I've been playing for months and I'm barely at level 40, while my classmates play less than I do and have multiple lvl 80 characters.
Is there a better way to level fast in World of Warcraft than just completing quests?
There are a few things you can do to accelerate levelling:
Dungeons Use the Looking for Group tool to queue for dungeons. There are often quests within dungeons with good experience rewards (the first time at least). Dungeons also have high level mobs which will have a good rate of experience on them. Loot from dungeons will also make your character more powerful, making questing easier/faster.
Quest wisely Move out of areas once you out level them - don't feel compelled to stay and finish the story lines if your priority is levelling.
PVP Some people get a good rate of experience/hour by winning in battlegrounds.
Have a max-level character Your colleagues will have advantages over you if they have access to Heirlooms. As well has having excellent stats some heirlooms have bonus experience for both killing mobs and turning in quests.
Rest bonus Make sure you are in an Inn or a capital city when you log out to accrue rest bonus.
Gathering professions Nowadays you gain experience when you gather herbs and mine ore. You can then sell the herbs/ore on the Auction House and buy better items to level faster.
Guild Perks Probably the easiest action for a new player is to join a guild and take advantage of the levelling perks, especially Fast Track (lvl 6 guild). Other useful perks for levelling are Mount Up (lvl 3), hasty hearth (lvl 8) and working overtime (lvl 14). wth thanks to @Jereone for the the reminder
Questing is the fastest way to level without Recruit-a-Friend. Dungeons work well too, especially if you haven't done the quests for the dungeon that you get in. Battlegrounds take way too long to be done exclusively in my opinion.
With Recruit-a-Friend, dungeons are a great way to level, and you can power level two characters very quickly if you have a max level character on another account (You, friend, etc). The max level character can just kill everything quickly while the two low level Recruit-a-Friend accounts follow behind.
Are you questing in zones that are your current level? Meaning that the quests are not green or grey in your quest log. It took me less that 74 hours to level a priest to 85 without heirlooms just recently. I did a mix of quests, dungeons, and battlegrounds on the way.
Another thing to consider is using a quest guide - the WoWPro guides or possibly (QuestHelper)[http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/quest-helper]. Both of these are available as add-ons and will help you to do quests in the most optimal fashion so you don't spend a ton of time running back and forth.
Get the fastest mount you can. You should be able to afford a 100% mount. The less time you spend traveling, the more time you're questing and getting XP. If you don't use a leveling guide, bind your hearthstone to wherever your questing hub is located. Use your hearthstone to get back to turn in quests once you've collected / killed everything for the current group of quests.
One other tip: Get the biggest bags you can afford. You should be running at least 16 slot bags in every slot. Before you head out questing, dump everything out of your bags that you can. The more bag space you have, the less often you have to sell or deal with inventory management. Also, get a junk selling add-on.
Disclaimer: I've used the Wow-Pro guides for a while. They're pretty good (both the ones on the site and the add-on version). Never used QH, but I've heard lots of good things about it.
Personally i find a mix of questing and instancing the quickest way too level. Mainly because i normally role heals/dps so when i log on, i queue for a random dungeon and then start doing some quests while i'm waiting. Some people tend to stick to just questing because they believe the xp per hour is larger, but what they don't take into account is the fact that you have to keep running forwards and backwards in fairly large zones in order to do so. On the other hand, Dungeons provide a very high amount of xp (Especially if you have never been in the dungeon before), but they also provide a change from grinding mobs and collecting bloody logs/bushes/whatever else Blizz can find to annoy you.
Another way of leveling super quick is the Recruit-A-Friend. I have been doing this for the last 2 nights and i now have a 44 Priest from scratch, purely from a little questing and a lot of dungeon spamming. ATM in Mauradon last night, with the random dungeon xp bonus + a boss kill + quest completion xp, i managed to get 73k right at the end, not to mention the 20k's worth from killing everything else. That was enough to level twice. This is definately the quickest way to level up providing the other person is willing to play whenever you are.
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