Footholds into enemy territories can be done as you grow in levels and should be completed before reaching Level 120. Take the time after completing your first zone to do your first foothold, or you can choose to complete one as soon as you gather your 100 War Resources which will prompt you to return to your mission table area where the first foothold quest can be obtained. Similar to how your initial zone selection was largely irrelevant, this selection is, as well. Simply pick one and complete it to earn your Mission Table second champion. Send your champions out on missions, recruit troops, and then head back out to quest in your second zone selection.
At Level 18, you unlock Freezing Trap which is a long-term crowd control for all Hunter specs. It places a trap on the ground that encases the first enemy (not bosses or most big encounter adds) to touch it in ice for 1 minute. The effect breaks on damage. The trap has a 30-second cooldown, and the trap will exist for 1 minute after placing it. This is useful when you are feeling overwhelmed by too many mobs, for temporarily taking out a powerful mob from the fight.
Some quests in my guide are marked as "SKIP" and colored in red. These quests are simply either too hard to solo or not worth the XP/time and are skipped. My guide will only list SKIPPED quests if the quest is a direct follow up after completing a quest, not one that you have to click the NPC again to get it. If you hover over the skipped quests, it will give info on why it is skipped in the guide (unless that info is already listed directly in the guide text).
Similar problems have risen in the leveling system, which automatically scales to the player’s level and equipment. For the most part, you’ll vaporize enemies more quickly as you gain power, but there are some weird dips. Many players complained they felt less powerful at level 119 than at level 110, a problem I experienced myself. And world PvP remains a strange and whacky world where level and class balance issues make wins and losses feel destined instead of earned.
The most important step in being able to buy a mount and make other large purchases should be self-evident: saving. Economize as often as you can, and don't buy anything unless you absolutely have to. You can burn through hundreds of gold even before level 20 by visiting the auction house for new equipment at every opportunity. If you do so, over the long haul you will be left with very little to show for it. Before level 20, keep your eyes on the prize: getting that mount. The mount helps you move faster. Faster movement means faster killing, faster questing, faster quest turn-ins, and faster leveling. It is the most important tool to fast leveling you can get at level 20, and infinitely more important than getting your hands on that Left-Handed Vorpal Cleaver of the Zipswitch that you could have purchased at level 23. Stay focused.
A "stat squish" and "item squish" was implemented to lower the numbers used in the game, e.g. a legendary item previously with a level of 1000 reduced to 265. Unique class-specific buffs are added back, i.e. mages' Arcane Brilliance and priests' Mark of Fortitude. Titanforging—a random event that raises the initial item level of an item gained via drops or rewards—is still in the game; however, if the item is one of those affected by the Heart of Azeroth, then that item cannot be titanforged.
Update: The reason for less experience from gathering is due to how Blizzard revamped professions and broke them down by expansion. In order to get full exp from gathering you'll simply need to find a profession trainer for the relevant expansion. (WoD you just mine or herb the first one ypu come across and the game gives you a scroll for learning WoD gathering).