For Alliance it's Lok'Modan, Redridge, Darkshore, Felwood, Stranglethorn (both parts), Plaguelands. Somewhere between 3 - 3.5 of these get you to 60 in like a 16 hours /played, if you queue for dungeons at the same time. I recommend dropping everything at 45 and going to Darkshore-Felwood if you didn't do them yet - they are literally the fastest levelling zones in the game right now, maybe only trumped by Silverpine.
Some quests in my guide are marked as "SKIP" and colored in red. These quests are simply either too hard to solo or not worth the XP/time and are skipped. My guide will only list SKIPPED quests if the quest is a direct follow up after completing a quest, not one that you have to click the NPC again to get it. If you hover over the skipped quests, it will give info on why it is skipped in the guide (unless that info is already listed directly in the guide text).
As the battle for Darkshore begins, both the Alliance and Horde are blindsided by a new development: High Overlord Saurfang, who had been defeated and captured in the Battle of Lordearon, has suddenly escaped Alliance captivity and is on the run. Sylvanas sends Horde Champions to track Saurfang down, ostensibly to extract him. However, it quickly becomes apparent that the search party is in fact an assassination squad, as Sylvanas suspects Saurfang of colluding with the Alliance in an attempt to dethrone her. While some Horde champions choose to side with Saurfang and help him escape the assassins, other champions remain loyal to Sylvanas and report Saurfang's and the dissenting champions' treachery to her.
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.
Island Expeditions are three-man scenarios that pit the team against three enemies using what Blizzard calls “advanced A.I.” That means the enemies will act more like players, pursuing goals proactively and filling class roles. The expeditions take inspiration from action RPGs, with randomized areas that mix up the experience each time. Players’ main goal will be obtaining resources more quickly than their foes, and expeditions should last 15 to 20 minutes. While primarily meant for PvE, there is a PvP mode that replaces the opposing A.I. with teams from the enemy faction.
This kind of storytelling comes with problems, ones that players have been facing since the early days of the silent video game protagonist. Players in World of Warcraft have so much agency and choice when it comes to their own characters and how they build them. But despite their importance to the world itself, they can do nothing to change its story.
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.
Players who were around during Mists of Pandaria might recall a dungeon mode called Scenarios, which involved teams of three players instead of the traditional five. Island Expeditions bring a similar feel, with groups being tasked with plundering treasure off various islands. Your team faces off against other players or AI-controlled characters from the opposing faction and whoever can collect the most treasure, or "Azerite," wins.
The Alliance are able to unlock the void elves (exiled blood elves who can tap into shadow magic, trained by Alleria Windrunner after her experiences on Argus), Lightforged draenei (draenei members of the Army of the Light who fought the Legion on Argus), Dark Iron dwarves (fire-blooded cousins of the in-game dwarves of Ironforge), and Kul Tiran humans (larger, more heavyset versions of the in-game humans of Stormwind).
Update: The reason for less experience from gathering is due to how Blizzard revamped professions and broke them down by expansion. In order to get full exp from gathering you'll simply need to find a profession trainer for the relevant expansion. (WoD you just mine or herb the first one ypu come across and the game gives you a scroll for learning WoD gathering).
Dark Iron dwarf - "Known for their fiery tempers and fierce determination, Dark Iron dwarves have a turbulent history with the other clans. A failed coup in Ironforge ignited the War of the Three Hammers, and many of the Dark Iron once fought in the service of Ragnaros the Firelord. Though one faction is pledged to Queen-Regent Moira Thaurissan, others refuse to stand alongside their kin. The Alliance seeks a united Dark Iron clan to harness the power of Azerite and aid their struggle against the Horde."
Get exalted reputation with every faction you can. This relates to the previous two pretty directly. Gaining reputation with most of the factions of Kul Tiras and Zandalar will allow them to sell you high-level gear, while gaining reputation with the Champions of Azeroth faction will grant you levels for your Heart of Azeroth, the neck piece where all of your AP is stored.
I'm very, very interested in a guide that takes into the following: 1) Dungeon finder; and 2) Heirloom items. I've never helped with a guide before, but would be open to help in collaborating on the project. With the leveling guides I've used (primarily this one) I, too, find that I level at a rate that throws the pace of the guide way off (not its fault at all, I can't say enough good stuff about the guide) to the point that I get frustrated and just queue up for dungeons.
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You can also kick up your feet and watch your way through World of Warcraft’s story via Blizzard’s incredible cinematics—one of the company’s cornerstones. Sure, you’ll be spoiling yourself for parts of the game you have yet to uncover, and you might not know the importance of the various characters you’re watching, but you’ll at least get a pretty good sense of how World of Warcraft operates. Also, did we mention that Blizzard’s cinematics are gorgeous? We’d rather watch these than the Warcraft movie, that’s for sure.
XP Potions: The Elixir of Rapid Mind and Elixir of Ancient Knowledge no longer drop. They can be bought on the AH still but are way to expensive for it to be worth it. The Excess Potion of Accelerated learning is available from your garrison quartermaster but only works for level 91 to 99. As of Patch 8.1 you can also buy the 10% XP Potion Draught of Ten Lands.