Ding. The big 6-0. For my second time.
Msaker, aka Oddity, finally reached level 60. My 2nd character to do so.
Blackhoof, aka Darkhoof, my Tauren Shaman, reached 60 in a raiding guild on a PvP server. By 60 he was already wearing a lot of his Elements (Tier 0) set. He was a regular to the Plaguelands and Stratholme. His hearth was set to Kargath for the regular Blackrock Spire runs, Upper and Lower. He very seldom ventured into the Blackrock Depths. He was Restoration spec'd and had assumed the role of healer, backup, for raiding groups. No PvP in his raiding days after reaching Sergeant in his 40's. The "Dungeons," the holy trinity of Stratholme, Lower Blackrock Spire, and Upper BRS, then Molten Core, were his home for months after reaching 60. (For some reason Scholomance he only went once. First time ever he'd gotten the Coif of Elements, and nobody wanted to go back. He got the key to the place on his own so remains ready to return and get the major mana potion recipe from the ghost vendor.)
Msaker has not done any quests into Blackrock Depths yet. There are a great many yellow exclamation marks in Kargath, but he's been holding off on them until Droonda is ready to accompany him. (She's level 54 now. Coming along too. Orc Power!) He has done one single quest out of the Bulwark in the Plaguelands, and that was to plant our banner in a camp of the Scarlet Crusade. Otherwise, getting to 60 involved doing all the quests in Feralas, then moving to Felwood, then doing a lot of the quests in Winterspring. Last night we went to the Sunken Temple and knocked out 6 quests there. Next stop will be BRD. He worked up to level 45 on a PvP server, but finished up on an RP server. He's halfway to Exalted with Frostwolf. He dinged following a win in the Arathi Basin. Turning in the three marks got him really close. Completing the quest to cap four resources, took him over to the Ding. (And my XP bar is now replaced by a Faction bar. 80 )
(My god, was it really so long ago that I had just reached level 30? Last December, the 28th or thereabouts, to be exact. Here's the link. )
It is interesting to me, because I see several parallel courses to getting to 60. There's the Blackrock route, the Plaguelands route, or the Winterspring route.
With Blackrock you are put on the path of fighting Dragons (Nefarian) and the old Elementals (Ragnaros). You visit Blackrock Spire, Molten Core, and Blackwing Lair. Adventuring here takes you from small 5-man parties to 40-man raids.
Ironically the Dragons are opposed by the Elementals, and are pitted against one another in a war to control Blackrock Mountain. And each side has forces sympathetic to your causes as well. Vael is a dragon most distraught about having to decimate you. He'll help you in UBRS against Rend in fact. And Duke Hydraxis gives you rewards for killing other Elementals.
The Plaguelands find you combating the Scarlet Crusade, yeah, those racist "good guys" that even the Alliance don't like, and the Scourge operating out of Stratholme and Scholomance. The Plaguelands will find you going from assaulting Scholomance and Stratholme to Naxxramas, from 5-man parties to 40-man raids.
The route of Winterspring appears to be a whole lot more solo orientated. The experience is not gotten by instances but by faction grinding. Kill hundreds of the Timbermaw's enemies to become their friend. There's some quests out of Everlook in Winterspring itself. But not one instance in Winterspring or noticeable story arc even.
... It just occurs to me as I type this ... expansion's are promised once a year now. The Burning Crusade and the Outalnds will be this year's offering. What about next year? The Emerald Dream? Obviously the Timbermaw and Winterspring are nice little lead-ins to this.
And I'd love to see Gilneas and Kul'Tiras be brought on-line. These Coastal and Insular nations would figure into any expansion involving the Naga, the Maelstrom, and their Queen Azshara.
Since neither Blackhoof or Msaker are raiding now, earning Battlegrounds honor and reputation is earning them rewards as well. Even Blackhoof is getting rewards that compare to his Molten Core days, and Msaker is getting some of those for himself.
And I'm still doing quests and seeing places I haven't already done and seen in going on two years played. Wow. Now we're adding the Outlands and two new starting areas on top of that. I've yet to "complete" the game and there's even more coming.
Bottom line, there are so many ways of getting to 60, enjoying yourself at 60, getting ahead at 60, and moving on from 60, it's just never ending.
Oh, yeah: Ding. :)
P.S. How do people have 5 or more level 60 characters? Dear lord, how much time does that take?! Ask my wife, and she'll tell you, I play a lot. Msaker's time played to 60 was 18 days. ... The enjoyment is as much in the departute, and the journey, as the arrival and plans for more.