Leveling your hunter: levels 1-5 Coldridge Valley with Smilla

What no pet?  How will we cope?  Quite well actually.  Levels 1-10 is still pretty easy on your hunter, although once you have your pet, it becomes even easier if you have half a clue.

The key to getting through these levels is to pick your target from close to maximum range, and begin shooting from there, to get several shots in before he closes the distance and you have to melee.  Also, try to only take on one thing at a time, although you can usually take on 2 of your level OK if you have to.  Be aware of what is in your immediate vicinity, and the risk of getting an add (i.e. an unplanned for extra monster (mob) attacking you).   Try to stand in an area where you have some space, so that you can strafe to range and get in an extra shot or two, without getting an add.  By strafing I mean running sideways.  The default way to do this is with the Q and E keys.  You can’t shoot something behind you, but you do have quite an angle at which you can shoot.  Very low level mobs are slow, you can run sideways and shot an arcane shot over your shoulder to get in an extra shot and get ut of melee range for a sec.  Before arcane shot (which you can do on the move, you can fire auto shot every 0.5 secs but you have to stand still, so you can still do the strafe but its a bit harder) Try it.  Its not necessary to success, but its good practice for later life.

Mobs that have red names will attack you if you get too close.  Mobs that have yellow names will only attack if you first attack them.  In the starting area there is usually only one type of higher leve mob that is red.

Watch your health and mana bars.  If you run out of health you are dead, if you run out of mana you can still auto shoot and auto melee but not much else, and do significantly less damage.  In combat you can use health or mana potions if you are low on either (these have a 2min cool down so use carefully).  Out of combat you can eat and drink and use first aid to get your health back up.  To start with though, you won’t have many of these things, so you may have to have a brief rest between fights (tip /sit – mana regenerates faster when you are sitting than standing).

Lets follow Smilla through.

Level 1-2:  First quest go kill some wolves.  Easy peasy.  Stand and shoot, melee if it gets too close.  Lots of dead wolves.  Got a cloak from a wolf who had eaten its previous owner.  It was a bit smelly, but I equipped it, beggars can’t be choosers.  Dinged level 2 on the wolves.  Ran back and handed in the quest.

Levels 2-4:  The quest giver gave me 2 more quests.  One to deliver some letters, he was too lazy to do himself, and the other to go find my hunter trainer and get myself some new skills.  His friend also had a quest to kill 6 of each of 2 different kinds of troggs.  You get to kill a lot of troggs as a dwarf.  The hunter trainer was up in Anvilmar, the building on the hill near the quest giver.  Before you speak to him, sell off any trash you picked up to one of the armorers, as you need some money to buy your skills.  He only gave me one new skill, track beasts.  Not too useful right now, I can see all the wolves and boars easy enough.  But very useful later on.  I don’t need to drag it onto my tool bar, it appears on the tracking menu on the mini map drop down button.  A fairly recent invention of the blizzard gods, which saves hunters a lot of toolbar space.  If you select track breasts from this list of options, it will show all the beasts in the area as dots on the minimap.  You can mouse over the dots to see what kind of beasts they are, and if they are named special ones, this will show up too when you mouse over them.  Really useful later on, when you are out tracking that special beast you want to train as a pet :>)

OK back to leveling, I noticed lots of troggs over to the left of where I was killing wolves, so I went and slaughted some of those, till I had 6 of each type.  Handed in got my reward, and then follow the path to the right with my mail delivery.  Found a guy outside a tent who was waiting for his mail.  He wanted me to kill some boars roaming around the place.  Not sure why?  But happy to oblige.  More slaughtering ensewed.  Boars hit quite hard, but no problem.  Just remember to use your raptor strike when its cool down is up.  I also met a twinked level 3 gnome rogue who challenged me to a duel, lol.  If you don’t know what a twink is, they are players who have gear which is the very best they can gear for their level, with enchants, armor kits, and other enhancements on it.  People usually twink for battlegrounds (bgs), it costs a lot of money, you don’t often see a level 3 twink!  He had a level 3 knife with an icy weapon enchant on it.  You can challenge a player to a duel by selecting them and right clicking on thier player portrait then selecting duel from the list, a duel flag is thrown down.  I laughed and talked with him and then accepted the duel to see how quickly he could kill me.  It wasn’t instant, but there was no way I was going to win that fight (although icy wasn’t the best enchant for him to get as it doesn’t alway proc (go off)).

I had another letter left over.  Further along the path are two more dwarfs.  One wants me to kill some trolls, the other wants me to take a skalding drink back to Anvilmar.  This is a timed quest, but you have 5 mins to do it, I think you could walk it, rather than run and still complete, but off I ran. (I think you have to be level 3 to get this one, so if you haven’t dinged, you might need to kill some trolls before he will give you his quest).  The guy who wants to beer is in the room off to the left.  He sells some leather armor, but don’t be tempted to spend your megre hard earned coppers.  You will pick up better and you will need your money.  Take the mug back, but on the way out pick up the quest from the distraught gnome who has lost his tools (along will kills trolls and quests involving beer, drwaves seems to have several quests helping gnomes recover their belongings, they don’t seem to be very careful with their possessions, I hear they even lost their city!)  This quest goes well with the trolls quest you have, as you have to kill the trolls who are skulking near the tools.  Where possible try to do quests in groups, so that you don’t have to keep running back to the same place or rekilling the same mobs, but kill 2 troggs with one arrow (you get what I did there, 2 troggs with one arrow, 2 birds with one stone, err, nevermind…)

The lost belonging are in three locations: outside the troll cave (not far from the guy who gave you the troll quest); and outside each of the troll huts round to the right of the cave.  You should see them sparkling.  Kill the trolls around them, go in and right click to pick them up.  

I met someone a lot less pleasant than the fun twink rogue on this quest.  There were two trolls near the tools.  I began shooting at one.  A few seconds later, a mage came up and stood next to me, while I was shooting and then meleeing it.  He didn’t help, but I was fine.  I was about to shoot the other, but then he began to shoot at it.   As he had done me, I left him too it and went over to pick up my tool box (having done this before, I know these respawn in the same spot almost instantly).  The mage immediately shouts out, “help me, selfish noob.”  Now why do players do things like this?  I might have understood him being annoyed if he had helped me on the first troll, rather than standing next to me, or if he was having trouble on his mob (which he wasn’t, and at which point I would have helped), or if he had been there first and I had run in and got the box i.e. ninja’d it (I was there first).  Nothing for me to get annoyed about, but a lesson for everyone about being curteous to other players in game.  Why be rude?  Be polite, take turns, help someone you see in trouble (and thank someone who helps you), if someone is at a quest item, herb, mining node first, let them take it.  And never ever call someone a noob (unless its yourself) – noob/newb is an offensive derrogatory term akin to swearing at someone.  Also, the level 1 you call a noob could have 9 level 70 alts and be raiding black temple. 

When you’ve killed 14 trolls, the quest giver will give you your last starting area quest, to kill the head troll and retrieve a journal he has stolen.  You are probably going to be level 4 by now.  If you are, go get your training before doing this quest.  Its not too difficult, but the hardest one in the area.

At level 4 you get Aspect of the Monkey and Serpent Sting.  Keep Aspect of the Monkey on at all times.  This improves your chance to dodge, and hance decreases damage taken.  Serpent Sting puts a DOT (damage over time spell) on the mob.  Open up with this to allow it to do max damage.  At early levels this helps improve your damage output, however hunters often overuse this at later levels.  At level 70 I almost never use it for 2 reasons.  Firstly, it is very mana inefficient for the amount of damage it does, and secondly you cannot freeze trap anything that has a DOT on it, as any damage breaks the freeze trap. 

Now off to the cave to kill the head honcho troll.  Go into the cave and keep left.  There is a narrow tunnel to the left heading down, that will take you straight to your guy.  Just clear the trolls in the way.  When you can see him, you should also see a troll to the left, and a troll with him.  You can pull the troll to the left, without annoying the main man and his friend.  Mana up, then focus on the main man.  His friend will probably pull as well, but kill the boss first, then the friend.  If you think you are going to die on the friend (which you shouldn’t really), grab the loot from the main man before you do, as its the journal you need to complete the quest (this is a simple right click on the body, if you have auto loot turned on).  On this quest watch out for other players, sometimes someone will come and and accidently or purposefully steal the main troll while you are working on the adds.  You might also accidently do it to someone else.  If someone else is there, either wait your turn (he respawns in the same place about 2mins after being killed), or invite them to a group (speak to them first please) so that you can both get credit for the kill.

OK, hand in then take the quest to see someone at the exit to Coldridge valley, you have survived the starter zone and are on your way to Kharanos!  If you are level 6, get your training before you go, but you are probably level 5 at this point.  It has probably taken you 30mins-1hour play time.

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