“That’s the impetus behind everything, is to just make sure that players feel like things that they do in the game will have great consequences or great victories or whatever it’s going to be, right? Ultimately, our job is to create a world and environment and mechanics that support all that stuff. And however the players choose to make their choices is really up to them.”
Some people have made arguments that quest blues can sometimes be more powerful than heirlooms, especially with sockets. I'm not convinced. The simple fact that you never have to even look at quest rewards will save a non-insignificant amount of time over the course of leveling. Also of consideration is the value of enchanted gear never having to be re-enchanted.
The best way to collect AP is through world quests, a system that allows players to complete menial tasks to earn moderate rewards. A finite amount of AP spawns on the map through these quests — generally at least 2,000 a day. I’ve likely done most of these quests close to 20 times in the course of preparing my various characters in the 45 days since the expansion launched. In some cases, I’ve replayed them as many as 50 times.
For reference, my previous best time abusing Method-0 in 7.3.5 was 32.4 hours(as show in the old thread). A difference of just over 8 hours; which isn't all that bad, all things considered. And I believe I made several errors along the way, which could be cleaned up in future runs. I believe that that gap could be significantly closed by using a monk's bonus, but I hate playing monk...so...yeah. YMMV