World of Warcraft: Shadowlands - Leveling Changes Overview

World of Warcraft’s leveling experience will receive a major overhaul when the Shadowlands expansion goes live on October 27, 2020. And if you’d like to quickly learn how the new leveling system will work, or at least how it works right now during the Shadowlands beta, you should check out this recent Eurogamer article. Here's a couple of sample paragraphs:

Of course, it's exceptionally well done. Exile's Reach, the tutorial adventure, is a smoothly paced taster that walks you through the basics of the game and your chosen character class in a little over an hour, culminating in a demonstration mini-dungeon. As a mechanical introduction to the game, it's flawless. As an introduction to the Warcraft's world? I'm disappointed that Exile's Reach plays out identically for Alliance and Horde players, never mind players of different races. The original starter experiences, individual to each race, do so much to create the intense sense of belonging and cultural identity that Warcraft - a world of fantasy archetypes so cartoonish they get away with being, frankly, a bit crass - has no business fostering, but does. (You can select the original starter experiences instead, if it's not your first character.)

Once I had tried a few different routes into the game, though, my nostalgic concerns started to look fragile in the face of the facts. Using Chromie Time - the time-warping feature, curated by an impish member of the Bronze Dragonflight - I went from Exile's Reach into Cataclysm's version of the original continents; into the aged Burning Crusade; into Legion, my favourite of the more recent expansions; and finally into Battle for Azeroth, as intended. And I had to face it: modern World of Warcraft is as big an advance over Cataclysm as that was over the original game. Probably bigger.