted)
  • Khorio - Level 70 Gnome Warlock (deleted)
  • Rhori - Level 29 Gnome Mage, twink (deleted)
  • Rhocki - Level 29 Dwarf Hunter, twink (deleted)
  • Khore - Level 61 Gnome Death Knight (deleted)
  • Khor - Level 80 Human Paladin (Main)
  • Khorbin - Level 40 Dwarf Hunter (currently leveling)

That puts me at 10 toons to lvl 60, 5 toons to 70, and 2 to 80. The plethora of deletions were attempts to cut back on playtime, as well as boredom with the toon for this reason or that. Needless to say, I've leveled a time or two.

What I have figured out is that I like fast paced leveling, and toons that can blow through content. Paladins, Hunters, and Mages top my list...Druids, Priests, and Shaman are at the bottom (I have dabbled in leveling every type of class, but nothing above 60 I listed unless it was a twink).

So, now to my decision to level ret. It wasn't really a hard decision for me...more DPS as ret, which is faster the way I level. I am a firm believer in quest stacking, and a pure hater of mob grinding. However, I fully realize the potential for mob XP while questing, so for every quest, I kill anything and everything that so much as looks at me. This combo is the fastest way to level. I could consistently pull three to five mobs at a time, judging light with retribution aura up, seal of command and consecration blasting away, and I just would keep moving from pack to pack with little to no downtime.

Leveling both ret and prot offer AoE grindage, but ret does it faster, much faster. With the nerf to Blessing of Sanctuary awhile back, protection leveling lost a little ground. It is still viable, but one hand DPS is two to three times slower than its two-handed DPS counterpart. Mana was a small issue at first, but as soon as I could activate Judgements of the Wise, it became a non-factor. I leveled to 80 in record time (for myself) with almost no rested XP.

Once you gain access to Art of War and Divine Storm, it's almost unfair. Level 60 to 80 was a breeze. I rarely died, and was able to quickly and easily solo 99% of the group quests I came upon. Soloing group quests saves so much time, as you're not LFG and not skipping content, which usually yields higher XP rewards. Now don't get me wrong, protection is just as viable in terms of soloing content, but it just doesn't hold the DPS burst or output that ret can.

Bottom line is that leveling retribution is ridiculously fast, and for someone like myself who has little patience at times, it's the best way to go.


PS I will do more in-depth looks at leveling ret as this blog progresses, but this just kicks everything off as my general view on the topic.