Blizzard tried something new with Battle for Azeroth, releasing the expansion worldwide at the same exact time around the world. That means that while the street date was technically Aug. 14, the game went live at 3 pm PT on Aug. 13 if you lived on the west coast. This is the first time The Americas have launched an expansion at the same time as the European servers. Players didn't have to watch Twitch streams of people who are in time zones ahead of them while waiting for their own launch times. Everyone could log in and start playing together simultaneously.
At the same time, a stat "squish" meant that players' gear level, health and damage were drastically reduced. Monsters' stats were similarly clobbered, though predictably, some lesser-known abilities immediately started one-shotting players. (On the beta servers, a simple toy allowed players to kill each other with one blow, with amusing results; but even on live servers, those bugs were legion.)
Lightforged draenei - "For untold millennia, the Army of the Light waged war against the Burning Legion throughout the Twisting Nether. The draenei most committed to their long crusade would undergo a ritual to become Lightforged, infusing their bodies with the very essence of the Holy Light. After finally achieving victory on Argus, the Lightforged Draenei have undertaken a new mission: protecting Azeroth from rising threats and helping the Alliance push back against Horde aggression."
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?
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.
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.
Mag'har orc - "For untold generations, the orc clans of Draenor battled one another in endless war. But when Gul'dan offered them the blood of his demonic masters, the disparate tribes of Mag'har—the orcish word for "uncorrupted"—refused the dark bargain and banded together to drive out the Burning Legion. United under the leadership of Grommash Hellscream, the Mag'har pledged to one day repay Azeroth's heroes for aiding their cause. As war against the Alliance intensifies, the Horde must call upon the might of the Mag'har to seize victory."
Tiragarde Sound and Stormsong Valley are both fairly similar zones, but Stormsong is a little longer, meaning that you might not even have to finish it to hit 120. Tiragarde also comes with a bit of a warning. There are plenty of side quests to do in the zone after you finish the story quests. Don’t do them. It’s not worth the time or the experience you’ll get.