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.
Special mention is the Darkmoon Faire Top Hat and WHEE! buff. While not always available due to the DMF being inaccessible most of the month, if you happen to be leveling when the DMF is running, it might be worth your time to go and get these. AFAIK they do stack with heirlooms, although I have not personally tested it. Fair warning: These buffs do NOT stack with each other, and the hats disappear after the DMF goes away later in the month(unless you only log in when the faire is running).
This leaves players chasing an endless loop of trying to get higher level Azerite gear — which can only reliably be gained through raids and isn’t available in Mythic+ — but only the pieces with exactly the right traits will actually be an upgrade. It’s even possible that some items that should be huge upgrades are nullified by the loss of a specific trait that makes one ability do more damage than the others.
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.
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.
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Just like player item levels, the game's professions have become pretty bloated over time. Blizzard has made some updates to the leveling process before but Battle for Azeroth features a skill squish that should smooth things out considerably. Instead of having to level hundreds of points before you can start crafting Battle for Azeroth items, each expansion will have its own separate skill tier. In other words, you can start crafting Battle for Azeroth content right away, while the gear and items from other expansions will each feature their own separate counters. Your first Battle for Azeroth item will put you at 1/150 on the counter for the new expansion, no more grinding needed.
EXPLORE TWO FABLED KINGDOMS – As a champion of the Horde, travel to Zandalar to persuade the trolls to lend their naval might to the war effort. As a defender of the Alliance, sail to the seafaring kingdom of Kul Tiras, home of Jaina Proudmoore, and rally its inhabitants to fight for your cause. Once you’ve successfully recruited one of these proud kingdoms to your faction, infiltrate the enemy’s newly claimed territory.
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.
I liked the little discount for the weekend special. I was used to buying other expansions that included a 30 game time card, this did not. However I was prompted to spend gold I had build up and saved, previously playing the game, and it cost me 117000 gold deducted from my combined characters on my old main server. Big download, so I had to wait to play it until the next morning. Gameplay is different, I was used to the old talent point system, alas I had 10 lvl 100 characters, max level garrisons and shipyard. I did the only thing thinkable without having to take time to vendor unusable items that I thought had meaning. Created the new class. Tutorial started at 98, to get you to 100 with a slow intro back into the game. Auction house prices are pretty high with how long this game has been around. I hope to play more soon, but not like the hardcore grind years past. All I know is I am spending remaining gold saved on biggest affordable bags, and whatever flight trainings to keep me moving fast. Game looks good, no lag, I already enjoy the storyline again.
Essence Font should only be used to get the HoT effect out in order to quickly burst single targets through the double Gust of Mist hits. Cancelling a cast of it when your party has the HoT effect rolling on all of them will allow you to use Mastery-proccing spells faster for burst healing on any target that needs it. However, continuing the channel can be the right call in specific situations, normally when you need group healing while you yourself are moving. It depends on the situation at hand.
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.
Anyway both got to 110 at around 50h played. I messed up with my Pal by going to Legion once I hit 100 instead of finishing treasures and bonuses in WoD. All in all, if I picked the best zones and was only trying to level as fast as I could, I would probably could have done it in roughly 40h. Note that it would have a been A LOT faster with a Monk as both Ret and Rogues don't really have a decent AoE until 40+ (45 for Ret and 63 for Rogue I believe). The daily also helps a lot. I know that leveling my Monk before the pre-patch was insanely fast. Might be slower with the changes to FoF, however.
Currently, it is believed that the War Mode rewards will change depending on which faction is more heavily prevalent with War Mode activated. The Horde have typically had more participating in War Mode, so the reward has been increased for the Alliance to incentivize more participation in War Mode. These rewards could potentially be increased to both the Horde and Alliance to incentivize both factions to higher amounts of War Mode participation.
It’s a good thing that the previous expansion, Legion, was the best in the game’s history because Battle for Azeroth is coasting on its success. The major class redesigns that happened then remain in effect (though some are a little worse, and some a little better), and the combination of World Quests and Mythic+ dungeons means there’s always something to do, no matter your skill level or how long you can play.
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.
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.
Blizzard also has a great New Player’s Guide, split into four major sections, as well as its “A Return to World of Warcraft” compendium. And be sure to check out Blizzard’s online forums, especially the New Player Help and Guides forum, where you’ll be able to find more information, ask questions, and engage with some of the World of Warcraft community’s most helpful members.
This kind of storytelling comes with problems, ones that players have been facing since the early days of the silent video game protagonist. Players in World of Warcraft have so much agency and choice when it comes to their own characters and how they build them. But despite their importance to the world itself, they can do nothing to change its story.