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WoWJan 16, 2018 3:30 pm CT

How WoW zone scaling and leveling will work in patch 7.3.5

Update: With the patch due out today on North American realms, we thought you might want a refresher of patch highlights.

In patch 7.3.5, we finally get the much requested zone scaling for old leveling zones. Scaling worked out really well in Legion, and World of Warcraft will be applying the same technology to the older world as well. However, there are some caveats, and it’s not completely open scaling like the Broken Isles zones.

The gist of the matter is that you can spend these level ranges in these respective areas:

  • Starting zones: levels 1-10 (Wowhead commenters note that it actually scales 1-20, despite the map stating 1-10)
  • Classic zones: 10-60
  • Outland and Northrend zones: 58-80
  • Cataclysm and Pandaria zones: 80-90
  • Draenor zones: level 90-100

However, it’s not quite as simple as taking your new Blood Elf immediately to Badlands upon leaving the starting zone at level 10. Each zone has a certain minimum level to start, and they’re all (somewhat) close to the zones’ required levels now. That said, the only cap is the 60/80/90 expansion threshold, and the main benefit of the scaling is that you won’t out-level any area until you hit those thresholds. Because we’ve always been able to go to Hellfire Peninsula at level 58 and the two Northrend starting zones at 68, there’s a bit of overlap between expansions at 58-60 that gives us amusing situations like this post on Reddit.

How it works

To get started, you can either pick up a breadcrumb quest from the various Command Boards in major cities and choose from three zone options, or you can look at the map and just… pick a zone! There also appear to be Hero’s Call Boards with your next options in the zones as well, such as this one in Loch Modan. It’s worth noting, the Command Boards will change slightly depending on which city or continent you’re in. On my level-38 character, my options in Stormwind were Western Plaguelands, The Hinterlands, or Feralas, but when I traveled to Darnassus, I received Desolace as an option instead of The Hinterlands.

Beyond the zone scaling, other changes for leveling were also introduced:

  • Quest rewards also scale with level, though that was probably a given.
  • The total experience required to level has been increased, and dungeons are a bit harder.
    • To be fair, it was almost a joke that DPS players could run dungeons by themselves with no tank or healer.
  • For random dungeons from 58-80 and 80-90, each expansion is a separate queue.
    • E.g., if you want to queue for random dungeons you have to choose either Burning Crusade or Wrath, rather than both.
  • According to Reddit, levels 1-60 now require “roughly 69.8% more experience,” world mobs are stronger, and heirlooms are weaker than on live.
  • For Loremaster aficionados, the achievements no longer require a certain number of quests to complete but rather individual story chapters like those that started with Mists of Pandaria Loremaster.

Most people these days will level up just through dungeons since they’re relatively quick. But for those who want to experience the lore and questing areas, they’re often shortchanged. As one Wowhead commenter so perfectly phrased it, “Right now leveling is like reading the first 4 pages of every book in the library.” To experience the full story of a zone right now, you have to stay and do quests long after they turn gray and stop giving any experience. Zone scaling does away with that problem.

The zone scaling on the PTR isn’t perfect, but it’s a start. It would be better if the zones of each threshold all scaled at the same level instead of having different minimum levels for each one. The same goes for dungeons, and being able to queue for all dungeons in your level threshold would be better than being forced to choose one expansion. If you have a chance, help Blizzard test the scaling changes on the PTR. If you want to know the actual scaling levels for each zone and dungeon, read on below.

The full breakdown of zone ranges

As mentioned above, the level cap is the same for many of the zones, but the minimum level required to enter them varies. Below are the current level ranges for each zone on the PTR:

Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor

  • 1-10: Azuremyst Isle, Dun Morogh, Durotar, Elwynn Forest, Eversong Woods, Mulgore, Teldrassil, Tirisfal Glades (these possibly scale to level 20)
  • 10-60: Azshara, Bloodmyst Isle, Darkshore, Ghostlands, Loch Modan, Northern Barrens, Silverpine Forest, Westfall
  • 15-60: Ashenvale, Hillsbrad Foothills, Redridge Mountains
  • 20-60: Duskwood, Stonetalon Mountains
  • 25-60: Arathi Highlands, Southern Barrens, Stranglethorn Vale, Wetlands
  • 30-60: Desolace,  The Hinterlands
  • 35-60: Dustwallow Marsh, Feralas, Western Plaguelands
  • 40-60: Badlands, Blasted Lands, Burning Steppes, Eastern Plagulands, Felwood, Searing Gorge, Silithus, Swamp of Sorrows, Tanaris, Un’Goro Crater, Winterspring
  • 55-56: Deadwind Pass

Outland and Northrend

  • 58-80: Borean Tundra, Hellfire Peninsula, Howling Fjord
  • 60-80: Zangarmarsh
  • 61-80: Dragonblight
  • 62-80: Terokkar Forest
  • 63-80: Grizzly Hills
  • 65-80: Blade’s Edge Mountains
  • 64-80: Nagrand, Zul’Drak
  • 66-80: Sholazar Basin
  • 67-80: Crystalsong Forest, Icecrown, Netherstorm, Shadowmoon Valley, The Storm Peaks, Wintergrasp

Cataclysm zones and Pandaria

  • 80-90: The Jade Forest, Mount Hyjal, Vashj’ir
  • 81-90: Krasarang Wilds, Valley of the Four Winds
  • 82-90: Kun-Lai Summit
  • 83-90: Townlong Steppes, Uldum
  • 84-85: Tol Barad
  • 84-90: Dread Wastes, Twilight Highlands
  • 85-90: Vale of Eternal Blossoms


  • 90-100: Frostfire Ridge, Shadowmoon Valley
  • 92-100: Gorgrond
  • 94-100: Talador
  • 96-100: Spires of Arak
  • 98-100: Nagrand

Unknown: Moonglade

The full breakdown of dungeon ranges

Classic Dungeons

  • 15-60: Deadmines, Ragefire Chasm
  • 17-60: Shadowfang Keep, Wailing Caverns
  • 20-60: Blackfathom Deeps, Stormwind Stockade
  • 24-60: Gnomeregan
  • 26-60: Scarlet Halls
  • 28-60: Scarlet Monastery
  • 30-60: Maraudon – The Wicked Grotto, Razerfen Kraul
  • 32-60: Maraudon – Foulspore Cavern
  • 34-60: Maraudon – Earth Song Falls
  • 35-60: Razerfen Downs
  • 36-60: Dire Maul – Warpwood Quarter
  • 38-60: Scholomance
  • 39-60: Dire Maul – Capital Gardens
  • 42-60: Dire Maul – Gordok Commons, Stratholme – Main Gate
  • 44-60: Zul’Farrak
  • 46-60: Stratholme – Service Entrance
  • 47-60: Blackrock Depths – Detention Block
  • 50-60: Sunken Temple
  • 51-60: Blackrock Depths – Upper City
  • 55-60: Lower Blackrock Spire
  • Unable to test but likely 58-60: Upper Blackrock Spire

Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King

  • 58-80: Hellfire Ramparts, Utgarde Keep
  • 59-80: Blood Furnace, The Nexus
  • 60-80: Azjol-Nerub, Slave Pens
  • 61-80: Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom, Underbog
  • 62-80: Drak’Tharon Keep, Mana-Tombs
  • 63-80: Violet Hold, Auchenai Crypts
  • 64-80: The Escape from Durnholde, Gundrak
  • 65-80 Halls of Stone, Sethekk Halls
  • 67-80: The Botanica, Halls of Lightning, The Mechanar, The Oculus, Shadow Labyrinth, Shattered Halls, The Steamvault, Utgarde Pinnacle
  • 68-80: The Arcatraz, The Culling of Stratholme, Magister’s Terrace, Opening of the Dark Portal, Trial of the Champion
  • 70-80: The Forge of Souls, Halls of Reflection, Pit of Saron

Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria

  • 80-90: Blackrock Caverns, Stormstout Brewery, Temple of the Jade Serpent, Throne of the Tides
  • 81-90: The Stonecore, The Vortex Pinnacle
  • 82-90: Mogu’shan Palace, Shado-Pan Monastery
  • 83-90: Gate of the Setting Sun, Siege of Niuzao Temple
  • 84-90: Grim Batol, Lost City of the Tol’vir

Warlords of Draenor

  • 90-100: Bloodmaul Slag Mines
  • 92-100: Iron Docks
  • 94-100: Auchindoun
  • 97-100: Skyreach

There you have it! None of this is entirely set in stone, so if you want to test and provide feedback, be sure to log onto the PTR and give things a go.

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