True to my assumption, mages are rare, at least on most low level battlegrounds, which makes playing them all the more interesting. Particularly facing less experienced players, who are used to ganking other rogues and shamans, a mage produces a lot of pleasure when you can kite a pack of hordies around in a circle, literally forever.
Many people think mages are far from the best class for battlegrounds and it is true that the class is far from being dominant, the same way that hunters and rogues are. But where we lack the raw power of a hunter, mages make up in finesse and control, and that is where the class truly shines; sheep, frost nova, frostbolt, to name a few are some of the mage's best tools.
So what is the verdict; is fighting on battlegrounds a viable leveling method? I believe it is. As a show case, I give my gnome mage, now a level 29 fire and frost hybrid. The moment I hit level 10, I started pvping and refused questing in all forms until two days and 24 levels laters. For a leveling pace, that is not bad at all.
The experience is gained, as per quote from Blizzard "for completing objectives and actions that yield honor (honorable kills not included)." This makes it all very straight forward. Think capturing flags on Warsong Gulch, conquering contested points of resources on Arathi Basin, and so on. So, of course, the side that wins, gains the most experience as well.
However, there is a catch to leveling on battlegrounds, which is true to all team efforts; you can only do as good as your team as a whole. So whether you like it or not, your success is in the hands of your teammates. In fact, now since twinks have been pushed to their separate battlegrounds, away from us casual folk, the encounters consist of a wide variety of people, of all levels and experience.
Also, if you do as I did, leveled using only battlegrounds, be prepared for heavy-handed ganking on the lower tiers of your level bracket. The horde, and without a doubt the alliance as well, enjoy nothing more than jumping on a level 11 or 14 just for the fun of it. They will, in fact go through lengthy trouble to kill you.
Personally, I spent over five minutes, running across the field of Warsong Gulch twice, from my base, to their base, away from the base, zig zagging tree trunks and stomps, while three horde players chased on my heels. Quite ridiculous actually, which was made only more hilarious when I lead them straight into an armada of blood-thirsty allies.
But still, if surrounded by reasonably skilled players, not outnumbered or -geared by higher level players, leveling with battlegrounds can be efficient and a whole lot of fun. However, if this has peaked your interest, I suggest you come prepared. There is much you can personally do, to optimize your game play. After all, the same rules apply to battlegrounds, as apply to raiding; you are not alone, you are part of a team, and if you stink, the rest of your comrades will also pay for it.
Since this post will already be quite long, I will leave some of the means I used to prepare, for my next blog post. So stay tuned.