Download the game right now, create an account (a new one; not your old one, if you were a previous player), and you’ll be able to level your character all the way to 20 for free. There are other annoying limitations placed on this free experience, but it’s still a great way to familiarize yourself with the world, see if you enjoy the experience as much as you were hoping, and get a feel for the different classes before you settle on a main one to play as for the next 100 levels’ worth of gaming.
We’ve spent a lot of space giving advice for those with less experience in the nuances of World of Warcraft. If you’re a player who generally knows how to get around the game—or did at one point—you’re probably still going to feel a little stuck if it’s been a decent amount of time since you last played. For example, why does your favorite weapon no longer work the way it used to? What’s the latest currency you have to know about? Should you ever waste time hanging out in your Garrison again?
A "stat squish" and "item squish" was implemented to lower the numbers used in the game, e.g. a legendary item previously with a level of 1000 reduced to 265. Unique class-specific buffs are added back, i.e. mages' Arcane Brilliance and priests' Mark of Fortitude. Titanforging—a random event that raises the initial item level of an item gained via drops or rewards—is still in the game; however, if the item is one of those affected by the Heart of Azeroth, then that item cannot be titanforged.

Excess Potion of Accelerated Learning: Acquired in your Garrison (part of the Warlords of Draenor expansion), this gives you a 20-percent bonus to experience from killing monsters and finishing quests. It lasts one hour, but you can buy it multiple times and use it back-to-back. Alliance players buy it from Sergeant Crowler, horde players buy it from Sergeant Grimjaw. Does not work above level 99.
I've identified a pesky bug that had me confused for months now. I would get serious slowdowns (from 60fps to as low as 20fps) whenever the dugi waypoint arrow was active and I started moving across the map (especially quickly like flying on mounts/flying masters etc.). I tried everything, and all that could fix it was clicking "Remove all waypoints", so that the arrow turned off. I thought maybe the arrow needed to constantly update locations/routes, and a new game update had perhaps broken that feature a bit.

Was doing it at 52 on my lightforged paladin and it was easily the slowest zone out of the ones I'd done. Granted, I didn't have War Mode on so I didn't have any PVP talents, but it felt like about 40% of my time was spent waiting around for respawns or wandering around looking for mobs to kill to get a quest item that had like a 5% drop rate. Maybe I just got unlucky but I definitely won't be going to that zone again for future heritage armor runs.
Level 120 comes and goes. Island Expeditions have unlocked, but it turns out they’re not much fun, and the most rewarding versions are only accessible to premade groups. You turn to Warfronts only to realize they’re not available this week. Fine. You can always grind out better gear. Except as you do, you notice your new gear has higher Azerite requirements than your old gear, which means your shiny new items have fewer unlocked traits than what they replaced. Discouraged, you decide to roll as one of the cool new Allied Races. Except you can’t because they’re all locked behind reputation grinds.

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.

REALMS Aerie Peak Aman'Thul Area 52 Arthas Baelgun Barthilas Blackrock Bleeding Hollow Burning Legion Cenarius Dalaran Darkspear Earthen Ring Emerald Dream Frostmourne Garona Garrosh Hyjal Illidan Kel'Thuzad Kil'jaeden Korgath Lightbringer Mal'Ganis Moon Guard Proudmoore Ravenholdt Sargeras Saurfang Shattered Hand Stormrage Stormreaver Thrall Tichondrius Turalyon Wyrmrest Accord Zul'jin Aegwynn, Bonechewer, Daggerspine, Gurubashi, and Hakkar Agamaggan, Archimonde, Jaedenar, and The Underbog Aggramar and Fizzcrank Akama, Dragonmaw, and Mug'thol Alleria and Khadgar Alexstrasza and Terokkar Altar of Storms, Anetheron, Magtheridon, and Ysondre Alterac Mountains, Balnazzar, Gorgonnash, The Forgotten Coast, and Warsong Andorhal, Scilla, Ursin, and Zuluhed Antonidas and Uldum Anub’arak, Chromaggus, Crushridge, Garithos, Nathrezim, and Smolderthorn Anvilmar and Undermine Arathor and Drenden Argent Dawn and The Scryers Arygos and Llane Auchindoun, Cho'gall, and Laughing Skull Azgalor, Azshara, Destromath, and Thunderlord Azjol-Nerub and Khaz Modan Azuremyst and Staghelm Baelgun and Doomhammer Black Dragonflight, Gul'dan, and Skullcrusher Blackhand and Galakrond Blackwater Raiders and Shadow Council Blackwing Lair, Dethecus, Detheroc, Haomarush, Lethon, and Shadowmoon Bladefist and Kul Tiras Blade's Edge and Thunderhorn Blood Furnace, Mannoroth, and Nazjatar Bloodhoof and Duskwood Bloodscalp, Boulderfist, Dunemaul, Maiev, and Stonemaul Borean Tundra and Shadowsong Bronzebeard and Shandris Burning Blade, Lightning's Blade, and Onyxia Caelestrasz and Nagrand Cairne and Perenolde Cenarion Circle and Sisters of Elune Coilfang, Dark Iron, Dalvengyr, and Demon Soul Dawnbringer and Madoran Darrowmere and Windrunner Dath'Remar and Khaz'goroth Deathwing, Executus, Kalecgos, and Shattered Halls Dentarg and Whisperwind Detheroc and Shadowmoon Draenor and Echo Isles Dragonblight and Fenris Draka and Suramar Drak’Tharon, Firetree, Malorne, Rivendare, Spirestone, and Stormscale Drak'thul and Skywall Dreadmaul and Thaurissan Durotan and Ysera Eitrigg and Shu'halo Eldre’Thalas and Korialstrasz Elune and Gilneas Eonar and Velen Eredar, Gorefiend, Spinebreaker, and Wildhammer Exodar and Medivh Farstriders, Silver Hand, and Thorium Brotherhood Feathermoon and Scarlet Crusade Frostmane, Ner'zhul, and Tortheldrin Frostwolf and Vashj Ghostlands and Kael'thas Gnomeregan and Moonrunner Greymane and Tanaris Grizzly Hills and Lothar Gundrak and Jubei'Thos Hellscream and Zangarmarsh Hydraxis and Terenas Icecrown and Malygos Kargath and Norgannon Kilrogg and Winterhoof Kirin Tor, Sentinels, and Steamwheedle Cartel Lightninghoof, Maelstrom, and The Venture Co Malfurion and Trollbane Misha and Rexxar Mok'Nathal and Silvermoon Muradin and Nordrassil Nazgrel, Nesingwary, and Vek'nilash Quel'dorei and Sen'jin Ravencrest and Uldaman Ravenholdt and Twisting Nether Runetotem and Uther
Do quests and complete the story of your first chosen area before returning to your capital to scrap all of the equipment items you acquired. You should be around Level 113 by the time you complete your first area. Before selecting your second zone, head to your faction hub ship to acquire your introductory quests to the mission table and your champions. Complete this introduction and then pick up the quest to establish your first foothold in enemy territory.
First, a bit of context: I've been playing the game since six months before it was originally released, and I make no apologies about liking it. It's getting long in the tooth, as with all games that have been on the market for 14 years, but Blizzard seems committed to continuous improvement. The last expansion, Legion, was the best the company had ever released. (Stop arguing, Wrath of the Lich King fan boys. It's true and you know it.)
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).
As you're leveling, I generally recommend you just follow the natural flow of the progression through each zone. They're laid out fairly reasonably. But don't be afraid to hop around, especially if you're near a quest objective. You shouldn't actually need ALL of the zones listed to reach 62. Pick the ones you like best. It's much more important to simply be as focused as possible and flow from one quest to the next.

 Zandalari troll (8.1.5) - "The Zandalari are a proud people whose origins date back to the early days of Azeroth's history. Their fierce warriors ride dinosaurs into battle, and they possess one of the most formidable naval fleets in the known world. But enemy attacks on their borders—as well as unrest within the king's council—have threatened the kingdom's foundations. By returning stability to Zandalar, the heroes of the Horde can gain a powerful new ally.."

Special note: At 110 it's almost certainly worthwhile to go and immediately get your Heart of Azeroth and first piece of Azerite gear from the BfA opening quest. It doesn't take long and provides pretty high power levels. I'd then return to Legion quests until 111 or even 112, since the power of these items will increase your kill speed significantly over the scaled enemies of BfA content.
Heart of Azeroth:[5] Our world is direly wounded. Players will be summoned via Magni Bronzebeard to Azeroth herself. She will gift players with a medallion called the [Heart of Azeroth]. Her life essence seeps from the world in the form of  [Azerite]. When players wearing the medallion come in contact with azerite, this sought after resource becomes a source of power for selected pieces of armor, providing players a way to level them up. This feature replaces the artifact system of World of Warcraft: Legion. Currently the plan of development is to limit the upgrade system to 3 pieces of armor. Players will be able to choose the stats they want to better fit their play-style.
The raid is made up of eight bosses that each have interesting and unique mechanics. Some bosses might put extra pressure on the DPS players to kill an add before it can heal the boss, while others might require players to move around the environment in a specific pattern or order, all the while still doing as much damage to the boss as possible or keeping the group alive through healing. While past raids often repeated mechanics or had one or two boring fights that didn’t ask much of the players, each encounter in Uldir feels unique and challenging. It’s been a long time since we had a raid where each fight was as much fun to do over and over again as the fights in Uldir.
So much new stuff. The war questline expands. Island expeditions get a couple of new locations to explore. Azerite armor gets tweaked so it’s slightly less stupid than it already is. While we wait for the servers to go back up, Blizzard’s prepared a handy survival guide for Tides of Vengeance. I suggest looking it over, or else risk not surviving at all.
The Horde levels 50-60 guide has been rewritten and revamped.  My 1-60 Horde leveling guide is now completely updated for the 1.12 Drums of War patch.  As you can see it is about 15% larger than the 40-50 guide (single largest guide page yet).  There is also a lot of route changes.  I moved the entire Silithus section from level 55 to level 58, which allowed me to include a lot more quests for that zone.  There is also a lot of other improvement to the route, including adding a lot more quests into the guide, mostly from Moonglade, Silithus and Eastern Plaguelands.  This will make the final level 59 grind much shorter.
It's hard to step out of the shadow of Legion, which was utterly fantastic in almost every way, to enter an expansion where you get one item per boss in the last expansion because the rules have been changed to force more grinding, where you have to grind reputation in the old expansion that you probably skipped because rep grinds suck JUST to unlock allied races (who aren't fully unique races since they recycle old content such as animations), where questing has SOMEHOW become boring again and where your new abilities are given by items you'll swap out every level, meanwhile being only boring passive effects no one cares about.
Set sail for the previously unmapped isles of Azeroth. Battle in groups of three as you race against cunning rival intruders—or enemy players—to collect the island’s resources. Constantly evolving challenges await as you traverse frozen landscapes near Northrend, open the gates of an abandoned Gilnean castle, navigate a war between elementals and more. Tides of Vengeance adds two new Island Expeditions to the mix and two new random events, as well as updated rewards.
Compare that to the previous Warlords of Draenor expansion, which wasn't a great expansion overall, but still managed a prepatch that offered a pet, a title, a new version of an old dungeon with new quests and achievements and loot, a series of ultrapowerful weapons that could be passed on to alts, and a whole host of in-game system improvements ranging from a new way to find groups to a new way to collect pets, toys and appearances.
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.
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.
The world quests aren’t necessarily bad, but they aren’t good either. I wouldn’t mind killing five of a type of monster or fighting one particular boss a few times, but after seven or eight, it starts to wear pretty thin. But going from levels in the mid-20s can take nearly 30,000 AP, so you’ll need more than world quests if you want to get your heart up in a reasonable time.
I also noticed that the slowdowns were heating up my graphics card (a GTX1080 with good cooling and a well-configured fan curve). On high but not max settings, I would always hover around 60-65 degrees C, and thought this was normal. After turning auto zoom off, I noticed that my card never gets past 49 degrees C. I'm pretty shocked, as it's a very hot day where I am and I didn't know one feature could affect temps so much. I didn't know my temps could even get that low! Even on full max settings (with 200% resolution scaling etc.), it now can't go over 66 degrees, whereas it used to go up to 74 degrees at times when auto zoom was on.
Hopefully, you have a good idea how you want to begin your endgame experience in Battle for Azeroth. A whole new set of content will drop on September 4 when the Uldir raid opens up and the PvP season begins. That also marks the beginning of Mythic+ dungeons in BfA. Even after that happens, many of these tips and strategies for gearing up will still be the best sources of early gear for your new 120 characters.
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 world quests aren’t necessarily bad, but they aren’t good either. I wouldn’t mind killing five of a type of monster or fighting one particular boss a few times, but after seven or eight, it starts to wear pretty thin. But going from levels in the mid-20s can take nearly 30,000 AP, so you’ll need more than world quests if you want to get your heart up in a reasonable time.
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.
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