At the end of Legion, the titan Sargeras was imprisoned, but not before he plunged his sword into the planet Azeroth. This not only devastated a massive area (much of the desert zone of Silithus is now cracked and scorched), but badly wounded the gestating titan inside. While the heroes managed to ablate the worst of the damage (at the cost of the majority of their artifact weapons' mythic power), the world is still wounded and bleeding a substance called "Azerite," which has great magical potential. The Horde Warchief, Sylvanas Windrunner, attempts to consolidate Horde power on Kalimdor and gain a monopoly on Azerite (which is primarily found at the southern end of the continent). Her campaign to do so, the War of Thorns, formed a pre-launch event for the expansion and ends with the major Night Elf holdings on the continent seized or (in the case of their capital city of Darnassus) annihilated. The Alliance makes a retaliatory strike against her home base, the Undercity, which was formerly the human capital of Lordaeron. This succeeds in driving the Horde out, but before leaving Sylvanas saturates the area with disease and toxins that render it uninhabitable. With this tit-for-tat military exchange, the Horde has almost complete control over Kalimdor, while the Alliance has near-total dominion over the Eastern Kingdoms. With further conflict inevitable, Battle for Azeroth takes the two factions to the continents of Kul Tiras and Zandalar to recruit new allies in order to turn the tides of war.
When an allied race has been unlocked for a player, new characters from that race will start at level 20. If a player levels an Allied race from 20 to level 110 without using character boosts, they will be rewarded with a unique "Heritage Armor" for transmogrification that reflects the unique lore behind the race but is limited for use to that race. Doing the quests to unlock the allied races will also unlock the races' unique mounts for use by the characters of their faction. The void elves, Lightforged draenei, Highmountain tauren, and Nightborne, as races tied to the storyline for Legion, were made available with the preorder on January 30, 2018. The Dark Iron dwarves and the Mag'har orcs are made available upon completing the "War Campaign" in Kul Tiras and Zandalar and reaching Exalted with one faction's War Campaign reputation; the Kul Tiran humans and Zandalari will be made available later in the expansion. Game director Ion Hazzikostas also indicated that additional Allied Races may be available in the future.
-Global Cooldown- Almost all spells are now on the global cooldown. This has slowed gameplay down quite a bit and you won't get to use the full potential of your spells cooldowns. For example, you cast a spell that increases your damage for 15 seconds, after the global cooldown and you're able to cast again, you now only have 13.5 seconds to make use of the remaining time. There are far too many spells on the global cooldown that shouldn't be.
REALMS Aerie Peak Aman'Thul Area 52 Arthas Baelgun Barthilas Blackrock Bleeding Hollow Burning Legion Cenarius Dalaran Darkspear Earthen Ring Emerald Dream Frostmourne Garona Garrosh Hyjal Illidan Kel'Thuzad Kil'jaeden Korgath Lightbringer Mal'Ganis Moon Guard Proudmoore Ravenholdt Sargeras Saurfang Shattered Hand Stormrage Stormreaver Thrall Tichondrius Turalyon Wyrmrest Accord Zul'jin Aegwynn, Bonechewer, Daggerspine, Gurubashi, and Hakkar Agamaggan, Archimonde, Jaedenar, and The Underbog Aggramar and Fizzcrank Akama, Dragonmaw, and Mug'thol Alleria and Khadgar Alexstrasza and Terokkar Altar of Storms, Anetheron, Magtheridon, and Ysondre Alterac Mountains, Balnazzar, Gorgonnash, The Forgotten Coast, and Warsong Andorhal, Scilla, Ursin, and Zuluhed Antonidas and Uldum Anub’arak, Chromaggus, Crushridge, Garithos, Nathrezim, and Smolderthorn Anvilmar and Undermine Arathor and Drenden Argent Dawn and The Scryers Arygos and Llane Auchindoun, Cho'gall, and Laughing Skull Azgalor, Azshara, Destromath, and Thunderlord Azjol-Nerub and Khaz Modan Azuremyst and Staghelm Baelgun and Doomhammer Black Dragonflight, Gul'dan, and Skullcrusher Blackhand and Galakrond Blackwater Raiders and Shadow Council Blackwing Lair, Dethecus, Detheroc, Haomarush, Lethon, and Shadowmoon Bladefist and Kul Tiras Blade's Edge and Thunderhorn Blood Furnace, Mannoroth, and Nazjatar Bloodhoof and Duskwood Bloodscalp, Boulderfist, Dunemaul, Maiev, and Stonemaul Borean Tundra and Shadowsong Bronzebeard and Shandris Burning Blade, Lightning's Blade, and Onyxia Caelestrasz and Nagrand Cairne and Perenolde Cenarion Circle and Sisters of Elune Coilfang, Dark Iron, Dalvengyr, and Demon Soul Dawnbringer and Madoran Darrowmere and Windrunner Dath'Remar and Khaz'goroth Deathwing, Executus, Kalecgos, and Shattered Halls Dentarg and Whisperwind Detheroc and Shadowmoon Draenor and Echo Isles Dragonblight and Fenris Draka and Suramar Drak’Tharon, Firetree, Malorne, Rivendare, Spirestone, and Stormscale Drak'thul and Skywall Dreadmaul and Thaurissan Durotan and Ysera Eitrigg and Shu'halo Eldre’Thalas and Korialstrasz Elune and Gilneas Eonar and Velen Eredar, Gorefiend, Spinebreaker, and Wildhammer Exodar and Medivh Farstriders, Silver Hand, and Thorium Brotherhood Feathermoon and Scarlet Crusade Frostmane, Ner'zhul, and Tortheldrin Frostwolf and Vashj Ghostlands and Kael'thas Gnomeregan and Moonrunner Greymane and Tanaris Grizzly Hills and Lothar Gundrak and Jubei'Thos Hellscream and Zangarmarsh Hydraxis and Terenas Icecrown and Malygos Kargath and Norgannon Kilrogg and Winterhoof Kirin Tor, Sentinels, and Steamwheedle Cartel Lightninghoof, Maelstrom, and The Venture Co Malfurion and Trollbane Misha and Rexxar Mok'Nathal and Silvermoon Muradin and Nordrassil Nazgrel, Nesingwary, and Vek'nilash Quel'dorei and Sen'jin Ravencrest and Uldaman Ravenholdt and Twisting Nether Runetotem and Uther
It’s a good thing that the previous expansion, Legion, was the best in the game’s history because Battle for Azeroth is coasting on its success. The major class redesigns that happened then remain in effect (though some are a little worse, and some a little better), and the combination of World Quests and Mythic+ dungeons means there’s always something to do, no matter your skill level or how long you can play.
Azeroth paid a terrible price to end the apocalyptic march of the Legion’s crusade—but even as the world’s wounds are tended, it is the shattered trust between the Alliance and Horde that may prove hardest to mend. As the fires of war continue to roar, take the battle to both new and familiar lands with the Tides of Vengeance update, and join your allies to champion your faction’s cause.
":" - Any time a step ends in a ":" instead of a "." means that the next step is part of the current step you are on. This generally means the next step should be done while working on the current step. This means every "start working on" or "continue working on" will end in a ":". But this is used with other occasions as well, so keep this in mind.
-PvP- Completely broken for some classes and I mean broken going from both sides of the spectrum, from classes destroying everyone, to classes that can't even kill another player. It's fairly common for a weak class to lose to a powerful class even if the weak class outgears them by 50+ ilvls. That's how broken PvP is and Blizzard doesn't seem to know what to do to fix it other than do blanket damage nerfs/buffs as those are the only changes we've seen.
Hopefully, you have a good idea how you want to begin your endgame experience in Battle for Azeroth. A whole new set of content will drop on September 4 when the Uldir raid opens up and the PvP season begins. That also marks the beginning of Mythic+ dungeons in BfA. Even after that happens, many of these tips and strategies for gearing up will still be the best sources of early gear for your new 120 characters.
-Azerite Gear- This has been the worst experience for many players as it was advertised as offering the player many options for customizing their character but all players do is Google "Icy veins (Spec/Class) azerite ranks" and select the best one. This is expected and really only gives players the illusion of choice as they're always going to pick the best one. This could have been done far better by not offering necessarily just damage increases in traits but offering some of the Legion Legendary item effects in Azerite slots. You know, certain Azerite traits would be better for PvP, some for raiding, some for 5 mans, some for soloing old content, etc. The other problem with Azerite gear is that it's locked based on you grinding an endless amount of Azerite for your neck piece (basically the stuff that increases the level of your neck piece). So when you get an item that should be an upgrade, it really isn't because you don't have all the traits unlocked. This complaint about how horrible this system is could go on forever, but I'll just leave it at that, horrible.
As always, I will monitor and update this guide as new information comes in. If I've gotten anything glaringly and completely wrong, just tell me with as much data as possible. The idea is to find the fastest possible leveling method, NOT to argue about how good or bad individuals are. If you have hard data, post it! If you have an idea, let the thread know so we can test it!
I've identified a pesky bug that had me confused for months now. I would get serious slowdowns (from 60fps to as low as 20fps) whenever the dugi waypoint arrow was active and I started moving across the map (especially quickly like flying on mounts/flying masters etc.). I tried everything, and all that could fix it was clicking "Remove all waypoints", so that the arrow turned off. I thought maybe the arrow needed to constantly update locations/routes, and a new game update had perhaps broken that feature a bit.
Most classes in World of Warcraft start at first level, but Death Knights and Demon Hunters are exceptions. They start at level 55 and 98, respectively. This alone can shave a huge chunk of time from your leveling experience. Of course, it only works if you want to play a Death Knight or Demon Hunter, but they’re both solid classics that can dish out damage or tank in a group.
The prepatch is just a patch, at the end of the day. The expansion is yet to come. But this significant stumble causes me to pause and contemplate what we're getting when BfA hits. Will AI-infused Islands and massive PvE Warfronts represent enough new gameplay? Or will the new zones just feel like an in-game content patch (Argus, say, for Legion players) on steroids?
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.
Warfronts are larger, 20-man challenges that take inspiration from the Warcraft strategy games. Players are deployed on the Warfront to collect resources, destroy enemy troops, construct buildings, and eventually launch an assault to take over the enemy base. These battles take 20 to 40 minutes to complete and, unlike Island Expeditions, don’t offer a PvP mode.
Potions serve more utilitarian purposes, and it's up to you to decide whether to make use of them. The most common is the Swiftness Potion, which can provide you a handy boost in speed while going after annoying quest objectives indoors. These are generally MASSIVELY overpriced, because people know how useful they are. I opted not to spend the gold since Warriors are already fairly mobile, but slower classes may benefit greatly from these.
NOTE: It is VERY important to not vendor any equipment you pick up. You will be deconstructing all of your gear for resources that will help you in the Warfronts to be fought! Deconstructing, or scrapping, your gear will be done using the Scrap-o-Matic 1000 if you are Alliance and the Shred-Master Mk1 if you are Horde. This works the same as the way the Obliterum Forge worked in Legion. The scrapping feature can be used on all Battle for Azeroth equipment found, not just craftable equipment, so save everything you acquire for the scrapper! Before we get started, keep in mind some of the tips below that can speed up your leveling process!
-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.
Most heirlooms only work in a limited level range in their default form and must be upgraded to work at higher levels. That costs gold, and you’ll need around 30,000 gold to outfit yourself with a fully upgraded set (counting only those that give you bonus experience). You may need to spend some time on a boosted character to acquire the gold you need to outfit another character with heirlooms, but it’s well worth the effort.
You can also kick up your feet and watch your way through World of Warcraft’s story via Blizzard’s incredible cinematics—one of the company’s cornerstones. Sure, you’ll be spoiling yourself for parts of the game you have yet to uncover, and you might not know the importance of the various characters you’re watching, but you’ll at least get a pretty good sense of how World of Warcraft operates. Also, did we mention that Blizzard’s cinematics are gorgeous? We’d rather watch these than the Warcraft movie, that’s for sure.
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.
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.
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the seventh expansion for World of Warcraft revealed at BlizzCon 2017 and announced for release on August 14, 2018. The Alliance, led by King Anduin and Genn Greymane, attacked Lordaeron, Warchief Sylvanas' base at Undercity, in response to the Horde burning down Teldrassil. The factions are at war. Between the Alliance-controlled Eastern Kingdoms and the Horde-controlled Kalimdor is the Great Sea. It is in this Sea that a majority of the expansion will take place.
It seemed like the Horde players at BlizzCon sat divided during the opening ceremony Before the show started, players cheered for Sylvanas Windrunner, the current, evil(-ish) warchief of the Horde, when her picture showed up on screen. But when the Lost Honor cinematic played and Saurfang talked about “wanting his Horde back,” the audience had a massive, excited reaction.
-New dungeons- About 3/4 are fairly decent, not too long not too short, but none of them are compelling, none make me say to my friends and guildies, "Hey, let's do this instance, I love the theme and encounters." They're dull but tolerable. The other 1/4 of the dungeons just aren't fun and you will groan when you get a mythic Keystone for the Underrot, the snake temple, or Waycrest Manor. Waycrest Manor is actually one of the better dungeons, however, with the new Infested affix, Waycrest Manor suffers from many game-breaking bugs that end in the entire instance being pulled due to doors not properly working as intended.