One of the fastest ways to hit max level in World of Warcraft: Dragonflight (opens in new tab) is to stand in one spot and click through menus. Crafting, it turns out, is one of the fastest ways to hit the game’s new level 70 cap.
Dragonflight is the first time that crafting items has rewarded XP in WoW. For every new item you make, you get a hefty chunk. It’s actually possible to craft a load of different items to gain three levels in just 10 minutes. WoW speed levelers, much like regular speedrunners, found the most efficient route to level 70 actually includes several minutes of staring at a crafting menu.
The first player to hit level 70 was Adelio (opens in new tab), a Korean player who managed to catch a boat to the new zone before many people (opens in new tab) on the US and EU servers. With that head start, they charged through the Dragon Isles quests with a full group to help corral enemies together. For WoW, this method is pretty standard: using knowledge from the beta, you stack XP buffs and efficiently chain quests together. The only difference is that they took a break to make some items, letting them fill downtime between quests and pulls. Adelio shot up to level 70 in about three hours.
Gingi, a long-time world first raider, did the same thing but way faster. He reached level 70 in about an hour and a half once he made it past the server errors. Gingi had a similar strategy where he raced around the Dragon Isles with the new dragonriding (opens in new tab) skills and other movement abilities to pull packs of enemies together. You can see in the Twitch archive (opens in new tab) that he only stops moving to cast spells or craft. The riveting finale is somehow him sewing together a Trailblazer’s Toughened Coif—a piece of gear he will never wear—to earn the last bit of XP to level 70.
WoW’s modern quest design is already made to be a quick process. It’s best to think about a new expansion’s series of quests as the intro or first act of a long storyline that will continue in future patches. But for speed levelers, the crafting XP bonus lets them skip doing unnecessary things like walking or fighting at opportune times. It reminds me of WoW’s ultimate pacifist player, Doubleagent, who is currently at level 61 from picking flowers in the Pandaren starting zone.
WoW continues to add new ways to earn XP, which lets you dabble in activities outside of quests without falling behind. Side attractions like pet battles, Island Expeditions, and the last expansion’s roguelike Torghast mode are still useful ways to level up. Maybe one day it’ll match Final Fantasy 14 and introduce full-on crafting classes with their own storylines and gear. The major changes to crafting and professions in Dragonflight make it seem like a very real possibility.