Battle for Azeroth Guide: Expert Tips for Hitting Level 120
World of Warcraft's seventh expansion, Battle for Azeroth, brings with it a new leveling experience and two totally new continents to level through, one for each faction. Whether you've been playing WoW non-stop for the past 14 years or you're a first-time player using your free level 110 character boost to take on the new content, you're going to need to prepare to level efficiently.
Not everyone wants to push through this new content quickly to hit the level cap, and that's perfectly fine. There are some excellent storylines on both sides for you to enjoy, and you should. Even still, preparing to quest will make the experience smoother and cut down on frustration. No one likes getting stuck, and its never fun when gameplay doesn't feel rewarding. These tips will be useful no matter how you plan on leveling in BfA.
Prepare To Level
Before you embark on your adventures through Kul Tiras and Zandalar, you're going to need to gear up. Prepare your character to level quickly by stocking up on some useful items that'll seed up the process and clean up all the end-of-expansion junk that's been clogging up your bags for months. All the experts agree, setting yourself up to level fast works.
Clean Up Your Bags
If you've been playing through most of Legion, your bags are full of junk. Questing with full bags is awful. You never have enough room for your new quest items or profession materials. It cramps your whole flow.
Clean all the junk items out of your bags. Remember that this includes any gear that you might be holding on to because it's a close item level to your main gear, follower items, and artifact relics. None of those things will be useful as soon as BfA drops.
Now's the time to get rid of your profession items from Legion too. They're not going to do you any good in Battle for Azeroth. There will be all new materials to collect, and the Legion stuff is going to plummet in price.
Everyone has those items that they're attached to. Some of those even have interesting toy-like effects. Store those in your bank. They might get made into toys at some point. As long as those things aren't in your bags, you'll be alright.
Stock Up On Useful Items
There are tons, TONS, of useful items for leveling. If you have them in your bags when you're leveling, you're going to have a much better experience.
First, consider food and other consumable items that buff your character's stats. You can think of leveling sort of like raiding. All of those raid items work well for leveling. Stock up on food with stat buffs, flasks, potions, and anything else that increases your stats. Food has the added benefit of healing you between fights, so it minimizes your downtime and speeds up the process.
Like with any new expansion, you won't be able to fly in the new zones. So any items that increase your movement speed and help you get around more easily are going to help your leveling along in a big way. The first and most important one is the Goblin Glider Kit. Plenty of the zones have a lot of high terrain, and unless you're playing a Demon Hunter, you're going to have a hard time getting down from those high places. Goblin gliders allow you to cover a lot of ground with relative ease.
Movement boosting items are also a great idea. A simple option is Bear Tartare. Eating it makes your character move faster for a short time. You can also pick up more permanent items like Gunshoes to give your character some extra speed.
Water is another obstacle that's infamous for slowing you down. If you have access to any of the water strider mounts, they can be invaluable for getting across bodies of water efficiently. If you don't, water walking potions are always good in a pinch.
Don't forget that there are some items that increase your experience gains too. The standards of coordination that are available from guild vendors increase the experience you gain from killing groups of mobs in the open world by 15%. You can't use them all the time, but when you have a large cluster, throw a standard down, and reap the benefits.
BfA introduced a new experience gem, Insightful Rubellite, that you can socket into a piece of your gear for a constant 5% experience boost. You can only use one, and they won't be available until BfA launches, but it's something to check for soon after launch.
Plan Your Route
The route you take while leveling matters. Yes, like Legion, you can start leveling in any of the new zones and choose any path you like, but there is a more efficient order. Some zones have more difficult quests and tighter clusters of enemy mobs. Level through those zones first. Legion legendary items will still have their effects through level 116. You're going to want those effects for the more difficult zones. Leveling through the easier zones at higher level is also faster because higher levels require more experience.
For Horde players, start your questing in Vol'dun. Move from there to Zuldazar. Finish leveling in Nazmir.
Alliance players should start off in Drustvar. Continue on to Tiragarde Sound. You should finish questing in Stormsong Valley.
Of course, this is a game, so don't worry if you really prefer one zone and want to start there. This is just the optimal order.
You've prepared your character. Your bags are clean and stocked with useful items. You have your route planned out and ready to go. It's time to level. Wait! There's actually a better way to level too.
Certain factors can play a big role in how fast you level in Battle for Azeroth. Most things are just good habits to get yourself into, and they'll help you level faster with minimal extra effort.
Turn On Warmode
Yeah, turn on War Mode. Most people are either loving that idea (rogues) or are suddenly terrified (everyone else), but Warmode comes with some massive benefits for leveling that can't be overlooked.
War Mode gives you an automatic 10% experience bump for everything. Enable War Mode, and get the extra experience. It's that simple, and it does make a huge difference.
Next, War Mode gives you access to a set of extra PvP talents. Plenty of those talents are great for both controlling mobs and pumping out extra damage. Altogether, it will make your leveling experience easier.
If you're really worried about enabling War Mode, remember that for the first few days of the expansion, everyone will be focused on leveling. The Alliance and Horde will be mostly contained to their own leveling zones and won't mix much. You can also return to Stormwind or Orgrimmar at any time to turn it off if it does become a problem for you. With War Mode, the benefits outweigh the risks.
Avoid Time Sinks
There's no shortage of distractions when leveling in BfA, or any expansion. It gets tricky, though, because those distractions have changed.
Don't run dungeons. They take too much time to queue for, and they don't reward enough experience to be worthwhile. Unfortunately, running dungeons will slow you down while leveling in BfA.
Rare mobs and treasures where always a good thing in Legion. That's not the case in BfA. The items that drop and the experience that they grant aren't worth the time they take to hunt down or kill. Treasure chests don't grant experience, and rares drop better gear at higher levels, making them a potentially invaluable source of early gear at max level. Hold off while leveling.
Bonus objectives aren't worthwhile either anymore. During both Warlords of Draenor and Legion these were an excellent source of bonus experience. That's not so anymore. Like these other time sinks, they're simply not worth the time they cost anymore.
If you've been playing WoW for any length of time, you know how to quest more efficiently. This is just a good habit, and your map is the best resource you have in setting up optimal quest patterns.
Group your quests. After you arrive in a quest hub, take a look at your map. You'll probably see that you'll have groups of quests clustered together. Pick a cluster of quests and complete them all at once. Then, turn them all in at once. Always set your hearthstone to your current quest hub to cut down on travel time.
It's also important to remember to abandon quests that are giving you a hard time. There's no need to complete every quest. There are more than enough quests in any zone to level you up.
Do Your War Campaign
This isn't 100% necessary while you're leveling, but it will help you a lot when you reach max level. The War Campaign is a central part of Battle for Azeroth. It's tied to a lot of your max level progress and is used to unlock key points of the expansion. You'll be fine if you wait to do the campaign at max level, but doing it while you level will save some time in the long run.
Grab Two Gathering Professions
This one also isn't strictly necessary. If you love your character's professions, keep them. If you don't really care and just want to make some gold, pick up two gathering professions like mining and herbalism.
You gain experience from gathering crafting materials from the nodes in the open world, and those materials are worth a significant amount of gold, especially early in the expansion. Having gathering professions will help you get off to a good start financially in any expansion.
Manage Your Reputations
Reputation, like the War Campaign, is extremely useful at max level. You need to have at least a friendly reputation with each of the leveling factions from each of your factions zones when transitioning into max level content to unlock world quests. This isn't a huge deal. Just make sure that you level in each of the three zones to hit this minimum requirement.
Also, each of these factions offers a decent item level cloak with an honored reputation. Consider leveling one of them up to get access to that item at max level. It'll get you off to a better start.
Don't Vendor Questing Gear!
Finally, don't vendor any of your green or better gear. Battle for Azeroth introduced scrappers in each factions major city. These scrappers allow you to trade unwanted gear for crafting materials. You can sell those materials for way more gold than you'd get from vendoring the gear. Crafting materials are going to be key in BfA's Warfronts. The scrapper is going to be a big part of BfA, and it's good to get a head start while questing.
You don't need to follow all of these tips. Level however is most comfortable for you. Even if you follow only a handful of these tips, though, you will have a faster and more enjoyable experience. That's what's most important here. Enjoy the experience. Battle for Azeroth has exceptional leveling content. Make the most of it.