I haven’t done any quests in the Dread Wastes. Yes, that dark, sha-infested zone back on Pandaria. I only ever went there to hunt rares and get to Heart of Fear. The Dread Wastes were always just a place that I went through to get somewhere else. Dread Wastes (and Townlong Steppes, which I did finish) was optional content, and that’s okay.
Carmelo and I hit level 90 while questing in Kun-Lai Summit. We had done every quest we could find in the Jade Forest, Valley of the Four Winds, and Krasarang Wilds. We had gotten halfway through Kun-Lai when we hit 90. Our gear was in the 430-440 range when we did, and we needed to reach 450 to do heroic dungeons. So we started earning reputation for the Golden Lotus, which would unlock Justice Point gear and dailies for the August Celestials and Shado-Pan. We were capped on Justice Points from Cataclysm, so we didn’t need to run any dungeons to earn more. (Though we did run dungeons for gear, most of which was disenchanted.) We had collected several stacks of Windwool Cloth from our journey, which Carmelo crafted into cloth gear for us.
We were doing dailies, running dungeons, running scenarios, and occasionally farming materials while waiting for a queue. Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t like being forced to do Golden Lotus dailies every day before we could do other stuff, but at least there were dailies to do.
Warlords of Draenor is a different beast altogether.
Carmelo and I hit level 100 while questing in Spires of Arak. We had done every quest we could find in Frostfire Ridge, Gorgrond, and Talador—including the bonus objectives. As of this writing, we’re still working on Spires of Arak. Our gear is currently in the 580-590 range. We need an item level of 610 to start heroic dungeons, and an item level of 600 to do normal dungeons. There aren’t any factions to earn reputation for. There aren’t any Justice Point vendors to buy gear from. We don’t have a stockpile of Sumptuous Fur for crafting.
The only dungeon we can run is Skyreach. We can’t do Bloodmaul Slag Mines, Iron Docks, or Auchindoun. In Mists, we could run Shado-Pan Monastery, Mogu-Shan Palace, Siege of Niuzao Temple, and Gate of the Setting Sun. If I’m not mistaken, we could even queue up specifically for Temple of the Jade Serpent and Stormstout Brewery. In Warlords, there aren’t even any scenarios for us to run. In short, we can’t acquire any new gear to do normal dungeons—not even heroic! We don’t have the gear to run normal dungeons. How pathetic is that?
Unless we go to Nagrand, that is. But we shouldn’t have to go to Nagrand. We hit 90 in Kun-Lai Summit and we didn’t need to do Townlong Steppes nor Dread Wastes to gear up for Mists‘ normal dungeons. We had more than one dungeon to run. We could run scenarios. We could do dailies. We had options.
But now, in Warlords? We have no options. I’ve done at least 250 quests so far. And now, the only method for advancement is to do more quests. I don’t want to do more quests. I’m sick of doing quests. I was sick of doing quests when I hit 90 in Mists, too. I want to do something other than more questing. I want to run dungeons, plural. I don’t want to run scenarios, but I’ll do it since it’s not a quest. I want more than one daily to do other than “go kill a bunch of mobs and loot stuff in some place until we say you’re done”. And no, the random dungeon quest from the Garrison tavern doesn’t count since I can’t run any of those dungeons yet. (I haven’t even built the tavern yet since there’s just no point right now.)
The difference between max level in Mists and Warlords is night and day. Where in Mists I was logging in every day and could do something different (in addition to the mandatory dailies), in Warlords the most I can do is clear out my Garrison’s mine, pick some herbs, and send my followers off on more exciting adventures than I’m having. And then I log off without doing anything, because I’m burned out on questing and there’s nothing else to do. I just want to do something other than questing. Maybe I’d be singing a different tune if we had skipped Spires of Arak and went to Nagrand instead of doing each zone sequentially.
But right now, it feels like I’m being punished for leveling wrong.