Cataclysm Classic 1-60 Leveling Guide

cataclysm classic 1 60 leveling guide

With Deathwing’s return comes the Cataclysm to sunder the world and warp the very foundations of the zones you’ve come to know and love since we first re-experienced them with WoW Classic’s launch. There will be major shakeups in questlines, quest structure, level ranges within zones, and zone topography that’ll have you excited to jump in and experience Deathwing’s reign of terror for yourself!

General Tips

The leveling experience is going to be overall more streamlined, faster, and easier. That said it’s going to be fairly different than what it was before the Cataclysm, so this guide will seek to get you up to speed with tips, suggestions, and general pathing information. If you ever get lost, though, there’s a few things to keep in mind:

  • For Alliance the Hero’s Call Board, or the Warchief’s Command Board for Horde, is found in capital cities. These will always offer you a breadcrumb quest to a level-appropriate quest hub.
  • For the most part you can stay on one continent through your leveling experience to 60 if convenience trumps variety.
  • Quest hubs will often have breadcrumb quests once you’ve finished the important quests at said hub to go to the next nearest level appropriate hub.
  • There will be a random event that will happen periodically in certain zones where the sky will turn red and Deathwing will flood the area with fire, giving you the Stood in Fire achievement!
  • Leveling heirlooms can be an extremely fast way to level alts, and there are new options available so that their bonuses scale through lv 85. For a guide on everything related to heirlooms for Cataclysm, check out our Heirloom Gear Guide.

Alliance

Alliance – Eastern Kingdoms

eastern kingdoms map color coded cata
Areas highlighted in blue are Alliance dominated zones, while red is Horde dominated

Starting Zones

Worgen are the brand new race introduced in Cataclysm, and as such they have a starting zone all to themselves that offers a cool introduction to how the werewolf infection took root in the once-human city.

Level 10-20

For Humans, or those who choose to make the journey to Elwynn Forest, you’ll likely want to stick to the familiar Westfall to Redridge Mountains path at this point. For Dwarves and Gnomes, Loch Modan will take care of this level range with it having a more substantial offering of quests available. That said the changes to Westfall are quite significant and it definitely is worth checking out post-Cataclysm!

Level 20-30

Whether you choose to go south into the spooky woods of Duskwood or more north to the Wetlands, it’s 100% recommended to check out Hillsbrad Foothills. Not only is the zone drastically changed, but it has a fun cast of characters and quirky quests available. One to check out would definitely be the Basic Botany quest chain – which is a Plants vs Zombies minigame within WoW as an homage! It’s a ton of fun, and you get the Singing Sunflower pet for your efforts. Keep in mind that this zone does have a stronger Horde presence than Alliance after the Cataclysm, though.

Level 30-40

The Hinterlands is a good option as it has a route directly to the Western Plaguelands, your main stop on the continent once you reach the proper level range. The Plaguelands are also much different than they were and will offer a much more streamlined questing experience that lead directly into one another.

Level 40-50

It’s mostly a straight shot from this point on, but make sure not to skip Badlands! If nothing else, make sure you start the quest The Day that Deathwing Came and prepare yourself for an epic journey that takes the fight straight to Deathwing himself!

Level 50-60

These are the last two zones that’ll end your journey right at the gates of The Dark Portal and take you straight into Burning Crusade.

Alliance – Kalimdor

kalimdor map color coded cata
Areas highlighted in blue are Alliance dominated zones, while red is Horde dominated

Starting Zones

Not going to be much different here just yet, but there’s some exciting zones next up that Deathwing has really done a number on!

Level 10-20

So Bloodmyst Isle is going to remain untouched as it’s a Burning Crusade zone, and honestly it’s nothing special. It’s highly recommended to check out what’s become of Darkshore regardless of your race as it’ll offer a cleaner leveling path as well as the devastation that Deathwing has caused really gets to sink in for the first time.

Level 20-30

There’s not much choice in this level range on Kalimdor, but the progression is going to be much quicker and cleaner.

Level 30-40

This group is pretty straightforward except you should probably skip over Dustwallow Marsh as it’s received no changes, and the other zones are far more interesting!

Level 40-50

Thousand Needles has received a massive makeover – going from a boring desert biome, to flooded to the brim! Creating all sorts of interesting canals, rivers, and eddies for you to explore. Definitely take a stop by as it has a ton of fun questing there, now. As for the choice between Felwood and Tanaris – both see changes from Deathwing’s wrath, and both lead cleanly into the end of your leveling journey on Azeroth.

Level 50-60

The final stretch has you going with either the frosty tundras of Winterspring or the untamed jungles of Un’Goro Crater. Both zones are fun in their own right, and they should honestly net you enough experience to get to 58 so you can move into the Burning Crusade. If you’re just shy of hitting that level requirement then Silithus offers a pretty safe way to get your last bit of experience.

Horde

Horde – Eastern Kingdoms

eastern kingdoms map color coded cata
Areas highlighted in blue are Alliance dominated zones, while red is Horde dominated

Starting Zones

Tirisfal Glades is the superior of the two zones here as it’s been redone and has amped up the spook factor by several fold! Sorry Blood Elves, but your starting zone is going to remain untouched due to it being introduced later on in Burning Crusade.

Level 10-20

It is highly recommended that you skip out on the Ghostlands as it remains unchanged and head straight to Silverpine Forest to enjoy the spooky atmosphere. There’s also some really cool lore for the Undead wrapped up in the quest chains that is most definitely worth completing!

Level 20-30

Make sure to check out Hillsbrad Foothills, because not only is the zone drastically changed, but it has a fun cast of characters and quirky quests available. One of the best quest chains will flip the roles and cast you as the questgiver for a change! You’ll get to interact with lovely specimens that might seem dreadfully familiar if you’ve been playing WoW for awhile. Start out with Welcome to the Machine and go from there for some fun shenanigans!

Level 30-40

The Hinterlands is a good option as it has a route directly to the Western Plaguelands, your main stop on the continent once you reach the proper level range. The Plaguelands are also much different than they were and will offer a much more streamlined questing experience that lead directly into one another.

Level 40-50

It’s mostly a straight shot from this point on, but make sure not to skip Badlands! If nothing else, make sure you start the quest The Day that Deathwing Came and prepare yourself for an epic journey that takes the fight straight to Deathwing himself!

Level 50-60

These are the last two zones that’ll end your journey right at the gates of The Dark Portal and take you straight into Burning Crusade.

Horde – Kalimdor

kalimdor map color coded cata
Areas highlighted in blue are Alliance dominated zones, while red is Horde dominated

Starting Zones

The Lost Isles is the new introductory zone for the Goblin race that has joined the horde in their endeavors. It’s a zany ride and maybe more than you’d want to know about the inner workings of how Goblins operate as a society!

Level 10-20

You have two fantastic options here to get you into the 20’s. On the one hand, The Barrens have been split in two – this being the northern section. While this area of the zone is going to be a bit more familiar looking than the south, it still has quite a shakeup and you’ll find some familiar faces are up to some not so familiar things! As for Azshara, it’s been reworked quite heavily and is chock-full of quests to make for an easy and quick leveling experience.

Level 20-30

There’s not much choice in this level range on Kalimdor, but the progression is going to be much quicker and cleaner.

Level 30-40

This group is pretty straightforward except you should probably skip over Dustwallow Marsh as it’s received no changes, and the other zones are far more interesting! Southern Barrens especially should offer some interesting lore for Horde players as the zone was such an integral part of the Horde experience beforehand while it’s been torn asunder by Deathwing now.

Level 40-50

Thousand Needles has received a massive makeover – going from a boring desert biome, to flooded to the brim! Creating all sorts of interesting canals, rivers, and eddies for you to explore. Definitely take a stop by as it has a ton of fun questing there, now. As for the choice between Felwood and Tanaris – both see changes from Deathwing’s wrath, and both lead cleanly into the end of your leveling journey on Azeroth.

Level 50-60

The final stretch has you going with either the frosty tundras of Winterspring or the untamed jungles of Un’Goro Crater. Both zones are fun in their own right, and they should honestly net you enough experience to get to 58 so you can move into the Burning Crusade. If you’re just shy of hitting that level requirement then Silithus offers a pretty safe way to get your last bit of experience.

 

About the Author

Shadostruct

I've been playing WoW since beta with some breaks here and there. I'm a semi-hardcore to hardcore raider that focuses on retail mainly. I'm a big fan of giant dragons and am excited for all that Dragonflight will have to offer.
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