Since a recent update, story quests were given much more XP, and zone quests XP rewards were dramatically reduced. As of that update, it was easily possible to level a character from 1 > 65 using only Story quests. I’ve done that many times with all except Sorcerer and Archer.
More recently I found that it is easier to level any class from 60 > 65 using almost only dungeons. In this pattern, the story quest chain is stopped after doing the quests in Highwatch.
I just completed leveling a Mystic character from 22 to 60 using only dungeons. Starting with Bastion of Lok at level 20, and completing in the Ebon Tower reaching level 60 after two runs. You can find a list of all the dungeons here.
There are a few Caveats with this method of leveling.
Important Notes for Dungeon-Only Leveling
There are a few things to note:
You won’t be spending any time gathering, so you’ll have to go back and do that before moving on to the level 60-65 area if you want to complete gathering levels.
Your gold reserves may not be adequate to buy good armor from the Trading Post. But I have access to a large bank stocked by Alts so that’s no problem for me. I didn’t actually need to upgrade my armor as many time as I normally do, but I did upgrade it every 15 or so levels with Superior fully enchanted gear. Of course weapons are no problem since the relics drop in the dungeons as well.
You’ll miss a lot of achievements, but you can go back and get them all at level 65 if you like.
The time to queue for dungeons may be dramatically different for healers than for other classes. Of course this experience is as a Mystic. You may find that you want to do Story quests while waiting if the wait times are very long. The test was completed during week days as well as a weekend and while there were some times when the Instance Match found no one for so long I gave up, most times I did not wait more than 10 minutes and often the times were basically instant.
It took about 20 hours of game play to level from 20 > 60. That’s about two levels per hour. Playing story quests only seems to average about one level per hour, so this method may level about twice as fast. There is some time waiting for cool downs of some of the dungeons. Oddly, I expected more cool downs.
The good news is that there is very little running around. Basically you can camp out by a bank / trading post and level from anywhere. Instance Matching will bring all the dungeons to you, as long as you don’t care about turning in any of the dungeon quests. Given the Vanguard Requests also can be completed from anywhere, and give quite good rewards, there is no need to bother with turning in Dungeon zone quests.
You’ll want to use any XP boost scrolls that you have. Several 30% 50% and 100% boosts helped along the way, and saved running the dungeon an extra time or two.
There is a new dungeon at level 32 that I had not seen before. I’m not sure the story quests actually take you to the Saravash’s Ascent outdoor dungeon. It’s a simple straight line run, but it closes a gap from level 32 > 35 where you pick up Cultists Refuge.
Another benefit of running dungeons this way instead of as part of the Story quest chain is that you don’t have to worry about completing the stories inside the dungeons. Other party member often aren’t interested in doing the story and may mess up your completion of the story. This is especially troublesome in Cultist Refuge and Golden Labyrinth.