Leveling Fast in Shadowlands – Which Expansion is Right for You?

Leveling Fast in Shadowlands - Which Expansion is Right for You?

Leveling SquishChromie Time

Although the fastest records had dipped below 4 hours, there have been a number of changes over the course of the Shadowlands beta targeting those times, from completely overhauling heirloom bonuses to nerfing bonus objective experience. A general player can now expect to make their way from level 1 to 50 in around 12-24 hours, depending on expansion, although a speed leveler could still knock these times down with proper planning and extensive use of enchants, consumables, and other optimizations.

Chromie Time Expansion Approximate Pace
Warlords of Draenor 12 hours
Legion 14 hours
Battle for Azeroth 16 hours
Mists of Pandaria 16 hours
Cataclysm 20 hours
Wrath of the Lich King 24 hours
The Burning Crusade 24 hours

Keep in mind, these are just estimates, as a well prepared and experienced speed leveler can move quite a bit faster with proper preparation, but you don’t have to know all that in order to be successful – our leveling FAQ covers all the basics that every player should know, such as the advantages of different classes, whether or not they should use War Mode, and what changes are coming with Shadowlands.

Leveling FAQSpeed Leveling Tips & Tricks

Warlords of Draenor – 12 hours

The Warcraft III simulator that never was offers a surprising amount of leveling advantages, between five dense questing zones, garrison abilities, treasures and bonus objectives, and automatically unlocked flying for those with Pathfinder. Bonus objectives were so lucrative that they were recently nerfed, but Draenor remains the fastest leveling content. As an added bonuses, there are also a lot of rare mobs which can drop toys, transmog, or even mounts along the way!

Legion – 14 hours

The Broken Shore is a shell of its former self, as the main attraction within the expansion is long gone. With artifacts burned out and legendaries disabled, there’s no real allure to the expansion the way you might be interested in using Azerite armor or building up a garrison, leaving Legion a very straightforward questing experience. The scenario heavy story beats as you collect your now useless artifacts slows it down a little bit, but it offers a lot of the same improvements that WoD does – treasures, bonus objectives, and fairly dense quest zones, making it one of the better experiences for those who enjoyed the content the first time around.

Battle for Azeroth – 16 hours

Battle for Azeroth isn’t actually a part of Chromie Time, as it’s currently considered the default storyline experience leading into Shadowlands, though it’s actually one of the better experiences overall. Not only is it the most modern experience, encompassing years of quality of life improvements and streamlining (which means a lot less time spent wandering around), it also offers Azerite bonuses, bonus objectives, good density, and a fairly engaging storyline. That said, it’s also the most recent storyline, which is one that frequent levelers may have already seen one time too many!

Mists of Pandaria – 16 hours

The Pandaren aren’t kidding when they say “slow down”, as it’s going to take a bit longer to get through the dialogue heavy story beats throughout Pandaria, but playing farmville is still a lot of fun. While it doesn’t offer much in the way of leveling incentives, the the beautifully atmospheric Pandaria and great music can be very relaxing, which can at least make it one of the most pleasant experiences out there.

Cataclysm – 20 hours

Cataclysm leveling encompasses the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor revamps, but despite being updated experiences, they’re starting to show their age. The lack of coherent reward structure from zone to zone means you’ll be very reliant on heirlooms, and frequently moving from zone to zone can slow things down a bit, though the nostalgia may be worth it for some. Unfortunately, if you were looking to jump straight into Deepholme, Uldum, and other Cataclysm zones, you’re in for disappointment, as those only open up toward the end, and you’re unlikely to spend much time in them before hitting 50 and getting booted out.

Wrath of the Lich King – 24 hours

Northrend is a cold and desolate place in which leveling goes to die. While one of the most well liked expansions, it’s about as decrepit as the skeletons you’ll be slaying, with some sorely outdated mechanics – say goodbye to special action buttons and remote quest turn in, get ready to search your bags for quest items that take 10 seconds to use on 30 second cooldowns, and strap in for the long haul. If you’re only in it for the story elements, it’s actually one of the more coherent experiences in the game, as just about everything revolves around the titular Lich King, but it’s also completely possible to hit level 50 before you ever even get to the meatier parts of the storyline within Icecrown itself.

The Burning Crusade – 24 hours

Much like Northrend, Outland represents a time before all of the quality of life improvements seen in more recent expansions. The zones are wide and vast, but also kind of empty, leaving players spending a great deal of time simply hiking back and forth for the amusement of the NPCs. Making it a hell of a slog compared to more modern questing experiences.

The biggest advantage to Chromie Time is the much more flexible approach to content, as it’s not always about the fastest possible time if you’re not able to stomach going through the same storyline over and over again. So which expansion are you interested in leveling in, and what preparations are you making ahead of time? Are you stockpiling Goblin Glider Kit and XA-1000 Surface Skimmer to get around quicker, or are you planning to take a more cinenmatic approach, eager to re-experience old expansions all over again? Let us know in the comments below!

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