Highmountain tauren - "Descended from Huln, brave hero of the War of the Ancients, the Highmountain tauren honor the spirits of earth, river, and sky. Though the Legion invaded their lands and sowed seeds of distrust between them, the tribes of Highmountain stand united once more. At long last they are ready to venture beyond their sacred mountain and stand beside their kin from Kalimdor, lending their nobility and strength to the mighty Horde."
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.
This week, the story began: A short series of quests begin to pit Alliance and Horde against each other, and the skirmishes over territory that will soon be destroyed began. Realistically, that meant players had about 20-30 minutes of questing, at which point (without any in-game announcement or breadcrumbs) four world quests opened up in an existing contested zone.
War mode is essentially a toggle that allows players to switch PvP mode on or off at will, regardless of what kind of server they are located on. Players who complete quests with War Mode turned on will reap additional rewards. Players will also have additional PvP talents that are only active during War Mode. With no flying in Battle for Azeroth until next year most likely, this could make running into a player of the opposite faction exciting and nerve-wracking again.
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.
As late as possible. Early on, you’ll want to follow the missions in Battle for Azeroth right up until you get the option to send a follower on a two-hour long quest. As soon as you get there, stop doing the War Campaign missions. You can come back to them once you have reached something like 119 and a half and finish leveling with those if you want. If you don’t use these missions to cap off your leveling journey, then they’re the first thing you’ll want to do once you reach max level.
What’s worse, it’s rarely satisfying when you do make it to a new milestone in your grind to unlock the gear you need. Legion had legendary items that changed the way an ability functioned, which would also completely change the way classes played; the Azerite traits in the Battle for Azeroth are rarely as interesting. Instead, they are simply passive bonuses that, in most cases, help you do more damage without any extra effort on your part. While some classes are lucky enough to have traits that change their gameplay slightly, Blizzard has so far seemed to favor nerfing those traits out of viability for most specs.
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.
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.
If you've been away from WoW for some time, you may not know that the game's Legion expansion focused on powering up an impressive "Artifact Weapon" throughout the duration of the expansion. In short, players have been using the same weapon for about two years now. Artifact weapons were pretty cool and bosses did drop Relics which were used to upgrade them. But after two years of using the same weapon, many players are looking forward to the thrill of having an actual weapon drop off of a raid boss again.
In addition, you'll want to pick up leg and shoulder enchants and have them in your bags. These enchants have a level requirement of 80/85, but can't be placed on items above iLVL 136. You can get around this by having a level 85-100 character apply the enchant before mailing it to the character you're leveling, thus getting use of the enchants before level 85. I've personally confirmed that this works.
If you love running old content for transmog items, you'll love the new legacy loot system. Whenever a player enters a dungeon or raid where they are 10 or more levels above the content, the dungeon or raid bosses drop an amount of loot equivalent to what would have dropped for a full group when the content was current. That means players could earn loot for five people in dungeons and loot for 20 people after soloing a raid. The legacy loot system also drops other gear types, like cloth dropping for a plate wearer. It's now much easier to get the transmog gear you want, and you can also collect gear for your alts on the same run.