The long road to max level in World of Warcraft has been cut in half weeks before the Dragonflight (opens in new tab)expansion drops at the end of the month.
Blizzard has issued a patch to lower the amount of XP it takes to go from level one to level 60, which is a 57% reduction, according to a calculation from Icy-Veins (opens in new tab). Unlike temporary boosts to XP gain, like the recent Winds of Winter buff, Blizzard has permanently made the entire leveling experience faster than it's ever been.
The XP required to go from level 49 to 60 has been reduced by about 70%, which means if you left off somewhere in Shadowlands, you can zoom up to max level in as little as 2 hours (opens in new tab) with XP-boosting items and a good questing route.
Blizzard has hastened the leveling experience a lot over the years. Not only are zones packed with quests and enemies, but the entire world scales to your level. Once you hit level 10, you can choose a specific expansion's zones to visit. Most people recommend heading to Warlords of Draenor for its high concentration of quests and bonus objectives that reward loads of XP for doing very little. Combine that efficiency with the new XP requirements, XP boosts from heirlooms, having the PvP Warmode on, and rested bonus XP, and you can zip up to level 60 within a few days.
WoW: Dragonflight will increase the level cap to 70 and introduce a new Dragon-themed storyline set in their ancient home, the Dragon Isles. New expansions are intended to be about experiencing the story and unlocking new features rather than racing to the level cap, so leveling up there might feel sluggish compared to the rest of the game.
You could always skip most of this process by boosting a character to level 60 by pre-ordering the Heroic or Epic edition of Dragonflight, or buying a level skip separately for $60. As long as you have a single level 50 character, you can roll a Dracthyr, the new highly-customizable (opens in new tab) dragon race, who start at level 58 and end their starting zone (opens in new tab) at level 60.
WoW: Dragonflight launches on November 28.