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Best Zones To Level In Shadowlands

author
David Lawrence
• Sunday, 29 November, 2020
• 9 min read

Once you’ve decided on a new main for the coming expansion, or possibly alts you’d like to have around, a second question arises. Before there were some questions along the way, as Burning Crusade and Wrath shared a bracket as did Cataclysm and Mists of Mandarin, but you still largely had your path decided by the release order.

shadowlands wow map bastion comments
(Source: www.reddit.com)

Contents

For many players, this is a good excuse to revisit content from the past that used to be out leveled quickly and hard to actually experience in any meaningful way. Burning Crusade, Wrath, and Cataclysm should generally be avoided unless you have a specific quest or activity you hope to complete along the way.

For the average player, this sort of play isn’t exactly desirable, and estimates extrapolated from applying a raw multiplier to what PTR speed runs aren’t accurate. Some zones are improved far more by using these speed run strategies than others, so it’s best to keep the rankings in mind and focus on minimizing your downtime more than quibbling overestimates; the time you spend worrying your choice might not have been perfect is probably enough to cover the difference between them.

It’s hard to keep a dense experience down, and despite several nerfs The Iron Horde campaign from Warlords is still the quickest expansion. It’s important while you’re in Drano to take advantage of grabbing any treasures you see and never miss bonus objectives near your path.

Going far out of your way for one that doesn’t have any quests associated may not be worth it, but missing bonus objectives that are on your path is a good way to really lower the yield in Drano. Picking up just a few that are close to your path quickly adds up to a quest’s worth of experience and even counting the time to get to them, this will probably take only a minute or two.

This is another reason why preexisting knowledge really helps Drano’s speed, knowing the path to get to the harder treasures can add multiple full quests of experience for very little work. Puzzling them out for the first time or even finding someone else’s solution likely takes long enough to make them no longer worthwhile after the nerf.

shadowlands changes leveling wow spotlight wowhead
(Source: cn.wowhead.com)

The zones are suited well to leveling through and leaving, as well, with stories that are mostly self-contained as you search for items important to the main plot of the expansion. The biggest downside is that there are a number of quests that may slow your class hall campaign or professions if you choose to use them as they require dungeon completions.

One of the best changes World of Warcraft: Shadow lands brings to the MMO is a completely revised leveling experience for characters from 1-50. At level one, brand-new WoW players are sent by default to Exile's Reach, the excellent new-player starting experience on a self-contained island.

The island is a well-paced and engaging adventure that packs ten levels into an hour or two of your time. At level 10, both experienced players and new ones are given the starting quests for the latest Battle for Zeroth expansion.

If you choose to follow them, they'll lead you to the islands of KUL Tires and Kandahar, where you'll see the most recent chapter of WoW's history. You pick up the epic riding skill at 20 and flying at 30 (with no special attunements required for any expansion's zones).

Or try the underrated Mists of Mandarin, which has a sedate leveling style and easygoing quest progression reminiscent of the Andean race it introduced. The Burning Crusade and Cataclysm both involve tons of running, disjointed story lines and antiquated mechanics, so unless you're nostalgic for those zones experience from your first time around, it's best to avoid them now.

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(Source: www.wowhead.com)

Based on personal experience, it takes about twice the amount of time to level through The Burning Crusade compared to Warlords. First, if your character doesn't have a tank or healing specialization, you'll want to find someone who does to group with as the queues for damage players can be lengthy.

Avoid Warlords of Drano, Legion and Battle for Zeroth, as they offer few or no quests in leveling dungeons. Some leveling items still work in the expansion where they were originally collected, but they are typically only good for secondary (alt) characters.

Draft of Ten Lands, for instance, works in Battle for Zeroth, but requires you to have a maximum- level main character to buy them. (Image credit: Blizzard)One of the best ways to maximize your leveling speed is to group up with other people, using the game's Party Sync feature to synchronize quests and run dungeons.

As long as you incorporate a new player periodically and sync with them, you'll all be able to repeat dungeons and re-do those quests for full experience. Party Sync can be buggy, so be sure to re-sync before inviting a new character to the group, while also checking everyone is out of instances, vehicles, flight paths and other scenarios that make them busy before re-syncing.

Light forged Drained, for example, get extra experience points for killing demons, so The Burning Crusade and Legion are excellent options for them. Similarly, Andean get double the rested XP, and so being able to log out in a place where they can gain rest might be a concern, making expansions like Wrath of the Rich King and others with a fair amount of settlements a good option for them.

shadowlands screenshots revendreth warcraft zone maps expansion alpha alongside veins icy courtesy below build down latest added
(Source: wccftech.com)

Will players leveling in Legion find the Artifact Weapon mechanics slowing them down? Speaking of things that are expansion-specific, if you haven’t earned flight via the Pathfinding achievements in Warlords or Legion, that may not be as influential a decision as it was in previous expansions.

However, Battle for Zeroth currently appears to be keeping its Pathfinder requirement, which could make it a frustrating expansion to level through. For myself, looking at the expansions and remembering how much I enjoyed certain ones as leveling experiences, I think the strongest contenders are Legion, Warlords of Drano, Wrath of the Rich King, and Mists of Mandarin.

I think if I had to rate them, it would depend on if I were playing a Light forged Drained or not, but for pure ease of getting XP from quests, for having the most varied dungeons to run, and for the least amount of travel time problems between quest hubs, I’d make the following call. Legion is similar, but I think for a lot of players Wrath of the Rich King combines decent quest flow with nostalgia that will keep them playing, and that’s worth considering.

Probably not as bad on threads of fate other than the general slow speed of it KTG2 posted... A friend of ours did this and ended up grinding herbs because they ran out of questsBlizz did not account for this but decided to offer it.

Probably not as bad on threads of fate other than the general slow speed of it KTG2 posted... A friend of ours did this and ended up grinding herbs because they ran out of questsBlizz did not account for this but decided to offer it.

(Source: www.overclockers.co.uk)

Probably not as bad on threads of fate other than the general slow speed of it I was over leveled by a whole zone doing every quest when I leveled with no rest exp.

Death does not lurk in the background in World of Warcraft: Shadow lands, lingering as a threatening aura, out of sight. The entirety of World of Warcraft’s eighth expansion takes place in the afterlife, sending players into the realms of the Shadow lands to shift the balance of power away from evil for the thousandth time.

And yet, despite 16 years of World of Warcraft asking players to repeatedly head into the unknown to stomp out a new or reinvigorated evil threat, Blizzard managed to make Shadow lands feel new and exciting, if a bit heavy-handed on making each of the millions of players feel antithetically like the One True Hero yet again. For context: Shadow lands has been out for a bit longer than a week, and I’ve put in something like two dozen hours.

Shadow lands brings with it that classic New Expansion feeling that has accompanied almost every iteration since 2007’s The Burning Crusade. The Shadow lands are an expansive collection of realms that process and house the souls of the dead from across the entire game universe.

We're tasked with assisting their inhabitants to build them back up and ultimately unite them against the big bad, the Jailer. But the Jailer has recently been taking every soul for himself, leaving the other, decidedly less evil realms starved for power.

(Source: thedigitalcrowns.com)

Sylvan as, a leader on the home world of Zeroth, has been involved in some increasingly genocidal, war crime-y activities, destroying two capital cities and killing innumerable beings. Well, once she broke the barrier between Zeroth and the Shadow lands, that purpose became clear: She was working with the Jailer, and all the souls of the people she killed went directly to him.

It’s immediately apparent that Blizzard is once again giving each player running through this content the starring role of the One True Hero. For most of the game's life, players have largely been treated as pieces of a larger puzzle, not the stars of the story.

While I made my way into and back out of the shadowy, oppressive Maw (the first person being to ever do that, I’m told repeatedly), I’m listening to non-player characters tell me how I’m the first mortal they’ve seen. Despite journeying alongside countless human players, the adulation for my “singular” achievements continued throughout the whole story until I hit level 60, and it began to wrap.

We see how the lack of souls is affecting each area, meet their leaders, stave off some enemies, and unravel the mysteries of the Shadow lands. Bastion, inspired by Greek and Norse mythology, has rolling golden plains interrupted by sheer gray cliffs and deep, hazy depressions.

The story here is riveting mystery in which we try to figure out the root of the evil seeping into Bastion, and which culminates in a full-on invasion. It’s a realm that takes in souls who were connected to nature, nourishes them in seeds, and sends them back to new worlds to continue the cycle.

(Source: ec2-54-193-108-3.us-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com)

It’s a very pretty land without a doubt, but there’s little variation for the few hours spent there talking to fairies and killing giant bugs. The Century that live here are imposing vampire-like creatures that were close to being sent to the Maw where the worst, irredeemable souls are sent, but were given a final chance for redemption in Seventieth.

The aesthetics of this place with its dreary landscapes overshadowed by massive Gothic architecture is cohesive, with just enough variation to make exploration exciting. The realm's story of power struggles, lies, and a bombastic culmination of betrayal at the end is searing.

The longer you spend there, the more the Jailer notices you and starts sending increasingly powerful denizens to take care of you. The Maw actively wants you to leave with its tougher-than-usual enemies, oppressive atmosphere, and frustrating dangers that can immobilize players and even deliver one-hit kills.

The varied, inventive landscapes are a refreshing departure from the duller locales in 2018's Battle for Zeroth. Some of the bits that I’ve loved the most are parts that remind me of earlier moments in World of Warcraft history, or which reference other things.

There are a handful of moments like this in Shadow lands, from a little item called “Miserable Pile of Secrets” that can be found in Seventieth, a reference to a line from Castlemaine, to major story moments like the rebirth of a major soul from Zeroth in Greenwald. These flashes of the past that have been a part of WoW since the beginning anchor this otherworldly expansion to the broader landscape of the game in a seamless way.

shadowlands maldraxxus wow blizzcon lorekeeper panel danuser beyond interview steve looking warcraft zusammenfassung geht weiter wie google zones searches these
(Source: www.reddit.com)

There are daily quests for the Maw and through our chosen Covenants, a system that I worried could be limiting but which actually leaves room for exploring more than just the realm one chooses. There’s also Toughest, the ever-shifting randomized dungeon located in the Maw that offers new challenges and rewards to improve characters’ powers.

In a few of the runs I’ve done, both solo and with a friend, it’s been a fun way to mix up the usual grind of conquering dungeons for gear improvements, Piping here and there, and daily quests. Once I finish up with my chosen Covenant, the Century, I'm excited to hop over to the next one, to see how their story progresses and spend more time in that zone, whatever it may be.

This squished level cap has been a long time coming, and it makes the whole game seem less daunting. On the surface, it has what a good expansion needs: Pretty new lands to explore and an exciting story, as well as new, inventive features to shake up the cobwebs that inevitably appear on a 16-year-old game.

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Sources
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3 www.deviantart.com - https://www.deviantart.com/can-cat/art/Kick-The-Can-841159785
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