So much new stuff. The war questline expands. Island expeditions get a couple of new locations to explore. Azerite armor gets tweaked so it’s slightly less stupid than it already is. While we wait for the servers to go back up, Blizzard’s prepared a handy survival guide for Tides of Vengeance. I suggest looking it over, or else risk not surviving at all.
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.
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.
DoTs: Assuming that the mob is going to live for certain periods of time, it is worth it to place DoTs up. If the mob lives for at least five seconds, cast Pain. If it lives at least seven seconds, cast VT. The ideal time to cast DoTs is when it would be replacing Flay, but you can substitute Blast if the mob will live longer. Make sure to cast Bolt on cd though!
This leaves players chasing an endless loop of trying to get higher level Azerite gear — which can only reliably be gained through raids and isn’t available in Mythic+ — but only the pieces with exactly the right traits will actually be an upgrade. It’s even possible that some items that should be huge upgrades are nullified by the loss of a specific trait that makes one ability do more damage than the others.
For collecting artifact power to level up your Heart of Azeroth necklace, island expeditions are unbeatable. There’s a weekly Azerite goal that you need to meet through the expeditions, and when you do, you’ll be awarded 2500 artifact power. There’s a small chance that you’ll get weapons from completing expeditions too, but they’re not a reliable source of gear.
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.
Heirlooms: Heirlooms are the best source of bonus XP for leveling. All slots can be gotten pretty easily now, except the rings. The time you need to spend to get the rings if you haven’t gotten a level 3 shipyard in WoW is way too long, so getting the rings is generally not worth it. Having all your heirloom gear will boost XP by 55%. Generally, you want heirloom gear with crit on for leveling as you want to kill mobs in a few hits as possible
Class abilities were reworked dramatically across the board, with some still needing a serious balance pass. That left many players not only feeling underpowered, but having to learn how to play their characters all over again. Bosses in large-group raid dungeons that were easily killed each week by experienced guilds of players suddenly became challenging again, or worse, completely unkillable, halting forward momentum on old content for a good chunk of the high-end player base.
That lack of storytelling agency may soon change with Patch 8.1, Tides of Vengeance, which is coming to Battle for Azeroth soon. While there are plenty of fun gameplay changes that should make the expansion better, one of the most interesting additions is that of choice. In an upcoming quest, players will be able to choose whether they want to support Saurfang or Sylvanas — essentially honor or evil — in the struggle for Horde warchief.