ETC: Elite Test Cadre

Some time ago I posted about my intention to create an elite cadre of test hunters — hunters with their XP turned off, starting at level 10 and going up 6 levels at a time so that, at any time, I can check out the stats of any level of tamed beast.

I haven’t forgotten that goal. In fact, I’ve been working on my little project off and on ever since. I now have a guild with 8 characters — 7 hunters and 1 death knight banker — called, of course, “Elite Test Cadre”.

The hunters are level 10, 16, 22, 28, 34 … and 36 and 27. The last two aren’t done yet, as you can see, and I have a bunch more to level up after that. I also plan to replace the death knight once I get a high enough level hunter, so that I can fill up all 10 character slots on this realm with ETC hunters.

Considering how little time I’ve actually had to put into this project, I’ve had to cheat quite a bit to get this many characters. I started at the bottom — at level 10, I mean — which made the first few characters pretty quick.

I also transferred over several alts that had been lying around forever. I felt bad not playing them, but now they have a purpose again! (The level 28 ETC hunter, for instance, was my first Alliance hunter ever. But I’ll post more about her later.) This is one reason that my cadre is Alliance-only at this point — I have more Alliance alts lying around than Horde.

One thing I haven’t done (yet) is take advantage of the Recruit-a-Friend program. I find it hard enough to play one hunter at a time — two at once is beyond my capabilities. I am thinking that I may need to use the RaF program for the higher level hunters, though, because slogging through the level 70 and 76 characters, for instance, is going to take awhile.

I also haven’t been using the extra-XP heirloom items for these characters, largely because the only character I have anywhere who is high enough to get the heirloom items is Horde. (That would be Mania.) But at some point I’ll stop with the Alliance and start on Horde, and then I may get some heirloom stuff and transfer it over.

Anyway, building a special-purpose set of characters like this is actually a lot of fun. I don’t need to worry about anything but leveling them, and when I hit the target level … I’m done! No more worries at all. Somehow this is very relaxing for me.

I also don’t worry about fleshing out full character personalities and histories — I’m not on an RP-realm for a change — although oddly even the brand new characters have developed a personality as I play them.

In point of fact, I haven’t actually gathered any data from these characters yet. I’ve been having too much fun leveling them up. But hey, if nothing else I should be in a good spot to gather data when Cataclysm comes out. *grin*

22 thoughts on “ETC: Elite Test Cadre

  1. Pike

    I have the opposite problem as you Mania: My two Alliance characters have all the badges and heirloom stuff, and yet allllll my dozens of little lowbie hunters are Horde. /cry

    As for RaF, do what I do and put one on follow. I don’t even try this multi-boxing thing people talk about, I’d get too confused. (Plus I don’t think most of this special software people use for it would work on Linux…)

  2. ihlos

    If there was ever a time to use heirlooms, now would have been it. You could have leveled one hunter to 80, done dailies and gotten badges, bought the two heirlooms, and transferred them to each and every hunter as you leveled. Oh well though, as long as you are having fun!

  3. The Wild One

    Mania, RaF doesn’t mean you actually have to PLAY both, just put one on follow and pew-pew to your heart’s content on the other.

    I pushed 6 toons to 60 in about a week doing this.

    The only drawback is “Collect X items” quests. You have to go loot with both toons. Otherwise, just set your prime toon to group lead, loot to free-for-all, and the loot threshold to epic.

    I did this all on one comp, a laptop at that.

  4. Gorman Ghaste

    I recognize this may disturb your sense of order, but since you have an 80, your toons could go 74, 68, 62, etc. –would save you 2 levels per toon.

  5. Phyllixia

    The Recruit a Friend bonus experience (and other perks like being able to summon each other) stops at level 60, unfortunately – so the level 70 and 76 characters will still need some slogging.

  6. Myzou

    Gorman, the lowest lvl a pet can be is level 5.

    Doing it that way would make it so level 10 would not be in the list, therefore making the lowest level Mania could tame higher than the lowest, thus preventing the point of the test.

  7. Ethgrì

    ☺ I WOULD try an help with ur little experiment, what with my altaholism currently vying for 1 80 of each class on the same server, but alas you chose alliance. Sorry, but you’re on your own on that side of the line. ☻

  8. Ethgrì

    …sry for the double post,
    But I figured that came across wrong. I really have nothing against the alliance in and of itself. Actually I kinda like the draenei and gnomes. Problem is that every time I’ve tried leveling an alli toon, I quickly grew sick of the majority of the alliance being of no higher age than 16, and doing everything in their ability to prove it. And that was across 6 different servers. The new faction change service saved 2 of my alli toons on my main server from the DELETE button…
    -So sorry to anyone I might’ve upset about the faction thing.

  9. Palladiamors

    *Raises an eyebrow at Ethgri* I see you never had to suffer through Barrens chat of old. I do not pity you in that regard.

    As far as leveling alliance goes, my leveling is usually very quiet anymore. Course I try my hardest to avoid capital cities and heavily populated areas…..

  10. Nimizar

    The banality of general chat channels would be the reason nearly all of my chat channels other than /guild, /party, /raid, /battleground and /tell are routed to my combat log instead of my main chat window :)

  11. Gorman Ghaste

    I think you misunderstood me, Myzou. Of course Mania would have to have a level 10. The point is that she’ll have to have overlap somewhere–with her current design, the overlap is with 76 and 80. If she had the overlap at lower levels, even as low as 10 and 14, then she would be able to have most of her toons save a couple of levels.

  12. sara

    Unfortunately I can’t remember where I read it (probably on wow.com), but I remember reading that cross-faction heirloom transfer is in the works. Probably it’ll come out for patch 4.0, that would be my guess at least, but I’m sure you will find a way to take advantage of it once it is available :o)

  13. Frostfire

    I think you’d really like the Recruit-a-friend program. I tried it a couple of months after it came out, and found that I love playing two hunters together. I make a macro (/follow name-of-character) and put it on a hotkey so that it’s easy to hit whenever you need to move independently and then get back to following. I set the party loot to free-for-all so that my lead can loot everything. The triple experience is amazing, especially after doing so many the slow way! I’ve leveled several other classes with this also, but my favorite has always been two hunters. For the second hunter it’s easy to hit the tab/1 keys for target and attack. The only reason I need to do anything with the second hunter is to loot on drop quests. Anyway, you should give it a try; I’ve had a lot of fun with it.

  14. Raghui

    The recruit-a-friend program is a blessing. You can easily set up system where one button push sends the same command to both hunters (I used HotKeyNet, but there are plenty of options). Like Frostfire, I set loot to free for all. If you macro all the commands for the `second’ hunter to include /assist lines, its just like playing one hunter (with a minor hassle for quest turn ins and looting quest drops).

    Its ridiculously fast – even past lvl 60, when the triple XP falls away. Two BM hunters trivialize any quest.

  15. Pingback: Mania’s Arcania » ETC: Tallstrider Bonanza

  16. Kristyl

    From the patch notes:

    Bind-on-Account Items: Players can now mail Bind-on-Account items to characters on the same account and realm regardless of faction. Please note this only applies to Bind-on-Account items. Other items or gold cannot be sent via mail to characters on the same realm and account if they are from differing factions.

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