With the oncoming Cataclysm only a scant two and a half weeks away, it’s high time that you start preparing for how you’re planning to level up to 85, if you haven’t already.
There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when thinking about this ranging from efficiency, speed and fun factor but I’ll help you cover at least the broad strokes of the pros and cons of each method in the hopes that you find something that will call to you and draw you to it.
Diving right into the heart of the matter, the first method is for those that are concerned with hitting the level cap as quickly as humanly possible.
It’s an undisputed fact that the absolute fastest way to level, bar none, is to get together a solid group and simply grind out instances. The reason why this works so effectively is that with a solid group, a team that you’re familiar with and can trust to do their individual jobs to the best of their ability, there’s little to no downtime involved. There’s no one around to steal your mobs, there’s no foundering around looking for new quest hubs or waiting for vital quest mobs to respawn. There’s no one to gank you, no herbs or ores to mine. Just mob after mob dying, getting looted and doing it over again.
A brief pause as you gain a level or two, graduate to the next dungeon and repeat the process over and over again until you hit 85.
It’s definitely the fastest way, but at its heart, it’s a little boring isn’t it? Just pure grinding and repetition. You miss out on any of the neat little quests that have been added, you don’t get a wide variety of gear at your disposal and if you’re a completionist, these quests that you could use to level up are all quests that you’ll be clearing through later on anyway, so why not do them while you can get the experience for them?
On that note, questing and exploring is another way to level. It’s definitely not anywhere near as quick and efficient as it is to grind out dungeons, no one can argue that point. The opening few weeks of the expansion, if the previous expansions are any indication, will feature a huge influx of players itching to try out all of the new content. There’s going to be a huge demand for quest mobs, especially the ones where you need to kill a single mob on a long respawn timer. A quest here or there might be bugged and there will be a constant searching for the next quest hub as sometimes, they might not send you onto the next one once you’re done with the current.
On top of all that, if you’re playing on a PvP server, be prepared to be ganked.
But through it all, you’ll have more fun doing it this way, I think. You’ll get to see all of the new zones, get to experience all of the fun little easter eggs that Blizzard loves to put into their games and you’ll acquire a larger variety of gear that will help you prepare for the inevitable raiding experience once you max out.
Unless you’re in a guild that has a good chance at server or world firsts, I’d highly recommend taking the scenic route for levelling.
Keep in mind too if you’re thinking about dungeon grinding to 85; even if the five people in your group manage to make it to 85 in record time, you’re still going to need a minimum of ten players to form up a raid so even if you level like a house on fire, it’s going to do no good if not enough people came with you, which will lead you to have blitzkrieged through your Cataclysm experience for no reason.
But in the end, as everything is, it’s all up to you.
So whichever path you choose, happy levelling!