At the end of Legion, the titan Sargeras was imprisoned, but not before he plunged his sword into the planet Azeroth. This not only devastated a massive area (much of the desert zone of Silithus is now cracked and scorched), but badly wounded the gestating titan inside. While the heroes managed to ablate the worst of the damage (at the cost of the majority of their artifact weapons' mythic power), the world is still wounded and bleeding a substance called "Azerite," which has great magical potential. The Horde Warchief, Sylvanas Windrunner, attempts to consolidate Horde power on Kalimdor and gain a monopoly on Azerite (which is primarily found at the southern end of the continent). Her campaign to do so, the War of Thorns, formed a pre-launch event for the expansion and ends with the major Night Elf holdings on the continent seized or (in the case of their capital city of Darnassus) annihilated. The Alliance makes a retaliatory strike against her home base, the Undercity, which was formerly the human capital of Lordaeron. This succeeds in driving the Horde out, but before leaving Sylvanas saturates the area with disease and toxins that render it uninhabitable. With this tit-for-tat military exchange, the Horde has almost complete control over Kalimdor, while the Alliance has near-total dominion over the Eastern Kingdoms. With further conflict inevitable, Battle for Azeroth takes the two factions to the continents of Kul Tiras and Zandalar to recruit new allies in order to turn the tides of war.
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.
Then 8.0 came along and turned everything on its head. Most of the techniques and shortcuts discovered, after 7.3.5 introduced scaling, were nerfed into oblivion. Many of the old techniques were confirmed by myself, first hand, to no longer work. I'm hoping that this thread can serve a similar purpose as the old thread, and gather as much data as possible on the fastest methods under the new system, and facilitate as many different perspectives and opinions on speed leveling with constructive discussion. I've just finished leveling to 110 under 8.1 with the exp curve.
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.
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.
As always, I will monitor and update this guide as new information comes in. If I've gotten anything glaringly and completely wrong, just tell me with as much data as possible. The idea is to find the fastest possible leveling method, NOT to argue about how good or bad individuals are. If you have hard data, post it! If you have an idea, let the thread know so we can test it!
Tiragarde Sound and Stormsong Valley are both fairly similar zones, but Stormsong is a little longer, meaning that you might not even have to finish it to hit 120. Tiragarde also comes with a bit of a warning. There are plenty of side quests to do in the zone after you finish the story quests. Don’t do them. It’s not worth the time or the experience you’ll get.
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.