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Eventually I'm going to buy Legion, and it comes with a level 100 boost.
Leveling a character to level 60 gives you a boost in your professions in addition to all the other bonuses for boosting to level 100.
With the release of Warlords of Draenor, professions seem to be rather easy to boost on their own, you can craft Draenor related items to boost a new profession fairly quickly using just the auction house and some gold (apart from Mining, Herbing, and Skinning).

So since professions can be "bought" with gold in this way now, I was wondering if it is mathematically worth leveling a character up to 60?
Leveling costs X hours of leveling, Y hours of profession making, and Z gold.
- Boosting from level 60, Y = 0 hours and Z = 0 gold because you don't need to use any money or time on professions, but you need to use time to level
- Boosting from level 1, X = 0 hours because you don't need to spend any time leveling.

I was wondering, how much time (on average) would you need to spend to get to level 60, and
how much time would you need to spend (at level 100) to make the amount of gold needed to "purchase" your professions (again on average).

  • But i've already accepted the answer, he answered my question perfectly :/ no need to close/downvote an old question lol – hammythepig Jul 12 '16 at 3:38
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There are a few unknowns here that will impact the answer, so it's impossible to give anything exact (though I'll give my 2 cents at the end); this is especially true in regard to leveling, which will depend significantly on how "good" you are at it. However, the following questions and information may provide useful direction:

X: LEVELING

  • Do you have full heirlooms for your proposed class/spec? Heirlooms should cut the leveling time by about a third (50% xp boost).
  • Are you boosting a class that can tank or heal and do you mind tanking/healing dungeons until 60? Dungeons, especially dungeon quests, give significant XP, and tanks/healers have faster queues.
  • Are you, or someone you know, eligible for RAF? Will triple leveling speed.
  • Are you planning on taking your time leveling and making efficient use of rested XP? This isn't a huge deal at low levels as you'd burn through it extremely fast, but may be more useful at levels 40+.
  • Do you have, and will you use, any of the "xp boost" elixirs? How much these speed up leveling will depend on when you use them.
  • Are you boosting a Death Knight? If so, you might as well get him/her to 60, given the short amount of time.

Y: PROFESSIONS

  • Are you planning on having gathering professions? Mining can still (mostly) be bought through smelting (though it's generally really expensive) and both it and herbalism can be leveled through the garrison if patient, but skinning will still need to be leveled the hard way.
  • How much time will it cost you to level your professions 1-700? This will mostly be affected by availability of raw materials on your server and your willingness to jump back and forth between crafting older items and Warlords' items as needed. In general, time should be fairly short if you're buying everything.
  • Are you going to be using the professions for Warlords gear, or just to have it ready for Legion? If the former, you'll be crafting the daily cooldown many times in addition to the gear itself, which should provide significant levels up.

Z: GOLD

  • Leveling to 60 will make you some gold, but not a lot. Maybe a couple hundred or so, depending on how fast you level. Questing at level 100 will undoubtedly earn you more gold.
  • The cost to level your profession will be based on the cost and availability of raw materials and and which profession you choose. A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation (for my server) gives me an estimation between 2k (for alchemy) and 9k (for jewelcrafting).
  • You can possibly sell the fruits of your profession leveling to recoup some of the costs.

All that said, I think the question that matters the most is: what are you planning on using this character for? If you're looking for a new class to play, I think there's a lot of value in leveling, if only to ease into the class. If you're looking to do end game content (particularly if you want to get started (and complete?!) the legendary questline, then boosting is the way to go.

That's how I, personally, have answered the question. I level mostly as a "change of pace", so if I'm going to boost I boost a level 1. The amount of gold basic level 100 questing offers plus the passive garrison mission income tend to fairly quickly offset the cost of leveling the professions myself.

  • You're right there are a lot of variables, but this is what I was looking for, a break-down of how all the variables affect the result, and your own result at the end. Thanks a bunch :) – hammythepig Jan 11 '16 at 19:15

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