Ready, set, start killing boars! For some, WoW Classic leveling won’t be about nostalgically touring the countryside. For those hardy souls, it’s all about getting to endgame and those sweet level 60 rewards. We get it, and we’ve got your back.
Please note that this guide is a somewhat Machiavellian treatise. It’s not the most fun or sociable plan, or even the way/plan to level—and I’m semi-hardcore about this sort of thing. These WoW leveling tips are specifically designed to get you level cap in the fastest way possible, the journey be damned.
If speed isn’t the only goal for you, pick and choose the parts that work for you, and disregard the rest as you see fit.
Make your character now
Chances are, if you’re interested in gunning for 60 as quickly as you can, you’ve already created your characters. If not, get to it now. Don’t waste precious time after launch deciding which earrings your character should keep. Try logging in before the official hour, too; in past releases, servers have sometimes been available early.
Then make more
The character limit lifted to ten per account at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on launch day in the US, and you should use it to create not only the characters you want on your chosen server, but also some for the new servers added recently.
Nearly every server currently listed as 'Full' will have massive queues at launch. If you don’t care which server you play on, consider swapping to somewhere less busy. If not, create your characters on one of the new servers to kill time while you’re waiting for your queue to tick down on your first-choice realm.
Blizzard has already started making noises about character transfers becoming available, as they were at the end of vanilla WoW. Either way, creating more characters gives you something with which to occupy yourself. This works best if you have more than one account active, of course.
Unless you’re locked to a particular server by your guild or friends, choose a non-PvP server for most efficient leveling. Getting ganked takes time since not everyone will be in the same hurry you are. If you're only up for casual PvP, remember that Battlegrounds will be coming in a later phase of Classic for all servers.
Pick a rarer race
The race you choose will make a big impact on those maddening crowds. Half the Horde will be queuing with you in the Valley of Trials if you choose Orc or Troll to kill the same boar. On the Alliance side, pick Human and watch as player after player taps that wolf just before your spell hits.
If you want to make it to 60 as quickly as possible, go for a less common race, such as Gnomes or Undead. They’ll still be popular—each faction only has four races to choose from, after all—but it won’t be as awful.
Pick a primary damage class
Obviously, if you want to be a Priest (the most popular healer in Classic) or a Warrior (the most popular tank) to 60, pick those characters. But, equally, you can’t expect them to get to 60 as quickly as primary damage classes not subject to Blizzard’s vanilla 'Hybrid Tax,' which reduces the damage of classes that can also fulfill other roles.
For power-leveling, consider Rogue or Mage. Warlock and Hunter can be good as pet classes but, remember, pets don’t hold the attention of monsters in Classic the way they do in the modern game, and they require more micro-management. Plus, you won’t get the pets you want for quite a few levels.
Get out of that starting zone
No matter what class you choose, get out of the starting zone. This will have the largest concentration of other players trying to do exactly the same quests as you. This means moving on to secondary zones as soon as possible (without dying).
For Humans, this means getting out of Northshire Abbey and Goldshire and out into the countryside, either in Westfall or in the Eastvale Logging Camp. For Orcs, escape the Valley of Trials and up to Razor Hill so you can gun for the Barrens (opens in new tab).
If you're going to marathon, do it at the start
People will be logging on in waves all week long, with a peak at launch and another on the first weekend. Get out in front of that wave so you’re finishing an area as the masses arrive behind you. That’s why you want to be online the moment the servers come up for your region with your pre-made character. So, if you're planning a long play session, do it immediately at launch.
Players increasingly spread out the higher their level because there more areas become available and some slow down or drop off due to sleep, eating, and real-life responsibilities. People like that don't get to 60 in record time. Push hard at the beginning and you’ll still be able to have a shower. (For the love of god, please take a shower.)
Yes, two can kill faster than one. But that also means the experience for each kill is halved and that, combined with quests, means you’re likely to be stuck grinding by killing random monsters for experience every time you want to complete a zone. Plus, partners in leveling, while fun, also mean twice the bathroom breaks, snacks, phone calls, and other interruptions. If you’re leveling a healer or tank, you’ll want a buddy, because killing things is going to take forever, otherwise. If you're a DPS, you’re better off alone.
Don't just run there: kill things
Every quest you get will require running in WoW Classic: lots and lots of running. Distances are long, too, particularly if you’re moving to the next quest hub or zone boundary.
Kill the things you meet along the way to grind without things feeling too tedious. With a little practice, you can even kite the mobs along with you by periodically damaging them as you run.
Only do dungeons when you have all the quests
Dungeon quests in Classic aren’t given inside the instances. Instead, they’re spread throughout the game world; some are right outside, but many are scattered around the zone at the end of longer quest lines.
Dungeons take a while to do, mostly because you have to visit a capital city to get a group (unless you have one in guild, but guilds will be rare in those early hours.) It’s almost never worth it unless you have a group handy—and when you have all the quests.
Repeat dungeons if you have a good group
If your group performs well inside a dungeon, see if you can persuade them to 'flip' the instance a couple of times—resetting it and doing it again, sparing everyone the organization and walking time, in other words.
Don’t take or use professions: collecting materials and selling your wares on the auction house takes time. If you’re planning to be a tailor or an enchanter later, just create a level one alt for tradeskill supplies, park them next to a mailbox, and mail them everything relevant in your bags every time you hit town.
Strategise for carrying stuff
Unlike modern WoW, there is no vendor mount in Classic. You’re stuck with what’s in your bags until you find a vendor with whom to sell them. For speed, create a level one trash alt, and every time you hit a town with an inn, mail everything that you don’t immediately need. There will be time to handle all those green items later.
Coordinate training times when you need a break
Training new skills almost always requires returning to a major city, and that takes time, even if you’ve learned the flight points. This is when you should be taking a break. Your body will thank you for it, and the flights themselves won’t eat much time out of your leveling.
90 percent of leveling quickly is keeping your eyes on the prize and avoiding activities that don’t pay off in experience. If you follow these tips and move on from a zone when the quests go 'green,' you’ll zip to 60. At least by Classic standards.