Comparison of Various XP options in Cataclysm

I was poking around in a thread on the Consortium's forums about how best to jump start the leveling process for maximum efficiency after the Cataclysm launch. In reading the various strategies, it occurred to me that there hasn't been a true head-to-head comparison of the different ways which we'll be able to get XP in the future. So I took it upon myself to collect some numbers.

For those planning to stockpile a bunch of WotLK quests for instant XP increases, here's the numbers from some current dailies on a level 80 character:

Fishing Daily in Dalaran = 23152 xp
Cooking Daily in Dalaran = 17377 xp

And here are some numbers for the new content we'll be getting with Cataclysm:

New Cooking Daily in Stormwind = 23152 xp
New Fishing Daily in Stormwind = 23152 xp

Level 80 mob killed = 4556 xp (2278 rested)
Level 80 quest = 29084 xp

And just for comparison purposes, here are the current XP values for crafting-related activities:

Level 80 herb = 4620 (Cinderbloom/Stormvine/Azshara’s Veil)
Level 80 ore = currently broken but presumed the same

Archaeology Fragment Looted = 23204xp
Full Dig Site Clear = 69612xp (3x fragments looted per site)

You can see that the XP values for gathering are equivalent to killing mobs, at least in the current Beta build. The amount of XP for collecting Archaeology fragments is actually quite high compared to quest XP. I'm sure part of the reason for this is the large amount of travel involved in Archaeology which doesn't apply nearly as much to questing.

Naturally these numbers could change at any point, but I think they make a decent argument for including at least your gathering professions and maybe even some light Archaeology into your leveling plans.


  1. From my experience the rules for experience from herbs seem to be a bit more complex than it looks at first. I tried collecting data for all of them, but it seems the level of the herbalist actually plays a factor, most notably for herbs that are 'high level' for the herbalist (you can find my list on the beta forums as ).

    I noticed that after my herbalist dinged 83 (the table was recorded at level 82) she got more experience from the top herbs, but the lower level herbs kept the same experience they had before.

    It is also relevant to realize that experience bonusses do apply in the same way as experience bonusses apply to kills. That includes the effect of 'rested' bonus, and the fact that rested bonus is 'used up' by picking herbs.

  2. Agreed, the XP from gathering does scale based on the level of the character. I've actually been compiling numbers for that too, which I'll put together whenever they correct the Mining bug.

    This information is mostly for players who want to know what their options for leveling are right out of the gate when Cataclysm hits.

  3. So, Archeology is a viable leveling alternative to quests or dungeons! Count me in, there's only so many times I can do the same quest chain or go through the same dungeon.

  4. Thank you!

    This seems like such an obvious question and so little information consolidated before this.

    Some additional data points are the XP from a LFG instance and a battleground.

    So you can level by:
    idk re crafting?

    Do you have a rough sense of the XP/hour of these? 29k for a quest? So with flying is 300k XP per hour a reasonable number? Unrested, it's about 13 mobs per quest - i.e. is killing 13 mobs quicker than doing one quest. My bias is that LFG will be the fastest and least pleasant.

    Last I read, 81 & 82 were 1.5 million XP and 6.5m for the last three?

  5. Yes, I believe Archaeology is a viable alternate leveling plan based on the amount of XP you can get for it currently. If they nerf it again, then perhaps not. And I'm with you on that bandwagon, I have 5 toons to level and I will likely use Archaeology for a couple of them just to alleviate the quest doldrums.

    Personally I haven't done any dungeon/BG stuff because I keep hearing that random groups are a nightmare right now and BGs aren't really my thing. If I had to guess I would say that random dungeons will not be an efficient way to level until the CC learning curve is over. I hear to much QQ on the beta forums to believe that it will be a smart use of anyone's time.

    The only sense I have of XP/hour is for Archaeology and that's only because I tracked several hours of that. I've actually been avoiding quests like the plague to minimize burnout from those 5 toons mentioned above. However I don't think killing 13 mobs will be quicker than doing one quest in most cases. There's a lot of complaining on the forums that Cata mobs hit too hard, have too much HP, yadda yadda. I'm guessing most players will struggle a bit with efficiency until they have a decent amount of Cata gear, which will probably be around level 82.

    My gut reaction is that questing is still the best option. On my 83 hunter I'm able to kill 13x level 84 mobs in Twilight Highlands in about 10.5 minutes. I don't consider that particularly amazing, but each mob has about 65k health. It just takes time to whittle that down to zero, you can't take something out it in 2-3 shots like you can now.

    Yes, the XP values to level are the same now as the information you read. No change so far :)

  6. im in the same boat as well, with currently 4 80s and a 75 im gonna be deperate for ways to break the tediousness of questing and dungeons. luckily every toon is a gatherer and a crafter, so i should be able to level my skills while i quest, wait for a dungeon, wait for a pvp que, w/e

    i am glad that this time around we have some viable options, we aren't shoehorned into purely questing, as i can tell you from expirience, running the same 130 quests in Hellfire Penn on , i think im up to 7 toons now, i can do them all fast, but it gets so dang BORING! i have been just LFD leveling my priest b/c i dont wanna quest in HFP, so if i can level toons through archeology, gathering, and pvp ... that takes care of at least 2 of my 80s right there, add in the 2 starting zones and dungeons... im starting to look forward to leveling those last 5 levels!

  7. Guild runs are almost always fun. And until you overgear it, healing most PUGs is not. And my expectation is that, personality wise, the initial players will be the worst of the worst and in a hurry. So type-A strangers with no bond or accountability competing under time pressure. Makes me want to go grind sea-boars.

  8. Rofl - boars! I have similar feelings in terms of dungeons, I'll run with my guild if needed for heals. My guild has been raiding since vanilla WoW and they're pretty mature players, so I have no worries that they can handle the return of crowd control. Other than that I'll just be out questing or digging up treasure =)

    And crafting my butt off the first week or two, naturally. My family was actually trying to get me to go for another Realm First. I don't know who's dumber, them for encouraging me or me for considering it...

  9. Regarding easy XP from the fishing daily - has anyone checked to see if the Water Logged Recipe will still let you get XP at 80 in Cataclysm?

  10. stacking XP for cata, lol this is a great idea! what about just regular 80 quests one nvr turned in or did, these work too eh?

  11. Waterlogged Recipe doesn't give any xp at all after patch 4.0.1 came out. Same for the something poison

  12. Thanks for the tip - I guess they are removing some of these easy XP items.

  13. Is the experience gained from Archaeology dependent at all on where you're digging? Does it matter if I gain skill, whether I'm skillcapped, etc - or will I always gain experience based only on my current character level?

    I'm curious because it's likely that Archaeology gets added in 4.0.3a and I don't want to remove the possibility of leveling with it in Cataclysm, by skilling up too early.

  14. No, experience gains are not based on location. They are based purely on your character level and increase as you level up. At level 80 you get 23204 xp for looting fragments, at 81 you get 29084 xp, 82 = 36644. It scales on your level, not your location.

    I don't know if you continue to get XP after you reach the skill cap. My druid hit 85 before she was able to get 525 Archaeology skill. My last numbers on XP requirements for 80-85 equate to something in the neighborhood of 20-25 million XP for all five levels. At the last XP values I had for Archaeology, I calculated the total XP gain from 1-525 would be closer to 35 million. So I don't think it's possible to hit the skill cap before hitting the level cap unless the numbers are significantly modified.

  15. I came here by google and would like to inform you that Archae had its xp reward cut severely in lastest beta build. At 83 I'm having only 13K per looting. Much less than expected 40K.

    And thanks for your collected info.

  16. You are correct, this article is over a month old. I'm working on some updated numbers for different professions later this week.

  17. You're incredibly nice person, looking forward to it.

  18. Oops! The Beta realm is down for good today, so I won't have a chance to get back to this before release day. Sorry about that!!

  19. Any chance that you compile all data collected and finish w/e you could? Don't make your effort in vain, in my opinion :)

  20. You bet :) I have lots of screenshots to go through and hopefully I'll be able to pull additional information from that. It won't be the most recent data, but perhaps better than nothing.

  21. So the best way to jump-start would be to gather 25 Level 80 Quests from Icecrown and take the 2 minutes to turn them all in before heading to Vashjir.

  22. Yes, I believe most players who plan to power level to 85 are stocking their quest logs with dailies to kick off the process.