Altaholic Speed Leveling Guide

The Altaholic Speed Leveling Guide
Levels 1-85
What this guide is doing;
Showing my approach to leveling and make it as fast and painless to get exp, gear, and professions as you work on your character.  It isn't aimed at any one class over another.
What this guide isn't doing;
Reinventing the wheel.  I wont tell you to do X quest from Y NPC.  Because bonus exp varries so widely it would be pointless.  But I will have links to some very nice wheelwrights.

Table of Contents
1)  Setup (Mods, Bags, AH Items)
2) Theory
3) Professions
4) Northrend
5) Cataclysm

A) Level 1-10
B) Level 10
C) Level 11-14
D) Level 15-19
E) Level 20-24
F) Level 25-29
G) Level 30-34
H) Level 34-39
I) Level 40-44
J) Level 45-49
K) Level 50-54
L) Level 55-57
M) Level 58
N) Level 59
O) Level 60
P) Level 61
Q) Level 62-63
R) Level 64-65
S) Level 66
T) Level 67
U) Level 68
V) Level 69
W) Level 70
AA) Level 70 - Northrend
BB) Level 71
CC) Level 72
DD) Level 73
EE) Level 74
FF) Level 75
GG) Level 76
HH) Level 77
II) Level 78-79
JJ) Level 80
A*)Level 80 to 82 - Cataclysm
B*) Level 83
C*) Level 84
D*) Level 85

1 - Setup
Mods:  You need to get the Wow Pro in game leveling Addon.  This helps you cleanly move from quest to quest without any wandering or fuss.  TomTom is a required addon to go with it so you get an arrow directing you exactly to where you need to go.
Bags:  If you won't have a full selection of 16 slot bags from a higher level alt then plan to get the tabards for your factions cities.  They are found by the Flightmaster of the city with shared cities gathered into a little group.  You can get at least two of the bags just by running through each dungeon once.
Things to camp on the Auction house.  See notes.

2 - Theory
The goal of this guide is to help level quickly through PvE and PvP content till your 85.  I've used this mix on Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior to 85 and Death Knight, Druid, Warlock to 80+.  Its strength is its flexibility.

3 - Professions
Working on a crafting profession slows you down, Bliz has made sure the gear you can craft is rarely as good as anything you can get out of a quest or dungeon.  Now end game they do have uses, Ill touch on those in my notes at a later date.  For now focusing on just leveling you have three paths to take.
First is picking the professions you want at end game.  Take the gathering for that profession (like Mining for Engineering) and dabble in it when you want a break from leveling so hard.
Second is the 'going to work on it later'.  Take whatever skill will benefit a profession you might be interested in later (like Herbalism for Alchemy).  Take a filler gathering profession talent and use it to level up.
Second is the 'I dont care' Take Skinning and Herbalism.  Herbalism at level 1 gives you a haste buff button.  Skinning is easy to get to 75 in the newbie quests for 3 crit and you can ignore it after.
My advice is to use Skinning/Herbalism and figure out what professions you want later.
Level 80 is a fine time to revisit professions.  You should have close to the money required to buy the epic flying to make gathering easier and once you level the profession to the Cata skill level you can gather Cata materials as you level through the zones.  At the very least this will sell very well on the auction house.

4 - Northrend
Northrend was once designed to give a tight flow to leveling.  You could skip the side quests for the most part, hit the story lines, and end up at 80 in an afficient way or you could do many side quests and skip zones you didnt need.  While I may like the quest reward looks and stories in Outlands a bit better it was a very well designed area.  Then they nerfed exp needed, rearranged group quests into solo quests, and moved quests only available at the end of quest chains right into dungeons.  The result is a bit of a mess but no worse than what they did to outlands.

5 - Cataclysm
Now that your 80 the game changes.  The zones you explore aren't off in exotic locations but all around Azeroth.  The quests from the mision boards send you to the difefrent areas and after completing a few quests there a portal in your 'main' city (Stormwind / Orgrimar) opens.   We're going to be hitting the zones fast and hard much like in Outlands.


A - Level 1-10 happens pretty much the same for everyone.  My only suggestion is to consider if you want another race's mount (every Alli I have goes for the Night Elf cat every Hordie the Orc Wolf).  If so see the notes.

B - Level 10
Battlegrounds for PvP have unlocked for you.  Now you may of noticed your health refreshes almost instantly out of combat and in combat your mana is nearly infinite.  This ends at 11 so its a good idea to stick your head into the Battleground of Warsong Gultch and try it.
To start a PvP queue hit the symbol of your faction in your little toolbar at the bottom of your screen.  select the battleground you want to join (up to 2 later) and join.
While waiting for your battleground to pop (start) go ahead and quest more.  You will be earning a chunk of exp based on how the battleground went so it will help you level.  Our goal is to have at least 60 honor points awarded to us by the time we are 15+.  Do remember when you exit a Battleground you will be flagged for PvP combat.  I would suggest mounting a gryphon/wyvern or entering while in flight since that removes your PvP flag.
Remember PvP helps your character in later levels so every point you pick up is an investment in smooth sailing through Outlands and Northrend.  You will need 700+ Honor Points at 60and though that seems like a huge number it comes easily if you dabble in PvP.

C - Level 11-14
Continue questing till you hit 14 and start PvPing again, or if you're having fun do so earlier.
Even though our goal is 60 honor for now we can use extra so gather as much as you can while still having fun.

D - Level 15-19
Head to a capital city to the Warchief's Command Board or Hero's Call Board.  get the quest for the next area and head there to start questing.  If your bored with that area check out the notes.  While your working on quests you have something new to work on too.
Dungeons just unlocked for you to explore.  While entering them randomly gives a little boost to your exp gained and a trivial goodie we want to make sure to hit them all.  Hit the green 'eye' next to your PvP symbol and enter find group randomly.  Then after that's done click on the drop down menu and select whatever dungeon you missed out on.  The exp from the quests inside is just amazing and we want it.
At 18 you can get Blue quality caster cloak, ring, staff / Agi Dagger, Neck / Str Sword / Agi & Str Ring / Bow at the PvP vendors for your Warsong Gulch faction.  I usually pick up the ring, necklace, and cloak on a new server for a total of 60 honor points.
At 19 Begin PvPing again.  Now were looking towards rewards for level 20 and 28.  Now we need 65 Honor.

E - Level 20-24
At 20 we can grab the trinket from the Warsong Gulch Battlemaster.  Wrap up any easy quests and go to the city and grab the next lead in quest.  Start working on the zone.  New Dungeons should be unlocked, random for them or select them to run, get their quests done.
Also you gain a quest in your city to get a nifty weapon.  Make sure to do it for reforging and exp while doing the dungeons.
Oh and at 20 you get your first ground mount, congratulations!

F - Level 25 - 29
At 25 its the same pattern.  Finish quests, drop any old quests, get the quest to the new zone.
At 28 you can but your first +speed boots at the Arathi Basin Battlemasters.  Not quite as stellar since you get your mount at 20, but still amazing stats and everyone has + movement baked in.  You can slow buy a blue belt and a damage absorb trinket if you need them.

G - J Level 30-49
Same basic pattern.  Do some quests, while your doing them pick up some instances.  At the end of the 5 levels do some PvP.  We want to get a total of 700+ Honor Points.
At 38 and 48 you can upgrade the + speed boots.  I tend to skip 38 and buy 48.
At 48 the Detention Block dungeon opens up.  Its a crazy fast run.  You may want to do this extra times.

K Level 50-54
Here we have another cool quest offered by your main city class trainer for a blue quality helm at 50.  make sure to grab it and finish it.  The graphic is from the set from Molten Core.  Also exp from dungeon runs picks up here till 60 so quest less and less and instance more.
Also at 50 you can get a blue quality trinket in Winterspring - 25 Int or 50 AP.  Very Nice and only about 10 quests into the zone.
At 54 you gain accees to the random battleground option.  This awards you with a bonus for going into a random one.  The first one each day being significantly worth more than the following.

L - Level 55-57
At 55 you can buy a nice Attack Power neck for 50 honor and at 58 an extremely nice agility one for 55 honor.  If your having trouble finding a necklace this is a nice option.

M - Level 58
At 58 you get a fly in your ointment (especially in PvP).  Death Knights show up.  They are in impossibly potent blue quality gear.  They have very powerful abilities.  Their not invincible but it can feel that way.  Just console yourself that soon you will be slaying them.
Wrap up your Azerothian quests and head to Outlands.  In the Temple section of each capital city is a portal to the Blasted Lands that will drop you right by the Black Portal to head in. If things are moving too slowly there then return to Azeroth to quest or run Dungeons and PvP.
At level 58 for 85 honor you can buy your PvP belt from your Arathi Basin quartermaster.
Also at 58 is when you qualify for the trinket from Outlands (Overlord for Alli and Cruel's Intentions for Horde).  Get your hands on this as soon as you can the trinket is amazing.
Finally at Level 59 you can do the outlands instances in a PuG and finish their quests, make sure to do so.

N - Level 59
The Hellfire Ramparts and Hellfire Citadel quests are available for a massive exp boost and you get a great item from each quest.

O - Level 60
Time for the world to change.  If you've been PvPing as I suggested you should have a supply on honor points.  You need at least 700 + to buy the gear you want to wear.  This will last you till around 67 when your ready for Cata greens so its a great investment in elete enchants and the like.  It is even better than the +exp gear as far as DPS, etc, goes till around 65 or 66.  See the notes for the suggested purchases.
Special Note.  Your Raid tier set from Molten Core can be equipped now.  If you have them they may easily surpass the generic PvP gear in usefulness.  The Belt and Bracers are BoE and can be gotten off the Auction House.
Thanks to diminishing returns and various other mechanics Blizzard has added (-exp for killing mobs when your top level for an expansion) at 60 you have to move into Outlands.
Since your gear will be at its best and is better than heirlooms for the level, I would  suggest having fun in Battlegrounds - an exception to avoiding entering one at low level.  Its extremely satisfying to explode people who don't have good gear and are higher level.
Also you can now purchase the flying mount skill and be able to zip around and mock the mobs that used to slow down your travel time.
Horde have a quest chain to do to unlock Nagrand quests.  opening at 60 The Assassin will make you friendly with the Mag'har that live there.

P - Level 61
Clear out your quest log and get the breadcrumb quest Helping the Cenarion Post (Horde / Alli ).  Then pick up the next breadcrumb quest The Cenarion Expedition into Zangermarsh.
Alliance players have a special task here, traveling to the Orebor Harborage in the Northwest and completing their quests till the Kurenai are friendly so they can unlock the quests in Nagrand.

Q - Level 62 - 63
Alliance players have a special task here, traveling to the Orebor Harborage in Zangarmarsh Northwest and completing their quests till the Kurenai are friendly so they can unlock the quests in Nagrand.
Clean up quests and get the lead in quests to Terokkar Forest (Horde / Alli).
At 62 you can do the quests in the Slave Pens instance.  At 63 the Underbog.
Quest here till you are 64.

R - Level 64-65
Clean up quests and start the Nagrand quests.
Don't forget to do some more PvP.  In fact hold off on the Mana-Tombs and Auchenai Crypts dungeons til you have your PvP done or make it to 65.  At 65 get a hand from a higher level or get a couple of friends (A healer, tank, DPS  in 60 pvp gear can do it by themselves).  Amazing exp and a blue weapon that might do you well for a couple of levels or for Transmogging.  Talk to Gurgthock for the quest fight fun.
For a trinket  get Grava'xi if your a caster and for melee follow these quest lines (Horde / Alli).
Sethekk Halls opens at 65 for dungeon quests, running it and the other two dungeons should put you into 66.

S - Level 66
Clean up quests and start the Blade's Edge Mountains quests til 67.
The instances of Old Hillsbrad Foothills and The Shattered Halls open up.  Both only have a few quests but they give a large chunk of exp.

T - Level  67
Clean up quests and start the Netherstorm quests though to be honest with so many dugeons you will be lucky to step foot into the zone.
The Steamvault, Botanica, Mechinar, Arcatraz, quest chains open up.  They will put you well into 68.

U - Level 68
Beqin questing in Shadowmoon Valley or move into Northrend starter zones Howling Fjord or Borean Tundra.
The Shadow Labyrinth, Black Morass, and Utgarde Keep dungeon quests unlock.  It can be tempting to just do Utgarde but the gear you would get in there you will have better than it by the time you can equip it and the dungeon quest exp makes the older dungeons more rewarding.

V - Level 69
Wrap up the Shadowmoon quests you enjoy and PvP to get the last points you need for your level 70 gear.  Your going to want around 1900 honor or more for gear.
The Nexus dungeon quests unlock.  Dont run it until you hit 70 or have your honor squared away.  The exp from the mobs and quests will level you so fast you can miss this needed window for PvP.

W - Level 70
Magisters' Terrace dungeon quests unlock.  The gear will only be Transmog fodder but the quests are good exp and your PvP gear will make it a fun trip.  You also have access to heroic level Outlands Dungeons.  If you have a transmog item you have to have you might try running it now when in addition to the chance to get the item you gain some exp.
As before exp for killing mobs in the Outlands content will drop off sharply once you hit 70 so now we have to start Northrend, but with this gear were doing it from a position of power.
Moving into Northrend quest in Howling Fjord or Borean Tundra until you hit 71.
Purchase Northrend Flying to be able to use your flying mount here.  Especially if your Horde in Borean Tundra this skill saves an amazing amount of time.

AA) Level 70
Turn in Nexus Quests and continue questing in Howling Fjord or Borean Tundra.  If you picked up the 70 PvP gear you wont be finding any upgrades in quest rewards except for trinkets.

BB) Level 71
Do Howling Fjord or Borean Tundran - Whichever you didnt do at 70.

CC) Level 72
Begin Dragonblight quests.  Some of the quests used to be group quests, they are now silly easy to solo.
The Azjol Nerum and part 1 of the Drak'Tharon Keep dungeon quests opens up.  I'd suggest skipping Drak for now and just doing it in one shot at 73.  

DD) Level 73

Wrap up Dragonblight and head to the Grizzly Hills.  Enjoy the great music and atmosphere.
Ahn'kahet quests open and the rest of Drak'Tharon Keep's quests.  
The daily PvP quests in the Grizzly Hills open up.  Each day doing the 4 of them will net 200 honor (+ any guild bonus) as I mentioned in part1 and part2 of the articles I wrote on them their easy ways to get the points you need for 85 gear if you stick to them.

EE) Level 74
Wrap up the Grizzly hills quests and head to Zul'Drak.  Make sure to finish the quest chain you start with the find of the Unliving Choker.  Not only will you get a nice blue necklace and a huge chunk of exp at the end but if you did Drak'Tharon Keep's quests you get an achievement for finishing the quests.
If your inclined try and do some pvp.  Personally I found it hugely frustrating with the easy avalibility of unbalanced gear and specs at this level so I stuck to my PvP dailies.

FF) Level 75
This part can feel a bit slow but you can do the true group quests for a blue weapon and a massive exp boost.  Talk to Shifty Vickers in Dalaran for the intro quest and a bit more exp.  Just like the Nagrand Ring you want to get someone higher level to help or 3-4 level apropriate characters.
Violet Hold quests open up as do the Trial of the Champion but you cant random the Trial till 78.  If you can get a higher level to drag you along through it.
Continue the Zul'Drak quests.

GG) Level 76
Wrap up Zul'Drak and head to Sholazar Basin, get intro quest from Dalaran 'Where in the World is Hemet Nesingwary?'.  The chain quests for the different creature types arent that interesting but when  you factor in the killing its a very nice return with little travel since the animals are just about everywhere.  Make sure to do them.
The Halls of Stone dungeon quests open up.

HH) Level 77
Wrap up quest in Sholazar Basin and head to Dalarin and get Preparations for War (Alliance / Horde) - We're off to Icecrown!
After arriving in Ice Crown, before heading off to unlock the Knights of the Ebon Blade, go  and begin the Argent Tournament quest chain.  It starts with Justicar Mariel Trueheart's quests.  These daily quests are easy and give good exp and eventually unlock easy heirloom gear for alts.  But the weapon quest is a time sink I'd avoid unless your already in the area or 85.
This is also the first level you can equip Cataclysm item level greens.  Do it.  Their power level is HIGHER than Icecrown Citadel raid gear (last level 80 Raid for Wrath).  The bonus exp you gain from heirlooms is a faint addition to your character compared to the raw power of these items.
The Occulus and Halls of Lightning dungeon quests open up.  

II) Level 78-79
Continue questing in Icecrown.
The Culling of Stratholme and Utguard Pinnicle quests open up.
Also the trial of the champion opens up but you need an average item level  of 180 to random for it.  With Cata greens this shouldn't be an issue.  Remember if you have an Heirloom item its counted as item level 1 so at least carry in your backpack an extra item with higher level.
The quests in the Icecrown 5 mans open up, but you cant random it yet.  Like Trial of the Crusader you can enter them through the front door so get a few higher level friends and knock them out.

JJ) Level 80
Wrap up your quests, its time to start the Cataclysm!
You can now random the Forge of souls, Pit of Saron, and Halls of reflection (IL 219).  They all give a small bonus in JP just for running them and are worth doing once for the quest exp.
The Cata dungeons open up and if you have Cata greens on already you should be more than ready to just walk in.  Blackrock Caverns and Throne of Tides both require an IL of 226 to begin.  The quests of course start at 80.

A*) Level 80 to 82 - Cataclysm
You have 2 zones to pick from at 80, I'd start in Mount Hyjal.  Both because you eventually unlock the Molten front Dailies for Pets and Mounts and gold at 85 and because its generally easier to deal with than the 3D fighting and slow swimming of Vashj'ir.  PvP is generally awful at this level range so Id suggest just doing the Grizly Hills PvP dailies.  You have 2 levels to get so you might end up dipping your toe into Vashj'ir some.  If you finish a zone you should have a complete set of quest Cata greens to wear as upgrades.

B*) 82 Deepholm
Its going to be very important later that you finish Deepholm.  If you have time to kill come and work on quests here till your finished.  This is because they give the shoulder enchants for everyone and a very sweet ring(s) from their rep (the best enchants at Exalted).  The gear here is a minor upgrade from Hyjal but there is a special one to mention an axe that is the only tanking weapon outside an instance in Cata.  Once you hit 83 hit you capital (Stormwind/Orgrimar) and get the quest to Uldum.  You will need to head to Tanaris in the SW to start the zone.
Also now that your 82 the quests in the Vortex Pinnacle and Stonecore unlock.

C*) 83 Uldum
With a great story (The Ramkahen first half not the tired Indiana Jones ripoff) and fantastic gear Uldum is afun place to play in.  There is also an incredibly eeaaaaaasy daily here Thieving Little Pluckers that should be a part of your routine.  Run through the quests till you hit 84 and head back to Orgrimar/Stormwind for the quests to the Twilight Highlands.
Also at 83 the quests in the Lost City of the Tol'vir and the Halls of Origination unlock.

D*) 84 Twilight Highlands
The Twilands quest gear puts anything you've seen to shame.  Quest here and get full upgrades and make yourself all shinny.  If your a skinner try and stop at Blackout.  See notes below as to why.
You may be tempted to try PvP.  if you are give it a whirl but dont expect anything. Your best steady source of honor is the daily quests in Grizzly Hills.
At 84 the quests in the Grim Batol dungeon unlock.  Dont stress if you cant finish them in a run, they weren't designed to be unless your very lucky.

Practice (mounts)
If you do want another race's mount after you finish your starting area run to theirs and start over again there.  The starting quests are excellent for working up that rep quickly.  It is difficult if you have a class the race cant be (like a Paladin in the Orc lands) because the trainer will only be found in the capital city (Orgrimar has Paladin Trainers).  Still, I think its worth that time to have a cool mount instead of a derpy one (I'm looking at you Kodos).

D - Questing Areas
Remember each continent in Azeroth has the same level areas.  So if you cant stand the thought of anther trip through the Southern Barrens or Duskwood head to a city on the other continent.  It will head you right to the new zone.  So you have at least two level 1 to 60 paths to explore.

D*) Blockout
If you complete this quest you will lose easy access to Blackened Dragonscale.
This may mean the zone rep is a bit slower bit if your a LW or a skinner looking for profit its well worth the extra tabard wearing.

AH Camping
When you hit town search for rings and necklaces level 57-59.  Bracers and belt level 60.  Pick up burning crusade item level rings (item level 80+) and necklace and/or the raid gear bracers and belt for your class.  Also keep an eye out for good level 67-69 gear.  You will need a full suit of  77-79 gear.
Also make sure to hit the AH for your level 77-79 Cata level gear.  These have an item level of 272 or higher.  These green quality gear will outstrip anything you wil lfind in Northrend.  Remember heirlooms list the max level they will help you gain with bonus exp not the level they work in.  So a level 1-80 will stop working at 80 for bonus exp.
Start looking for 85 gear as well.  Instance drops for each class come from the new zones combined with earned JP and HP you can fully deck yourself out in glory as soon as your 85.  Dont ignore crafted pvp blue armor as at 377 their really fantastic.

PvP Levels, Why on the 4 and 9?
At this point your at the top level for the characters your going to be facing.  Even if your gear isnt the best your going to have a good fighting chance against most opponents.  now there will be some who 'twink' to max out their character as much as possible.  avoid them or take them in a pack.  That's their thing, yours is leveling, don't get distracted and spend forever at 39 seeking revenge.

Level 60 PvP Gear
Death Knight
Yes even a Death Knight can upgrade this way.  At least a little bit.
Two 1-H weapons 370 Honor or 2-H Weapon 290 Honor
Bracers 85 Honor
Almost as weird as the shaman armor the Druid armor is a Tank, Agi DPS, caster leather ... thing.  Still useful but not as potent as say Mage gear that is more focused.
2-H Weapon 290 Honor
Bracers 85 Honor
6 Piece Armor Set 585 Honor
Optional Ring 50
Given the importance of the bow and the melee weapon for stats make sure to spend enough time to get both.
2-H Weapon 290 Honor
Bow 185 Honor
Bracers 85 Honor
6 Piece Armor Set 585 Honor
Optional Ring 50
Mage, Priest, Warlock
Staff Weapon 290 Honor
Bracers 85 Honor
6 Piece Armor Set 585 Honor
Optional Ring 50
Paladin, Warrior
2-H Weapon 290 Honor or 1-H+Shield 290 Honor
Bracers 85 Honor
6 Piece Armor Set 585 Honor
Optional Ring 50
Two 1-H weapons 370 Honor
Bracers 85 Honor
6 Piece Armor Set 585 Honor
Optional Ring 50
Shaman are a very special case.  They have been heavily revamped over the years and none of the old gear has been upgraded to reflect that.  In fact some set bonuses for their gear are now in their talent trees!  Because the stats are mixed up it isn't as easy as 'buy the purple' like other classes.
Two 1-H weapons 370 Honor  or Staff Weapon 290 Honor
Caster: Epic Legs, Boots, Gloves and Blue Helm, Chest, Shoulders
Enhancement: Epic Shoulders, Legs, Gauntlets, Helm, and Blue Chest, Boots.

Level 70 PvP Gear 
All Characters;
Shoulders, Chest, Gloves, Helm, Legs 805 Honor
Boots 140 Honor
Belt 140 Honor
Bracers 90 Honor
Neck 90 (agility class only others get their neck from the Utgarde Keep quest))
Ring 75 Honor
Cloak 90 Honor
   Total 1340 / 1430 Agi
2-H Weapon or 2 1-H Weapons 350 Honor
Main Hand Weapon (caster, DPS, whatever) 245 Honor
Offhand Weapon 105 Honor
Healing/Tanking Shield 175 Honor
Relic / Thrown 95
Tanks will want to turn 350 honor into 250 JP to buy the Autoblocker Trinket.
A word on tanking with the PvP shield.  yes, do it.  The armor value and stam make it better than the equivalent tanking shields.  if you feel guilty toss a +20 dodge enchant on it.  This actually goes for the whole set.  Gem and enchant it for tanking and it will do swimmingly.

Level 80 PvP Gear

So, should you buy PvP gear for 80 with the honor you have been saving up?  No.
The gear is weaker than quest rewards in the Cata zones and even drop greens so its usefulness will at best be brief.  Save all your points, continuing to do the Grizzly Hills quests even after 80, and worry about it at 85.

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