If you’ve seen or heard people getting excited for World of Warcraft because it’s “getting back to its roots,” thanks to a renewed focus on the shared hatred between the game’s two major factions—Horde and Alliance—in its new Battle for Azeroth expansion, maybe you’re tempted to sign up and give the game a whirl. Or, if you haven’t played in years, perhaps you’re curious to see what’s changed.

There’s a lot of #content in the new expansion. It’s mostly locked behind a variety of gates, some of which players can’t even control. Warfronts are the best example. You might assume joining a Warfront is a simple matter of opening the group finder. Wrong! Warfronts are only accessible for a week at a time. It’s not precisely clear how often that week will come around (it’s based both on a time gate and on the opposing faction gathering resources) but, as of right now, it looks likely to be available just one week out of every four.

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.

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.
When you have completed your third zone, you should be nearly max level, but you still have work to do! Head back to your faction hub and complete the last foothold quest to unlock your fourth mission table champion. After, you will want to do your newly available invasion missions for your faction. This quest chain is one that will be time gated by reputation levels earned with the 7th Legion for the Alliance and iThe Honorbound for the Horde. Complete as many quests as you can and then finish up your leveling with side quests you may have left in previous zones as necessary.
Heirlooms. At the bare minimum you make sure all the armor pieces upgraded to 110, since this is the lion's share of your experience increase. Neck and Ring upgrades are secondary, but still important due to being able to enchant them. Trinkets can't be enchanted, but you'll want them at max as well, if only to save time by not having to worry about replacing them as you level.
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.
Warfronts are larger, 20-man challenges that take inspiration from the Warcraft strategy games. Players are deployed on the Warfront to collect resources, destroy enemy troops, construct buildings, and eventually launch an assault to take over the enemy base. These battles take 20 to 40 minutes to complete and, unlike Island Expeditions, don’t offer a PvP mode.
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The best way to collect AP is through world quests, a system that allows players to complete menial tasks to earn moderate rewards. A finite amount of AP spawns on the map through these quests — generally at least 2,000 a day. I’ve likely done most of these quests close to 20 times in the course of preparing my various characters in the 45 days since the expansion launched. In some cases, I’ve replayed them as many as 50 times.
Allied races aren’t much better. You can only earn them by grinding out reputation. It doesn’t take that long but casual players will need to invest a couple weeks primarily to it, and focusing on that grind will take you away from others, like earning gear. Each race has its own grind, but the things you do to work through it remain the same, adding to your boredom.
Let’s start with the basics. At its core, World of Warcraft is a saga that centers on two warring factions: the aforementioned Horde and Alliance. They’ve been fighting each other since the days of MS-DOS, locked a never-ending war—save for those rare moments where they attempt to team up to counter a greater threat—that has taken them across continents, into space, and through time.
But compare that with BfA's lackluster prepatch. Last week, players' uber-powerful Artifact weapons, which they had spent the entire Legion expansion building up, abruptly burnt out with no in-game explanation, no storyline, no quest, no Dad jokes from Khadgar, just a line of text on the Artifact screen saying they had been sacrificed to help stop the destruction of the world--part of the ending quests for Legion.
-Warfronts- I liked the idea of warfronts because it blends elements of Warcraft III with World of Warcraft, however, it's not a PvP battleground or instance, it's PvE so given time, it's a guaranteed win so many people are starting to AFK in the warfront. Beyond that, there is only one warfront to participate in right now. Also, when preparing for a warfront, Blizzard presents you with daily quests to help "aid" the warfront, however, your daily quest turn ins have no bases on the progression of warfront. The warfront will continue to advance at the same rate no matter if you do zero quests or everyone does all the quests.
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?
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.
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