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?
Set sail for the previously unmapped isles of Azeroth. Battle in groups of three as you race against cunning rival intruders—or enemy players—to collect the island’s resources. Constantly evolving challenges await as you traverse frozen landscapes near Northrend, open the mysterious gates of an abandoned Gilnean castle, navigate a war between elementals and more.
Once a week, you will be able to open a chest rewarding between one and three items, with the number and quality based on the difficulty of the highest M+ dungeon that you finished the week before. Unlike the end-of-dungeon chest, this chest can contain Azerite items. Gear from the weekly chest starts at 355 and can increase to 380, or 340/385 for Azerite pieces.
Special mention is the Darkmoon Faire Top Hat and WHEE! buff. While not always available due to the DMF being inaccessible most of the month, if you happen to be leveling when the DMF is running, it might be worth your time to go and get these. AFAIK they do stack with heirlooms, although I have not personally tested it. Fair warning: These buffs do NOT stack with each other, and the hats disappear after the DMF goes away later in the month(unless you only log in when the faire is running).
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.
Enchants. I honestly wasn't 100% certain which enchants were best, since scaling has screwed up a lot of things. IMO, just pick the enchant for each armor slot that has the highest bonus without level restrictions. The exception is that you'll definitely want Mark of the Hidden Satyr for your neck piece, and probably Elemental Force for your weapon. Both of these proc consistently and strongly across all levels.
As a hero of the mighty Alliance, journey to the seafaring kingdom of Kul Tiras, home of Jaina Proudmoore. Untangle a web of betrayal and dark magic as you encounter power-hungry pirates, witches wielding death magic, mystical sea priests, and more. Explore the stony peaks of Tiragarde Sound, trek across Drustvar’s high plains and red forests, and navigate the intricate inland canals of Stormsong Valley as you convince this fractured kingdom to join your cause.
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.
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.