Hey folks, some of you might remember me as the guy who made the Covenant Spreadsheet a few months ago. While I have been actively keeping that updated, ever since the pre-patch came out I've been really interested in putting together a leveling route that was more efficient than simply questing through WoD. While WoD does have a few zones which are fast, I began to feel that the expansion was just very sluggish after Blizzard nerfed it. After doing some testing, I managed to put together a path that includes Cataclysm Revamp zones, along with a few parts of WoD, and I managed to get the 10-50 World Record with it. While this run is primarily created with Horde in mind, I've added zone suggestions that I think Alliance players might find useful.
While I've included the entire route below, there are certain aspects of the run that are really hard to convey through text alone. Additionally, I know that some people are primarily visual learners, so I put together a 28 minute video guide, which you can find here: https://youtu.be/QSH4q1o2_aA
Level 10-15: WoD Intro
The first thing I recommend doing is actually the WoD intro. I know there has been some debate recently as to whether or not this is efficient, and when pre-patch was released someone even posted a skip on this subreddit. That said, I've done extensive testing on the WoD Intro, and it is VERY fast. Currently it takes about 23 minutes and gives 5 levels, which makes it the fastest "zone" in the entire game. After finishing the intro, set up your Garrison and return to Orgrimmar/Stormwind.
Level 15-30: Silverpine Forest
After returning to Orgrimmar, I take the portal to Undercity and continue onwards towards Silverpine Forest. The questline here is EXTREMELY fast, and there are a lot of rare mobs that you can easily include in your run. I go over detailed rare mob locations in my video, but it would be far too difficult to explain it here, so I'll simply give a list of all of the rare mobs that are included in the route: Kree, Gorefang, Nightlash, Gnath, Bolgaff the Mad Hunter, Berard the Moon-Crazed, Lost Gilnean Wardog, Fenwick Thatros, Thule Ravenclaw, Aquarius the Unbound, Indigos, Effritus, Corpsefeeder
It's worth noting that while these rare mobs do give really good experience, they are NOT required in order to make Cataclysm Revamp zones efficient. I've tested everything both with and without rare mob kills, and even with 0 kills they're still faster than WoD zones. That said, most of these rares are really easy to route in, so they're just a nice bonus on top of an already efficient route.
Level 30-40: Hillsbrad Foothills
After completing Silverpine Forest, simply continue on into Hillsbrad Foothills. The quests here are relatively straightforward, but they give fantastic experience, and the travel time is on the low end. As with Silverpine, Hillsbrad has an absolutely massive amount of rares that can be included in the run; 21, to be exact. As mentioned before, I go into much more detail in the video guide, but I'll include a list of all 21 rare mobs here: Scargil, Carcinak, Creepthess, Little Bjorn, Miasmiss, The Dark Prowler, Alitus, Lady Zephris, Ro'Bark, Dustwing, Chordix, Cranky Benj, Big Samras, Maggarrak, Gravis Slipknot, Jimmy the Bleeder, Araga, Skhowl, Weevil, Lopex, Tamra Stormpike
While some of these rares require slight detours to reach, it's almost always worth doing it. Also, while Silverpine and Hillsbrad are both Horde-Only zones, I would recommend doing Redridge Mountains, Duskwood, Loch Modan, Wetlands, Western Plaguelands, or Stonetalon Mountains as a replacement. I'm not sure which combination of the two would be the most efficient, but if memory serves these are the fastest Cata Revamp zones for Alliance.
Level 40-45: Gorgrond
While much of WoD is no longer efficient, Gorgrond is far too fast to be stopped by a 66% nerf. After finishing Hillsbrad, use your Garrison Hearthstone and fly east towards Gorgrond. I recommend completing the Grimfrost Hill Bonus Objective in Frostfire Ridge as it's relatively fast and has two quests attached to it. Once in Gorgrond, follow the questline until you reach Beastwatch. Make sure you select the Savage Fightclub (this is very important!). Next, head up to Affliction Ridge and pop your Champion's Honor ability as you complete quests there. When you get Killing Blows on enemies with Champion's Honor active, you have a change to get the "Proof of Strength" quest items from certain mobs. Within Affliction Ridge, you're aiming to get any combination of Botani Bloom, Goren Tooth, Gronnling Scale, Orc Thorn, or Gronn Eye.
Complete the Stonemaul Arena quests before continuing on with Rexxar's questline. Around now your Champion's Honor ability should be back up, and you should use it on the nearby Basilisks and Steamfury Elemental mobs, as each of them has a chance to drop a quest item. From here, I recommend continuing the route until you finish the quest to retrieve the Heart of the Magnaron. At some point during this set of quests your Champion's Honor ability will come back up, and you should use it to get the Ogron Horn quest item. Before leaving Gorgrond, I complete the Valley of Destruction, Razorbloom, and Mistcreep Mire bonus objectives, as well as the Crimson Fen questline. You should use your last Champion's Honor ability on the wasps and ravagers near the Razorbloom bonus objective. Afterwards, I hand in all of my proofs of strength and complete the Ruins of the First Bastion and Tailthrasher Basin bonus objectives on my way to Talador.
Level 45-48: Spires of Arak
While I do suggest going to Spires, my route for it is a much more abridged version than most people are suggesting. While you fly there, stop by the Aruuna's Desolation and Zorkra's Fall bonus objectives in Talador, as they are very easy to complete. The Spires questline itself is relatively straightforward; just don't forget to pick up Archaeology from Reshad. The route takes a sharp detour after you get to your Garrison Outpost. You should select the Hearthfire Tavern, as it gives you a flat 20% experience bonus while in Spires of Arak. Once you construct it, run inside and pick up the wanted quests for Spineslicer and Keeho the Savage.
From here, you have a few options. I recommend skipping most of the questlines in Spires and heading straight towards Talon Watch. The density is pretty good in this particular subzone, and it has a lot of treasures nearby which provides good supplementary XP. After it has you return to Veil Terokk, however, I suggest flying south-east towards Pinchwhistle Gearworks, but make sure you grab all of the treasures on your way. Offerings to the Ravenmother are especially important, since they give rested experience; these are VERY powerful in combination with the new Heirloom Set Bonus. Complete the entire Pinchwhistle Gearworks questline and then head north along the western coast. Kill Spineslicer and Keeho the Savage, and complete the Bloodmane Pridelands bonus objective while you're nearby. Finally, fly back to your Garrison Outpost, and make sure you pick up any treasures found along the way. Once you hand everything in, Hearth back to Orgrimmar or Stormwind.
Level 48-50: Stonetalon Mountains
While it might seem strange to abandon Spires of Arak, all of the remaining quests in the zone are EXTREMELY inefficient, so it's a waste of time to stay there for much longer. Instead, I recommend flying to Stonetalon Mountains as Horde, or potentially a different zone if you're Alliance, though Stonetalon is an option. Stonetalon takes roughly 2 minutes to reach with Master Riding, and it has very good quest density in the first half. It starts to get really slow towards the end, but this isn't an issue, as you'll likely ding 50 somewhere in the middle of the questline. Personally, this occurred for me somewhere in the middle of Malaka'jin, but it could vary slightly depending on how lucky you got with rare mobs/Proofs of Strength.
While this run has been heavily optimized for Horde, there is still a lot of room for testing to be done on Alliance. I don't personally play that faction so I can't contribute much, but I still think this route would be the fastest for them with proper zone substitutions.
Also, one major time save that I've managed to find is during the process of heading back to your main city to learn Riding Training. Many people simply hearth back and then slowly make a return journey, but for some classes/races there is a much more efficient option. If you have access to a teleport ability, such as Mage Portal, Zen Pilgrimage, Vulpera Camp, or Dark Iron Mole Machine, you can set your hearth to a nearby inn and use said ability to return back to your main city. While this only saves a few minutes each time you learn riding, it's a nice little optimization that adds up over the course of a 6 hour run.
Lastly, while I linked the video version of this guide at the top of this post, I've also uploaded the raw footage of my 5 Hour 44 minute Speedrun to YouTube, so if anyone is curious you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/shjNWBTP8Lk
(I also review all of the consumables/gear used in the run during the first 15 minutes of this video, so if you're curious about that I'd recommend watching atleast that part, as I don't cover it in the guide.)
If you're reading this, I really hope you found this guide to be useful! If you have any feedback or suggestions on the guide, feel free to message me at Harldan#2316 on Discord or Harldan#11303 on Battlenet.
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