World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth focuses on the rivalry between the two most important factions of Azeroth, the Alliance and the Horde. The expansion adds two new continents (Zandalar and Kul TIras), divided into islands, where you can find new dungeons and raids, quests and previously unseen enemies, as well as six new playable races. Once again, the maximum experience level of the player characters increases (from 110 to 120). Battle for Azeroth also introduces two new game modes. In the first one, groups of three characters explore chosen maps and fight randomly assigned monsters and threats. In the other mode, groups of twenty characters each try to take over locations in strategic places for their factions.
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.
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.
But the system offers a painful and mindless grind. At worst, it feels like a cheap and artificial wall blocking you from playing your character to its full potential. Levels of your heart come fast at first, but the costs become prohibitive when you get up into level 20 or so. This wouldn’t be an issue if the most powerful Azerite gear didn’t require reaching level 22 to unlock even 75 percent of their full damage, leaving players left out of features from gear they’ve already collected. This means more grinding.
Changes were also made to levelling in earlier content with Legion's 7.3.5 patch. The level-scaling tech introduced in Legion not only be continued in the new continents of Kul Tiras and Zandalar, but was also be applied to content from prior expansions, allowing larger level brackets for lower level zones. Further, as previous expansions are now included in the base game, the level ranges for those expansions are now broadened, allowing players to spend more time leveling in preferred expansions and avoid others entirely. Some examples include a zone like Westfall having its level bracket (at 10–15 as of Legion) increased to 10–60, whilst continents such as Outland and Northrend sharing a 60–80 level bracket. The aim of this change is to encourage more player choice whilst levelling and to allow players to experience the full story of a particular zone without overlevelling the relevant quests.
The raid is made up of eight bosses that each have interesting and unique mechanics. Some bosses might put extra pressure on the DPS players to kill an add before it can heal the boss, while others might require players to move around the environment in a specific pattern or order, all the while still doing as much damage to the boss as possible or keeping the group alive through healing. While past raids often repeated mechanics or had one or two boring fights that didn’t ask much of the players, each encounter in Uldir feels unique and challenging. It’s been a long time since we had a raid where each fight was as much fun to do over and over again as the fights in Uldir.
The cloak is nice because you only need one of these instead of the previous cloak versions since the primary stat changes depending on the class it is used on. The on use trinkets for versatility, haste, or critical strike could be very strong if used together by numerous party members with the same trinket. Finally, the threat reducing trinket could be useful for solo levelers in dungeons with newer, non-heirloom geared tanks in order to not pull threat on some larger packs of enemies.
Also get the Heirloom Mount. Being able to have basic riding speed from the beginning will save you a lot of time if you're starting from level 1. Allied races start at 20, so this is a non-issue for them. It's important to note that Pandaren can not use this mount until they finish their starting zone and pick a faction. Being Horde or Alliance is a requirement of the mount.
Essence Font should only be used to get the HoT effect out in order to quickly burst single targets through the double Gust of Mist hits. Cancelling a cast of it when your party has the HoT effect rolling on all of them will allow you to use Mastery-proccing spells faster for burst healing on any target that needs it. However, continuing the channel can be the right call in specific situations, normally when you need group healing while you yourself are moving. It depends on the situation at hand.
For reference, my previous best time abusing Method-0 in 7.3.5 was 32.4 hours(as show in the old thread). A difference of just over 8 hours; which isn't all that bad, all things considered. And I believe I made several errors along the way, which could be cleaned up in future runs. I believe that that gap could be significantly closed by using a monk's bonus, but I hate playing monk...so...yeah. YMMV
I do not recommend going for TBC, although I remember Hellfire peninsula to be decent, everything else is rather slow. Instead go for WotLK, Borean Thundra gets you levelled very fast, and then you can head straight for Icecrown at 67, which is also insanely fast, although admittedly has a few elite quests. You can go to Sholazar Basin alternatively. 2 zones should get you 60-80 no problem.
The bones of Mythic+ are fairly simple, but it’s that simplicity that makes it Battle for Azeroth’s most rewarding mode. It’s fun, generally only takes about 40 minutes per dungeon and allows small groups of players to push themselves exactly as hard as they’d like. Battle for Azeroth’s dungeons are extremely well-designed and consistently entertaining, even after doing some of them 20-plus times, which makes the challenge of Mythic+ a great way to keep people playing.
I highly recommend actually staying in the 20-60 range zones until you ding 62. The reason for this is that despite getting a slight penalty in experience for being over-level, the advantage of having flight will more than offset this. That, and WOTLK and TBC zones are the slowest part of the leveling process. Minimizing your time there as much as possible is worthwhile.
REDISCOVER AZEROTH AS NEW ALLIED RACES – Take a new form for your adventures as new playable Allied Races. Embark on a quest to earn the favor of the Lightforged draenei, Highmountain tauren, Nightborne, Void elves, Dark Iron dwarves, and Zandalari trolls to unlock each race and add their strength to your faction. Create a new character and complete the full leveling experience to earn a distinctive Heritage Armor set.
Some people have made arguments that quest blues can sometimes be more powerful than heirlooms, especially with sockets. I'm not convinced. The simple fact that you never have to even look at quest rewards will save a non-insignificant amount of time over the course of leveling. Also of consideration is the value of enchanted gear never having to be re-enchanted.
War Mode: War Mode can be turned on at level 30 through your talent window, and will give you 10% bonus XP. You will, however, be attackable by players of the opposing faction, but changes have been made so that all players have a fair shot in a fight and even low-level players can kill much higher level players, and at least not get ganked and one shotted. Note: As of patch 8.1, you can get an additional call to arms bonus with war mode on if your faction is underepresented.
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.
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.
Unlock all of the traits in your Azerite Armor. Each piece of Azerite Armor — which can be head pieces, chest pieces and shoulders — has three traits that you can unlocked with Azerite Power, or AP. AP is something that most types of endgame activities will give you in Battle for Azeroth, but some are more effective than others. In the first few weeks, you’ll want enough AP to unlock all of the traits on all of your armor, however much that may be.
These guides are completely automated and work in-game, so you can see step-by-step instructions as you play. The guides automatically move to a new step as you complete the quests. You are told where to go i.e. the questgivers for accepting and turning in quests along with where and how to complete the quests. Zygor has more steps and details, which would be more suited to beginners. Dugi condenses the info into fewer steps, but still has all the necessary questing info.
There are other in-game guides out there such as Xcelerated, but it doesn’t even come close to what Dugi and Zygor offer. Although I’m obviously a fan of Dugi Guides, I have given a fair side by side comparison of each guide, based on facts and what is offered by each. I’ve included many screenshots to give you an idea of how each guide looks and works within the game. I will do my best to keep this as up to date as possible, with price changes, guide updates etc as I know how annoying it is reading outdated reviews.
These stat priorities help to get a rough idea of what gear to go for, but the most important thing to get as soon as possible is your stat weights. Stat weights help you zero in on which stat is the most effective at increasing your healing. However, healers have no grand simulator, as there are a lot more variables that can affect your overall performance than there are for DPS specs. In light of that, healers use fight analysis tools like WoWAnalyzer and the Teachings of the Red Crane spreadsheet that takes logs from WarcraftLogs and gives you accurate weights that would improve your output.