I felt like this part of this topic deserved it's own post. I'd like to talk about some of the areas I leveled through, and share a bit of my experience. I wish I'd have had the foresight to share this as I was leveling but I think I was having too much fun.
I chose a rather strange leveling path. I picked particular areas that I was most interested in seeing.
There seemed to be a lot of talk about Westfall so I wanted to go check it out for myself. I was not particularly drawn into the story line of the investigator and the shadowy figure. All in all I found Westfall to be empty to me. The quests didn't hold me and I didn't feel compelled enough. It felt contrived. I was also very put off by all the bums and poor lost souls of Stormwind. If we are supposed to be so heroic why am I being accosted by vagrants all of a sudden? Seriously if I wanted that I'd go downtown. I was disappointed. Notables include lots of flight points that seemed unnecessary and a seemingly disjointed story line.
OMG I hated Redridge. I did it once on Zabine and every trip through there since has just been a trial of patience. You could not complete the quests there unless you found a group, whether it told you you needed one or not. This time around it was quite fun. The quests progressed around the zone in a way that didn't make it feel like I was running really far really a lot. The team of recon soldiers they give you to help you complete the quests were amusing. The last few quests in the gun turret/tank were a lot of fun, plus it takes you through the remainder of the zone where you will get the discovery achievement and the zone quest achievement nearly on top of each other. The only quest I had a hard time with was sneaking around, hitting the orcs, throwing distraction devices and gathering something and blowing up towers all at the same time. This zone did make me think. It wasn't mindless questing all the time and it was quirky. It made me pay attention to what I was doing. Notables include the final quest sequence and tank battle.
I have always loved Duskwood. Though back in the day it was the first zone in Eastern Kingdoms that I met that was long...and I mean in dimension. The running was horrid. To the graveyard, back to Darkshire...to the graveyard aaaand...back to Darkshire. (and I'm talking back when your first mount was 40). Once you got a mount at 20 it wasn't nearly as bad. I found that the quests hadn't changed all that much aside from a good paring down. And I do mean good. It seemed it was just enough to keep me interested in the zone, just enough of the old quests I remember, and just enough to get me out and moving on. Notables include a flight point at the graveyard and a worgen caravan with vendors right where you need them.
Northern Stranglethorn -
Against my guilds better judgment I have always been partial to Stranglethorn. In fact it's my favorite zone in the game. With the exception of the last 5-6 quests out of Booty Bay when you really got tired of the place, I have always enjoyed it. I chose to go here mainly for the Nesingwary quests. I like the achievements and wanted to see how it had changed. Hmmm....only 1 page is needed for Green Hills of Stranglethorn now. I was a bit flabbergasted. Ok, so I hated collecting all those pages, and the last couple times I did it I just got most of them from the AH but still...ONE?! Big jump from over the top down to one but ok. It's a quest that is now relegated to the small insignificant bring me something quests. I can live with that. The game hunter lines are still there, though the amount of panthers, tigers and raptors you need to kill has been reduced to 10. A very easy to manage number. As with Duskwood I found that STV had been pared down for the most part. Near the end of the zone I frankly couldn't wait to move on and see something with a little more change to it. Notable things in this zone include the changes to ZG and the quest chain with the raptor baby that begins nearly right at the start of the zone, in the rebel camp quest lines. The giant whirlpool that breaks up Northern STV and the Cape of, the quest givers at the southern camp that give you quests to send you to Scarlet Monastery and Gnomergan, and the lack of any Vile Reef quests, which was refreshing. I would be interested in seeing the Horde side of this area since they have a new village near ZG.
From here I decided I would head to the Hero's Call Board and see where I could get into trouble next.
In spite of the fact that I'd heard the plaguelands weren't plaguey any longer this zone seemed to retain a lot of the plague-ness that has plagued us for so long. I believe it's WPL that has sloughed off a bit of it's viral load and is getting a little greener.
The call board sends you right to Fiona, a worgen traveling caravan entrepreneur. The entire quest line for the zone starts here and it's very nice and easy going. Traveling with the caravan takes you to all the towers (quest hubs) and when you complete them takes you on to the next area. Along the way you visit Darrowshire and the Battle of Darrowshire quest chain. It eventually takes you to Light's Hope Chapel where you pick up quest snippets that send you to Stratholme, and generally by the time you're done you will be fairly well off with Argent Dawn. Notables include way too many flight points. I think this zone has the most with something like 8-10 fp's in this little area. Make sure you take Fiona's Lucky Charm as a quest reward. This gives you buff in the zone that enables you to occasionally pick up an extra sack of loot off any mob. About 1/2 way through the zone you are eligible to get Mr. Grubbs from one of these sacks. Mr. Grubbs is a miniature version of the huge disgusting larvae you come across around the zone. I found EPL to be refreshing and pretty cool. Considering this area used to center around group, Argent Dawn and Naxrammas quests and turn in's, it now feels like there is more to do there for the average quester.
I had heard how much fun badlands was and I have to agree. This quest chain actually begins at Light's Hope Chapel with a goblin who rockets you all the way down to the coast of the Badlands for you. From there it's nothing like it used to be. Being Alliance there was never much here anyways. Now there's a very funny story quest line involving Deathwing that you are hard-pressed to miss. Even if you go there on your level 85 this is a must do. Turn on your low-level quest finder and head to the big scar in the center of the zone and you'll have a blast! Other than that there are some goblin quests out of a new village called Fuselight that involve the red and black dragonflights, a minor excursion into Angor Fortress and the Ogre mound to the southwest. It's quick, painless and a lot of fun. Notables include Deathwing quest chain in the center scar and the cool puzzle quests that are found in the newly uncovered archeological areas (also near the center). From here there is a quest to take you into Searing Gorge. Since I didn't want to go there I headed back to the call board.
From level 35 on I also started doing some dungeons along the way, so by this point I was around 53 or so. Hearing that there were friendly Murlocs and overbearing Naga in Blasted Lands, as well as a newly acquired area called Surwich. I headed out to the site of the Dark Portal. Blasted Lands is decidedly different, even though it doesn't appear that way at first glance. The quest lines here are not what I remember them. The terrain is basically the same but the quests have changed significantly. A change for the better to be sure. The only reason I remember going to this zone in the past was 1) scorpid scale farming 2) some quest chain that got you something good at the end of a group quest where you fight a demon (or some such) on a really big mountain you have to get teleported to after fighting a bunch of weird warlocks chained magically to stones around the zone. *breathe* The demon on top of the mountain is still there, and there is a long quest line to get to him but it's much easier to manage, much more interesting, much quicker, and you don't have to have a group to complete it. That line takes up the majority of the western side of the zone. The eastern side concerns helping an enslaved Murloc community, complete with cute baby Murlocs to save. The Surwich area is another chain unto itself that ends with The Downfall of Marl Wormthorn. The only thing about this quest line I can reccommend is have plenty of bagspace. To bring this guy down you have to get a bit grindy and farmy to make a Demonic Vessel. This involves several bat, bear, and cat parts that have to be farmed then combined, then combined again. It took a lot longer than I had expected and got quite annoying after a bit. I did this area with a friend so we were farming twice as much....totally not fun. All the quests in this area seemed to give Gilnean rep, which was definitely a plus. Other than the long farming part it went relatively fast. Also included in this zone are pre-cursor quests from the infantry near the dark portal and then that's it you're done and they're sending you off to Outlands.
Along the way -
I realize this is not nearly all the zones you can see. I took a different path from the one prescribed by the worgen quest givers at Darnassus but I had a lot of fun. I took in a few dungeons as well including Gnomeregan, Scarlet Monastery (all 4 wings), Maraudon, Sunken Temple and Stratholme. Gnomer hasn't changed much. With the exception that the punch cards were no where to be found. Joyous! Scarlet Monastery was fun and easy. The changes were minimal since those dungeons are fairly linear. Mara was a nightmare. It still seemed to have both sides connected as well as the center area with Princess. It took us a while to find her once I convinced my group I knew where she was. This after we'd gone through nearly both orange and purple sides in the never-ending loop of death. Sunken Temple was amazingly cut. I knew it was coming, but really they took it from 3 levels to 1. All the feather quests and troll killing and up this stairway down that one are gone. You have all the green wyrms/dragonkin around the center and all the quests on that "level" are still there. The rest is gone. I only miss it because I spent so much time in there I had learned it and I was fairly proud of that feat. lol Stratholme was relatively unchanged. There is still Live and Dead sides respectively. All the dungeons offer quests at the entrances, which unfortunately have to be turned back in at the same location. Otherwise, like the Cata dungeons, quests are easy, straightforward, and pretty much all-inclusive.
So there it is, my newest leveling experiences. I hope you enjoyed these tidbits of info and perhaps are interested in checking out a zone or two."Have fun stormin' the castle!" :)