Like most of those experienced players, I had all the benefits, including a full set of heirloom armor, which helps to boost the experience my character would get (though that bump was reduced at the same time the other changes were made.) I had a guild, the ability to fly in every zone, and pets and toys that made a pile of things more convenient. My new character started at level 20, as all allied races do.
Though related, this is no longer true. You can now purchase a lvl 90 character boost. Some power levelers have hoped for a day when you could use real money to buy individual items in-game, some times called "micro-transactions." At a Game Developers Conference 2008, Rob Pardo gave a strong indication, Blizzard would not ever go this route with World of Warcraft.
If you level with friends Prot would probably be the way to go so you could pull and face tank the packs. I leveled 2 pallies both ret on beta and had 0 issues. Selfless healer and wake of ashes work absolute wonders. I leveled a bit as prot and just felt like I did 0 damage. I leveled solo so I don’t know about the xp fall off but I would assume it’s the same as legion.
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Make sure you have the two Flight-Path toys purchased, as this can save you time. It won't have EVERY flight path, but will have major locations for faster travel if you need to switch zones entirely(which you will). If you buy the toys on one faction, it unlocks for the other faction as well. So don't spend double the gold! These toys can be found at the heirloom vendor(Undercity for Horde, Ironforge for Alliance)
I guess maybe I'm familiar enough with it to just slam it out. I don't recall any low droprate quests as bad as 5%. Although Blizzard has been screwing with stuff lately. Do you remember which quest it was? A lot of those can be skipped if they're too tedious. Like literally ALL the quests on that little island in the NE corner of the map with the ghost pirates underwater and the dragon whelps.
You can skill up your fishing from 1 to 150 in any fishable water in Zandalar or Kul Tiras. Go to the nearest water, find the fishing skill icon in your spell book (P) at the profession tab, drag this icon to somewhere on your action bar. Stand in front of the lake/river and press the fishing button. Mouse over the lure in the water, and when it splashes, right click on it.
Full disclosure on my time with Battle for Azeroth thus far: I leveled a Horde character to 120 and completed all three Zandalar storylines plus put about 20 hours into end-game content. I have also leveled an Alliance character partway through Kul Tiras and completed portions of the Stormsong Valley and Tiragarde Sound storylines. My only experience in Drustavar has been through the eyes of the Horde thus far.
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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.
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So, the initial leveling process is probably the longest it has been in an expansion in a long time. My first play through, it took me about 12 hours to finish every single quest in every single zone. Needless to say, due to leveling 7 times, my last leveling was done by a ret pally and took me just over 8 hours and completed every quest in the Horde zones. There are a few tips I would like to give for leveling in BFA.
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.