Best WoW Expansions For XP Farming and Level Grinding (November 2023)

The best WoW expansions for leveling, including Warlords of Draenor, Cataclysm, and Mists of Pandaria. Find the perfect balance of engagement and accessibility for your leveling journey.

World of Warcraft Chromie

Screenshot by Gamepur

WoW is gearing up for a new trio of expansions, the first of which is releasing next year. But there’s a select few available now that I believe players can farm and grind levels to their hearts content.

The World of Warcraft franchise has grown considerably since its initial release in 2004. Since then, we have been treated to nine expansions within that timeframe. To help players experience each of those expansions, Blizzard changed Shadowlands, allowing new characters to travel to any expansion as they were when they were released to level up new characters. For many of us, this can be unclear, as each expansion has varying levels of quest density and leveling speed.

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Warlords Of Draenor

Warlords Of Draenor Expansion
Image via Blizzard

In modern WoW, Warlords Of Draenor is quite a popular choice for farming and level grinding, despite the initial meh reactions when it was first released. I found this one the perfect choice when running through quests, and the story was engaging enough not to fall asleep. For the record, on the horde, I was already at the timewalker cap by the time I made it to the Spires of Arak just by doing the main questline. The random dungeon finder in this timeline is also active if you prefer using that method.


World of Warcraft Cataclysm Expansion
Image via Blizzard

For players new to WoW, the base Cataclysm zones are mandatory due to the easily accessible nature and zone variety present. The looting and level grinding comes into play because the number of players playing in this default timeline ensures the number of players running dungeons. I found it easier to grind using the random dungeon finder, especially as a healer. Those who enjoy DPS classes should have no issue queuing quickly as well, thanks to new players being funneled into this expansion daily.

Mists of Pandaria

World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria
Image via Blizzard

World of Warcraft Mist of Pandaria is another controversial expansion that was met with disgust when it was first released in 2012. Ironically, when it comes to questing, this is my absolute favorite due to the great storytelling and interesting characters. If I need my leveling experience to be more intriguing, I always choose this one because of the excellent dungeon design. Scarlet Monastery is still one of my favorite dungeons of all time, thanks to the introduction (for me, at least) of Sally Whitemane.