If you’re planning on questing…well, I hope you’re playing as a Hunter, Mage, or some other class that excels at AOE/pet-based solo leveling. Otherwise, you’re going to hit some minor roadblocks on your journey that will be made that much worse if you’re not able to join the occasional dungeon group.
What Is the Fastest Way to Level From 1-80 in Wrath of the Lich King Classic?
First off, I highly recommend consulting professional guides on this very subject. A ton of people put a lot of work into optimizing WoW leveling runs, and anyone looking for a step-by-step leveling process should really consider taking advantage of their considerable efforts. Specifically, I highly recommend these guides from Icy Veins or these guides from Legacy WoW for more information regarding the specifics of every optimized leveling process.
Generally speaking, though, you should know that WoTLK was designed to streamline the basic leveling process. While The Burning Crusade leveling process was much quicker than it was in WoW Classic thanks to that expansion’s logical quest progression systems and zone refinements, WoTLK takes those ideas to new levels. It’s fairly easy for any player to start the new expansion’s quest line and follow that path all the way to level 80.
Having said that, anyone looking to speed up the leveling process will want to incorporate a few dungeon runs into their experience. The gap between leveling via quests and leveling via dungeon runs gets a little shorter in WoTLK, but dungeon runs are still the best way to go. As always, though, those runs require you to play with a fairly capable group of players whose schedules match your own as closely as possible.
Since it can be surprisingly difficult for the average person to find a group that matches their needs, most WoW players will end up relying on a blend of questing and dungeon runs. The good news is that the game was designed to accommodate that strategy, so you’ll hit the level cap in roughly “average” time via that method.
Finally, some classes are still better at leveling than others, though the gap between the classes is closing. Mages and other AOE classes can still take advantage of valuable “farming” spots, though that method will likely be most appealing to those looking to level up a specific class as quickly as possible. Everyone else can just enjoy the fact that WoTLK features the most painless leveling system yet.