By now, most of us have leveled alts, and probably a lot of them. And while the leveling game was probably fun the first time and even the second, by the third, fourth, fifth and beyond, you're probably painfully bored of doing the same quests again. And again. And again.
Sure, there are all sorts of tricks you can use to speed up your leveling, but what do you do when you just can't stand to quest through the same zone again? That's when you turn to alternative leveling methods. These aren't the fastest or the most efficient ways to get to max level, but they do all have the advantage of not being the same old quest grind.
So whether you're leveling a character up for the first time or the hundredth, here are our 6 favorite alternative ways to get the XP you need.
If you want to skip past entire zones of content, jumping into the Dungeon Finder is the way to do it. Especially if you're running on rested XP, dungeons can go a long way towards filling your experience bar. Starting at level 15, you can avoid Azeroth entirely if you'd like, and level all the way to 90 with dungeon run after dungeon run.
To get started, just open the Dungeon Finder (It's the green circle icon on your button bar or "i" on your keyboard), select the role you'd like to play, and the dungeon you'd like to go to. Random dungeons add the element of surprise... but don't worry, it will only send you to level-appropriate dungeons. Randoms also offer bonus rewards, making them an easy choice if you're trying to maximize your time. Plus... I know we said this was an alternative to quests, but dungeon quests will be found clustered at the beginning for easy grabbing -- and extra experience.
Ease: Especially at lower levels, dungeons aren't likely to present any big challenges -- but as you level into harder content, expect more teamwork to be required to face dungeon challenges.
Leveling speed: Fast, fast, fast. Did we say fast? The only slow part here is the time spent queuing, which can be longer if you're heading to an unpopular dungeon or queuing as DPS -- but pretty zippy for tanks and healers.
Level by slaughtering your fellow players
Though it's nowhere near as speedy as dungeon leveling, PvP does grant experience, which means jumping into a battleground for a change of pace won't completely bring your leveling progress to a halt. You can start battlegrounds at level 10 with Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin, with more battlegrounds showing up as you level.
To get started, just open the Player vs. Player menu (it's the faction icon in your button bar or "h" on your keyboard) and pick the battleground you'd like to run, or choose a bonus battleground -- either random or the week's Call to Arms battleground -- for extra rewards. In addition to experience, you'll also get honor, which you can use to buy PvP gear and other goodies.
Ease: Difficulty can vary a lot. If you don't have good gear or a good team, getting through a battleground could be pretty painful. But when you do wind up with a good team, battlegrounds can be fast and fun.
Leveling speed: Though we couldn't recommend this as a primary leveling method, it's also not the worst way to get experience.
Let your pets do all the work with pet battles
If you enjoy poke-wow, you'll be glad to know that leveling with pets is a perfectly viable way to zoom through the levels. This works especially well if you have another character who's put in some time collecting and leveling battle pets -- which means your new, low-level character can rush to get to high-level pet battles, which provide very good experience.
But even if you're collecting and leveling pets as you go, pet battles will offer a good boost to your experience gain. If you intend to rely on it, work to get three pets to level 25 as quickly as possible so you can head to higher level pet battles. Once you have at least 3 level 25s, the pet battling world is your metaphorical oyster. Do pet battles while you're questing for easy XP, defeat the world's pet trainers to unlock battle pet daily quests, or get someone to summon you to Halfhill in Pandaria, where there are level 25 fights to be found without too much danger... even if you're lower level.
Ease: As long as you have a decent pet collection, not bad at all. If you have a not-so-decent pet collection, you'll have to devote some time to collecting and leveling pets before this becomes more straightforward.
Leveling speed: Good, especially if you have high level pets.
Daily your way through the levels
Though you usually pass through zones, do the quests available, and never return again, in some places you'll find daily quests, marked by blue exclamation points, where you can do the same quest (or one of a selection) once a day. If you do the same dailies every day they'll definitely get old, but it can definitely be a nice change of pace from the usual leveling grind -- plus, dailies tend to give you boosts to reputation and/or other rewards as well.
If you don't have a lot of time to play, dailies may be a perfect fit into your schedule. No matter what level you are, you can log on and do cooking and fishing dailies in the major cities -- you'll get experience, reputation with that city, and skill-ups to boot. You'll also find daily quest hubs for levels 60, 70, 80, and 85 that are worth investigating if you need a break and you're in the right level range.
Ease: Typically fairly easy, though some dailies will present their own challenges.
Leveling speed: Medium -- mostly because you're locked into a quest a day. It is, however, an efficient way to get both experience and other extras when you have limited time to play.
Level the pacifist's way with gathering professions
Yes, you can level entirely by picking flowers and gathering ore... but because leveling in this way would be really, terribly slow, it's hard to recommend as a primary leveling method. However, it's great to integrate with your usual questing schedule -- questing and gathering at the same time can provide a very noticeable XP boost.
But it is definitely possible to level entirely with gathering if you really want to -- like the neutral pandaren Doubleagent -- just don't expect it to be a quick trip.
Ease: Easy, so long as you don't venture into zones that are higher level than you are, where you're likely to find yourself eaten by the locals.
Leveling speed: Slower than getting The Insane title.
Indiana Harrison Jones style
Yes, archaeology is, to put it kindly, slow. And it doesn't involve nearly as many action sequences as
an Indiana Jones movie a Harrison Jones cutscene. However, it does give a reasonable amount of experience per digsite. The biggest slowdown with this method is travel time: once you've finished one digsite, you'll need to travel to another, which may be across the continent. If you don't have a flying mount, archeology will be an agonizingly slow grind -- but if you have a fast flying mount, getting from digsite to digsite won't be too bad. We do, however, recommend you stock up on archaeology addons to make things easier for yourself.
This can be an ideal way to get a bit of experience alongside skillups and archeology loot if you're watching television and don't have a lot of attention left over for WoW. Trust us, low attention is the ideal way to work on archeology.... and get some XP to boot.
Ease: Very easy, especially if you have a flying mount (the faster the better).
Leveling speed: Very slow. A lot of your time here will be taken up by traveling from digsite to digsite, though a fast flying mount helps.
Whatever your leveling path, good luck with your next alt!
Just because you're a newbie doesn't mean you can't bring your A-game to World of Warcraft! Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from the seven things every newbie ought to know to how to get started as a healer or as a tank.