As someone with 22 level 80 characters you might say I have done the leveling experience a few times. I’ve noticed recently a lot of people asking how to get to level 80 in Guild Wars 2 fast and then often getting bad advice. So I wanted to share my method which has been modified a few times over the years to account for the level 20, 30, and 40 boosters I get as a veteran. As the level 40+ experience hasn’t changed, let’s focus on that.
Boosts, Buffs, and Beginnings
Before starting out, make sure you’re in rare level 40 gear. Just go with the cheapest you can get, you won’t be wearing it all that long but you do want a solid start. Replace your armor with drops as you level. Consider now if you want to stop at 65 to get cultural armor or craft exotic armor.
This might also be a good time to consider your weapons. While I’m not normally one to change what I’m using very often, AoE attacks are the best for this run. The more targets you hit with each attack the better. You don’t HAVE to do this, but it will make the entire experience a lot faster if you do.
Below is a list of all the boosts and buffs you should have for your run and where you get them. Don’t use them until you’re in position to make the most out of the limited time some of them have.
Halloween Food – Use one of the several Halloween foods that offer +15% Experience from kills. What else they do is entirely up to you. I typically go for the +18% Magic Find, +10% Gold from Monsters that you get from Candy Corn Almond Brittle, but there are a lot of options available.
Utility – During the 40-65 part of the run, I’ll use whatever utility I happen to have. The goal here is to get the experience boost. Whatever else comes along with it is really left to personal choice.
For the post 65 experience, you will want utilities that give more damage against undead. You’ll almost exclusively be fighting Risen from that point forward. I tend to buy very cheap Undead Battle Potions at the end of Drysdan’s event in Mount Maelstrom, that’s the one where you disguise yourself and go in a cave. They’re only 24 copper. If you like you can switch to the Potent Potion of Undead Slaying at level 70, but those are more expensive for not much difference. The most important part is that the +10% Experience from kills remains the same.
Birthday Booster – If you have birthday or celebration boosters, use them. Celebration boosters come from daily login rewards and birthday boosters come from character birthdays.
Fireworks – There are two different types of fireworks which give different buffs so they can both be used at the same time for a combined +15% experience bonus. The one that offers 10% is the Lucky Firecracker. That can only be obtained during the Lunar New Year festival by completing a certain daily during the event. Check on GW2Efficiency if you have any.
The other type of fireworks give the Rooster’s Gift buff. The name of this buff changes every year to reflect what animal it is that year. Right now it is the Rooster, in 2018 it will be the year of the dog, and in 2019 it will be the year of the pig. Rooster’s Gift is only 5% experience and 10% magic find but it’s still important. You will want to buy a LOT of these off the market. They only have a 5-minute duration and you can stack them up for up to 2 hours at a time. So buy 24 at the very least. I tend to only do one hour at a time though to reduce waste.
Experience Booster – This is possibly the most important of all the boosts and the one that you most notice when it isn’t there. There are a few different types of experience boosters, all with the same name, making it incredibly confusing, but the easiest way to do it is to just get the one from the laurel vendor. It offers +50% experience and most importantly a bonus for kill streaks up to 100%!
Guild XP Gain – If your guild has been working hard on their guild hall and have unlocked Guild Enhancement: Experience you will be able to get a free buff inside your guild hall for anywhere between 3% and 10%, depending on how many enhancements your guild has unlocked. This buff will last for 24 hours and is “purchased” in your guild hall from Nathan the Bartender.
Guild Banner – These are perhaps the most expensive and completely optional. I usually run without one as they are so expensive. They can be crafted by scribes, purchased with guild commendations, or are sometimes rewards from Guild Missions. If you do decide to use one though, you can get either 5% or 10% experience bonus from them.
So with all of these, you’re looking at +310% experience. The maximum without account specific or location specific is 395% so you’re pretty close to the top, though there is more you can do if you want to take those extra steps.
Once you have all these things, go to Hoelbrak and go south into Dredgehaunt Cliffs.
Now that you’ve finished the hard part (yes, getting all the buffs and boosts is the hard part), it’s time to have some fun. Travel down the length of Dredgehaunt Cliffs chasing events, the more you do the better. Try to keep that Killstreak bonus up as long as possible. You can kill anything that cons yellow if you need to, just be sure you keep an eye on that killstreak timer. Try doing events that are a couple of levels higher than you. Too high and that killstreak bonus is wasted though. You want quick deaths and lots of them. If you’re feeling brave, lead a group through the zone. The more of you the better. If you reach the bottom of Dredgehaunt Cliffs and are below level 45, well…I’m not sure that’s actually possible. But if you do manage it, travel north again and go after more events.
If you’re at least level 45 then it is time to go to Timberline Falls. Once inside the zone, you’ll come up to a Heart dealing with the Dredge. Don’t bother with the heart. There’s a great chain of events here if you manage to catch it. If you’re lucky you can piggyback off that and go straight to the Mighty Oouo event chain. From there head south in the water to a Hylek village. There’s an event that will pop up here with invading Krait. Continue your journey south to the border with Mount Maelstrom. If at this point you aren’t close to level 57 go back north, this time taking the other side of the mountains and again, chasing events. If you are close to level 57 go into Mount Maelstrom.
Mount Maelstrom isn’t quite as easy as the other two zones. There aren’t any nice straight lines for you to follow. If I’m doing this entire run in one go, this is where fatigue starts to set in. One of the first things I like to do is go to Drysdan to do his event. If the event is already finished then I’ll buy the undead potion (aka zombie juice) and move on. Mount Maelstrom is home to 2 world bosses which do a great job of breaking things up a bit. Check Dulfy’s timer to see if there will be one happening soon. Do the pre-events! This is where you’ll get XP. The world bosses are no good for XP but they’re great for your brain and a change of pace. I would suggest not using any experience boosters during those events unless they’re already on. You’re only wasting them.
While in Mount Maelstrom I always hit up a couple of locations. The first is Firebreak Fort which gives me access to a bank and vendors. It’s typically when I upgrade to my new armor as well. The other place I like to go to is the hero point right next to the doorway to Orr. It’s nearby and an easy one to do. The next step is going to Orr. I’ve done this as early as 65, though it was HARD. 67 is my preferred level to go into the Straits of Devastation.
The success of your time in the Straits of Devastation largely depend on the time of day you’re playing and luck. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to follow the event chain from Fort Trinity, go south, and go to Lone Post. Let the map know the event is running and you’ll have more mobs. You’ll also need friends when you try to take Lone Post. I’ve only managed to do that with two of us once. Once you capture Lone Post keep an eye out for an escort headed to the Pact Rally Point. Again, this is best done with others as it offers more XP and goes faster. This is actually a pre-event for taking the Temple of Balthazar. If you’re unlucky then the Temple may already be under pact control. If it is you’ll want to run through the Straits of Devastation to Malchor’s Leap. Do any events you see along the way. But if you can get the people together to do the Temple of Balthazar DO IT! I have managed to get to 80 here more than once. But it is a tough event.
If you finish the Temple event or it was already claimed and you aren’t 80 yet, make your way to Malchor’s Leap. Because this is a good farming spot for ore and wood I go a little bit of an odd route through the zone. First I start by going behind Pagga’s Post and follow the zone wall going west (that’s left on the map). You’ll see a bunch of people farming a group of trees. They’re always there. Join them, get some sweet, sweet wood. Continue west from here, going across the bridge and keeping an eye out for events. Follow events towards the Village of Wren and keep another eye on /map for any temple events. If you see any of them, do them. If you don’t…well…don’t. Continue moving and from there go to Doric’s Shrine. There are a few events in that area you can do. If you still aren’t 80 at this point then it’s time to go into the Cursed Shore.
As Cursed Shore is a level 80 zone you’ll often find zergs who are running around doing events. If you find one of these feel free to join them! You’ll be in for lots of mobs and lots of XP. Look for commanders on the map. If you don’t happen to find one then it’s back to event chasing. Do events, keep your killstreak going and you’ll manage 80 in no time.
A Few Notes
You may accidently do some hearts along the way as events often take place inside heart areas. If you do, cool. If you don’t, eh. Despite what many say hearts are NOT a good way to earn XP.
You can get very unlucky when you get to Straits of Devastation. If you’re feeling tired this might be the breaking point for you. It certainly has been for me more than once. I’ve stopped here many times and decided to go back to it again the next day. Sometimes this is for the best.
I swerve for waypoints. Waypoints offer a nice little XP boost but really what they’re doing is giving a spawn point if I go and do something stupid. I swerve for waypoints, you should too.
I have seen some discussion that says the personal story is a good way to get XP. And while you do earn XP and other end of the story bonuses, it does nothing if you’re doing it with friends (or significant others).
I am in no way saying this is 100% tried and tested THE best way to level in a hurry. This is just how I do it and your outcome may be different. I still have 4 more characters lined up to reach 80, I’d love to hear how you do it!Related: ArenaNet, Column, Guide, Guild Wars 2, Leveling, MMORPG, The Tyrian Chronicle