Recipe ranks basically make you more efficient at making stuff, either by letting you craft the same number of items for fewer materials or getting a higher yield from the same amount of materials. As an example, having a one-star rank recipe lets you craft items at a relatively inefficient way, but when you acquire two-star or even three-star recipes, it can almost feel like you are crafting items out of thin air because of the low amount of materials required for each craft.
Meanwhile, in Zandalar, the Horde seeks to earn the trust of King Rastakhan so they can use his legendary Golden Fleet against the Alliance. To this end, they assist Rastakhan and his court in dealing with local threats in Zuldazar, fight maniacal Blood Trolls in Nazmir, and face off with serpentine Old God cultists in Vol'dun. Throughout their journey, the Horde gradually learns about an eldricth being known as G'huun, an artificial Old God accidentally created by the Titans and the patron deity of the Blood Trolls. The Blood Trolls and the Faithless Sethekk seek to free G'huun from his prison of Uldir so they can use him to rule Azeroth, and to this end they resurrect G'huun's champion, the C'thrax Mythrax, to destroy Uldir's seal. Rastakhan's own chief adviser, the prophet Zul, is revealed to be the Blood Trolls' secret leader and launches an armed revolt against Rastakhan. With the Horde champions' help, Rastakhan is able to defeat Zul and his forces, but not before Mythrax destroys Uldir's seal.
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There’s a lot of #content in the new expansion. It’s mostly locked behind a variety of gates, some of which players can’t even control. Warfronts are the best example. You might assume joining a Warfront is a simple matter of opening the group finder. Wrong! Warfronts are only accessible for a week at a time. It’s not precisely clear how often that week will come around (it’s based both on a time gate and on the opposing faction gathering resources) but, as of right now, it looks likely to be available just one week out of every four.
The last thing I want to say about this farm, you definitely need aoe damage dealers and some ranged people because mobs are not actually too close each other. So, you need to run around and gather mobs in one place with a monk statue and kill them with aoe. The party setups are simple and same with other farms actually and I don’t think not need to talk more about it.
I'm pretty excited about where the various gathering professions could go this expansion. Crafting expansions actually have good stuff to craft to prepare for the upcoming raid so gathering items will be needed. On top of that nodes are giving out less so more effort equals higher prices. Now where this goes past launch I'm not sure but stuff like Mining and Herbalism should be solid at the beginning.
-Gameplay- Gameplay has largely been stripped down to be a shell of its former self. This trimming has been going on for several expansions, but now it's even worse. Classes only have so many buttons which has resulted in very little skill involved in PvE (even PvP is a faceroll for most melee, lacking any sort of depth and decision-making as it's pretty clear what buttons to press in any given situation) and it's become more of a gear check. This expansion gave zero new abilities to classes, only took them away.
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I think what you're actually talking about when you say "niche" is the barrier to entry for new players. It sounds like you're worried that new players can pick up crafting professions and compete easier than before. Again, I'd say that the alpha build info in the OP looks pretty much the same as the current expansion. The true barrier to entry isn't the ability to level the profession quickly, it's actually recipe ranks. Some really good examples of this in the current expansion are rank 3 bracers, rank 3 flasks, and rank 3 felwort. It takes a certain level of investment to get those ranks, and the goblin activities related to those crafts simply aren't profitable/competitive without rank 3.
Unless Blizzard has some real story shake-ups and a phenomenally tuned raid on the horizon, I’m honestly expecting the sharpest player decrease to set in within the next few months. The expansion itself has some interesting ideas, but sticking to a World Quest grindfest is quickly becoming the norm, and the Island Expeditions aren’t exactly exciting.
Still, it’s terrible to see the new expansion fail so spectacularly at iterating on Legion’s success. It’s hard to believe the two expansions came from the same company. Legion made you feel powerful and unique. Battle for Azeroth grinds at you by taking away as much as it gives. Sure, you can have a shiny toy. Sometimes. If you don’t get too carried away.
Allied races aren’t much better. You can only earn them by grinding out reputation. It doesn’t take that long but casual players will need to invest a couple weeks primarily to it, and focusing on that grind will take you away from others, like earning gear. Each race has its own grind, but the things you do to work through it remain the same, adding to your boredom.