- Straight zone play throughs
- Dungeon leveling
- Zone skip aheads
- Garrison centric leveling
I will admit that because of personal issues going on, I did not manage to participate in the beta at all this time unfortunately, so I don't know much beyond what I've read about what I'll be facing. However, I gather that there will be leveling options that are a little bit more garrison centric than straight questing options, so to the extent that I can design different leveling paths under those scenarios, I will do that and report out the data.
I thought I'd also recap the data that I have from the last two expansions. For MoP, my average leveling time (from the prior max level) was around 23.1 hours played and there was no significant difference between any of the above approaches.
In Catalclysm, my average time to max level was 24.7 hours played. In that case, the characters that used a dungeon based leveling approach were slightly longer. While that average is higher, there are two unrelated factors that may have been specific to me in both those cases - one is going into Cataclysm, the full set of toons was not as well geared as they were going into MoP, so that may have impacted the leveling time, at least initially. I also chose to have my first toon leveled for that expansion be my paladin instead of my warlock, because I wanted to try to have a healer first. Playing through a toon that wasn't my main and trying to get gear that was healing focused, undoubtedly affected my leveling time, and as a result (combined with launch date general slowness), my time on the paladin was significantly higher than anyone else (35 hours in total). If you back that out as an outlier, the average time on Cata drops to 23.4 hours, or not wildly different than MoP.
I've gathered from what I've read in various places that the time from 90 to 100 is going to be significantly shorter this time around, but I've not actually done it myself yet. We'll know for sure next week.
In the meantime, with 16 toons to level, I'll be assigning four to each of the groups above, which should give me a somewhat reasonable indicator under each approach.