This week, the story began: A short series of quests begin to pit Alliance and Horde against each other, and the skirmishes over territory that will soon be destroyed began. Realistically, that meant players had about 20-30 minutes of questing, at which point (without any in-game announcement or breadcrumbs) four world quests opened up in an existing contested zone.
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.
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.
I just decided that I would simply finish leveling my hunter the hard way, but when i can get heirlooms ill make a warrior and follow your guide to 80. I definitly want an 80 warrior for cataclysm... seeing as worgen warrior is going to be a crazy tank! By the way, is using heirlooms with your guides ok? And what class should I be for a tank? I will obviously be switching to worgen anyway but i would prefer best tanking until then. Thanks Jame!
As the battle for Darkshore begins, both the Alliance and Horde are blindsided by a new development: High Overlord Saurfang, who had been defeated and captured in the Battle of Lordearon, has suddenly escaped Alliance captivity and is on the run. Sylvanas sends Horde Champions to track Saurfang down, ostensibly to extract him. However, it quickly becomes apparent that the search party is in fact an assassination squad, as Sylvanas suspects Saurfang of colluding with the Alliance in an attempt to dethrone her. While some Horde champions choose to side with Saurfang and help him escape the assassins, other champions remain loyal to Sylvanas and report Saurfang's and the dissenting champions' treachery to her.
And... that was it. New NPCs offered a glimpse of some truly amazing armor and weapons, none of which are currently available to players (and datamining suggests it may be a while, if ever, before they are.) There were no new appearances for players to farm, no items or pets or toys or titles to obtain, no achievements to complete. There was no repeatable, truly farmable content.
A central problem of long-running MMOs like WoW is that the player's numbers have to continuously get bigger and bigger in order for the player to feel more powerful. When the original game released back in 2004, player health pools topped out in the thousands of hit points. Today, everyone is running around with absolutely massive numbers on their stat sheets, many of which have climbed into the millions. Players can deal out an equally massive amount of damage and it's gotten to the point where there are so many large numbers flashing across the screen during combat that it can be hard to keep track of exactly how well you are performing.
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?
Similar problems have risen in the leveling system, which automatically scales to the player’s level and equipment. For the most part, you’ll vaporize enemies more quickly as you gain power, but there are some weird dips. Many players complained they felt less powerful at level 119 than at level 110, a problem I experienced myself. And world PvP remains a strange and whacky world where level and class balance issues make wins and losses feel destined instead of earned.
Plus, I am a pet collector, and there are plenty of pets to collect in the new dungeon. Completing the dungeon’s challenge mode grants players a Mini Spider Tank battle pet. Continue playing on a weekly basis to earn currency towards items like the Unopened Gnomeregan Supply Box, Mechanical Cockroach, Schematic: Mechantula, Leper Rat Tail, and Rechargeable Alarm-O-Dog Battery.
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.
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.
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.
As always, I will monitor and update this guide as new information comes in. If I've gotten anything glaringly and completely wrong, just tell me with as much data as possible. The idea is to find the fastest possible leveling method, NOT to argue about how good or bad individuals are. If you have hard data, post it! If you have an idea, let the thread know so we can test it!
If you want to spend as little time on your alt as possible - just do Legion Invasions. You can use sites like (https://wow.gameinfo.io/invasions) to track when the next invasion will be. Log in, fly to the closest world quest, and once there - right-click on the quest's name in your quest log and "Find Group". Sign up for some group, or if there's none - just start your own immediately, and people will come to you. It is 10 times faster to do invasion quests in a group. Once that particular quest is complete - leave the group, and fly to the next one, where you should find another group. Don't expect the group from one world quest to follow you to the next. Then you simply log out until next invasion. You can do 1-2 invasions a day, and each invasion will give you about a level or 1.5 of experience, if you have full heirloom gear. Each invasion will take about 20 minutes.
There are also a number of different online tools you can use to make yourself a better World of Warcraft player—and to help you decide what to focus on. Wowhead has a great Attunement Tool that shows you how close you are to unlocking significant milestones in the game, like unlocking new allied races, earning reputations with key factions (which will ultimately help you unlock faster mount speed and other goodies in the game’s expansion), and how far along you are in your dungeons and raids.
NOTE: It is VERY important to not vendor any equipment you pick up. You will be deconstructing all of your gear for resources that will help you in the Warfronts to be fought! Deconstructing, or scrapping, your gear will be done using the Scrap-o-Matic 1000 if you are Alliance and the Shred-Master Mk1 if you are Horde. This works the same as the way the Obliterum Forge worked in Legion. The scrapping feature can be used on all Battle for Azeroth equipment found, not just craftable equipment, so save everything you acquire for the scrapper! Before we get started, keep in mind some of the tips below that can speed up your leveling process!
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