Hearthing and You
Every player in the World of Warcraft has a hearth stone. Yet many players never think twice about their hearth stone or it's bind location. Many don't even learn about it until they are well into leveling towards 70. Your hearth stone is a critical piece of gear that you can use to make your gaming experience much easier and faster, yet it is rarely discussed.
This guide is meant to help by pointing out some great bind locations as you level. It also points out some of the things you should think about when considering changing your bind location.
What Is a Hearth Stone and Bind Location?
Let's start with the very basics first. Many low level players may not even realize what a hearth stone or bind location is. These are critical terms in the game, but are often skipped over in a players rush to explore Azeroth.
Hearth Stone - A hearth stone is an item that you can receive from any innkeeper in the game. It takes up a single slot in your inventory and when you use it (right click on it) it teleports you back to the last inn that you set as your bind location. Once used it has a 1 hour cooldown before it can be used again.
Bind Location - This is the inn that your hearth stone will return you too. To set a bind location you just talk to the innkeeper and ask to make the inn your new home. You can change your bind location whenever you want and as often as you want.
That's all there really is to it. Simple right? Now comes the complicated part, where you should bind, for when and why. For the most part this depends what level you are, so I have broken this down by level ranges. Low level bind locations talk about where you are best binding while doing low level content (levels 1-40), Mid level bind locations talk about the levels just before entering the Outlands (levels 40-60), and High level bind locations are after you enter the Outlands (levels 60-70).
Low Level Bind Locations
At low levels the you have two main places that you will want to bind. They are as follows:
- Bind at the inn in the zone you are questing in. This makes getting back and forth to town much easier and faster. This is very important pre-40 since you have to run everywhere, which takes forever. Any time you can save is great. It also allows you to go on the quests like delivery quests, that have you travel far from your quest center, and still get back easily.
- Your other option is to bind at a capital city for easy access to trainers, the auction house, bank and more. I would suggest that this is not as good an idea as binding where you are leveling. The reasoning is that at low levels you should focus on just two things: leveling and getting gold for your mount. Any time you are near an auction house is an invitation to spend you hard earned gold on items that will quickly be replaced. Deal with having bad gear, don't upgrade it unless it's a drop or quest reward. Your whole mission from 1-40 should be to get to 40 with enough gold to buy your mount and riding skill.
Mid Level Bind Locations
Your middle levels start a little while after you get your mount. While you can buy it at level 40, many players do not gain access to one until the mid 40's. Once you gain a mount you are considered a mid level player. At your middle levels, binding in the area you are questing continues to be an excellent idea, however due to now having a mount and faster travel, it is not as critical.
So while you can continue to bind in the zone you are questing, I have two better places.
- A great place to bind to now is the inns that have access to both continents easily. This is because many more of your quests will have you bouncing around between zones and continents. For Alliance this would mean Theramore or Menethil Harbor, while for Horde it could be The Undercity, Orgrimmar, Booty Bay or the Crossroads.
- The other place to bind is the capital city of your faction that offers easiest access to the zones you are leveling in. This allows you easy access to your bank, trainers and the auction house.
High Level Bind Locations
Once you enter the Outlands at roughly level 60, more likely 58, there really is only two possible hearth locations.
The first is whichever town you are questing nearest. This continues with the logic laid out above that the faster you can get to town and turn in quests the better. You then get to race out and start with your new quests faster as you saved half the trip.
The second option is likely the most common hearth spot in all of WoW, and that is the faction inns in Shattrath. Binding in Shattrath makes an enormous amount of sense for any player that is in the Outlands, as soon as you stop questing in one specific area or reach level 70. It has a bank there, repair spots, vendors, centrally located flight points to all other Outland zones and most importantly, portals to all the capital cities in Azeroth. If there is anywhere you need to go, you can get there from Shattrath.
There are some considerations that can be made for other bind points, but in general the rules above should be your guide. Exceptions could be:
- The character is strictly for watching the auction house and making deals. They should then be bound in Orgrimmar or Ironforge to save trips to other areas,
- The character is just working on battlegrounds and is buying a lot of gear as soon as possible. You could then bind in Orgrimmar or Stormwind so that you are close to the honor vendor.
- The character is just working on a certain reputation or raid instance. You could leave them bound near that instance or the area for rep. The same holds true for gatherers or other specialist characters.
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