This expansion suffers from the Warlords of Draenor (WoD) effect, initially, players will think this is a great expansion but upon investing some time into the game they'll realize this game is a disaster. The pre-patch should have been our first warning with how poorly designed and executed that fiasco was, but beyond that, let's look at what the expansion itself offers:
Leveling used to be a treat in WoW. New, unique abilities drove you forward and made getting past the horrible grind worth it to some extent. Now it just feels like everything is set to grind. More than it used to be. Once it was tolerable, rewarding even, but now you grind to unlock an allied race through reputations barely connected to most of these races, only to have to level up that character to get their unique armor set (compelling you to not just boost your character and instead suffer through the slog of ANOTHER group of alts), then you get back to current content and grind some more with a random chance to drop the item you need to get your ilvl up to finally enjoy the single warfront available (as I write this).
Heart of Azeroth: Our world is direly wounded. Players will be summoned via Magni Bronzebeard to Azeroth herself. She will gift players with a medallion called the [Heart of Azeroth]. Her life essence seeps from the world in the form of [Azerite]. When players wearing the medallion come in contact with azerite, this sought after resource becomes a source of power for selected pieces of armor, providing players a way to level them up. This feature replaces the artifact system of World of Warcraft: Legion. Currently the plan of development is to limit the upgrade system to 3 pieces of armor. Players will be able to choose the stats they want to better fit their play-style.
With G'huun's threat eliminated, the Horde and Alliance return their focus to the war. While the Horde procures the Scepter of the Tides, a legendary artifact capable of controlling the seas, the Alliance dismantles a potential alliance between Sylvanas and the vampiric San'lyan Elves. The Alliance begins to gear up for a preemptive strike against Zandalar, with the goal of crippling the Golden Fleet before it can be used against the Alliance and driving a wedge between the Zandalari and the Horde.
Island Expeditions are three-man scenarios that pit the team against three enemies using what Blizzard calls “advanced A.I.” That means the enemies will act more like players, pursuing goals proactively and filling class roles. The expeditions take inspiration from action RPGs, with randomized areas that mix up the experience each time. Players’ main goal will be obtaining resources more quickly than their foes, and expeditions should last 15 to 20 minutes. While primarily meant for PvE, there is a PvP mode that replaces the opposing A.I. with teams from the enemy faction.
Waypoint System with Taxi Feature - Works similar to TomTom, clicking the Quest POI in your Objective Tracker will automatically place a waypoint for the quest. The waypoint arrow will turn green if you enter the selected quest area. You can also create your waypoint by CTRL + Right Click on your map and you can also link them together by holding SHIFT + Right Click on your map.
Spoiler: A lot has changed. It can feel daunting to jump into a huge world of which you know very little, and World of Warcraft is gigantic. You will feel overwhelmed if you just rush in. As a returning player who used to write for the freakin’ World of Warcraft magazine (RIP), even I find it hard to figure out exactly where to get started adventuring if I haven’t played the game for a while.
Also get the Heirloom Mount. Being able to have basic riding speed from the beginning will save you a lot of time if you're starting from level 1. Allied races start at 20, so this is a non-issue for them. It's important to note that Pandaren can not use this mount until they finish their starting zone and pick a faction. Being Horde or Alliance is a requirement of the mount.
Buffs. Food/Flasks/Scrolls/Potions/Elixirs are a small, but noticeable, buff to your killing speed and survivability. If you have a max level character that can already supply you with cooking or alchemy, you'll be very well off, because the AH is a cesspool for this. I can't really give you specific foods or potions to look for, since each AH is going to have different supplies. Generally speaking, lower level foods are going to only last 15-20 minutes until you can buy the more powerful versions at 60+. Look for anything that adds versatility or your primary stat, and buy stacks for each level range(1-60/70/80/90/100).