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.
Fishing requires much time and does not yield much profit until its later levels. Unless you enjoy it for its own sake, avoid seriously delving into fishing until your level limit. It is not a bad idea to do a little when starting out a new character on a new server, though - the gray items you fish up sell for good money to a starter, which can help you out with your other tradeskills.
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.
For a new player, this will only break the immersion and spoil the 'story' of the various great storylines found throughout the game. Veteran players may want to level fast but still, revisit old places to re-experience the game through fresh eyes. How is a player to level quickly without breaking the immersion of the game? Level smart. There are ways to quickly level that apply to any area of the game.
At 98 you have the option to drop what you're doing and return to your capitol city to start the quest for your Legion Artifact weapon. However, I do not believe this is necessary to do right away unless you're struggling with kill speed in your current gear. I would recommend waiting for a natural pause, such as hearthing to repair and clear your bags. From 100 to 107 you won't even really fight mobs that often; only just enough to clear the way to any treasure you need to pick up.
A good part of the reason it’s taking me so long is the new level-scaling system. Now that zones and their quests scale with the players level, I’m spending more time questing and less time hopping into random dungeons. And with the experience point requirements to level increased for levels 1 to 60, the random dungeons aren’t nearly the level-fests they once were, making questing a much more attractive prospect.
Heirlooms. At the bare minimum you make sure all the armor pieces upgraded to 110, since this is the lion's share of your experience increase. Neck and Ring upgrades are secondary, but still important due to being able to enchant them. Trinkets can't be enchanted, but you'll want them at max as well, if only to save time by not having to worry about replacing them as you level.
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As you continue to push through end-game content and you raise your reputations with various groups, you unlock more quests that send you to the opposing faction's continent where you generally try to mess with them, gather intel on their movements, and, of course, kill a whole bunch of them. These quest lines are fun, but generally pretty short and don't actually propel you through much of the three opposing zones.
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.
Drustvar is far and away the hardest Alliance zone, which is exactly why you want to do it first. If you have legendary items, they’ll still be usable, and if you don’t, this zone will still be easier early on than it will be later. Drustvar is also extremely fast and will let you jump out ahead of your competition in other zones, which means fewer players around to take your quest objectives.
The guide should advance to the point where you are in the zone's progression. There are a few steps that can-not autocomplete and they should (hopefully) have comments to the effect of -- you need to manually check this step off. -- For some reason you have to click these steps off 2-3 times to work. (the first time will move the tom-tom arrow, the 2nd time unchecks it and the 3rd click advances the guide).
Possible solutions: nerf dungeon experience unless there are five people in the group. Drastically nerf experience if there's a high level character along. More importantly, fix the pacing of outdoor content so that people won't get frustrated and turn to cheesy methods like this -- even hardcore, Mythic-raiding, altaholic Day-1 Warcraft players like myself.
Most heirlooms only work in a limited level range in their default form and must be upgraded to work at higher levels. That costs gold, and you’ll need around 30,000 gold to outfit yourself with a fully upgraded set (counting only those that give you bonus experience). You may need to spend some time on a boosted character to acquire the gold you need to outfit another character with heirlooms, but it’s well worth the effort.