Pre-Outland – Mining – Level 58-60
My Death Knight left the Death Knight starting area at 58 in her Blue Death Knight gear, and then stayed in Azeroth mining until she had power leveled mining to the point that she could mine Fel Iron in Outland (mining level 300).
During this time I did a few but not many quests and killed a few mobs that got in the way. Happily Death Knights start off with all the old world flight paths, so no riding to each new zone in quest for ore. You have not explored each zone, though, and get small amounts of experience points for uncovering new areas of the map. I killed Hogger while mining copper in Elwynn Forest (lol); I killed spiders in a cave in Wetlands while mining for tin; orges and trolls in arathi highlands died on my quest for iron; silithids in Tanaris bit the dust in the name of mithril. I did do a few of the quests in Winterspring while mining thorium. The guide I was using which had some helpful maps (WOW-professions.com) suggested Winterspring as the best place for Thorium, but I didn’t actually find as much as I hoped. A better place for leveling up your mining quickly (although with a mix of mithril, thorium, and dark iron, so maybe less thorium for professions) seemed to be the Burning Steppes. I also did a couple of the quests here.
Due to the increased experienced gains, I was 60 by the time I had finished leveling my mining and was ready to go to Outland. I didn’t get any upgrades pre-Outland. Since all the Death Knight blue gear is item level 70, you are unlikely to find an ungrade even if you run instances.
60-63 Hellfire Peninsula
I dislike Hellfire Peninsula. It’s just too red and dusty. I like questing in interesting looking areas, the most interesting thing about HFP is the sky. Give me the giant mushrooms of Zangamarsh, the Norse landscapes of Howling Fjord, or the snows of Winterspring. I thought of skipping it altogether and going straight for Zangamarsh, but a little research suggested a different approach.
Blizzard has not adjusted the quest rewards in Outland with the advent of Death Knights, so many of the quests do not provide upgrades or gear suitable for Death Knights. However, one or two of the better Hellfire Peninsula quest rewards do provide upgrades for the Death Knight. A little research on WOWhead identified these quests. I ran just these quests, and the chain quests leading up to them. These are the ones I suggest. I soloed all but 2 (it’s probably possible to solo these 2 as well, but Anelf was in the area finishing off his Guardian of Cenarius achievement, so I dragged him along for a quick finish).
Here are the updates and their related quests. Sorry hordies, some of these are alliance only and alliance named quests, but a quick search on WOWhead should find the Horde equivalents, and I did find a couple of nice pieces that were horde only.
1. Battlemaster’s Breastplate – reward from Drill the Drill Master – longish chain but worth it. Starts with Know Your Enemy from Force Commander Danath Trollbane in the Keep to Ill Omens. Ill Omens is handed in to Corporal Ironridge at Expedition Point, who then gives you Cursed Talismans. At the end of Corporal Ironridge’s quests he asks you to return to Honor Hold and talk to Assistant Kaltu, who is upstairs in the inn. Assistant Kaltu has a couple of quests for you which culminate in the Exocism of Colonel Juels. After this, you get to go back and talk to Trollbane who will finally give you Drill the Drillmaster quest. Go kill him and get your breastplate reward. All easily soloable.
2. Bladefist’s Breadth - reward from Overlord (Cruel Intentions for Hordies) – no previous chain required just kill Warbringer Arix’Amal who drops Burning Legion Missive which starts this quest once you hand it in (he is the end of another quest chain, but you don’t need to do that quest chain to get the missive to drop, just go and kill him). Arax’Amal easily solable, not sure about Overlord as Anelf happened to be there, possibly is. (There is also the Regal Protectorate as a tanking option from this quest. I am not intending to be a tank in the shortterm, so the dps item was for me. Also, I need to research DK tanking, and see how good an item with defense rather than parry is for a DK tank, although the health bonus is nice.)
3. Hellboar Carving Blade – reward from Testing the Antidote Cenarion Outpost. One pre-quest Denomic Contamination – This is a nice looking 2h samurai style sword (that looks a bit like a lightsaber when you rune-blade it).
4. Charm of Alacrity – reward from Voidwalkers Gone Wild. One pre-quest – In Case of Emergency from the goblins near the crashed zepplin. This is a trinket which is pretty good for tanks or for meleeing high damaging elites. However, how good it is for a DK tank, I am not sure, as it is a Dodge trinket, and DK tanking is more about parry than dodge. Still, I thought it was worth nabbing as it is easy to get.
5. Golden Cenarion Greaves - quest reward from Natural Remedies - kill the giant colossuses until one drops a crystal that starts a quest for this one (you may as well pick up the quest to kill 5 of the colossuses while doing this). These are actually Paladin boots and have intellect and mp5 on them (plus they are light beige – pallies having no dress sense). But they have a lot more armor and more strength (i.e. attack power) than your current boots, so I felt they were an upgrade for me.
And that’s it. 5 rewards. The other blue chest piece from the bombing quest is a pally one. The reward from the quest to kill demons that usually gave a kick-ass weapon upgade doesn’t give anything for a DK that is better than your runeblade.
Of course I haven’t mentioned instances. You might want to try and get in a group to run Hellfire Ramparts and hope the group isn’t made up of 4 Death Knights and a Holy Pally who specs Ret on his days off, as you will all be fighting over Hellreaver, should it drop.
After finishing with Hellfire I was 63 and a third. Reviewing WOWhead there does not seem to be much worth having for DKs in Zangamarsh but there are a couple of nice pieces in Terrokar so I am off there next, followed by Nagrand for the mining.