Leveling in WoW Classic
It is important to know that leveling in Classic is meant to be slow and grindy and many consider it to be the main selling point. "It is for people who miss the old days when everything was hard". Another popular opinion is that Classic truly starts at lvl 60. It all comes down to you enjoying the leveling process and having enough time to put into it. If you hate it and don't have time — there is hope for you too and we will cover it below.
Questing or Dungeons (or both)
If the only thing you care about is lvl 60 then dungeons are the way to go especially if you can find a stable party and maintain a raiding schedule. Quests are much more interesting and diverse and you can do PvP and professions while doing it however this slows down the overall leveling. Mixing dungeons and questing can be a thing too but it is mostly for players that are doing quests and want a change of scenery..
Dungeons can be a very efficient source of experience in WoW Classic. Get together with a group of 5 and sweep through instances to get exp and gear that will most likely be an upgrade. The earliest you can do it is Level 13 (Horde only) all the way to 60 without stopping to do quests. While this will result in great XP/hour and gear, there are some real downsides.

Dungeon grinding can be efficient, but you become reliant on a group. If you do not have a set group of 5 people that plan to go together most of the way, then you are going to be reliant on finding people to do dungeons with in game. Most servers have a "Looking For Group" and "World" chat where you can find players for dungeons, but it can be hard to find people looking to play on the same schedule as you. If you end up having to find new people every 1-2 clears of a dungeon, then your XP/hour will drop drastically. In WoW Classic, everyone will need to run to the dungeon themselves unless you have a Warlock that can summon, meaning most of the time you are waiting on them.

Another potential issue with dungeon grinding is that you become isolated from the world for prolonged periods of time. While this can be great on PvP servers (to avoid getting killed by players) and for avoiding congestion on high population realms, there are some downsides. It is almost impossible to keep most professions leveled as you do dungeons, meaning you will be forced to wait until 60 to level them. A big selling point of WoW Classic is the community and open world, which dungeon grinding can take away from by forcing you to only interact with a select few people and keeping you in small isolated areas. But again, this is more of a personal preference issue and should not deter you from trying it out if you desire.
Few words about dungeons
Questing is the default and most common way of leveling in WoW Classic. You can play on your schedule, there is always content to do, and you are not reliant on anyone else if you are questing solo. If you do not have a set group for dungeon grinding, this can easily be more efficient and will minimize your downtime.

Your time spent while questing can be broken down into three basic parts: combat, recovery, and travel time. Combat is the time you take to kill enemies, recovery is the downtime while you recover Mana or health in between killing enemies, and travel is when you need to move between quests or zones. Lots of people focus solely on optimizing combat times, but the most efficient players will focus on optimizing their time as a whole. Often, this means focusing on increasing your recovery speed instead of increasing your damage, which is why Spirit is an incredibly good leveling stat for most classes. Some classes benefit more than others though, since classes like Hunters do not need the regeneration as much as a Warrior might while questing. Check out the class leveling guides to see what is best for your class.

Contrary to popular belief, grouping can actually be a great way to quest. Whether or not it is worth grouping comes down to your personal preference and kill speed while solo. First and foremost, leveling with a friend can be much more enjoyable than playing solo, so do not hesitate to do what is most enjoyable to you. If all you care about is efficiency though, then you need to look at kill rates. Most classes benefit greatly from pairing up into a duo or group, but some less so than others. Hunters, for example, already have one of the fastest kill rates in the game solo, so putting them into a duo is only going to slow down their XP/hour compared to being solo for the most part. Warlocks also have an excellent kill rate while solo, but giving them a duo partner who can tank or heal allows them to purely focus on damage, which can greatly increase their kill rate, making them a great class for duos. To figure out if it is worth it or not, you need to know how XP is affected in groups.
Group vs Solo
Let us start by assuming you are going to kill an enemy, and that enemy will award 100 XP for the kill. The list below shows how much each player would earn from killing that enemy in different sized groups.
100 XP
50 XP
~39 XP
~33 XP
~28 XP
per person
per person
per person
per person
To determine if grouping is beneficial, you need to compare the XP reduction that you get to the group's increased kill speed. For lots of players, the safety and kill speed increase of being with a group ends up being more beneficial than playing solo. It is worth noting that this only affects your XP rates for killing enemies, and will not affect your quest XP. Grouping also can be better since you can complete quests faster, but sometimes can be worse if there are not lots of quests or if an area has a low mob density, meaning your kill rate will not be as high as it could. Lastly, grouping can sometimes be worse if you and your group have different play schedules. Tying yourself to someone else's schedule can limit your playtime, which might end up slowing you down over just questing yourself. The answer is different for every player and it is up to you to decide if grouping is worth it.
Quests to avoid
The best idea is to focus on the more efficient quests, specifically kill quests, and when you have lots of quests that can be completed in a small area. On PvP servers quests can take you to enemy controlled zones and there is very little chance for you to survive there. Elite quests are also much harder, and should be done with a group. Lastly, there are quests that take you to a different part of the world — make sure that there is something else to do when you get there otherwise they are just not worth your time.

With the introduction of World PvP in Phase 2, the leveling via quests became a nightmare so the only real option is doing dungeons. That's because all the later game leveling areas are swarmed with death squads from opposing factions that are farming Honor kills. Dungeons are also the best way to get BIS gear. Leveling via dungeons though can be a very boring and repetitive process, even more so than doing quests. And if you don't have much time, the odds of you maintaining a stable party are very low.

Despite the popular opinion, most of the Classic gameplay begins at lvl 60. The best raids, the best guilds, the best PvP — all of that comes at this time. There are players that enjoy the grind. However, there are players that enjoy this game for other reasons. Players that have a full-time job, a family or simply have other hobbies and come to WoW to have fun — they are struggling because leveling, especially in Phase 2, is hard, not fun and can take a month of your time.

A while back in the main game Blizzard has introduced boosting your character to the max level precisely for this reason. They haven't done it in Classic yet and maybe they won't. There is no reason for you to wait for them to make up your mind.
Maybe avoid quests as a whole
At LegionFarm we help players have fun. Games aren't meant to be a chore and that's why we help gamers by doing things that feel like a chore for them.
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