-Gameplay- Gameplay has largely been stripped down to be a shell of its former self. This trimming has been going on for several expansions, but now it's even worse. Classes only have so many buttons which has resulted in very little skill involved in PvE (even PvP is a faceroll for most melee, lacking any sort of depth and decision-making as it's pretty clear what buttons to press in any given situation) and it's become more of a gear check. This expansion gave zero new abilities to classes, only took them away.
If you’re a returning player, consider paying for a month’s worth of playing time—a mere $15—and using the game’s newer Class Trials to see if you still have that spark for higher-level play. While you can also go the “Starter Edition” route for a free, limited romp through Azeroth, you might need a little more than the newbie zones to help you decide whether you want to play through the game’s latest expansion.
The Hearthstone has a cooldown of 30 minutes, but there’s a guild perk called Hasty Hearth that shaves the time by half, giving you a strong incentive to join a guild. Yes, even if it’s some random guild that invites you without warning. It may feel odd to join people you don’t know, but if they have Hasty Hearth (and most guilds do), joining can save you a lot of legwork.
Anyway, there are no more shortcuts. There are no more "Tricks". It's just straight questing now since Blizzard nerfed other methods of leveling. You can still do dungeon spam, it just won't be as fast. You can still do BGs, it just won't be as fast. Just about the only alternative way to level that rivals questing is Pet Battles(which makes ZERO sense).
This includes the “Tides of Vengeance” campaign missions, which continue the War campaign introduced when the expansion launched. Two new island expeditions called Jorundall and Havenswood were also added. Weekly quests also require less Azerite than they did in the past, Mythic and player-versus-player islands award more Artifact power, and new vendors were made available.
War Mode: War Mode can be turned on at level 30 through your talent window, and will give you 10% bonus XP. You will, however, be attackable by players of the opposing faction, but changes have been made so that all players have a fair shot in a fight and even low-level players can kill much higher level players, and at least not get ganked and one shotted. Note: As of patch 8.1, you can get an additional call to arms bonus with war mode on if your faction is underepresented.
Before anyone asks - yes there are archived copies of old addon versions both on our github repository and on several of the addon sites we use, and these will continue to be available after Cataclysm comes out, so you'll be able to get those old files if you really want them. I'm not going to bother making these more easily accessible unless you give me a very good reason. "I'm on a private server and I need them since we didn't upgrade to Cataclysm" is a BAD reason - and it's illegal.
If you love running old content for transmog items, you'll love the new legacy loot system. Whenever a player enters a dungeon or raid where they are 10 or more levels above the content, the dungeon or raid bosses drop an amount of loot equivalent to what would have dropped for a full group when the content was current. That means players could earn loot for five people in dungeons and loot for 20 people after soloing a raid. The legacy loot system also drops other gear types, like cloth dropping for a plate wearer. It's now much easier to get the transmog gear you want, and you can also collect gear for your alts on the same run.
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.