As for the classes themselves, they almost all play like slower and slightly less interesting versions of their Legion counterparts. This is thanks in large part to the loss of one ability from each class that came along with Legion’s own AP dumping system: the artifact weapon, which added a unique ability to every spec in the game. The loss of these abilities left most classes feeling frustrating and incomplete, and though Azerite gear was supposed to be the replacement, it missed the mark completely. There will always be one Azerite trait that reigns supreme for each spec, meaning that the frustration of that particular loop will be unavoidable as long as the system is in the game.
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.
Blood Elves and Dwarves gain access to Heritage armor as part of 8.1, as well, without a prolonged quest line, though they’ll need to be exalted through Silvermoon and Ironforge, respectively, in order to receive it. A Warfront called The Battle for Darkshore focuses on the struggle between Night Elves and the Forsaken. During the Warfront, you’ll be able to transform your character with temporary abilities, and when your faction controls either the Darkshore or Arathi Highlands, you’ll gain access to world quests.
I also noticed that the slowdowns were heating up my graphics card (a GTX1080 with good cooling and a well-configured fan curve). On high but not max settings, I would always hover around 60-65 degrees C, and thought this was normal. After turning auto zoom off, I noticed that my card never gets past 49 degrees C. I'm pretty shocked, as it's a very hot day where I am and I didn't know one feature could affect temps so much. I didn't know my temps could even get that low! Even on full max settings (with 200% resolution scaling etc.), it now can't go over 66 degrees, whereas it used to go up to 74 degrees at times when auto zoom was on.
In Kul Tiras, the Alliance's initial attempt to gain the nation's assistance ends disastrously when Katherine Proudmoore, Lord Admiral of Kul Tiras and mother to Archmage Jaina Proudmoore, not only refuses the Alliance's request for aide but also orders Jaina arrested and exiled for her role in the death of her father, Daelin Proudmoore, in the aftermath of the Third War. It quickly becomes apparent that Kul Tiras has become mired in corruption and outside threats, so Anduin and Genn Greymane send Alliance Champions to aid the Kul Tirans and earn their trust. Aiding them in this quest are Flynn Fairwind, a "retired" privateer, and Taelia Fordragon, the idealistic daughter of Bolvar Fordragon, former High Lord of Stormwind and current Lich King of the Undead Scourge. The Alliance is successfully able to earn the trust of Kul Tiras by combating the pirates of the traitorous Ashvane Trading Company in Tirisgrade Sounds, the Naga and corrupted agents of Queen Azshara in Stormsong Valley, and the occult forces of the ancient, ghostly warlord Gorak Tul in Drustvar. After these threats are defeated, Katherine is left despondent at her inability to lead her people, and resolves to help the Alliance find Jaina and reconcile with her. The Alliance eventually track Jaina to the prison island of Fate's End, where Gorak Tul, having survived the events of Drustvar, has kidnapped her and is tormenting her with visions of her past failures. The Alliance champions and Katherine destroy Gorak Tul once and for all and rescue Jaina, who is finally able to let go of the hate, anger and obsession with the past that defined her ever since the destruction of Theramore. The Alliance and Proudmoores then unite to defend the capitol city of Boralus from a massive pirate siege, after which Jaina is named Lord Admiral and pledges Kul Tiras' navy to the Alliance.
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.
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.
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.