One day out of no where, Mancow disappeared, and this character named Joana started to get first to 60 on every brand new server, and Mancow was nowhere to be seen. It wasn't until the second time Joana hit 60 on the new servers that Joana said this:
"For fun I wanted to try a female character and I randomly named her Joana. But yes I am also Mancow, I will keep using Mancow if I am a male character and Joana if I am a female character". -Joana/Mancow
So it was the same player all along. Ever since then, the male character Mancow never made any more speed runs through WoW, but Joana kept on going with 4 more additional servers, continuing to beat everyone to 60 by far.
It was then at that point that everyone was praising to Joana to tell everyone his leveling secrets. To his large response about that, he decided to record the next run he would do on the next new server. And that he did, he recorded his ENTIRE 1-60 speed run on the Jubei'Thos realm, which is technically an Australian server. But Joana said it didn't matter to him what region the server played on was. He then edited the entire video speeding up boring parts, and making it more enjoyable and educational to watch.
He sold his Horde leveling guide initially on eBay. People were buying it like crazy. It also included a text leveling guide booklet that he physically mailed to his buyers. So he made a full blown horde leveling guide that was actually VERY useful. His leveling secrets were all down in detail and people started using his techniques to get similar leveling speed results.
Since it is a paid guide, I cannot put it up here on this website for copyright reasons, so if you want it you can always buy it. He still updates it till this day, and has the burning crusade, WoTLK, Cataclysm, and MoP leveling updates as well. It is still the best leveling guide out there in my opinion.
Then in the month of March of 2006 Blizzard released a contest to the public (anyone who wanted to participate can), the contest was a leveling contest. First one to level 50 wins, and there was also additional prizes for the top ten. When the server started, Joana appeared in there and people pretty much knew he was going to win. And yes he did win, take a look at a picture of the top 39 people:
Leveling Contest: First to
As you can see Joana smoked everyone, although Tacitus did put up a decent fight, it wasn't enough to pass Joana up. It was then at this point that Joana became well-known as the fastest leveler in World of Warcraft. And his eBay sales started to skyrocket because of the contest he won.
It wasn't until 6 months after that, that he stopped selling it on ebay and sold his leveling guide through his own website, which is: http://www.joanasworld.com/
And his other official website contains all kinds of information about his speed runs and screenshots from his speed runs as well.
Joana's Horde Leveling Guide was the first leveling guide to hit the market. Since then more kept popping up, but still no where near the efficiency of Joana's. A lot of people simply tried to rewrite Joana's guide and sell it. Joana has the fastest horde leveling routes in the world that nobody can currently match.
Here is a short video trailer for his 1-60 speed run he recorded:
I am fortunate to have this interview from Joana:
BlizzardGuides: What are your name, age and job?
Joana (FuriousPaul): My real name is Paul.
My official gamer name is Furious Paul, but I used Joana/Mancow in WoW for comedic
purposes. I was born
in the year 1980, live in the United States, and selling my guide
enabled me to quit my day job (at least for now) and start my new
career of Internet Marketing.
Joana (FuriousPaul): I think by far it is the best MMO you can play right now. Blizzard takes all their games seriously and I think they did an excellent job with WoW.
BlizzardGuides: How many hours do you sleep per day while evolving a character?
Joana (FuriousPaul): When I’m racing on new servers, I sleep about 4-6 hours per day, sometimes I can sleep as little as 3 hours in a day. And no I do not drink coffee, I just let my mind produce adrenaline naturally while I'm leveling to keep me awake.
BlizzardGuides: How do you sleep at night during your speed runs?
Joana (FuriousPaul): This is a good question! Like I said my sleep time is only 3-6 hours a night for 8-15 nights in a row. The first couple of nights after a speed run starts I generally do not sleep very well. I toss and turn a lot because I'm thinking about getting back there and playing ASAP. But I know I need to sleep as it dramatically improves my alertness throughout the day, so I definitely make sure I get some sleep every day. After the first couple of nights are over I then start sleeping like a baby every day. In fact the sleep quality during most of my speed runs (after the first few days) are some of the best sleep I ever had. Your body compensates by sleeping more intensely when you deprive yourself of sleep, something I only ever experienced during those speed runs. This made me think that people could probably get away with much less sleep than they realize.
My sleeps were always on a daily schedule, hardly any napping. I scheduled myself to go to sleep at a certain time and wake up when I naturally wanted to (no alarm clock). I would then start playing again.
BlizzardGuides: How was your lifestyle during your speed run marathons? Do you wake up and brush your teeth before you start playing?
Joana (FuriousPaul): I usually only spend an average of one hour a day to do everything else I needed to do. I usually only ate once a day. I also made sure every other day I woke up and do a 20 minute intense cardio workout. This really gets the blood flowing to increase alertness dramatically for days after. This does take up some time but I think it is well worth it. This is one of my secrets to sitting through these extremely long marathons healthfully. No coffee or drugs, just healthy food and water. Cardio is my drug. And you don't wanna over eat or it will bog you down. Stay away from complex carbs, as that can make you drowsy for hours.
BlizzardGuides: How difficult was it to record the long 4 day 20 hour video, must have been hard to do back in 2006?
Indeed, my 1-60 speedrun was recorded back in 2006 when PCs were so slow
compared to today. 4:3 was still the mostly used aspect ratio, CRT monitors had
low resolutions, small hard drives that could barely fit huge FRAPS videos.
I know it's only 4:3 with 512x384 resolution, but to record a 117 hour video in
those specs back in 2006 was an amazing accomplishment. This was considered a
really good video recording job for what I had to do, and it was challenging to
pull it off. I had 2 PCs going, the one I was gaming on, and the other one was
compressing FRAPS's raw video files, which were huge. I needed a ton of CPU
power, and needed top of the line hard drives to fit all the video files in. I
was only able to record a max of 6 hours of gameplay before my hard drive was
completely full. So I was constantly transferring raw video files from my gaming
PC to my video compression PC all day long while doing the speedrun. I
got a good system down and got the job done.
The main purpose of my guide is
to not only show horde (and now alliance) players how to level really fast and
efficient, but also to let them have fun while they are doing it. My
guide is not some boring grind, I have now done 6 speed runs from
1-60, and I can tell you I would have never done it that many times
if it wasn’t as fun for me. My guide has players questing rather
than grinding, and jumping around from zone to zone instead of
grinding in one zone for countless hours, which reduces boredom
Joana (FuriousPaul): First off, I enjoy every game Blizzard makes, I will play them no matter what, and I tend to master them to the best of my abilities. I also enjoy speed running through games in general. Put the two together and you have the result of the record time I have achieved through World of Warcraft. The thought of making money from what I was doing did not cross my mind until my 5th speed run, I realized so many people want to learn how to level as fast as me, and this user base was extremely huge (13+ million people), so that motivated me to actually spend months working to make a guide for everyone. I didn’t realize it would take me as far as where I am today.
BlizzardGuides: How did you have time to do all these speed runs? Don't you have a job elsewhere or something?
Joana (FuriousPaul): At the time I was a seasonal landscaper. I had every winter completely off to do whatever I wanted (November - April). And I did all my speed run marathons during those months.
BlizzardGuides: How long have you been into gaming?
I started playing video games at
the age of 2. The first game I played was this arcade game
called Ice Cold Beer. I got so good at it I was beating adults
at the age of 2! I then later played all kinds of PC games
such as: Save the Lemmings, Wolfenstien 3d, Doom, Quake,
Warcraft 2, Diablo, just to name a few. I also played many NES,
SNES, and genesis console games back in the day. You can see more of
my gaming history
I think it was more random than
anything. I started playing WoW with an Undead Warlock and then
started playing on new servers as they came out. I just stuck with
horde mainly (no particular reason), with the goal in mind of
finding the fastest way to level from 1-60. I do have an Alliance guide
out now that I think people will like a lot.
It takes three main things: Time,
Experience, and Dedication. When I race myself to the end level on new
servers I play about 14-17 hours per day, and obviously the more
time you put into it the faster you can beat the game. Experience is
indicated by the fact that I have done this over and over again
perfecting myself with each attempt through practice (a very
important aspect in the world of speed running). And dedication is just
something you have, or don’t have, and well, I have it :) I
think it has to do with my extreme passion for wanting to speed run
through one of the most beautiful games ever made.
Everyone can have different
opinions on this, but this is how I enjoy playing WoW for the time
being. I enjoy long competitive marathons (it don’t matter what type
of game it may be), and WoW enables me to do just that. I have
actually had a LOT of fun speed running through this game.
I will simply keep playing the character until a new server comes
out again. New servers are like magnets to me, It just feels like I
have to go to them and start fresh again, heh. So my speed
level running mindset always won over playing end game stuff for me.
Don't get me wrong I did play the end game dungeons a LOT and
enjoyed them a LOT as well.
Just starting to play WoW?
I would say your first time through the game, don’t rush yourself,
take it easy, try the Dungeons (Instances), meet new people and team
up with them and basically just have
fun. I still recommend using my guide to
let you know where to do all the quests at and what zones you should
be at for your particular level.
What's Joana (FuriousPaul) doing now you may ask? You can find out on his official website here.
World of Warcraft