For collecting artifact power to level up your Heart of Azeroth necklace, island expeditions are unbeatable. There’s a weekly Azerite goal that you need to meet through the expeditions, and when you do, you’ll be awarded 2500 artifact power. There’s a small chance that you’ll get weapons from completing expeditions too, but they’re not a reliable source of gear.
Picking up herbalism and mining is the best professions to have while leveling. Not only will you earn gold as you level, but you will also get extra XP. At level 20 you will get over 500 XP for picking up a ore or a herb while killing a mob only gives a little over 100 XP. Don’t go out of your way to pick herbs if you are trying to level quickly, but pick the ones that are on your way. Leveling from 110 to 120 can be done pretty quickly just by doing this. There are a few items that will help you if you decide to use professions while leveling:
The leveling experience for the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King levels of 60 to 80 has been greatly reduced from 6,689,030 XP to 4,412,600 XP which is a reduction of 34%. This has been a notoriously lengthy leveling section, and this reduction will be very noticeable and appreciated by those players leveling new characters such as those allied races!
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.
-New dungeons- About 3/4 are fairly decent, not too long not too short, but none of them are compelling, none make me say to my friends and guildies, "Hey, let's do this instance, I love the theme and encounters." They're dull but tolerable. The other 1/4 of the dungeons just aren't fun and you will groan when you get a mythic Keystone for the Underrot, the snake temple, or Waycrest Manor. Waycrest Manor is actually one of the better dungeons, however, with the new Infested affix, Waycrest Manor suffers from many game-breaking bugs that end in the entire instance being pulled due to doors not properly working as intended.
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The downside is that War Mode will make you vulnerable to other players, which means you might be killed more often. Whether it’s worthwhile will depend on the zones you’re visiting and how active the other faction is on your server cluster. Heavily populated realms usually mean more players on both sides, and more conflict, but on quieter realms, you may rarely run across an enemy.
If you want to spend as little time on your alt as possible - just do Legion Invasions. You can use sites like (https://wow.gameinfo.io/invasions) to track when the next invasion will be. Log in, fly to the closest world quest, and once there - right-click on the quest's name in your quest log and "Find Group". Sign up for some group, or if there's none - just start your own immediately, and people will come to you. It is 10 times faster to do invasion quests in a group. Once that particular quest is complete - leave the group, and fly to the next one, where you should find another group. Don't expect the group from one world quest to follow you to the next. Then you simply log out until next invasion. You can do 1-2 invasions a day, and each invasion will give you about a level or 1.5 of experience, if you have full heirloom gear. Each invasion will take about 20 minutes.
Darkmoon Faire: The Darkmoon Faire comes around once a month and provides two ways of bonus XP. You can ride the carousel to get the “Whee!” buff (10% bonus XP for one hour). You can also get the Darkmoon Top Hat by playing a few games, which gives you 10% bonus XP but only works during the Darkmoon Faire. Both of these are generally not worth it for the most part, as you spend more time running to get the buff than you gain in XP when leveling.
-PvP- Completely broken for some classes and I mean broken going from both sides of the spectrum, from classes destroying everyone, to classes that can't even kill another player. It's fairly common for a weak class to lose to a powerful class even if the weak class outgears them by 50+ ilvls. That's how broken PvP is and Blizzard doesn't seem to know what to do to fix it other than do blanket damage nerfs/buffs as those are the only changes we've seen.
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.
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.