Island expeditions - 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 gates of an abandoned Gilnean castle, navigate a war between elementals and more. Can be done either in PvP or PvE against advanced AIs.
Mythic+ has some similarity to raiding, but it’s designed for just five players, instead of the 10-to-30 that can make up a raid. This mode tasks players with clearing the game’s dungeons, but with specific changes that make them harder, scaling up until it’s impossible for groups to finish. Players receive a keystone in their inventory that assigns them their dungeon, one of the game’s 10, and gives the dungeon a level. This determines how difficult enemies are and what effects might make them harder. If the group completes the keystone in time, they get a new, higher-level stone; if they, don’t they get a lower-level stone.
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.
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.
The expansion brings a major change to the PvP ruleset on each realm. Every realm by default only allows players to attack NPCs in the open world; players who wish to engage in world PvP now have a setting called "War Mode" that can only be toggled on or off in their faction's capital city (i.e. Stormwind for the Alliance and Orgrimmar for the Horde). While in War Mode, players have access to new talents and abilities, as well as a slightly accelerated rate of XP gain. Characters with War Mode activated are only able to see other players with War Mode, unless in their own capital cities.
You can also kick up your feet and watch your way through World of Warcraft’s story via Blizzard’s incredible cinematics—one of the company’s cornerstones. Sure, you’ll be spoiling yourself for parts of the game you have yet to uncover, and you might not know the importance of the various characters you’re watching, but you’ll at least get a pretty good sense of how World of Warcraft operates. Also, did we mention that Blizzard’s cinematics are gorgeous? We’d rather watch these than the Warcraft movie, that’s for sure.
The Heart of Azeroth is an artifact given to the player character from the world soul via Magni Bronzebeard. It is a necklace that can use the power of Azerite, the lifeblood of the embryonic titan Azeroth (See Plot, below). Azerite is similar in function to Legion's artifact power, in that it is gathered normally from playing the game and is used to upgrade an artifact; likewise, the Heart is similar in function to Legion's artifact weapons by having the capacity to be constantly upgraded. Unlike artifact weapons, however, the Heart is shared with all of the player's specializations and can empower all eligible pieces worn simultaneously.
Players’ relationships with the NPCs around them have been hit-and-miss over the years. One of the original issues with Thrall, the Horde’s original Warchief, is that players began to refer to him as “green Jesus,” because of how infinitely powerful and infallible he was. But he’s been gone since the Warlord of Draenor expansion, and with the death of Varian Wrynn and Vol’Jin at the start of Legion, the old guard hasn’t been there to guide players the same way as it used to be.