My first character in World of Warcraft was a night elf rogue. I had no idea about the classes and just picked him almost at random. In fact I still have him on the realm, play the rogue sometimes but I never really had much interest in the character. After that first character I lost interest in the Alliance side but always wanted to explore the quests and visit the cities that I couldn’t see as a Horde.
Since I'm still within my time limit for RAF, I created two dreaenei shamans on a role playing realm in the PST time zone. Before I choose a realm I did some searching and created a level 1 character to get an idea of the ping and also the general population. Some realms I checked were really full, and while this means more people to group with, it also means more people to battle for quest items with longer login queues. Also I usually run Auctioneer and scan the current auction house market prices to get an idea of the economy.
After running a scan I found the prices were close to my home realm and felt it was a good choice to create a new character. It seems funny but once you create a new character you will spend time on the realm leveling and dealing with the guilds there. If you choose a bad realm you can always transfer but at $25 per character transfer cost, it adds up quickly.
While leveling on the realm I found it’s not too bad. Usually you can get a feel of the realm after a few hours of play and visiting a major city. It was a few hours before I got an invite to a small guild. The people in the guild were friendly, and after checking the World of Warcraft official forums, I found there are many other guilds on the realm. The trade and general channels were not full of spam but good amounts of actual trade!
Leveling the two shamans with no 70 for help is somewhat harder than I expected. Normally while doing the grind and questing you can almost equal your income to pay for your skill ups. But I quickly ran out of money even by level 6. I then took up the professions to help make more money and choose mining/herblism for my main shaman, and skinning/leatherworking for the second shaman. My idea is that by having these collecting professions I can pick up any item I find and even skill most of the animals for extra loot.
I did this method while leveling up to 23, and also created a bank alt in Iron Forge who is only selling and scanning the auction house. By level 23, I had over 30 gold and still more items to put on the auction house. It does not sound like much but I spent very little time collecting any herbs or copper, just what I saw while questing. My plan is to make more trips in the newbie zones to at least max out my professions then they will be more useful later in leveling.
So far I think starting from scratch has been fun and a good experience how to level a low toon without any help from a higher toon. We’ll see how this goes, right now using the RAF bonus I can level faster than normal and this makes the trip more fun.
The only problem is it’s hard to get used to running into an Alliance city and I know I’ll run into a Horde town by accident. :)