[Guide] Leveling in Cataclysm (80 - 85)

New/Returning Player Questions & Guides
Should I continue to Cataclysm zones, or can I stay in Northrend?

In Cataclysm your stats and health increase dramatically, and the gear, mobs, quests, and experience scale to match that. While in Northrend, each zone gives the same experience (which means you could level at both starting areas instead of continuing to the harder ones), in Cataclysm the different zones give significantly more experience. It is no longer viable to do both starting areas, or stay in a level 79 zone. Don't worry though, the new zones are fast, smooth and fun.

How hard is it to level in Cataclysm?

The experience needed per level increases from 1.5 million at 80, to 9 million at 85. Wow! Don't be scared though, the level 85 zone gives way more experience to match this, and almost all Cataclysm quests are very smooth and immersing. You must be at least level 80 to level in the new zones. Remember to accept the quest for each area at the Hero's Call Board in Stormwind/Orgrimmar to begin the quest chain.

Level 80 - 82

Pick up the quest for Mount Hyjal or Vash'jir at the Hero's Call Board in Stormwind/Orgrimmar. Remember that you should only do one of the starting areas now, because the zones later will give more experience. Also, in Cataclysm you must discover the entrance to dungeons before you can que for them with the dungeon finder tool. However, you can always come back at 85 for fun and gold!

The zones are:

Mount Hyjal and Vash'jir -
Mount Hyjal is the beautiful nature zone located in northern Kalimdor. Vash'jir is the fantastic underwater zone off the side of the Eastern Kingdoms. Remember that every quest line will give you transportation to the correct area.

Dungeon Entrances:

Blackrock Caverns -
This instance is entered through the Blackrock Mountain. You can get there from Searing Gorge or from Burning Steppes in the Eastern Kingdoms. Enter the mountain, then in the room with the floating circle path, go right. Go through the first entrance (a broken gate). Continue through the path until you see some crates. The portal is there. Picture: (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_2jOddRkLhw0/TJi5t1VtBpI/AAAAAAAAAzE/rMCUkgy-MEk/s1600/BRC.jpg)

Throne of the Tides -
Throne of the Tides is the one of two dungeons in the Abyssal Maw complex located in Vashj'ir. This dungeon has a pretty creative entrance. You get yourself to the Abyssal Breach and then get sucked down. Where you get dropped in a pool in front of the entrance. Picture: (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_2jOddRkLhw0/TJjUB-Cy9OI/AAAAAAAAAzU/dwOYh7YuTy8/s1600/throne.jpg)

Level 82 - 83

You've already gotten a full set of new items, and your stats and health are looking pretty nice! You will need these items for the next zone, the mobs are bigger and stronger. If you did both Mount Hyjal and Vash'jir, you will be level 83, and can skip this zone.

The zone is:

Deepholm -
An amazing mineral and stone zone located in the Maelstrom in the center of the map.

Dungeon Entrance:

The Stonecore -
This dungeon is located in the middle level of the Temple of the Earth in Deepholm. Fly about halfway up on the left side of the temple. Picture: (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_2jOddRkLhw0/TJi63HR9KUI/AAAAAAAAAzM/pTNea0ghsK8/s1600/Stonecore.jpg)
Level 83 - 84

Only two more levels to go!

The zone is:

Uldum -
This is my favorite zone according to visual aesthetics - it just looks amazing. Its located in Southern Kalimdor, and you will have to fly there yourself. Go to the zone next to Uldum (on the right), and you will see the quest giver near the border to Uldum. Remember to accept the quest in Stormwind/Orgrimmar first.

Dungeon Entrances:

The Vortex Pinnacle -
The entrance can be found on one of the floating spires close to the coast. Picture: (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_2jOddRkLhw0/TJiUboTSbPI/AAAAAAAAAys/N1NTLjVsL1A/s1600/The+Vortex+Pinnacle.jpg)

Halls of Origination -
On the right side of the map, Halls of Origination is located in a large pyramid. Picture: (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_2jOddRkLhw0/TJiPHXdKF6I/AAAAAAAAAyc/G0O33nC32R8/s1600/halls+of+origination.jpg)

Lost City of the Tol'vir -
Located in the large city in the south, the entrance is close to where the river splits. Picture: (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_2jOddRkLhw0/TJiNbke5hwI/AAAAAAAAAyU/pFz_RcvizOg/s1600/cityoftolvir.jpg)

Level 84 - 85

This is your last level! I have to say, Twilight Highlands always goes the fastest for me, and I'm very excited when I get there. Along with the quests, there is an arena here that will give about 400k experience and a weapon for your class. The arena is the Crucible of Carnage, or commonly called the Ring of Blood. You will need a full 5 man group to do it.

The zone is:

Twilight Highlands -
Located in the Eastern Kingdoms next to the Wetlands. You will need to do some starting quests in Stormwind/Orgrimmar first.

Dungeon Entrance:

Grim Batol -
The entrance is located in the center of the western edge of the zone. Picture: (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_2jOddRkLhw0/TJialViiNxI/AAAAAAAAAy0/v665nnPweLU/s1600/Grim+Batol.jpg)

Congratulations! You will be 85 in no time!
Extra Information

Factions and Reputation

You can increase your faction reputation by doing 3 things -

    1) Doing quests in the correct factions zone. - Example: Doing quests in Deepholm give you reputation with the faction Therazane.

    2) Wearing a faction's tabard while doing dungeons. - Example: The tabard for Therazane is located at the Therazane quartermaster in Deepholm. (http://www.wowhead.com/npc=45408/dlom-the-collector)

    3) Doing Daily quests in the zone of the faction you want. - Example: Completing the daily quest for Felsen the Enduring in Deepholm gives you reputation for Therazane. (http://www.wowhead.com/npc=43805).

Each of these things require you to quest in this area before you can unlock them. To unlock dailies, you simply have to do the quest once in the storyline, then that daily becomes available. To unlock tabards, you have to finish certain parts (or the entire) storyline. Remember that NPC locations change after you complete certain storyline quest.

The work needed to earn reputation -
The simplest way would just be to turn on reputation gained in your chat box to see what you are gaining, and try each of the 3 methods. Playing a gnome mage, I was exalted in Stormwind by using a tabard by level 30.

Here is a guide to the factions on wowhead: (http://www.wowhead.com/blog=176361/cataclysm-reputations-guide-vendors-rewards-and-more).

Can I level in Battlegrounds?

You most certainly can! Battlegrounds give experience and honor. It will be slower to level in battlegrounds, but it is definitely viable, and can be done. Remember that you will gain much more honor from PvP at level 85, but its still nice to get some honor already. You must be 85 to purchase the level 85 honor pieces. The first random battleground that you do a day (or the call to arms on weekends) will give you twice as much experience.

Do I need any addons while leveling? And what do they do?

Addons are not needed at all in wow. However, they are very helpful (and fun!). Sometimes addons might change your wow screen alot, and can be confusing. You can open the addon configurations by pressing Escape, Interface, then the Addon tab. In the character selection screen, you can choose addons on the bottom left to turn them on or off. Here are some common addons for players that are leveling:

UI addons - These change the look of your health bars and icons on the screen. Using more than one of these addons at the same time can cause conflicting problems on your screen. If you have downloaded more than one, you should only enable one at a time.

X-perl - http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/xperl.aspx

Shadowed Unit Frames (my personal favorite) - http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/shadowed-unit-frames.aspx

IceHUD - http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/ice-hud.aspx

Bar addons - These change the look of your action bars, and let you keybind them easier.

Pitbull - http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/pitbull4.aspx

Bartender - http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/bartender4.aspx

Bag addons - These put all of your bags into one window to see and sort them easier.

Combuctor - http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/combuctor.aspx

Bagnon - http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/bagnon.aspx

Quest addons - These help you do quests and tell you the fastest route.

Quest Helper - http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/quest-helper.aspx

Zygor (This is the addon that I use, I like it better than QuestHelper, but it must be bought.) - http://www.zygorguides.com/

You can download the Curse Client to easily find, download and install addons.
I would recommend it for anyone that is downloading more than one, or is having a hard time installing them.
Commonly Asked Questions

- Reserved for Questions -
Really Useful Guide. Nice Work!
On the AddOn part I think you could be clearer with for example installing both X-Perl and Shadowed Unit Frames will cause problems example how it could look:

UI addons - These change the look of your health bars and icons on the screen.
The following AddOns have the same purpose. Installing for example two UI AddOns may cause problems.

X-perl - http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/xperl.aspx

Shadowed Unit Frames (my personal favorite) - http://wow.curse.com/downloads
Great guide! I have added this guide to the Helpful Newcomer Reading sticky :)
25/01/2011 9:26 AMPosted by Sunami
On the AddOn part I think you could be clearer with for example installing both X-Perl and Shadowed Unit Frames will cause problems example how it could look:

UI addons - These change the look of your health bars and icons on the screen.
The following AddOns have the same purpose. Installing for example two UI AddOns may cause problems.

Ah you're right, I should definitely add that. Thank you.
Hey. Nice guide very usefull :) I've already sent the link to some of my freinds :) And if u didnt notice we actually plays on the same realm x) Well i found the guide very useful. Good Work!
M8 thanks so much for this, have started playing after a year break and had no idea where to go etc. has helped me find a starting place again, many thanks.
Hey, this was great! I added a hyper-link to it in my little guide on region levels, so people can take a look if they want more info ^.^

Thanks, Lohki!

Requested sticky, Thank you for guide :)
Hope you become mvp
i am lv82 i have done most of the vashjir and i wanna go quest at mount hyjal is this possible i have been to mount hyjal but i didint find any quests help plz :)?
this post is old but just like to say thanks youve helped me out! good work hah

this is my first character and i have just lvled healing in dungeons so no idea where to go when it slowed down and i needed quests to lvl but this guide sorted me out so thanks!

not be long till i have to upgrade to pandaria
Thanks, nice work
25/01/2011 07:46Posted by Lohki
25/01/2011 08:24Posted by Lohki
Commonly Asked Questions

- Reserved for Questions -
Thank you this was really helpful.

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