After my first two toons (one Allie and one Horde) hit max level, I developed a bit of a formula for leveling. While leveling in Draenor has been a great experience, seeing the same quests multiple times loses its appeal quickly (especially considering some of them are faction neutral and you see them on EVERY toon you level).
My alts did a bit of passive leveling with XP follower missions and doing garrison stuff. There were many nights where all I did with these toons was log in, clear their mission tabless, and (when applicable) tend the mine and garden. Typically, I did this during officer meetings, while waiting in vent for others to join the raid group, or if I happened to have a little bit of time before heading to work. Since these toons were almost always in their garrisons, they had the rested XP bonus too (+100% on mob kills).
In full heirlooms, I never finish a zone, it’s just not necessary. “Full heirlooms” means all of the xp-bonus heirlooms that can be bought with gold (head, shoulders, cape, chest, and legs). These net an additional 45% experience for killing mobs or herbing/mining nodes. Having the ring from the shipyard rare mission makes that number become 50%. So when the rested XP bonus is factored in, it’s +145% or +150% XP for mob kills. Having the Garrosh heirloom weapon, the fishing derby ring, the trinket from the shipyard rare mission, or the other gold purchasable heirlooms (neck, trinkets, weapons), they give additional options for gear (they won’t add to the XP gain, though). The best part is that I never have to repair heirlooms. EVER! If I remember correctly, it’s only a gold piece to transmog them too. I only have to mog them once and they stick with me for the entire leveling experience. I only have to mog bracers, gloves, belt and boots as I replace them (if I remember, or care).
When I was actively leveling, the following was my routine. Keep in mind that I grab all treasures along my path (not all the treasures for the entire zone, just the ones near where I happen to be). The extra XP makes a world of difference, but I don’t like traipsing across the entire zone.
- Starting zone: I do a majority the zone so that I can get all the starting zone followers. I usually wind up being pretty decently into level 93. This also guarantees that the garrison is upgraded to level 2 and profession buildings are setup. Toons with crafting professions get their appropriate profession huts. All others get Enchanter huts and either a useful building (blacksmith for plate wearers, for example) or the storehouse for quick bank access. Toons that aren’t going to be played much wind up with the inn for filling in the follower ranks and eventually providing treasure missions.
- Gorgrond: I only establish the outpost and get the outpost specific follower. I’m not fond of this zone, so I’m happy that the starting zone and XP missions carry me so far through the 92-94 range. Pick up Tormmok and Blook as followers. I typically only have to do a bonus objective or another quest hub to finish the trip to 94.
- Talador: I do the quests that establish the outpost and run the Going to Gordunni quest line as soon as it’s available (to provide the free upgrade of the barracks and get you another follower). I upgrade small buildings too. Though, I don’t always assign followers to the profession huts on my alts. I often keep them cranking out missions (more gold and xp missions successfully completed that way). Also, this is where you get the Pleasure Bot 8000 and Illona/Aeda followers. I’m usually well into 96 by this point.
- Spires of Arak: I establish the outpost quickly (all the way through freeing the ghost of Admiral Taylor from Ephial) then run the Pinchwhistle Gearworks quest line for the salvage yard blueprints and Kimzee Pinchwhistle follower. Pick up Leorahj as a follower. I’m typically well into 98 by this point. If not, I’ll run the Terrok quest line for the Ishaal follower.
- Nagrand: I establish the outpost quickly. Do the Halvadore quests to unlock Lantressor as a follower. Pick up the fishing pole pieces to get Abu’gar as a follower. Head over to get Goldmane as a follower. At this point I look at where I am with XP. If I’m a fourth, or more, of the way into level 99, I fly around and pick up all the treasures in the zone until I ding 100, or knock out a couple bonus objectives.
Since these are alts that have been around a while, I typically have a bunch of Baleful BoA tokens at my disposal (as well as level 100 mission gear tokens). I use those and do a bronze level proving ground to get a 610 weapon. The heirlooms are iLevel 605, so they’re passable until I can get better stuff through Tanaan. Crafted gear is cheap now. So I use that to replace my lowest gear until I get new upgrades.
So within minutes of dinging 100, I’m over iLvl 610. I can say from my experience that this is enough to do the Tanaan intro quests. I just make sure to use all the tools in my toolbox to minimize the pulls. There are always groups in the pre-made group finder that are working on the portion of Tanaan I am currently working in too. So I use the power of numbers there. Sometimes, I meet interesting people to quest with in the future.
By the time I finish the starter quests in Tanaan, I’m typically bumping up against the 650 iLvl for HFC LFR. A day or two usually nets me enough drops or apexis to cross the 650 line.