When WotLK first came out I was not too excited by the expansion. The prospect of leveling my Priest and Warlock another 10 levels seemed daunting. Going through the honor grind for an umpteenth time was weighing on my mind. "Do I really feel like spending money to go through 10 more levels of the same BS?" I would ask myself. I was truly getting tired of The Outlands and Azeroth has long been dead.
Unlike many, I did not rush out and buy WotLK the first day. (I did log on and gank some death knights.) The first thing I did after installing the monstrosity (how many gigs?!?!) was log on to my priest and go to the new lands. Everything looked very nice, the quests seemed to be lain out well, but it was still slow going. A quarter of the way into the first level of my new grind I gave up. I do not have high hopes for priests or warlocks with this expansion and my desire to level them was waning with every re-hashed collection quest.
I logged off in disgust, dreading the coming grind. Later that day I decide to give it another chance and after some urging from Dr. Wang I made my Death Knight "Just to check out the starting area" From the first quest I was hooked on my new DK. No longer would I be the squishy clothie, I was now the biggest baddest killing machine this side of the dark portal. The DK starting areas definitely gave you the feeling that your death knight was something special. A character with something a bit more epic behind them then starting at level 1 and working your way up.
The starting DK area was definitely one of the best quest chains I have done. Great story line. Unique quests. I particularly liked how Blizzard included talent points and gear upgrade from greens to blues in the starting area. Had a great feeling of progression even though it only took a couple of hours. They also did a good job of balancing the gear you start with. I felt my death knight was just as strong in Hellfire as my Warlock was coming from MC and BWL epics during The Burning Crusade. By the time I hit HFP I was on a mission to make my Death Knight my main. This would require that I put a bit more dedication into my leveling. With TBC I had cruised to 70 very slowly, ran a lot of instances and was very inefficient on the whole. A couple of things helped change that...
The most helpful thing I have done this time around is my research. I am the type of person that wants to know what he is doing. When I raided in vanilla wow, I knew the strats, I optimized my gear and spec. I read forums, theory-crafting, I competed. With level 70 arenas I researched the winning specs, group compositions and strategy's. With leveling I have always taken the opposite approach, no approach. I would wander from quest point to quest point and do instances with no direction or goal. This all changed when I made my DK my main. Not only did I have to level to 80. I would need to catch up with everyone and level to 70!
The first thing that helped me was Jame's Horde Leveling Guide
This is a great guide that will take you from level 1 to level 80. I used this from level 60 on. It gives great detail about the order you should do quests and where the locations of mobs, drops and quest items are. The thing I like most about this guide is how it sets up all your quests so that you can go out and get as many done as possible in one trip. Turning certain quests in and getting their follow-ups when the guide calls for it really helps prevent you having to go back to location X multiple times for different quests.
The last thing that helped me was Quest Helper
I had avoided using any mods as I leveled so far, partially to avoid having to re-do my ui once i hit 80 and partially due to laziness. At level 65 I thought I was moving a long pretty fast, Following my leveling guide and getting things done. However, I see my buddy log on and he is already 68, and he started a day after me! I asked him what he was doing differently than me and he pointed me in the direction of this mod. What this mod does is put all the locations of your quest items, mobs, quest turn-ins, quest drops and general information on your mini map and on you display. This one will also make up quest circuits for you to follow, but I liked the quest circuits from the leveling guide better. One of my favorite features of this mod is when you mouse over a target it tells you if it is something you have to kill for a quest or for a quest drop! The best part though is putting all the quest objectives on your mini map, makes everything that much easier to find. (Warning: This mod is a resource hog.)
My Death Knight is 70 now and I am pushing hard for 80. I am really looking forward to tanking some instances, It should give some new perspective. I DPS'ed in Vanilla WoW, Healed in TBC, and I will be tanking my undead Tauren ass off in WotLK.