World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands’ level cap was smashed in a brisk three hours

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So, you’ve just bought World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands, a fresh new expansion filled with fantastical, wondrous new worlds to explore. Obviously, your first thought is to sod it all and burn through the levelling experience as quickly as possible. So it was for one plucky Warcraft player who sprinted through Shadowlands at a record pace, becoming the first person to hit level 60 by cleaning out the same dungeon over and over for three hours straight.

Shadowlands might’ve only dropped last night. However, as spotted by Wowhead, EU-Al’akir player Monkeylool managed to race through levels 51-60 in three hours – not by questing efficiently through the game’s five new regions, but by manipulating the MMORPG’s group finder to utterly tear apart the expansion’s levelling curve.

It’s conventional wisdom that running dungeons is a much faster way to grind levels in World Of Warcraft. For Monkeylool, that meant running the Necrotic Wake instance in Bastion over and over, getting through it at a brisk 5-6 minutes a pop. But dungeons are usually level-gated, and won’t let you queue for them if you’re above or below their recommended level range.

You can, however, continue to queue up if at least one party member is within that range. So, after crossing the level 56 threshold, the Pandaren speedrunner’s guild roped in a level 51 member to open the gates, so to speak. Wowhead does at least shout out another player, Ryan “BastuDK” Smith, who came second in the race to 60 without this cheeky exploit.

Four Warcraft players celebrate against a wall.

Who can stay mad at this happy panda, though? Well done, mate.

Obviously, world-first bragging rights play the largest part in this endeavour. But it does speak to the sense that levelling is a bit of a begrudging chore in WoW. Something you blow through to get to the endgame, and less something to enjoy on its own merits. With Shadowlands’ levelling squish reducing the game’s previous level cap of 120 down to 60, it’s very likely you’ll move on from a zone long before wrapping up its plot threads – never minding that most of the important story beats happen in endgame raids these days.

Tangentially, three hours is just shy of the runtime for Blizzard’s collected album of lo-fi beats to study and raid to. Perfect background listening, no matter how long your levelling adventure may be.


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