This was a seriously entertaining read. Your unapologetic style of writing about this topic fit so perfectly. Unfortunately, I had to choke back a laugh more than once at work and now a few of my coworkers are looking at me funny. . .Speaking of which, special shout-out to that Fortnite entry. Anyway, I'd personally like to add Hello Neighbor to the list. (I know it technically launched in Dec 2017, but it continued assaulting new consoles in 2018 so I'm arguing it counts.) What started as an unexpectedly fun balance between straight-up goofiness and an intriguingly dark backdrop transformed into an unfinished mess I cannot fathom to this day. Even the betas and alphas added new problems before fixing any of the old ones like it was nobody's business. At least YouTube playthroughs provided ample warning on that one.P.S. I highly recommend videogamedunkey's review of Super Seducer to anyone willing to listen.
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.
Whereas Dugi has now changed to a subscription rate of only $6.99 per month, which gives you everything including all expansion updates. This is such a good deal, I bought some of Dugi’s guides before he offered this rate but have now switched over to it. If you are feeling ripped off by Zygor, invest $7 to give Dugi a try and I’m sure you will be very quickly converted. Plus you have the bonus of ending your subscription at any time, so if you stop playing wow you havn’t forked out hundreds of dollars on something you aren’t using.
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.
EXPLORE TWO FABLED KINGDOMS – As a champion of the Horde, travel to Zandalar to persuade the trolls to lend their naval might to the war effort. As a defender of the Alliance, sail to the seafaring kingdom of Kul Tiras, home of Jaina Proudmoore, and rally its inhabitants to fight for your cause. Once you’ve successfully recruited one of these proud kingdoms to your faction, infiltrate the enemy’s newly claimed territory.
Level 120 comes and goes. Island Expeditions have unlocked, but it turns out they’re not much fun, and the most rewarding versions are only accessible to premade groups. You turn to Warfronts only to realize they’re not available this week. Fine. You can always grind out better gear. Except as you do, you notice your new gear has higher Azerite requirements than your old gear, which means your shiny new items have fewer unlocked traits than what they replaced. Discouraged, you decide to roll as one of the cool new Allied Races. Except you can’t because they’re all locked behind reputation grinds.
For Alliance it's Lok'Modan, Redridge, Darkshore, Felwood, Stranglethorn (both parts), Plaguelands. Somewhere between 3 - 3.5 of these get you to 60 in like a 16 hours /played, if you queue for dungeons at the same time. I recommend dropping everything at 45 and going to Darkshore-Felwood if you didn't do them yet - they are literally the fastest levelling zones in the game right now, maybe only trumped by Silverpine.
XP Potions: The Elixir of Rapid Mind and Elixir of Ancient Knowledge no longer drop. They can be bought on the AH still but are way to expensive for it to be worth it. The Excess Potion of Accelerated learning is available from your garrison quartermaster but only works for level 91 to 99. As of Patch 8.1 you can also buy the 10% XP Potion Draught of Ten Lands.
The WF/TF system complicates gearing a bit, as you could get an Uncommon quest reward that forges to Epic quality (not a myth - it happened to me on the first night of release). This means that the old ‘Best in Slot' system is, to all intents and purposes, useless, and you should generally opt for whatever item you have that is the highest level - especially as tier gear no longer exists.
A dungeon should take about half an hour to 45 minutes, that is reasonable. What did we do to Maw of Souls because it was by far the fastest dungeon to spam run for AP? Nerfed its yield. Same happened to dungeons. Except instead of nerfing the XP, they adjusted the clear speed to justify the experience a bit more. Is it perfect? Nah, a lot of dungeons aren't even that long with updates. At most a clear takes 5 mins more.
The zone you start in isn't under your control, in as much as it's pre-selected for you based on your race. But for leveling purposes we want to make scaling work for us as much as possible. That means sticking to the lower level zones. Even though scaling will increase the level of the quests and mobs in those zones, the layout and design of them is built for a player with no mount. So you'll blaze through them and gain more exp/hour than higher level zones which assume you DO have a mount.
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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.
A central problem of long-running MMOs like WoW is that the player's numbers have to continuously get bigger and bigger in order for the player to feel more powerful. When the original game released back in 2004, player health pools topped out in the thousands of hit points. Today, everyone is running around with absolutely massive numbers on their stat sheets, many of which have climbed into the millions. Players can deal out an equally massive amount of damage and it's gotten to the point where there are so many large numbers flashing across the screen during combat that it can be hard to keep track of exactly how well you are performing.
The expansion allows players to level up to level 120, an increase from the level cap of 110 in the previous expansion Legion. Initially, there will be ten dungeons included with 8.0 with Mythic Plus versions of the dungeons and the first raid, Uldir, being available soon after the game's release. Following the beginning of preorders and the release of four allied races in January 2018, the number of character slots per server was raised from 12 to 16; with the launch of the expansion in August, it was raised to 18, to make room for the two additional races unlocked with initial content. The number of available bag slots in the player's backpack, which has been fixed at 16 slots since the game's release in 2004, will also receive an increase if an authenticator is attached to an account.
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.
That’s because armor of higher level has higher Azerite power requirements than lower level armor. That means a shiny new piece of Epic gear will have better stats but, unless you’ve been diligent about your Azerite power grind, won’t have as many traits unlocked. You lose options as you earn better gear. Eventually, you’ll grind out enough Azerite to earn those traits back, but you’re left with limited customization until then.