Compare that to the previous Warlords of Draenor expansion, which wasn't a great expansion overall, but still managed a prepatch that offered a pet, a title, a new version of an old dungeon with new quests and achievements and loot, a series of ultrapowerful weapons that could be passed on to alts, and a whole host of in-game system improvements ranging from a new way to find groups to a new way to collect pets, toys and appearances.
Meanwhile, on the island continents introduced in the Battle for Azeroth expansion, players level 110 and above who have unlocked world quests can participate in Faction Assaults. These special events, alternating between Alliance and Horde territory, will give each faction a chance to band together to defend their territory or invade their enemy’s via a series of world quests. The prize? Survival! Also faction, gear and gold. Maybe even some pride.
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?
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.
Special note: At 110 it's almost certainly worthwhile to go and immediately get your Heart of Azeroth and first piece of Azerite gear from the BfA opening quest. It doesn't take long and provides pretty high power levels. I'd then return to Legion quests until 111 or even 112, since the power of these items will increase your kill speed significantly over the scaled enemies of BfA content.
Still, it’s terrible to see the new expansion fail so spectacularly at iterating on Legion’s success. It’s hard to believe the two expansions came from the same company. Legion made you feel powerful and unique. Battle for Azeroth grinds at you by taking away as much as it gives. Sure, you can have a shiny toy. Sometimes. If you don’t get too carried away.
If you need the abridged version, because you’d rather spend an hour in a game than hearing someone talk about a game, you can also check out the excellent “New & Returning Player Guides” series from YouTuber (and World of Warcraft expert) Bellular. And you probably even skip the bits about ”how to purchase” or “how to install” the game, saving you even more time for new World of Warcraft adventures:
-Island Expeditions- Island expeditions was one of the new features I was looking forward to but Blizzard no longer makes games that are ready when they are ready but rather makes games ready when the deadline comes. Thus, many of the new features are completely stripped down from what was expected and it's literally just a small scenario you enter with two other players to continue to grind out your Azerite neck piece.
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 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.