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.
New to Patch 8.1 is a new leveling flask called the Draught of Ten Lands which increases all primary and secondary stats by 20 and experience gained by 10%. This effect lasts for one hour and persists through death, similar to other battle flasks. This item can be purchased using a new Patch 8.1 currency called 7th Legion Service Medal or Honorbound Service Medal which can be earned doing the new incursions and Warfront activities. Simple earn these medals on your main character, purchase the flasks, and send them to your other characters. The cost is 10 of the medals.
That lack of storytelling agency may soon change with Patch 8.1, Tides of Vengeance, which is coming to Battle for Azeroth soon. While there are plenty of fun gameplay changes that should make the expansion better, one of the most interesting additions is that of choice. In an upcoming quest, players will be able to choose whether they want to support Saurfang or Sylvanas — essentially honor or evil — in the struggle for Horde warchief.
The power of items depends on their item level, which you can see on the item's tooltip; the higher the level, the better an item will be. However, the Warforging and Titanforging system - introduced in the Warlords of Draenor expansion - means that almost any item of Uncommon, Rare or Epic quality has a chance to ‘forge' to higher than its base item level: Warforging is up to +15, Titanforging is up to +45.
Players who were around during Mists of Pandaria might recall a dungeon mode called Scenarios, which involved teams of three players instead of the traditional five. Island Expeditions bring a similar feel, with groups being tasked with plundering treasure off various islands. Your team faces off against other players or AI-controlled characters from the opposing faction and whoever can collect the most treasure, or "Azerite," wins.
Drustvar is far and away the hardest Alliance zone, which is exactly why you want to do it first. If you have legendary items, they’ll still be usable, and if you don’t, this zone will still be easier early on than it will be later. Drustvar is also extremely fast and will let you jump out ahead of your competition in other zones, which means fewer players around to take your quest objectives.
The Horde will now control most of Kalimdor, and the Alliance most of the Eastern Kingdoms. For a low-level character the quests and storylines won't change, but for high-level players many zones will see changes via phasing. Teldrassil is burned and Undercity is in ruins as the story progresses by phasing. At max level Arathi Highlands and Darkshore are phased to be updated to reflect their status as locations for Warfronts.
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You can try joining a Discord server themed around the class you’re playing, how you like to play World of Warcraft (achievement hunting, dungeon-running, player-versus-player combat, etc.), or your location, to name a few examples. World of Warcraft also has player communities built directly into the game. Find a community themed for newbies, or whatever else you want, and you’ll have a great resource to go to with questions. You might even make a few friends (or fellow adventurers).
Warmode is one of the real stand-out features of Battle for Azeroth, even if it is a somewhat controversial one. Warmode tries to revolutionize world PvP like the game has never seen. By switching on Warmode, you enter a new version of your server with only other people looking to fight out in the world. The result is a more volatile world where fights can break out at any time, and groups from to go fight the opposing faction.