Updated Mon, Sep 24, 2012 by Messiah
Everyone is getting excited for the launch of Mists of Pandaria coming next month on September 25th, 2012. For many players that means that the race is on, as they madly try to get to the new level 90 cap as fast as possible so that they can experience the new end game content. That content includes Heroics, Raids, PVP, and now scenarios as well.
What is the best way to get to that level cap though? Which zones do you go to when, and are there any special things you should do to level faster? We explain it all right here.
In the Mists of Pandaria there are several different zones that you can quest in to level up. The zones get progressively harder as you follow the quest chains, however there are usually multiple zones at each level range that you can wander through.
When you first get to Pandaria and start adventuring you should start in the Jade Forest as it is meant for players level 85-86. It is the only true “starting” zone in Pandaria and has the lowest level creatures and quests there. You start off in the zone establishing a beachhead for your faction and then make your way through multiple quest hubs including adventuring around the Temple of the Jade Serpent which is a new instance. A major questing hub is the Dawn’s Blossom which has quests for both factions as well as portals back to Azeroth. This should be your new hearthstone point for easy access to the mainland.
You can find a guides to the quests in the Jade Forest right here: Jade Forest walkthrough guide.
Once you are done in the Jade Forest it is time to move on to either the Valley of the Four Winds or the Krasarang Wilds. Both of these zone are meant for level 86-88 players and the quests tie in across both zones very well. The order that works well for the storyline in Valley of the Four Winds for a while then into the Krasarang Wilds then back into the Valley of the Four Winds as the quests lead you there.
Really though you can skip around any way you chose as there are a ton of quests in both zones. Additionally if you are coming into Mists of Pandaria with full raid gear, you could potentially skip right to these two zones to bypass some of the congestions the first little while in the Jade Forest zone.
I know that this overlaps with the previous level range, but you can move out of those zones before you are at level 88 if you so chose. The zone to level at once you are nearing 88 is the Kun-Lai Summit to the north. The zones is massive and can easily get you from level 87 through to level 88. This zone really starts the battle between the Horde and Alliance as both arrive and offer to help the Pandaren in the area that are under attack. Both factions lay claim to villages of Pandaren as they help them out. This zone hosts the massive Shado-Pan Monastery which has both an instance and a raid located in it. Many of the quests revolve around learning more about this place.
At this point several options open up to you. There is both the Dread Wastes and the Townlong Steppes to the west of Pandaria that are leveling zones, but there is also the Vale of Eternal Blossoms right in the middle of the continent that has quests available at level 89 as well.
The story line here really goes from the Townlong Steppes and then into the Dread Wastes, but as with previous close level zones in Mists of Pandaria you can do them in almost any order. The main enemy in both of these zones are the Mantid and the Sha as you fight to cleans the zones.
Now that you know where to go and at what levels to go there, realize that there are other items at play as well. Leveling quickly takes a lot of planning and there are several things you can do to speed it up. Here are just a few of them.
For New Characters only: If you are leveling a new Monk character get as many +experience heirloom items as you can. This does not apply to leveling above level 80 or 85 though (depending on which items) as they stop granting bonuses at those levels. Up to either 80 or 85 though the items can make a huge difference in your leveling rate. It is worth collecting them now for new characters so that you have them ahead of time.