50% exp is slower than 20% exp by about 8 minutes for 111-120 (graph and numbers inside)

268 votes and 122 comments so far on Reddit

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m DesMephisto, I run a speed leveling discord with over 2300 members, I have the world record for fastest 20-120 as a non monk, and you’ve seen my routes for 20-100 in Azeroth Auto Pilot. I’ve been trying to showcase that heirlooms are broken for a while now and need to be buffed. We were dismissed because there was only a fixation on the azerite traits, which obviously do very little damage. However the primary and secondary stats were ignored, alongside the defensive traits such as resounding protection (if you have 3 of these, you are a literal god at 119).

Some more details:
For levels 111-115 I was using 2 azerite pieces (Helm and shoulders)

I followed the exact same route to the best of my ability. The 20-30% exp changed up some time points, and I did my best to stay true to the nature of the route.

The last part of Nazmir had a ton of RP that the heirloom part didn’t have to go through slowing it down significantly (by about 6 minutes). I could have corrected for this by going to vol’dun instead, but I wanted to maintain the route as close as possible and not change it.

I did not have best in slot azerite traits for DPS, I did have defensive traits such as cold steel, hot blood and resounding protection that increase my ability to live drastically when compared to heirlooms.

The biggest difference was seen in 113-114 where the ability to utilize azerites higher primary stat and defensive allowed me to claw thru a lot of the more challenging content in Zuldazar that was nearly impossible to accomplish with heirloom pieces (and in one case, was in fact, impossible)


The text is very small for the numbers so I’ll put down the raw data

112 - 33:26
113 - 32:14
114 - 43:02
115 - 37:44
116 - 39:55
117 - 35:30
118 - 35:17
119 - 38:14
120 - 38:23

20-30% EXP (2-3 azerite pieces, changes at level 115)
112 - 35:21
113 - 35:08
114 - 26:35
115 - 37:53
116 - 39:28
117 - 32:42
118 - 40:30
119 - 35:16
120 - 41:40

Total Time vs Total Time
5:33:45 vs 5:24:33


I forgot to mention, I have 26 warriors at 120, 19 of which are horde warriors. I…am very familiar with 110-120, to say the least.


So is the optimal build going to just be the theorized “gear swap on turn in”?. Actually do the quests in azerite and then just swap sets when turning the quests in?


Pretty much, however I’d honestly recommend just not wasting 15k gold, or hell even 10k gold (only buy shoulders, since they have the lowest primary stat, and can be enchanted) and save yourself some trouble. The way the game feels with azerite pieces vs heirlooms is drastically different too. 111-120 in all heirlooms makes the game feel genuinely worse than it should.


Is this BFA?


There are a few mobs that cannot be solo’d in heirlooms. It’s challenging in that, you can’t kill it because of gear. Not challenging as in it requires skill.


So what you’re saying is if you’re more powerful you kill stuff faster, enough so to make up for the xp gain from heirlooms?

I believe that. I have for a while. I buy pvp gear for my characters at 90 and 100 if I think they need it. I’ve leveled through the frostfire ridge zone in full Pandaria PvP gear, switching only when the ilvl of heirlooms or quest/dungeon gear exceeds that.

My feeling is that people are so committed to their heirlooms they allow their inner masochist to take over.


If you’re going to use Graphpad Prism, at least spruce those graphs up a bit


I’m open to suggestions. Still learning it out and I have a very black and white approach to things.


Hmmm… good to know, and thanks for doing the work to calculate the difference.

We’ve been hearing people’s anecdotal experiences with this for a while now, but nice to have data.

I’ll probably still just use heirlooms full time, I’m too lazy and will forget to do the swap-in/swap-out thing…


I just say save the gold and just go for the heirloom weapons, ring, and trinks. Makes up for being really unlucky in getting upgrades for those slots.


Man I feel this, I’m glad I’m not the only one.

Once I hit 116 on my 'loomed characters and my legiondaries don’t work anymore, I find that I have an incredibly hard time compared to my first three characters I leveled without looms


Amen. I have leveled so many times and it is VERY clear even without all this evidence you have, that they are borked in the 110 + range. It’s ridiculous. The only current work around for players that I use is to put on my Azerite armor to go out and quest and then strap on all my heirloom gear to turn them in. On a bonus objective you want to kill everything but the last mob, then put on heirloom gear and beat it. It’s not perfect, but a hell of a lot better than wearing the heirlooms through the whole debacle.


We’ve given the feedback about heirlooms, and now you’ve given the data to back it up. Why is blizzard so silent about this? I think it’s pretty obvious heirlooms need a major bump. Maybe Blizzard has some other data we don’t know about? Even so, communicating that with us would be nice. Heirlooms cost way too much for how weak they currently are.


It’s not worth their time? I don’t know. I take leveling very seriously. I’m very passionate about it and hell, I’d love to work at Blizzard in the leveling department. 110-120 is the worst experience I’ve ever had leveling, and in every situation in the past, heirlooms have always made the experience leveling better. This is not the case, both in player power, how I feel, and even the ability to level quickly let alone efficiently. As one of my viewers said, #heirloomanati


I wasn’t going to use my heirlooms anyway in those slots because I hate hitting things so many times so more power is better.

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Well thanks for the information. Guess I will just upgrade the rings, pants and cloaks.

In terms of strength for questing are any of the non xp heirlooms, like trinkets or weapons, worth upgrading in your opinion for the 110-120 experience?


Wait, they sell rings for heirlooms now?

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There are rings from the WoD shipyard that have 5% xp on them.


You can get one of the rings from the fishing tournament (every Sunday at 2pm Pacific time in Cape of Stranglethorn) and the other 3 are from doing naval missions at your garrison in Draenor.


Awe, okay. That’s what I thought. I took a break from cata to legion. I missed mop and wod :/.