Download the game right now, create an account (a new one; not your old one, if you were a previous player), and you’ll be able to level your character all the way to 20 for free. There are other annoying limitations placed on this free experience, but it’s still a great way to familiarize yourself with the world, see if you enjoy the experience as much as you were hoping, and get a feel for the different classes before you settle on a main one to play as for the next 100 levels’ worth of gaming.
This level range opens a variety of zones from the Cataclysm expansion, which are spread across the game’s original continents, but it’s more efficient to head to the continent of Pandaria. You can spend the entirety of this level range exploring its uniquely themed zones and quests. The Jade Forest, Valley of the Four Winds, and Kun-Lai Summit are our picks, but all the zones are worth checking out.
That lack of storytelling agency may soon change with Patch 8.1, Tides of Vengeance, which is coming to Battle for Azeroth soon. While there are plenty of fun gameplay changes that should make the expansion better, one of the most interesting additions is that of choice. In an upcoming quest, players will be able to choose whether they want to support Saurfang or Sylvanas — essentially honor or evil — in the struggle for Horde warchief.
For your tank... I'm assuming you meant which race should you be, not which class, since you seem to want to be a warrior! Well, if you were Horde side I'd recommend Tauren for the health buff. But honestly, I *never* pick a race based on the racial features - only based on the flavor. If you are going Alliance side, I am quite partial to dwarf warriors myself but pick whatever seems most fun to you!
I highly recommend actually staying in the 20-60 range zones until you ding 62. The reason for this is that despite getting a slight penalty in experience for being over-level, the advantage of having flight will more than offset this. That, and WOTLK and TBC zones are the slowest part of the leveling process. Minimizing your time there as much as possible is worthwhile.
Groups are constantly forming in the group finder to go battle the enemy faction. If you’re more of a lone wolf, you can still stalk around the world looking for enemy players. You’re bound to find some. World quests with Warmode on also spark some seriously interesting interactions, especially ones for neutral factions like the Champions of Azeroth.
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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.
The downside is that War Mode will make you vulnerable to other players, which means you might be killed more often. Whether it’s worthwhile will depend on the zones you’re visiting and how active the other faction is on your server cluster. Heavily populated realms usually mean more players on both sides, and more conflict, but on quieter realms, you may rarely run across an enemy.
If you already have a high level character or a friend willing to give you gold then you can purchase Heirloom items. These items are bound to account and are accessible through the Heirlooms tab using Shift+P. The benefits of these Heirloom items is that they scale with your level keeping your gear up to date without you having to worry about upgrades, and they provide a significant XP bonus.
Mythic+ has some similarity to raiding, but it’s designed for just five players, instead of the 10-to-30 that can make up a raid. This mode tasks players with clearing the game’s dungeons, but with specific changes that make them harder, scaling up until it’s impossible for groups to finish. Players receive a keystone in their inventory that assigns them their dungeon, one of the game’s 10, and gives the dungeon a level. This determines how difficult enemies are and what effects might make them harder. If the group completes the keystone in time, they get a new, higher-level stone; if they, don’t they get a lower-level stone.
Eventually, the Alliance finishes its preparations and launches an attack on the Zadalari capital of Dazar'zalor, their goal being to sever the budding alliance between the Zandalari and the Horde by dismantling the Golden Fleet and capturing King Rastakhan. Despite Anduin and Jaina's desire to capture him alive, Rastakhan is overwhelmed by the power of his pact with the Loa Bwonsamdi, and the Alliance champions are forced to slay him. Enraged by Rastakhan's death, Horde champions launch a vicious counterattack on the withdrawing Alliance forces, which ends with both Jaina and High Tinkerer Mettatorque gravely wounded. As the Alliance leadership debates their next move, Sylvanas, infuriated by the Horde's defeat, resurrects Jaina's long dead brother Derek Proudmoore as a Forsaken, an act that horrifies the surviving Horde leaders, with the intent to use him as a sleeper agent to destroy the Proudmoore family from within.
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.
These are a genuinely challenging and dynamic way to play. No two are alike, and the A.I. actually does give you some real opposition. Island expeditions are like dungeons, available in normal, heroic, and mythic difficulties. That means you can press into higher difficulties for more of a challenge. Of course, the PvP version pushes everything to the max.
Set sail for the previously unmapped isles of Azeroth. Battle in groups of three as you race against cunning rival intruders—or enemy players—to collect the island’s resources. Constantly evolving challenges await as you traverse frozen landscapes near Northrend, open the gates of an abandoned Gilnean castle, navigate a war between elementals and more. Tides of Vengeance adds two new Island Expeditions to the mix and two new random events, as well as updated rewards.
Class abilities were reworked dramatically across the board, with some still needing a serious balance pass. That left many players not only feeling underpowered, but having to learn how to play their characters all over again. Bosses in large-group raid dungeons that were easily killed each week by experienced guilds of players suddenly became challenging again, or worse, completely unkillable, halting forward momentum on old content for a good chunk of the high-end player base.
-Island Expeditions- Island expeditions was one of the new features I was looking forward to but Blizzard no longer makes games that are ready when they are ready but rather makes games ready when the deadline comes. Thus, many of the new features are completely stripped down from what was expected and it's literally just a small scenario you enter with two other players to continue to grind out your Azerite neck piece.
The recruit also grants the recruiter levels, with the latter gaining one level for every two levels the recruit gains. There are a lot of rules and restrictions to that, however. It all basically boils down to leveling alternate characters together. The recruiter can even earn epic mounts and battle pets if you stick with the game for a couple months.
Just like player item levels, the game's professions have become pretty bloated over time. Blizzard has made some updates to the leveling process before but Battle for Azeroth features a skill squish that should smooth things out considerably. Instead of having to level hundreds of points before you can start crafting Battle for Azeroth items, each expansion will have its own separate skill tier. In other words, you can start crafting Battle for Azeroth content right away, while the gear and items from other expansions will each feature their own separate counters. Your first Battle for Azeroth item will put you at 1/150 on the counter for the new expansion, no more grinding needed.
The vanilla WoW Horde leveling guide you see on this site was originally made back in 2006 by Joana (AKA Mancow, or FuriousPaul). The guides have been tweaked many times over the years to make things "faster". The leveling guides were made because of all the messages I got from people asking me how I was able to level up so quickly on new realms. I was first to level 60 on 7 different realms (3 with Mancow and 4 with Joana), even winning Blizzard's "First to Level 50" contest they held back in 2006.
I like his recommendations 2 level 1-20 zones to get to 20, then do all the 2nd zones since they are designed for walking (Horde: Northern Barrens, Silverpine Forest, Ghostlands, Azshara, & Hillsbrad Foothills if you need a little more. Alliance: Westfall, Loch Modan, Darkshore, Bloodmyst Isle, and if you need a little more Redridge Mtns, or Duskwood). Don't even bother with the higher level areas, too spread out. Finishing up a Monk now and I had done all these zones before the update, the running between quest and the 50% experience cap is driving me crazy.
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Enchants. I honestly wasn't 100% certain which enchants were best, since scaling has screwed up a lot of things. IMO, just pick the enchant for each armor slot that has the highest bonus without level restrictions. The exception is that you'll definitely want Mark of the Hidden Satyr for your neck piece, and probably Elemental Force for your weapon. Both of these proc consistently and strongly across all levels.
You can try joining a Discord server themed around the class you’re playing, how you like to play World of Warcraft (achievement hunting, dungeon-running, player-versus-player combat, etc.), or your location, to name a few examples. World of Warcraft also has player communities built directly into the game. Find a community themed for newbies, or whatever else you want, and you’ll have a great resource to go to with questions. You might even make a few friends (or fellow adventurers).
What’s worse, it’s rarely satisfying when you do make it to a new milestone in your grind to unlock the gear you need. Legion had legendary items that changed the way an ability functioned, which would also completely change the way classes played; the Azerite traits in the Battle for Azeroth are rarely as interesting. Instead, they are simply passive bonuses that, in most cases, help you do more damage without any extra effort on your part. While some classes are lucky enough to have traits that change their gameplay slightly, Blizzard has so far seemed to favor nerfing those traits out of viability for most specs.
Blizzard also has a great New Player’s Guide, split into four major sections, as well as its “A Return to World of Warcraft” compendium. And be sure to check out Blizzard’s online forums, especially the New Player Help and Guides forum, where you’ll be able to find more information, ask questions, and engage with some of the World of Warcraft community’s most helpful members.
War Mode: War Mode can be turned on at level 30 through your talent window, and will give you 10% bonus XP. You will, however, be attackable by players of the opposing faction, but changes have been made so that all players have a fair shot in a fight and even low-level players can kill much higher level players, and at least not get ganked and one shotted. Note: As of patch 8.1, you can get an additional call to arms bonus with war mode on if your faction is underepresented.