The last time I picked up a pure melee class to level it was my gnome rogue, but that was roughly four years ago. It seems that during this time I forgot some of the basic frustrations one has a melee class, the first being the total lack of healing spells. I found myself sitting down for a bite much more than I was planning on and was forced to take up first aide to make up some of the time lost eating. As a healer I never touched a bandage, but as a warrior I cannot see how you could live without it. First aide is a must for all new warriors or any other non healing class.
The second frustration I forgot about was runners. No longer could I sit back and nuke away, I had to take chase and pray for their quick death before the mob made their way back to their friends. After a few miscues I learned to use hamstring of shield bash to slow mobs down. In a few hours time it had become second nature for me to hamstring or shield bash anything on two legs just in case. Once I came to accept the weaknesses of the melee, I started the grind to 20. I will not bore you with what to do from levels 1 to 10. Just go out, get quest, kill things and pick up a shield that should drop in the first 5 minutes of your play time. From levels 1 to 20, shields are good to have equipped.
Leveling 10 to 20 was made easier due to being the beneficiary of my well to do main. The first thing I recommend, if possible, is the badge/shard shoulders that grant 10% exp bonus. Not only will they grow with you and be the best in slot item you will have, the 10% will visibly speed up leveling. When purchasing these keep in mind that you will want to get the plate shoulders even though you cannot wear plate yet. Once these shoulders are in the hands of your alt, the armor type will scale down to mail, allowing you to equip them right away.
As for leveling specs, I contemplated all three tress (Arms, Fury and Protection). I decided against arms since I did not have a good two hander available to me so I gave both Prot and Fury a try.
First I tried Fury. I had no idea how to spend my points but seemed to be doing ok. Things were dying fast and my rage seemed to be at an ok level, I stayed Fury till I was 17 then moved to Prot once I got a blue shield out of WC.
The change to Prot was ok. The survivability was good, but I was killing slower, even with a beefed up revenge, so after 30 minutes I went back to Fury.
This time I did some research and hit tankspot for leveling guides. I took their Fury guide and started distributing the points into Cruelty, Unbridled Wrath and Commanding presence. From this, I continued on leveling to 20 and did very well.
The path from 1 to 20 isn’t that difficult and there is still no real “perfect” way to get there, but once you hit 20 the world opens up a bit and there will be more to start looking at talent wise. The next Project Panzer will dig deeper into the Fury tree, look at duel wield vs. sword and board and little tips on leveling that make life just a little easier on your path to tankdom.