It’s a good thing that the previous expansion, Legion, was the best in the game’s history because Battle for Azeroth is coasting on its success. The major class redesigns that happened then remain in effect (though some are a little worse, and some a little better), and the combination of World Quests and Mythic+ dungeons means there’s always something to do, no matter your skill level or how long you can play.
If you’ve seen or heard people getting excited for World of Warcraft because it’s “getting back to its roots,” thanks to a renewed focus on the shared hatred between the game’s two major factions—Horde and Alliance—in its new Battle for Azeroth expansion, maybe you’re tempted to sign up and give the game a whirl. Or, if you haven’t played in years, perhaps you’re curious to see what’s changed.
At 96 the standard wisdom is to immediately drop what you're doing and proceed to Spires of Arak and do the quests to unlock the Inn, granting a further 20% experience bonus while in that zone. You'll want to do that eventually anyway, but I'm not sure it outweighs the quest experience from Gorgrond. However, if you decided to go to Spires immediately at 96, restrict yourself only to bonus objectives and again leave Treasures until you're 100+. Make certain that when you being the quests to unlock the inn, you speak with the quest NPC to also learn Archaeology, since it's required to collect several of the treasures in Spires.
The vanilla WoW Horde leveling guide you see on this site was originally made back in 2006 by Joana (AKA Mancow, or FuriousPaul). The guides have been tweaked many times over the years to make things "faster". The leveling guides were made because of all the messages I got from people asking me how I was able to level up so quickly on new realms. I was first to level 60 on 7 different realms (3 with Mancow and 4 with Joana), even winning Blizzard's "First to Level 50" contest they held back in 2006.
Dugi and Zygor both had their guides updated before Mist of Pandaria was released and both guides are kept updated with all the patches and changes to the game. Dugi is way faster with updates and has a lot more. Zygor seems to hold out and then do a big update. With new content such as guides etc, Dugi is definitely leading the way with Zygor usually many months behind. Zygor now offers the same number of guides as Dugi but it took them a long time to catch up.
Enchants. I honestly wasn't 100% certain which enchants were best, since scaling has screwed up a lot of things. IMO, just pick the enchant for each armor slot that has the highest bonus without level restrictions. The exception is that you'll definitely want Mark of the Hidden Satyr for your neck piece, and probably Elemental Force for your weapon. Both of these proc consistently and strongly across all levels.
Just before Battle for Azeroth goes live, you will want to log all of your characters out in the zone of Silithus so that you can acquire the quest to talk to Magni and obtain your Heart of Azeroth (refer to our Heart of Azeroth guide for more information about this item). This is the new artifact-type of piece of equipment that you will use for all of the Battle for Azeroth expansion. Once you acquire your permanent neck slot piece of equipment, get back to Stormwind or Orgrimmar to begin your scenario that leads into the introductory areas of Kul Tiras and Zandalar.
Let’s start with the basics. At its core, World of Warcraft is a saga that centers on two warring factions: the aforementioned Horde and Alliance. They’ve been fighting each other since the days of MS-DOS, locked a never-ending war—save for those rare moments where they attempt to team up to counter a greater threat—that has taken them across continents, into space, and through time.
In addition, you'll want to pick up leg and shoulder enchants and have them in your bags. These enchants have a level requirement of 80/85, but can't be placed on items above iLVL 136. You can get around this by having a level 85-100 character apply the enchant before mailing it to the character you're leveling, thus getting use of the enchants before level 85. I've personally confirmed that this works.
War Mode, which allows players on PvE realms to turn on PvP combat and PvP realm players to turn it off, launched--offering a fairly measly 10% extra experience to leveling players for the privilege of getting ganked by max-level characters, or 10% increased world quest rewards for level-capped characters. For many players, that's not much an enticement.
Each of those modes existed long before this latest expansion; raiding is a basic concept in MMOs, and Mythic+ was added in World of Warcraft’s last expansion. The problems with Battle for Azeroth’s endgame come from the systems it adds, which most often artificially gate progress where most of the fun can be found. If raids and Mythic+ are the carrot, we’re about to talk about the stick.
Some dungeons are also much better than other. Some take a long time to finish and some are quick. Some have few quests and others have many. The ideal dungeons have a lot of quests and are quick to finish. If you are sent to a long dungeon that you have already completed, you can leave but you won’t be able to enter a new dungeon in 30 minutes. Dungeons like the Stockade are super quick, so it will still be good XP if you are sent here more than once.
I would totally recommend using Zygor's if you are leveling alts or don't care about the quests you're doing, because it offers a huge leveling advantage in terms of streamlining what you do. Just let the arrow tell you what to do and you never have to think about where you're going or what you're doing. When I use this addon (and the leveling guides) I definitely understand why he charges for it.
Both guides have a different look. Many players choose the Zygor guide because of the way it looks, with it’s modern, clean appearance. Zygor has improved it, so its easier to navigate. Dugi Guides interface blends into the game more, as it looks more like something you would find within World of Warcraft. It has icons down the right hand side for selecting your guides and is really easy to navigate.
Allied races are variants of existing races. The Void Elves are a version of Night Elves, while the Highmount Tauren are, you guessed it, a version of the Tauren. Four allied races are already in the game before launch and two more, the Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag’har Orcs, were added after Battle for Azeroth launched. Each Allied Race has its own racial abilities. You can also unlock a heritage armor set by leveling any Allied Race to the level cap.
These stat priorities help to get a rough idea of what gear to go for, but the most important thing to get as soon as possible is your stat weights. Stat weights help you zero in on which stat is the most effective at increasing your healing. However, healers have no grand simulator, as there are a lot more variables that can affect your overall performance than there are for DPS specs. In light of that, healers use fight analysis tools like WoWAnalyzer and the Teachings of the Red Crane spreadsheet that takes logs from WarcraftLogs and gives you accurate weights that would improve your output.
101+ At this point you'll start taking a penalty on quest/bonus objective experience for every level past 100. Treasures, however, remain worth their full value all the way through level 105, at which point they'll be worth something like 15% less, and then another 15% more when you ding 106. I recommend that you stop questing/gathering entirely, and collect all the treasures you can stomach, only avoiding any annoying to reach ones inside caves or behind elites/rares(where scaling does bizarro things).
I've used WoW-Pro for years and in WoD, Legion and now BfA it's been awesome for just going on auto-pilot and working your way through a zone. It has 3 levels of depth you can set, so you can set it to just do 1) the main story, main points of interest and rare mobs and treasure that aren't far off the beaten path; 2) every quest with a more thorough dive into the side stuff; 3) absolutely everything.
Elixirs serve the same purpose as Flasks, but the buff expires if you die. You'll only use these between 1-70, generally speaking, until you can start buying Flasks which persist through death. Try not to die, and carry extras just in case. If you can't find an Elixir with the stat you want, look under scrolls, since they count as battle or guardian buffs as well.
Island expeditions require groups of three players to venture to islands with randomly spawned enemies and piles of AP. The island expedition ends once they collect a certain amount of AP, and they are granted about 300 AP as a reward — unfortunately, players don’t get any of the between 6,000 and 12,000 AP they collect during the expedition. These missions can take anywhere from three to 20 minutes, and never once offer any real challenge or depth.
I highly recommend actually staying in the 20-60 range zones until you ding 62. The reason for this is that despite getting a slight penalty in experience for being over-level, the advantage of having flight will more than offset this. That, and WOTLK and TBC zones are the slowest part of the leveling process. Minimizing your time there as much as possible is worthwhile.
Warlocks have received new spell effects; all the other classes received new effects in Legion. Male orcs are now able to toggle between the initial hunched posture and standing upright by using a barbershop, but the other races are not able to toggle between two postures. There are new druid forms for the allied races, i.e. a Zandalari troll forms are all dinosaur-based, while the Kul Tiran humans take forms made of wood and bone as their teachings come from the Drust people who populated the land before them rather than the Cenarion Circle.
Vol’Dun is the hardest and most tedious of the Horde Zones in Battle for Azeroth. It’s also probably the one that makes the most sense. Each sections of quests leads directly to the one you should do next. For all of these reasons it’s going to be best to get this one done early. Thanks to any legendary items you might have collected in Legion, you’ll be strongest in the leveling process before 115 and weaker after — because that’s when the legendary effects stop working.
The expansion allows players to level up to level 120, an increase from the level cap of 110 in the previous expansion Legion. Initially, there will be ten dungeons included with 8.0 with Mythic Plus versions of the dungeons and the first raid, Uldir, being available soon after the game's release. Following the beginning of preorders and the release of four allied races in January 2018, the number of character slots per server was raised from 12 to 16; with the launch of the expansion in August, it was raised to 18, to make room for the two additional races unlocked with initial content. The number of available bag slots in the player's backpack, which has been fixed at 16 slots since the game's release in 2004, will also receive an increase if an authenticator is attached to an account.
Just like player item levels, the game's professions have become pretty bloated over time. Blizzard has made some updates to the leveling process before but Battle for Azeroth features a skill squish that should smooth things out considerably. Instead of having to level hundreds of points before you can start crafting Battle for Azeroth items, each expansion will have its own separate skill tier. In other words, you can start crafting Battle for Azeroth content right away, while the gear and items from other expansions will each feature their own separate counters. Your first Battle for Azeroth item will put you at 1/150 on the counter for the new expansion, no more grinding needed.
While leveling, try to make use of the new Battle of Azeroth experience gem, Insightful Rubellite, which gives you +5% experience. Equipping one of these requires a socket in your gear, so try to hold on to a piece of Legion gear with a socket or acquire one of the Legion Legendary rings since every class has one. Each of the rings includes a socket. You can acquire one of these rings rather easily by doing World Quests in Legion zones and acquiring 1,000 Wakening Essences that can be used to purchase a legendary ring in the Legion version of Dalaran.
NOTE: It is VERY important to not vendor any equipment you pick up. You will be deconstructing all of your gear for resources that will help you in the Warfronts to be fought! Deconstructing, or scrapping, your gear will be done using the Scrap-o-Matic 1000 if you are Alliance and the Shred-Master Mk1 if you are Horde. This works the same as the way the Obliterum Forge worked in Legion. The scrapping feature can be used on all Battle for Azeroth equipment found, not just craftable equipment, so save everything you acquire for the scrapper! Before we get started, keep in mind some of the tips below that can speed up your leveling process!
Leveling used to be a treat in WoW. New, unique abilities drove you forward and made getting past the horrible grind worth it to some extent. Now it just feels like everything is set to grind. More than it used to be. Once it was tolerable, rewarding even, but now you grind to unlock an allied race through reputations barely connected to most of these races, only to have to level up that character to get their unique armor set (compelling you to not just boost your character and instead suffer through the slog of ANOTHER group of alts), then you get back to current content and grind some more with a random chance to drop the item you need to get your ilvl up to finally enjoy the single warfront available (as I write this).
Heirlooms can certainly be used with our guides! You may find yourself getting ahead of the guide. If you start doing gray quests, just skip ahead to a later zone. The guide is just that - a *GUIDE* not a rule, as many people seem to think. Feel free to skip parts! Watch out for quest chains, though, especially in the last part of the 50-60 section. Hopefully we'll have some awesome features in our new addon that will make it easier to skip around!
There are other in-game guides out there such as Xcelerated, but it doesn’t even come close to what Dugi and Zygor offer. Although I’m obviously a fan of Dugi Guides, I have given a fair side by side comparison of each guide, based on facts and what is offered by each. I’ve included many screenshots to give you an idea of how each guide looks and works within the game. I will do my best to keep this as up to date as possible, with price changes, guide updates etc as I know how annoying it is reading outdated reviews.
Nightborne - "Isolated behind a protective barrier for 10,000 years, the elves of Suramar grew increasingly dependent upon the arcane magic of the Nightwell. To protect this font of power, the leaders of the Nightborne struck a bargain with the Burning Legion that plunged their kingdom into civil war. After fighting for freedom from their demonic masters, the Nightborne seek allies in the Horde to help them reclaim their place in the world."
Anyway both got to 110 at around 50h played. I messed up with my Pal by going to Legion once I hit 100 instead of finishing treasures and bonuses in WoD. All in all, if I picked the best zones and was only trying to level as fast as I could, I would probably could have done it in roughly 40h. Note that it would have a been A LOT faster with a Monk as both Ret and Rogues don't really have a decent AoE until 40+ (45 for Ret and 63 for Rogue I believe). The daily also helps a lot. I know that leveling my Monk before the pre-patch was insanely fast. Might be slower with the changes to FoF, however.