Earlier this week, Blizzard began the alpha for their upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Shadowlands. The expansion is bringing a massive number of changes, so much so that keeping up with it all makes it feel like they're practically reworking the game. \n \nAnd in many ways, they are. Blizzard is completely reworking how the leveling experience works, and even going so far as to lower the maximum level from 120 back down to 60. \n \nLeveling is... strange, now, if you've been playing for a while. 1-10 is done in the new Shadowlands starting zone, an island called Exile's Reach, with 11-50 then being taken up entirely by the Battle for Azeroth content. From 50-60, players engage in the Shadowlands content. \n \n \n \nOne player, a user named Valrysha, has provided an excellent write-up on the leveling experience, giving feedback to Blizzard and letting the non-alpha players know what to expect. Doing a run with no Heirlooms, no XP-pots, and no Monk-XP buff, they managed to finish the new leveling experience of 1-50 in just under 12 hours. \n \nOne problem that Valrysha highlighted was the heavy gap between quest rewards and the items dropped. Financially, this provides a jarring experience, as some quests will reward you with a few silver while giving you a weapon that vendors for more than 100 gold, which gives a strangely separated experience in terms of progression. \n \nA second issue the player discussed is the new mount system. Currently players gain their mounts in the following manner: \n \n \tApprentice (60% speed) at 20 \n \tEpic (100%) at 40 \n \tFlying (150%) at 60 \n \tArtisan (280%) at 70 \n \tMaster (310%) at 80 \n \nObviously, this is a bit disjointed, and given how fast you level, it feels a bit annoying to have to constantly go back to the trainer. The new mount training system in Shadowlands is arranged thusly: \n \n \t60% mount at 10 \n \t100% mount at 17 \n \t150% flying mount at 25 \n \t280% flying at 27 \n \t310% flying at 30 \n \nThis is, arguably, even stranger. If they want to stay up to date, a player needs to return to a flight trainer three times in just five levels. Valyrsha picked up on this as well, saying that ground speeds should be combined into one skill, with flying being condensed into two with a farther gap between. \n \nPathfinder is another issue that comes up, a thorough and time-extensive achievement that players must get to earn flying. In old content, this would be punishing for new players, who simply shouldn't be expected to grind out a Pathfinder achievement on now-dated content. The alpha tester insists that this should be removed, and they're far from the only person to think so. \n \nOverall, Valyrsha's write-up is incredibly thorough, and provides an excellent look at the upcoming leveling experience. Hopefully, Blizzard will take their feedback - and the feedback of the thousands of players that are rallying behind their analysis - to heart.