The prepatch for Battle for Azeroth first hit on July 17th, but the first real pieces of story weren't available until this week (more on that in a minute). The storyline is called the War of the Thorns, and it's intended to hype up the faction-vs.-faction conflict that makes up the core of BfA. Instead, it feels like it's sucking the air out of the room.
-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.
On March 23, 2018, Zygor Guides announced that they would end support for their ESO guide. Later, via answers given on the forums, they confirmed they would not add a leveling guide for Summerset. Their guide is Public Domain with Zygor's blessing for the community to create guides. So I took it upon myself to create a Summerset guide for the ESO community.
Elixirs serve the same purpose as Flasks, but the buff expires if you die. You'll only use these between 1-70, generally speaking, until you can start buying Flasks which persist through death. Try not to die, and carry extras just in case. If you can't find an Elixir with the stat you want, look under scrolls, since they count as battle or guardian buffs as well.
Two new raids coming after the initial update differ drastically in size and content, depending on which side of the war you’re on. The Battle of Dazar’alor raid sees Alliance players trying to take over a city, but if you’re part of the horde, your version will see you try to defend it. Once you’ve beaten it once, you can then play the other side. The Crucible of Storms raid, on the other hand, is smaller and only consists of two bosses.
Even though the guide was developed with a hunter, the guide can be followed by any class. Except you have to do your class's quests which aren't a whole lot. I do have full intention to make my guide friendly with all classes in the future by listing all of their steps as well. There will be a toggle that allows you to show which class's steps you want to see in the guide. But this is coming later.
Havoc in Battle for Azeroth has gone through somewhat of a maturing process, trying to focus more on the talent tree and allowing for more diverse options in gameplay approaches, alongside tightening up some of the more loose aspects of the original implementation. It still remains a predominantly builder spender style rotation and is largely Global Cooldown locked. The core hook is making the most of your Fury pool and reacting to unpredictable gains, ensuring you use high burst cooldowns and windows to push yourself even further. On top of that, it comes with a variety of mobility and defense tools, creating a versatile toolkit with some unique abilities that can be used in a variety of ways.
Currently, it is believed that the War Mode rewards will change depending on which faction is more heavily prevalent with War Mode activated. The Horde have typically had more participating in War Mode, so the reward has been increased for the Alliance to incentivize more participation in War Mode. These rewards could potentially be increased to both the Horde and Alliance to incentivize both factions to higher amounts of War Mode participation.
-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.
When you have completed your third zone, you should be nearly max level, but you still have work to do! Head back to your faction hub and complete the last foothold quest to unlock your fourth mission table champion. After, you will want to do your newly available invasion missions for your faction. This quest chain is one that will be time gated by reputation levels earned with the 7th Legion for the Alliance and iThe Honorbound for the Horde. Complete as many quests as you can and then finish up your leveling with side quests you may have left in previous zones as necessary.
Players who were around during Mists of Pandaria might recall a dungeon mode called Scenarios, which involved teams of three players instead of the traditional five. Island Expeditions bring a similar feel, with groups being tasked with plundering treasure off various islands. Your team faces off against other players or AI-controlled characters from the opposing faction and whoever can collect the most treasure, or "Azerite," wins.
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.
I've used WoW-Pro for years and in WoD, Legion and now BfA it's been awesome for just going on auto-pilot and working your way through a zone. It has 3 levels of depth you can set, so you can set it to just do 1) the main story, main points of interest and rare mobs and treasure that aren't far off the beaten path; 2) every quest with a more thorough dive into the side stuff; 3) absolutely everything.
Leveling used to be a treat in WoW. New, unique abilities drove you forward and made getting past the horrible grind worth it to some extent. Now it just feels like everything is set to grind. More than it used to be. Once it was tolerable, rewarding even, but now you grind to unlock an allied race through reputations barely connected to most of these races, only to have to level up that character to get their unique armor set (compelling you to not just boost your character and instead suffer through the slog of ANOTHER group of alts), then you get back to current content and grind some more with a random chance to drop the item you need to get your ilvl up to finally enjoy the single warfront available (as I write this).
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.
I guess maybe I'm familiar enough with it to just slam it out. I don't recall any low droprate quests as bad as 5%. Although Blizzard has been screwing with stuff lately. Do you remember which quest it was? A lot of those can be skipped if they're too tedious. Like literally ALL the quests on that little island in the NE corner of the map with the ghost pirates underwater and the dragon whelps.
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.
Each of those modes existed long before this latest expansion; raiding is a basic concept in MMOs, and Mythic+ was added in World of Warcraft’s last expansion. The problems with Battle for Azeroth’s endgame come from the systems it adds, which most often artificially gate progress where most of the fun can be found. If raids and Mythic+ are the carrot, we’re about to talk about the stick.
If you’re a returning player, consider paying for a month’s worth of playing time—a mere $15—and using the game’s newer Class Trials to see if you still have that spark for higher-level play. While you can also go the “Starter Edition” route for a free, limited romp through Azeroth, you might need a little more than the newbie zones to help you decide whether you want to play through the game’s latest expansion.
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.