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.
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.
This level range opens a variety of zones from the Cataclysm expansion, which are spread across the game’s original continents, but it’s more efficient to head to the continent of Pandaria. You can spend the entirety of this level range exploring its uniquely themed zones and quests. The Jade Forest, Valley of the Four Winds, and Kun-Lai Summit are our picks, but all the zones are worth checking out.
I like his recommendations 2 level 1-20 zones to get to 20, then do all the 2nd zones since they are designed for walking (Horde: Northern Barrens, Silverpine Forest, Ghostlands, Azshara, & Hillsbrad Foothills if you need a little more. Alliance: Westfall, Loch Modan, Darkshore, Bloodmyst Isle, and if you need a little more Redridge Mtns, or Duskwood). Don't even bother with the higher level areas, too spread out. Finishing up a Monk now and I had done all these zones before the update, the running between quest and the 50% experience cap is driving me crazy.
Players’ relationships with the NPCs around them have been hit-and-miss over the years. One of the original issues with Thrall, the Horde’s original Warchief, is that players began to refer to him as “green Jesus,” because of how infinitely powerful and infallible he was. But he’s been gone since the Warlord of Draenor expansion, and with the death of Varian Wrynn and Vol’Jin at the start of Legion, the old guard hasn’t been there to guide players the same way as it used to be.