The power of items depends on their item level, which you can see on the item's tooltip; the higher the level, the better an item will be. However, the Warforging and Titanforging system - introduced in the Warlords of Draenor expansion - means that almost any item of Uncommon, Rare or Epic quality has a chance to ‘forge' to higher than its base item level: Warforging is up to +15, Titanforging is up to +45.
The leveling guides on my site are essentially speed leveling guides. My leveling guides are the same guides I use myself to speedrun to 60 on new servers to get 60 server first. I list many occasions where I tell the player to "die on purpose" to go faster. I tell the player to skip certain quests, because some quests are just not worth the time/XP. I list tricks and shortcuts to go faster so you can reach level 60 much quicker. I am still constantly going through them over and over again perfecting the guides to make them faster and easier to follow. For the most part, the guide can be followed without the need from other player's help, as the whole guide was made from a solo run anyways. Although I do list quests that can optionally be done if you have a group.
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“For us as game developers and makers of the game, what we want to do is we want to create an environment where players feel like they have the choice to do something meaningful and impactful in the game,” said Cobo. “Ultimately where that choice leads them — is it the right choice? Is the wrong choice? I don’t know — but that’s the whole point, right?
As always, I will monitor and update this guide as new information comes in. If I've gotten anything glaringly and completely wrong, just tell me with as much data as possible. The idea is to find the fastest possible leveling method, NOT to argue about how good or bad individuals are. If you have hard data, post it! If you have an idea, let the thread know so we can test it!
But compare that with BfA's lackluster prepatch. Last week, players' uber-powerful Artifact weapons, which they had spent the entire Legion expansion building up, abruptly burnt out with no in-game explanation, no storyline, no quest, no Dad jokes from Khadgar, just a line of text on the Artifact screen saying they had been sacrificed to help stop the destruction of the world--part of the ending quests for Legion.
The reason is because higher rank recipes stay orange longer, so you get guaranteed skill points longer. The rank 2 of this recipe turns yellow at 135, while the rank 3 is orange up to 145. The rank 3 also cost fewer materials, so you will save a lot of materials by getting the rank 3. You could actually level to 150 with the rank 2 recipe, but it will be green for the last 8 points, so you will have to spend a lot of extra materials, and there is no reason to rush 150, so I recommend to wait until you get the rank 3.
Dugi’s leveling guide is the leveling addon I’ve always used to level as fast as possible. It will show you where to go and what to do in-game, speeding up the leveling process. This is optional though, as the game already does a pretty good job at showing you where to go at all times. The addon does, however, come with a couple of other nice features and perks.