Gaming the grind: How to level efficiently in World of Warcraft

world of warcraft legion leveling guide wow header
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft is in its sixth expansion, and as critical reception and player numbers have indicated, Legion is the best one in years. But for those who want to get into WoW for the first time, or veterans looking to level a new character, the grind to hit the new level cap of 110 can be more than a little tedious.

Blizzard has taken steps in recent years to smooth out out the leveling experience — Legion allows players to immediately boost one character to level 100, for instance — but if you want to roll multiple characters without spending money on multiple level boosters, you’ll need to spend time leveling. Thankfully, with the right maneuvers, it’s possible to level a character to 110 in a relatively short time. Here are some pointers for leveling in World of Warcraft, so you can rush through old zones and explore the new.

Step 1: Boost a character to 100 for instant gratification

If you bought Legion and have no desire to go through old content, good news! The new expansion comes with a free boost to level 100 for one character. You can buy these boosts from the in-game store whenever you want, but they normally cost $60, so savor this free one. Use it for a class that you are confident you will enjoy. As a fresh level 100 character, you will be able to immediately begin the quest that takes you the Broken Isles, the new region where Legion takes place.

The quest (titled “The Legion Returns”) should automatically appear in your quest log. If you are on Alliance, it will start by asking you to speak with a recruiter in Stormwind Harbor; Horde members will speak to their equivalent at the Dranosh’ar Blockade.

Step 2: When questing in Legion, have it your way

wow legion screen aszuna

The Broken Isles are unique among WoW continents in that you can progress through zones in any order you want. Once you have made it through the initial quests in Legion, you are free to move about four of the new zones — Val’sharah, Azsuna, Stormheim, and Highmountain — as you wish, with enemies, quests, and rewards scaling to your level. The fifth zone, Suramar, is mostly locked away until you’ve reached a certain point in the story.

In addition to questing and running dungeons in the Broken Isles, players should also remember to visit their class hall, which is like the garrisons from Draenor, but themed around your character’s class.The quest lines in your hall provide valuable experience and open up important features, like artifact weapon upgrades, that will drastically up your character’s power.

Step 3: Leveling an alternate character? Use heirloom gear

If you already have a high-level character and want to quickly level up a new one, by far the best tools for the job are the items labeled “heirloom gear.” These pieces of gear have two very special properties — they bind to your account, so any character you own can use them, and they grant bonus experience. Their stats also scale with your character’s level up to a certain point, so you can equip a fresh character with heirloom gear and power through much of the game.

These items are sold by various vendors, who usually require specific tokens rather than gold. There are heirloom pieces designed for PvE and PvP; for the purposes of leveling, PvE heirlooms are what you will want.

Each faction has a main heirloom vendor. The Horde’s is Estelle Gendry, located in the Undercity, while the Alliance’s is Krout Stoutarm in Ironforge. These vendors sell items for gold, and there are no prerequisites to access their items.

If you are a member of a guild, you can buy heirloom gear from guild vendors, provided you have high enough reputation with your guild.

The quartermaster at the Argent Tournament sells heirloom pieces in exchange for Champion’s Seals, which can be obtained through various Argent Tournament quests (a cakewalk for a level 110 character).

Another heirloom vendor is located at the Darkmoon Faire. He exchanges items for Darkmoon Faire tickets, which can be obtained by doing various activities during the Darkmoon Faire.

Keep in mind that while heirlooms can be used by any character, they still target specific classes. Make sure you purchase heirlooms that can be equipped by the character you plan to level.

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