Only really to expand on Gráinne's comment as regards the 'collecting' and 'roster development' sections - which are, as said 'distinct' although they are intrinsically linked - I would like to point you in the direction of the in-game Achievements > Battle Pets > Collect tab. There are a series of achievements called Raiding With Leashes, pretty much all of which can be completed via the auction house - if you have the gold/inclination - or by completing old raids.
Along with revealing the WoW Classic release date, Blizzard also listed plans for both a beta and stress test of the game. Players who opt-in for the testing on their account manager page and have an active subscription will be randomly selected for the beta starting May 15. Then the developer will have three stress tests where players can log in to play the game for a short period of time on the following dates:
A new quest will pop up once your first pet reaches level 3. It will send you to either Audrey Burnhep in Stormwind or Varzok in Orgrimmar. These trainers will offer a quest chain to battle specific Pet Tamer NPCs on each continent. Defeating each of these NPCs will reward a nice chunk of experience for your pets, as well a Sack of Pet Supplies (which has the chance to drop the Porcupette companion, among the always-useful pet bandages).
Keep in mind that these quests are optional, and are not necessary to continue leveling and capturing companions. They are also account-wide, so if you complete the quest chain on one character, you will not be able to complete it again on another. However, any progress that you've made will be saved and you can pick up where you left off in the quest chain on another character. The dailies that you've unlocked will also be accessible by all your toons.
I'm not all that hardcore on "Classic", I want to relive the old zones and the old world and it seems like most people I'm taking to is feeling the same. We would prefer to have quality of life improvements regardless of them actually being in the game at in 1.12.2 or not. Like the "Automatic Quest Tracking" to actually track it properly without you having to actually trigger progress in the quest for it to show up would make perfect sense. It's no real need to make such a thing behave nonsensical just because it's "authentic".
You can opt in for the beta at the official site. When the beta launches on May 15, players who’ve gotten in will be able to play all the way from from level one to 30. WoW game director Ion Hazzikostas tells us that the beta will be “uncharacteristically small compared to our expansions,” in part to ensure that the focus is on the proper launch this August.

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Each battle that you win will yield experience for each pet that participated. However, deceased companions will not receive any experience (so make an effort to keep them alive by swaping in a different pet). Experience gains are based on your pet's level compared to the wild pet. Defeating a higher level opponent will grant more experience than a much lower level one, but be ready for a tough fight!
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