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.
The world quests aren’t necessarily bad, but they aren’t good either. I wouldn’t mind killing five of a type of monster or fighting one particular boss a few times, but after seven or eight, it starts to wear pretty thin. But going from levels in the mid-20s can take nearly 30,000 AP, so you’ll need more than world quests if you want to get your heart up in a reasonable time.
As the battle for Darkshore begins, both the Alliance and Horde are blindsided by a new development: High Overlord Saurfang, who had been defeated and captured in the Battle of Lordearon, has suddenly escaped Alliance captivity and is on the run. Sylvanas sends Horde Champions to track Saurfang down, ostensibly to extract him. However, it quickly becomes apparent that the search party is in fact an assassination squad, as Sylvanas suspects Saurfang of colluding with the Alliance in an attempt to dethrone her. While some Horde champions choose to side with Saurfang and help him escape the assassins, other champions remain loyal to Sylvanas and report Saurfang's and the dissenting champions' treachery to her.
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.
But one major question that keeps popping up as players reach the level cap is, "what do I do when I hit Level 120?". On the surface, it would seem pretty simple that your next steps would be gearing up to raid. However, BfA doesn’t exactly make it clear how to go about doing that, and there are more options for future raiders and dungeoneers than ever before when it comes to endgame content.
Was doing it at 52 on my lightforged paladin and it was easily the slowest zone out of the ones I'd done. Granted, I didn't have War Mode on so I didn't have any PVP talents, but it felt like about 40% of my time was spent waiting around for respawns or wandering around looking for mobs to kill to get a quest item that had like a 5% drop rate. Maybe I just got unlucky but I definitely won't be going to that zone again for future heritage armor runs.
Warmode is one of the real stand-out features of Battle for Azeroth, even if it is a somewhat controversial one. Warmode tries to revolutionize world PvP like the game has never seen. By switching on Warmode, you enter a new version of your server with only other people looking to fight out in the world. The result is a more volatile world where fights can break out at any time, and groups from to go fight the opposing faction.
These stat priorities help to get a rough idea of what gear to go for, but the most important thing to get as soon as possible is your stat weights. Stat weights help you zero in on which stat is the most effective at increasing your healing. However, healers have no grand simulator, as there are a lot more variables that can affect your overall performance than there are for DPS specs. In light of that, healers use fight analysis tools like WoWAnalyzer and the Teachings of the Red Crane spreadsheet that takes logs from WarcraftLogs and gives you accurate weights that would improve your output.
Some dungeons are also much better than other. Some take a long time to finish and some are quick. Some have few quests and others have many. The ideal dungeons have a lot of quests and are quick to finish. If you are sent to a long dungeon that you have already completed, you can leave but you won’t be able to enter a new dungeon in 30 minutes. Dungeons like the Stockade are super quick, so it will still be good XP if you are sent here more than once.
A "stat squish" and "item squish" was implemented to lower the numbers used in the game, e.g. a legendary item previously with a level of 1000 reduced to 265. Unique class-specific buffs are added back, i.e. mages' Arcane Brilliance and priests' Mark of Fortitude. Titanforging—a random event that raises the initial item level of an item gained via drops or rewards—is still in the game; however, if the item is one of those affected by the Heart of Azeroth, then that item cannot be titanforged.
The leveling experience for the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King levels of 60 to 80 has been greatly reduced from 6,689,030 XP to 4,412,600 XP which is a reduction of 34%. This has been a notoriously lengthy leveling section, and this reduction will be very noticeable and appreciated by those players leveling new characters such as those allied races!
The raid is made up of eight bosses that each have interesting and unique mechanics. Some bosses might put extra pressure on the DPS players to kill an add before it can heal the boss, while others might require players to move around the environment in a specific pattern or order, all the while still doing as much damage to the boss as possible or keeping the group alive through healing. While past raids often repeated mechanics or had one or two boring fights that didn’t ask much of the players, each encounter in Uldir feels unique and challenging. It’s been a long time since we had a raid where each fight was as much fun to do over and over again as the fights in Uldir.
Players’ relationships with the NPCs around them have been hit-and-miss over the years. One of the original issues with Thrall, the Horde’s original Warchief, is that players began to refer to him as “green Jesus,” because of how infinitely powerful and infallible he was. But he’s been gone since the Warlord of Draenor expansion, and with the death of Varian Wrynn and Vol’Jin at the start of Legion, the old guard hasn’t been there to guide players the same way as it used to be.