In moving all of my characters back to Azeroth proper and deciding to 'finish' each expansion with the entire group before moving on, I've created a rather large project for myself.
Some may wonder what I mean by finishing, and how precise I am going to be. I've decided on quest completion, dungeon and raid completion, reputation capping and complete recipe collection. They all feed into one another since there are quests in instances, rep gains in instances, and recipes are everywhere.
To assist others who may wish to follow this path, I've set down some information to help you get started and see where your road is going to take you. For now, since this represents the next month or two of playing, we'll just look at the Old World.
The Question of Quests and Instances
I don't have a precise count of how many quests are contained in the old world. It is different for every race. Only Gnomes can do the gnome starter area. Non Night Elves have only a few quests available to them in Shadowglen. Obviously only Worgen can quest in Gilneas and only Pandaren have access to the Wandering Isle. Coldridge Valley and Northshire Abbey are accessible to all, as is most of Ammen Vale. At a guess, I would have to say that either Pandaren or Worgen would have the greatest number of quests available to them since every other race is completely blocked from their starter zones.
Which class you choose and which professions you take also change the number of quests available to you. A small number of class-only quests still exist for Warriors, the only class quests left in the old world to the best of my knowledge outside of the ones that send you to dungeons to gather materials for gear at levels 30 and 50. There also still exist quests for a handful of professions, Alchemy and Blacksmithing being the ones that spring to mind.
There are daily quests of course, for JC, cooking and fishing but technically those are Cata content. It's worthwhile to do the fishing and cooking quests though. They award some neat stuff, and since the cooking quest given award the same token as the daily in Northrend, you can get a bit of a jump start on your token cache to make recipe purchases in Dal a bit faster.
Then there is the question of raid quests. Do we count those or not? There are repeatable quests to help you bump up your rep, quests which award gear in addition to rep for turn ins, quests that start from dropped items, and one attunement quest. Not all of these quests are available to all classes. Monks and Deathknights can't do the gear quests since they didn't exist when AQ was released. Muddying the waters further, some of the AQ repeatables aren't marked by blue exclamation marks, but by yellow ones, so the quest counter would add a tick to Quests Completed instead of to the Dailies Completed category.
Without running one of each race/class/profession combo through the world, it would take a lot of calculation time to figure out what the maximum number of quests available would be. So the best I can do here is run each of my characters through the world and keep chasing exclamation marks until it's all done; which is what I'm doing.
I use an addon called Everyquest to help me. I've taken Eccentrica and Deathvixen on a flight through each of the zones and popped open the addon to see if I have all the quests checked off. In zones where there is a dungeon, I pop in to check for quests, and then just run it regardless (I have tons of world drop recipes still to find). I also run Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, AQ10 and 40.
On the Subject of Repuations
Racial Faction reputation is the easiest of all to obtain. Just do all the quests and you're 90% of the way there. The sticky ones are Gilneas and Tushui Pandaren. You can tabard grind those factions in dungeons. After you've run all the dungeons once, the best course of action would be to chain run Stratholme (both Living and Dead sides) since they contain a very large number of trash mobs, are a relatively small size, and you have relatively nearby access to vendors and a mailbox. Strat-Living also contains a quest objective for Argent Dawn grinding too, more about that further below.
Outside of Racial Factions, there are PvP reps which I am not touching, a couple of grind-reps (Steamwheedle Cartel, Ravenholdt and the Bloodsail Buccaneers) which I also am not touching, a handful of reps that you can discover but not longer increase (Zandalar Tribe, Shen'dralar, and the Centaur Tribes), Wintersaber Trainers, Darkmoon Faire, Argent Dawn, Cenarion Circle, Brood of Nozdormu , Thorium Brotherhood, Timbermaw Hold and the Hydraxian Waterlords. Very clearly there is no shortage of things to do. Almost all of these factions offer recipes at exalted. Some also offer tabards and toys for your collection and the instances you will have to run offer pets and some mounts. So let's look next at how to get this done.
Wintersaber Trainers are much easier to do these days than the old days of repeatable quests which had you traipse round Winterspring collecting bits and pieces of mobs. It used to take up to 560 quest turn ins to complete this grind and took around 90 hours of playing to do it in, if you were on a fast mount, with speed boosts. If you did 5 hours of day of grinding, being as efficient and quick as possible, it would still take you 18 days to earn this mount. It now takes you 20 days of completing a single daily quest. See Rivern Frostwind at Frostsaber Rock for the quest They Grow Up So Fast.
Darkmoon Faire reputation is also much easier to obtain these days. Go to the Faire and do the weekly professional and daily amusement quests. For faster rep gain (and a few achievements) you can hand in quest objects which can drop from level appropriate dungeons. You can farm these objects if you have two licenses by running a lower level toon through dungeons with a higher level toon. You can also still hand in the old Darkmoon decks if you have them or can craft them with one of your Scribes. It awards little rep, though, and you'd be better off selling the herbs than doing all that milling and crafting trying to make up a deck. Also, some of the cards from the earlier decks were not craftable but were instance drops, so really I wouldn't bother going this route when the dailies are so much easier and more rewarding.
The Argent Dawn, if you didn't make decent progress with this faction prior to Cata, is slightly grindy. First do all the quests to be had in EPL. Once that is done, the only remaining way to gain rep via repeatable quest. Lord Maxwell Tyrosus at Light's Hope Chapel offers two quests. One takes you to Stratholme-Living, and the other to Scholomance. So, you take the quests, run the dungeons, grab the needed bits, turn in the quests, retake the quests, reset the dungeons and off you go again. By the time you've complete all the quests in EPL you will be at Revered with Argent Dawn, so depending on your race and any rep buffs you have on you, it will take 8-10 runs of the both dungeons to be finished. Since only the quests themselves give Argent Dawn rep, make sure you are wearing an Alliance faction tabard (Tushui or Gilneas) to double up and make the most of your runs.
Cenarion Circle rep is gained from questing in the Desolace and Silithus, from mobs in AQ (both 10 and 40), and by repeatable hand ins (Encrypted Texts at Cenarion Hold) and repeatable turn in quests in AQ40.
Brood of Nozdormu rep can only be gained within AQ, and you start off Hated, progress to Hostile, then Neutral and so on, but it's not as bad as it seems. Bosses in AQ10 award rep, and all mobs in AQ40 award rep. Within AQ40 you will find NPCs which offer repeatable quests awarding further rep. The best advice here is to hold onto all Insignia and Artifacts that drop (turn in items) until you reach Friendly status from mobs kills. Once you are at Friendly the trash no longer award rep, only the bosses. This can be a very long grind to complete, but it is greatly shortened by doing the repeatable class turns ins in addition to turning in the Insignia and Artifacts.
Thorium Brotherhood is a relative walk in the park. Quest your little heart out in Searing Gorge and Burning Steppes and you're most of the way there. To finish off you can do the repeatable turnins at either Thorium Point (Dark Iron Residue) or in the Grim Guzzler in BRD (several turn in quests available). Personally I find the Dark Iron Residue quest to be the easiest since one full clear of BRD (which I'm doing anyways for completeness sake) will net you more than enough Residue to take you to exalted.
Timbermaw Hold is slightly grindy, but not bad at all. Kill Furbolgs on either side of the hold, either in Felwood or Winterspring, doesn't matter. The kills award rep and the mobs drop items (feathers in Felwood and beads in Winterspring) which you then turn in to an NPC at entrance to the Hold (one NPC on each side for convenience) for even more rep. Takes half an hour for a level 100 toon at most.
And last but not least, Hydraxian Waterlords. Unlike all of the above outlined rep grinds, this one is utterly pointless. There is no quartermaster for this faction. There are no rewards. The only reason to do this grind is because it's there and you can. That's it. Sound good? Sweet. Off you go then. From Neutral to Honoured, there are a handful of mobs out in the world that award rep, but they give a whopping 5 rep each, so unless you are determined to make yourself miserable, just don't bother. Just hie thee to Molten Core. Every mob in MC awards rep up till Revered. From that point onwards only the bosses award rep. All runs from Revered to Exalted will award a minimum of 1050 rep, so even with the Human racial bonus, guild tabards and Faire buffs, this will take you a while. You're looking at 21 weeks minimum to cap out.
And Finally Recipes
I can't help myself. I've got to have them all. Since my very early days in WoW I've poured over lists and taken delight in ticking off another recipe learned. I used to print out pages from Wowhead's profession lists and actually cross them off one by one as I found them. These days I rely on another little helper Addon, Ackis Recipe List.
This addon is awesome. It allows you to filter recipe lists six ways from Sunday for each of your profs. Want to see only holiday recipes? No problem. Want to see only vendor recipes? No problem. Ditto for World Drop, Mob Drop, reputation, quest and instance recipes.
Since farming for World Drop recipes is madness, I set the addon to list vendor, instance drop and mob drop recipes. It can be a little frustrating to track down al the recipes, but you can also instruct the addon to list recipes by zone, so once you are done with a zone, you are really done and can move on. Sometimes you'll find that you have to camp an NPC for a limited supply recipe, but if you're patient you'll get them all.
Most frustrating of all is the recipes that are mob drop recipes. Chasing these can entail running part of an instance over and over until the darned thing drops, or farming a handful of mobs out in the world. Eccentrica currently needs two mob drop recipes from Searing Gorge which are dropped only by Twilight Fireguards, and one recipe from LBRS which is dropped only by Pyromancers and there are only two of them in the instance. Frustrations aside, I think recipe collection is the most satisfying collecting game because it is a completely reachable goal. You just need to be persistent, and thorough.
So there we are. This is what I am doing, and how I'm doing it. Since there is so very very much to do, I think drafting and updating a to-do list for each my characters would be a complete waste of valuable gaming time, and it would present an utterly boring read, so I shan't bother. It'll be more interesting, I think, so give periodic updates on big completions, and it will allow me to put my writing opportunities to better use.