WoW player hits level cap without even arriving at the starting area in 200-day grinding ordeal

World of Warcraft: Dragonflight Alexstrasza
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

It's official: Reaching World of Warcraft's level cap of 70 without leaving its tutorial zone is now old-hat. Instead, real dedicated zen masters hit maximum strength without even arriving there, making use of WoW's pet battle mechanic to slowly level up without ever leaving the confines of the boat that takes you to the game's starting area. That's what a player called Cheatcho did, who documented his remarkably stationery journey to level 70 in a recent Reddit thread (via GamesRadar).

How did he manage it? Well, WoW contains a few pet battle quests that can be finished by any character on your account, rather than only the character who got the quest. By picking up the quests on one character and concluding them on another, you can do things like, well, level up a character that hasn't even arrived at the starting area yet. All Cheatcho had to do was grind five of these quests for over 200 days to reach the dizzying heights of level 70 on his boat-bound Pandaren Shaman (why is it always Pandarens?).

Cheatcho says they did it "Because it's the ultimate solo player way to level a character," given that "You never leave the ship. You never defeat another player, dungeon boss or even group with anyone else". Plus, of course, they "consider doing it fun". It almost sounds like the tenets of some kind of inward-looking, anchoritic philosophy: the kind of thing a wizened figure on a mountaintop would impart to you after a treacherous climb. I will absolutely, 100%, never even attempt to do it myself, but by god I'm glad someone else has.

If you're made of sterner stuff than I and fancy trying it yourself, Cheatcho has some advice. So long as you keep separate characters parked at each of the pet battle trainers (who grant the relevant quests), you can level from 60 to 70 over the course of about 60 days, at a cost to you of a mere "5 minutes per day". They also recommend doing it "if you hate leveling a specific class/spec but you want it at max level," which, again, I can't help but feel sounds like more trouble than it's worth. But then again I'm not the mythical hero who achieved maximum power while ensconced on a boat, so what do I know?

The whole thing, of course, puts me in mind of Doubleagent, the Pandaren pacifist legend who reached WoW: Dragonflight's max level in the game's tutorial zone through a combination of herb-picking and mining. Unlike Cheatcho, Doubleagent's method didn't require them to make use of separate characters on their account, but it did need them to actually, you know, get off that boat. Clearly, we need to settle this with a no-holds-barred, one-on-one zen-off. First Pandaren to fall asleep loses.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.