Shadowlands Leveling Guide

Author: WoWAnalytica
Posted: 17/11/2020

Welcome to World of Warcraft

Since World of Warcraft became available to the public, millions of players shared countless hours on this journey. Indeed, when this game came to our computers, it was revolutionary. First of all, you have the MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) gameplay elements in WoW. This benefit means that you have more chances to encounter another player as you complete any quest. As a result, you could easily ask for information or a possible friend for your adventures.

Secondly, it established the endless battle between the Alliance and the Horde. In other words, two different factions fight against each other for complete control over Azeroth. Hence, when you create a character, your hero permanently joins a group with possible allies and enemies. Most noteworthy, when you find a player from the opposite team, you could begin a fight till someone falls (mostly in PVP servers).

Last but not least, World of Warcraft follows great lore filled with fabulous tales and spectacular events. Similarly to "The Lord of the Rings," it takes us to medieval times filled with different races and countless monsters. From tiny goblins (or Murlocs) to immortal Dragons and outstanding Sorcerers. Therefore, if your thirst for these types of tales requires a refill, you'll indeed find a new "home" in World of Warcraft.

This article will discuss the overall elements of any RPGs (Role Playing Games) and what World of Warcraft brings to the table. Furthermore, we'll give you a complete guide to start your journey with confidence and become a Legendary Champion.

Role-Playing Games

In every RPG in the market, almost all players tend to spend a lot of time on two fundamental elements. On the one hand, you have the players who need hours or days to make the best character out there. They tend to check every possible cosmetic option and the available colors that the developers gave in the game.

Indeed, they move between Menus and choices until they find the perfect fit for their new hero. Above all, they'll look for interesting combinations between letters to find the best name for their latest creation. When everything is set and done, they sometimes move to the next part of the game.

The second part of the time invested goes to the other gameplay elements that the game offers. First of all, you have the quest and lore that comes in between texts. Through "mundane" tasks, like "killing X monster ten times," you might discover something interesting. For example, one of those enemies could hold a noticeable item that belonged to someone famous.

Between moving from here and there or meeting new NPCs (Non-Playable Characters), you'll probably see an "experience" bar filling slowly. When that particular bar changes color completely, you'll see a pop-up message informing you that you increased the character's level.

Most noteworthy, leveling a champion in RPGs allows you to "experience" how your hero suddenly becomes more vigorous. With higher levels, you'll unlock powerful abilities, and your character will handle itself better around fights.

Overall, playing an RPG video game feels like reading a fantastic fantasy book, filled with outstanding characters and multiple stories. You play as the main character that changes the imaginary world around him/her through your actions. When you reach the final part of the "book," you either find another RPG or make another hero and restart your journey.

Playing in World of Warcraft

Now that you know a lot more about the RPGs gaming mechanics' fundamentals, we'll now focus on what World of Warcraft brings to the table. Besides the MMO (and the factions) critical factors mentioned above, you'll also find exciting elements in this game. Indeed, since WoW is a PC exclusive, it uses the keyboard and mouse in creative ways.

To do different abilities in World of Warcraft, you need to have a valid target all the time. When you're beginning your journey, your character may say more than once, "I don't have a target," and stays still. When this happens, you probably need to click the enemy first before activating some skills.

At the same time, it uses the vast number of possible key combinations that appear on any keyboard. Since you have many abilities to use in a battle, you probably need to press some buttons at least once. It may look problematic at first, but your muscle memory will do the best combo sequences after a while.

Additionally, when you choose a Race and Class, you still can use different WoW Builds. Depending on the equipment and the number of abilities, you could inflict more damage or heal an ally. Hence, even if you start with the same character combination (race and class), you may do something different at parties.

Since World of Warcraft is an MMO, it requires that you socialize with different people to achieve your goals. If you're a "solo" player, you may reach the same goals, but it could take a lot more time. As a result, convince your real friends to join you or find new players on the Internet.

Alliance or Horde: Choosing the Race that Suits You

One of the leading gaming mechanics in World of Warcraft is choosing between the two main factions. Even though at first glance, you'll notice that Alliance "looks" like the good guys, while the Horde gives a "devilish" impression. The actual true (lore-wise) both of them stand in a neutral position. Indeed, it seems like both groups take turns in doing something "wrong" or "hero-like."

Above all, it all depends on what race you want to start in this game. Still, once you make a selection, you earn new friends/enemies by default. Between factions, you're able to choose between these available races:


  • Humans: The typical diplomatic race that we understand fully (or so it seems). If you want to have "neutral" gameplay, you should start with a character in this group.
  • Dwarves: The famous half-size race that likes to live inside the mountains. Thanks to the avast fantasy books out there, they became the most-have in adventures. If you want a solid fighter that can withstand extreme temperatures, you should pick a Dwarf.
  • Night Elves: In World of Warcraft, this group belongs to those "elves" with purple-like skin and avoid the sun at all cost. With a warrior from this race, you'll have the potential to become invisible in a short period and surprise your enemies.
  • Gnomes: In "The Lord of the Rings" terms, this race represents the well-known hobbits. Even though they are tiny with big feet, they never show any fear. Overall, due to their lack of "space," the enemy team might find it hard to click and throw spells at you.
  • Draenei: An alien-like group that knows how to travel across the suns and planets. Their peculiar looks tend to give you a sense of futuristic theme in the "old" Azeroth. Furthermore, when they arrived, they gave the Alliance the first try to the Shaman class. Nowadays, they still have popularity among some veteran players.
  • Worgen: If you want a WoW Build that looks fearsome and powerful, the "werewolves" are your best option. Due to a curse, these humans can change between "normal" and wolf-like forms. Enable your wild animal form when you hunt your prey and howl in a full moon.


  • Orcs: The fierce green monsters that started many conflicts over Azeroth and divided the realms into two groups. With their berserker capabilities, they can withstand more damage and stay in the battle until everything dissolves. Show your dominance in the Horde by conquering your foes with the sharpness of your weapons.
  • Trolls: Even though it may look appealing at first, stay out of the voodoo with your trolls. With powerful spells and aid from their gods, this race tends to have visions of the future. If you're looking for tall warriors, you may favorite this race.
  • Tauren: Learn about nature and the secrets in the forest with these cow-like creatures. Usually, they avoid violence, but they'll crush the enemies with ease if they have no other options. Stomp your foes and trample their hopes with the force power of the Taurens.
  • Undead: Feast from the fallen as you regain health from their corpses. Furthermore, you could even go on a vacation over the sea and swim without the need for air. Being an Undead in World of Warcraft allows you to experience the environment in new creative ways.
  • Blood Elves: Learn about addiction as you venture into your journey with a constant need for arcane magic. Similarly to the vampires, the Blood Elves require magic to keep their sanity and senses intact. If you want a Legolas-like champion that uses a bow to deal damage, this race could give you a hand.
  • Goblins: With their ingenuity, this race tends to use their brains to tinker with new outstanding devices. Indeed, they seem to have an endless rivalry with the gnomes due to their similar take in battle. Above all, if you like chaos and explosions, you shouldn't look elsewhere.


  • Pandaren: These panda-like creatures follow the pattern of eastern knowledge and traditions. Therefore, they tend to be influential in a hand to hand combat and dominate the arena. Since they were neutral at first, you have the opportunity to play this race in both factions.

Additional Races:

With the introduction of the expansion "Battle for Azeroth," new races came available for old and new players. Still, you need to obtain specific achievements to unlock the one you want into your account. As a result, if you're a new player, you can only preview their looks but cannot choose these options. When you become a veteran, you'll find them appealing as you restart your journey.

Most noteworthy, each of these races come with unique trails that can give you different ways to play the game. Although, with some changes between patches, these features have almost no impact on your gameplay. Therefore, pick anything that you find exciting and worry about the trails later on.

Picking the Right Class

Now that you got the race that felt perfect to you and made your champion look awesome, you're still halfway done. This time around, you need to pick between different playstyles that let you activate potent skills. Each of these classes follows an "archetype" or specific rules that make them unique. If you already played "Dungeons and Dragons" or any other RPG video game, you probably have some knowledge about some vital differences.

For example, the most common classes you can find elsewhere tend to be the warrior, the hunter/rogue, and the wizard. In this part of the article, we'll discuss the available options in the World of Warcraft.

  • Warrior: One of the main archetypes that allow you to withstand long fights in close combat. With this class, you build Rage as you struck your weapon against your enemies. If you want something simple and powerful, you should go to this class.
  • Hunter: Use the element of surprise as you damage your foes from a distance. Furthermore, you can aid yourself with traps or pets to keep the enemy away from you. Most noteworthy, you can "tame" almost any beast you see in the world and make it your everlasting companion.
  • Rogue: Become invisible and strike deadly criticals as you "backstab" your enemies. This type of class tends to use different means to confuse their opponents and gain the upper hand. Last but not least, you can even earn more Gold as you "steal" the enemy's wallet in the middle of the fight.
  • Priest: Become the heart of your team by supporting their efforts through all of the adventures. Indeed, even if you have no friends while you're leveling, you can use your "shadow" form and deal tons of damage. With this class, you'll see the power behind the light and dark.
  • Mage: Blast every creature/player you come across as you deal with powerful spells that give many opportunities in a fight. With this class, you'll need a couple more fingers to activate all the possible combos and abilities that you have at your disposal. Remember to think things through before starting any encounter. Indeed, the Mage does a lot of damage, but even common mobs can kill you if you aren't careful.
  • Warlock: Curse your enemies and summon powerful demons to aid your goals. Inside this archetype, the game allows you to deal damage over time with different curses. At the same time, you could change your WoW Build and summon multiple minions at once.
  • Paladin: Be the holy protector of Azeroth with your ability to withstand tons of damage in a battle. Depending on your WoW Build, you could fulfill different roles in your team. First of all, you can sustain a lot of damage. Secondly, you could heal the entire party. Last but not least, you can also become a wielder of the light and blast your opponents.
  • Shaman: Summon the forces of nature to blast your enemies with powerful spells and abilities. At the same time, you could use the power of totems to benefit all parties or debuffs to the closest enemies.
  • Druid: Become a part of the wild by changing your aspect into different animals. With the diversity of a Druid, you could use other creatures' benefits to aid your goals. For example, you could transform into a bear and sustain tons of damage from different sources.
  • Monk: Lead your party to victory without the need for any weapon as you use the power of your punches and kicks. Similarly to the Paladin, depending on your WoW Build, you could achieve different tasks at any party. Furthermore, this is one of the special classes that all of the races have at their disposal.
  • Demon Hunter: Transform yourself into a fearless demon with different abilities that aid your speed and mobility. When you pick the Demon Hunter, you shouldn't have any fear of catapulting yourself in the middle of a fight and create more chaos.
  • Death Knight: Use the power of runes and fellow undead creatures to freeze and destroy your enemies. Being free from the Lich King's control, these fighters seek to redeem themselves and help save Azeroth from future threats.

Now that you already have everything set for your new champion, the only thing left to do is giving it a name. It may look easy at first, but World of Warcraft provides restrictions to one character's name per server. In other words, if someone came early and got it, no one else can copy it from that particular server. Still, though, WoW gives you a tool that randomizes different possible characters until you find something that accommodates your needs.

Tank, Support, or DPS

Now that you completed all the previous tasks and loaded the map with your new hero, the next thing to do is finding quests and level-up. Indeed, when you reach a certain point in this endeavor, a message will pop-up, telling you to select one specialization for your class.

Usually, you have to pick between three different choices. Most noteworthy, depending on your selection, you'll have a unique role when joining a party. After you choose either specialization, you still have the opportunity to change to another one when you're out of combat.

  • Playing as a Tank: When you pick a Tank specialization, you'll need to stay in front of the enemies and receive all the damage. Thankfully, you'll have a significant health reserve and tons of abilities that enhance your defense. Above all, you'll need to direct all of the "aggro" from all of the enemies on you. With some "taunts" spamming, they won't leave your side. If you fall, the rest of the party will undoubtedly follow in a matter of seconds. As a result, you'll need a WoW Built that gives you more ways to reduce incoming damage.
  • Playing as a Support: If you're going for the Support branch, prepare to spam heals until you drain all of your mana. Indeed, with this specialization, you'll receive a vast mana pool with spells that keep your party alive and debuff free. Be careful, though, because it may look intimidating at first if you're a newcomer. Remember that in World of Warcraft, you need targets before activating any spell. As a result, you'll need to "jump" between your teammates and heal as quickly as possible.
  • Playing as a DPS: Lastly, the DPS specialization is for those players that love to destroy everything that crosses their paths. Being the damage dealer, you'll have multiple skills that focus on erasing the enemy's health. When you're running in a dungeon or raid, the only thing you need to focus on is to follow your tank. Afterward, select the enemies that are hitting him/her until they fall. When you queue for a dungeon, you'll see three DPS in a party and only one from the other two specializations. Therefore, move around your teammates and deal damage with your abilities.
  • Changing Around: Even though you could complete a quest and level your character with any specialization, it may take a little more time if you're running as a tank or support. Hence, you could switch to a DPS when you're exploring the lands of Azeroth. In contrast, when you queue for a dungeon, even though you could have three DPS in a run, it may take a long while. If you want to reduce the waiting time, you could change into a tank/support and join a party.

New Starting Point

Within these last patches in World of Warcraft, the developers added many elements to help them(new players) dig new game elements. A crucial component is the way you begin a new journey with your champions. Previously, the starting point in Azeroth changed depending on what race you pick. For example, if you wanted to start as an Undead, you began by "reviving" in a graveyard near the Undercity.

Between quests, you figure the current events in the world, also, what you race aids in the faction. Later on, you could arrive in the capital city, where everyone gathers and moves ahead. If you're joining the Alliance, you'll reach Stormwind. At the same time, the Horde leads you to Ogrimmar. Between these places, you'll get the chance to meet the King/Warchief of both factions.

Now, things begin differently when a player starts their journey in World of Warcraft. First of all, the starting point is the same between factions. Indeed, no matter if you pick a Human, Dwarf, or a Night Elf, you start in the same place. Secondly, the timeline jumps ahead of where "Battle for Azeroth" currently stays—leading you a way to battle for more power and reach a higher status on the fictional planet.

Level Squish

Besides the starting point, the overall leveling system became a lot less of a hassle with reduced actual numbers. Months ago, you could reach levels higher than 100, increasing when a new expansion arrives. Nowadays, the level cap is 50, and it will go to 60 when Shadowlands hits the servers.

Taking this approach, new players will feel less intimidated to go questing and leveling to reach a lower number. Still, though you didn't know by now, there are two different "levels" in WoW. On the one hand, you have the regular numbers that increase when you gain experience completing tasks and killing stuff. On the other side, you have the number that increases when you equip different items to your character. Each piece comes with a number, and the overall "ilevel" is calculates with all of the armor/weapons.

Above all, the ilevel will continue moving forward in the World of Warcraft legacy. At the current state, we have no clue when it reaches a proper limit. Have no worries though, since you move to the new expansion, you'll start with a higher number, and afterward, you'll need to "farm" for better items. When you reach the top, you could increase your performance with ideal WoW Builds.

Pros and Cons for Beginners in Shadowlands

  • Pros: Since the starting points are the same within each faction, you could play with different friends from the start. Even though everyone takes multiple races, all players will begin doing the first quests in Azeroth. With this advantage, you could give/take aid from veterans as the journey begins. Later on, when everyone moves to the "Battle for Azeroth" expansion content, you'll have a clear idea about the recent events from World of Warcraft. Therefore, between a couple of gaming sessions, you'll get the opportunity to understand and play the next expansion (Shadowlands) with ease.
  • Cons: Since new players start on the same point, they practically do not know the World of Warcraft "past." Furthermore, if you're new to the game, you'll have less understanding of the race you pick and how they work/live—reducing some of the previous charms that WoW had when you begin anew. Moreover, if they didn't like the race or the way their champion looks, they repeatedly need to do the same things. Indeed, once you reach the level cap with a character, you'll get the chance to play the previous content with an alternative hero. Still, though, first impressions matter.

Moving Forward with the New Expansion

When you reach level 50 and complete the Battle for Azeroth storyline, the next thing to do is up to you. First of all, you could invest the time before the new expansion arrives by increasing your ilevel. Indeed, you'll need to do challenging dungeons and raids to achieve this goal.

Secondly, you could continue the current expansion and complete all the latest quest in World of Warcraft. If you're a solo player, moving forward in the existing lore could not be that complex. After all, you just need to talk with multiple NPCs and complete the requirements. At the same time, you could gather reputation and unlock more races in your account.

As a third option, you could focus the remaining time to increase your second job level. Different items and abilities from the jobs will give you more opportunities to survive or deal damage. With this task, you'll visit previous content as you gather materials.

Last but not least, you could restart the journey and play with a different character. When you have more champions at a higher level, you'll get the opportunity to check multiple classes. Furthermore, you could increase the "mount" hunting with multiple heroes doing dungeons each day.

"Speed Running" in Shadowlands

In this part of the Shadowlands Leveling Guide, you'll get some tips that will help you reach higher places in a shorter time.

  • Rest: If you aren't familiar with this mechanic, let us explain things up. When you move your character inside an inn, you'll see a couple of "zzz" next to your portrait. When this happens, you can leave your hero, log off, and continue on the next day. If done correctly, a different color will fill your experience bar, letting you know that you're in rest mode. In this "mode," you'll gain more experience doing the same things as before.
  • Heirlooms: Within Ironforge/Undercity, you'll find a particular NPC that sells multiple items with "relics" in their inventory. Some of these Heirlooms that belong to your class will increase the experience of your champion. It may look expensive at first, but everything will become more comfortable if you manage to earn the Gold requirements.
  • Playing with Friends: Getting a party with your closest teammates will make things in Azeroth pretty much less complicated. You could complete tasks faster in the middle of quests since each kill/requirement counts for the entire group. At the same time, you'll have more fun exploring new lands as you critique/share your thoughts with your friends.

Picking the Best WoW Build

Even though some of the game elements are standard to the players, you still have some things to consider as you level-up. First of all, you have different Talents that appear multiple times when you reach certain levels in your champion. Depending on the ability/passive, you could improve the capabilities of your arsenal.

Additionally, each armor comes with numerous stats that could help you improve your hero's different abilities. Indeed, it may take a long while to obtain something useful until you get a drop from a dungeon/raid that suits your needs. Later on, you could increase the effectiveness even more with the rightful gems and enchants that could give you an upper hand.

Furthermore, with each expansion, you could gain different "legendary" items (orange color). It may take a long while to see one, but they could make things a lot better for you. Additionally, some Legendaries may become more effective than others depending on your class and WoW Build.

Last but not least, a Second Job will give you a lot more options to increase your stats or add more positive effects to all of the skills that your hero obtains. It may take a long while and resources, but the results are too significant.

Frequent Asked Questions about Shadowlands Leveling Guide

  • When is the Release Date for the Shadowlands Expansion?

    The latest expansion will arrive on November 23, 2020.

  • How Much Does the WoW Shadowlands Expansion Cost?

    The standard edition costs $40, Heroic $60, and Epic $80.

  • What classic Races can You Pick in World of Warcraft?

    For Alliance, you have Humans, Dwarves, Night Elves, Gnomes, Draenei, Worgen, and Pandarian.

    In the Horde, you could pick between Orcs, Trolls, Tauren, Undead, Blood Elves, Goblins, and Pandarian.

  • How many Classes are available in World of Warcraft?

    At the moment, you could pick between Warrior, Hunter, Rogue, Priest, Mage, Warlock, Paladin, Shaman, Druid, Monk, Demon Hunter, and Death Knight.

  • Are There any More Races besides the Classic options?

    With the inclusion of Battle for Azeroth, you could acquire more races for your champions. Still, you'll need to complete a couple of achievements to unlock a single new class on your account.

  • How do the Numbers change in the new Leveling Squish?

    Afterward, you could reach level 120. Nowadays, the cap is 50, and it will increase to 60 once WoW Shadowlands arrives.

  • How can you Increase the Leveling Process in Shadowlands?

    You could place your champion in an inn and let him/her rest for a couple of days before the expansion arrives. Also, if you have enough Gold, you could buy the latest Heirlooms and gain more experience. At the same time, you could gain aid from your friends and complete quests/dungeons a lot faster.

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