While the expansion kicks off with heavy references and scenes of this war, leveling through the Horde side of the new content it barely came up again. Except for all the times I had to mine Azerite to make sure my faction was the leader in the Azeroth version of a nuclear arms race. The Alliance side of things had some heavier references to to the war, at least in the portions I played, with one scenario in Stormsong Valley where a fleet of Horde aggressors bombed a town.
I found that in most cases, I could pick the zones I liked and skip everything else. It was slower, but I still wasn't forced to do quest zones I hated (and, notably, I skipped the entire Cataclysm expansion's content -- sorry, Thrall.) I did do dungeons, both in group finder and by two-boxing (more on that in a moment as well), but only once for the quests, and mostly to clear what felt like an awfully long slog from 40 to level 80.
5% was admittedly an exaggeration, just felt that low. I'd say it was probably closer to the 30-40% range. It was Artifacts of the Blacksilt, spent a good 10-15 minutes killing Blacksilt Seers to get two damn idols to drop. A quest that had me killing Elder Brown Bears for bear flanks also took quite a while, though that was less due to drop rate and more due to how spread out they were.
Once you reach 575 you can purchase vendor recipes for the last 25 points. The Blacksmithing recipes are on a vendor in Vale of Eternal Blossoms. You can enter Vale of Eternal Blossoms after completing the questA Celestial Experience (requires level 87). After you completed the quest, you can find Jorunga Stonehoof (Horde) in Shrine of Two Moons and Cullen Hammerbrow (Alliance) in Shrine of Seven Stars.
By constantly doing quests, you will experience a very different game than if you just level through pure grinding. You'll be out there making a contribution towards the Alliance or the Horde. Doing these quests takes you through the heart of the game's story AND provides the fastest rate of experience. Have fun in World of Warcraft and enjoy developing your hero - your adventures will gain you great reputation amongst the land.
The community was apparently frustrated with Blizzard for a lack of communication concerning the issue, but it looks like that was due to the fact that their heads were down as they worked to understand the problem. It was explained that they didn't want to just roll out a quick bandage, as that would likely cause unforeseen issues down the road. Instead, they're crunching the numbers and digging into the code in the hopes of discovering a legitimate source of the problem.
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