In Kul Tiras, the Alliance's initial attempt to gain the nation's assistance ends disastrously when Katherine Proudmoore, Lord Admiral of Kul Tiras and mother to Archmage Jaina Proudmoore, not only refuses the Alliance's request for aide but also orders Jaina arrested and exiled for her role in the death of her father, Daelin Proudmoore, in the aftermath of the Third War. It quickly becomes apparent that Kul Tiras has become mired in corruption and outside threats, so Anduin and Genn Greymane send Alliance Champions to aid the Kul Tirans and earn their trust. Aiding them in this quest are Flynn Fairwind, a "retired" privateer, and Taelia Fordragon, the idealistic daughter of Bolvar Fordragon, former High Lord of Stormwind and current Lich King of the Undead Scourge. The Alliance is successfully able to earn the trust of Kul Tiras by combating the pirates of the traitorous Ashvane Trading Company in Tirisgrade Sounds, the Naga and corrupted agents of Queen Azshara in Stormsong Valley, and the occult forces of the ancient, ghostly warlord Gorak Tul in Drustvar. After these threats are defeated, Katherine is left despondent at her inability to lead her people, and resolves to help the Alliance find Jaina and reconcile with her. The Alliance eventually track Jaina to the prison island of Fate's End, where Gorak Tul, having survived the events of Drustvar, has kidnapped her and is tormenting her with visions of her past failures. The Alliance champions and Katherine destroy Gorak Tul once and for all and rescue Jaina, who is finally able to let go of the hate, anger and obsession with the past that defined her ever since the destruction of Theramore. The Alliance and Proudmoores then unite to defend the capitol city of Boralus from a massive pirate siege, after which Jaina is named Lord Admiral and pledges Kul Tiras' navy to the Alliance.
If you love running old content for transmog items, you'll love the new legacy loot system. Whenever a player enters a dungeon or raid where they are 10 or more levels above the content, the dungeon or raid bosses drop an amount of loot equivalent to what would have dropped for a full group when the content was current. That means players could earn loot for five people in dungeons and loot for 20 people after soloing a raid. The legacy loot system also drops other gear types, like cloth dropping for a plate wearer. It's now much easier to get the transmog gear you want, and you can also collect gear for your alts on the same run.
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.
I made some route changes to the Horde levels 43-44 sections. I have swapped 44 Dustwallow Marsh with 44 Desolace (the entire sections). This allowed me to do Deadmire (at lvl 43 instead of 38) and then go stop at TB to turn in Deadmire + The Black Shield at the same time, then fly quickly to do the Desolace stuff. Doing 44 Desolace is now mandatory because I think its faster with the new routes. This will also make the level 53 grind much shorter. I think these were great changes.
Guild Banners. The Banner of Cooperation and Battle Standard of Coordination will increase the experience from kills. They both have a 10 minute cooldown, but when you use one, the other is only locked out for 2 minutes. I was very bad about using these, so it might be worth using a macro to drop them on your first attack against an enemy. Keep in mind you must have reputation with your guild before being able to buy these, so new character may have a bit of a wait before picking them up.
Void elf - "Many have sought to harness the corruptive magic of the Void. Most who tried have fallen into madness. Determined to use this power for the good of Azeroth, Alleria Windrunner is the first mortal to succeed at defying the shadow's whispers. Coming to the aid of a group of her kin who nearly gave in to the darkness, Alleria has vowed to train these Void Elves to control the shadows within them and pledge their newfound powers to the Alliance."
Dark Iron dwarf - "Known for their fiery tempers and fierce determination, Dark Iron dwarves have a turbulent history with the other clans. A failed coup in Ironforge ignited the War of the Three Hammers, and many of the Dark Iron once fought in the service of Ragnaros the Firelord. Though one faction is pledged to Queen-Regent Moira Thaurissan, others refuse to stand alongside their kin. The Alliance seeks a united Dark Iron clan to harness the power of Azerite and aid their struggle against the Horde."
Most classes in World of Warcraft start at first level, but Death Knights and Demon Hunters are exceptions. They start at level 55 and 98, respectively. This alone can shave a huge chunk of time from your leveling experience. Of course, it only works if you want to play a Death Knight or Demon Hunter, but they’re both solid classics that can dish out damage or tank in a group.
Leveling used to be a treat in WoW. New, unique abilities drove you forward and made getting past the horrible grind worth it to some extent. Now it just feels like everything is set to grind. More than it used to be. Once it was tolerable, rewarding even, but now you grind to unlock an allied race through reputations barely connected to most of these races, only to have to level up that character to get their unique armor set (compelling you to not just boost your character and instead suffer through the slog of ANOTHER group of alts), then you get back to current content and grind some more with a random chance to drop the item you need to get your ilvl up to finally enjoy the single warfront available (as I write this).
What’s worse, it’s rarely satisfying when you do make it to a new milestone in your grind to unlock the gear you need. Legion had legendary items that changed the way an ability functioned, which would also completely change the way classes played; the Azerite traits in the Battle for Azeroth are rarely as interesting. Instead, they are simply passive bonuses that, in most cases, help you do more damage without any extra effort on your part. While some classes are lucky enough to have traits that change their gameplay slightly, Blizzard has so far seemed to favor nerfing those traits out of viability for most specs.
Still, it’s terrible to see the new expansion fail so spectacularly at iterating on Legion’s success. It’s hard to believe the two expansions came from the same company. Legion made you feel powerful and unique. Battle for Azeroth grinds at you by taking away as much as it gives. Sure, you can have a shiny toy. Sometimes. If you don’t get too carried away.
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Two new raids coming after the initial update differ drastically in size and content, depending on which side of the war you’re on. The Battle of Dazar’alor raid sees Alliance players trying to take over a city, but if you’re part of the horde, your version will see you try to defend it. Once you’ve beaten it once, you can then play the other side. The Crucible of Storms raid, on the other hand, is smaller and only consists of two bosses.
Once a week, you will be able to open a chest rewarding between one and three items, with the number and quality based on the difficulty of the highest M+ dungeon that you finished the week before. Unlike the end-of-dungeon chest, this chest can contain Azerite items. Gear from the weekly chest starts at 355 and can increase to 380, or 340/385 for Azerite pieces.
Footholds into enemy territories can be done as you grow in levels and should be completed before reaching Level 120. Take the time after completing your first zone to do your first foothold, or you can choose to complete one as soon as you gather your 100 War Resources which will prompt you to return to your mission table area where the first foothold quest can be obtained. Similar to how your initial zone selection was largely irrelevant, this selection is, as well. Simply pick one and complete it to earn your Mission Table second champion. Send your champions out on missions, recruit troops, and then head back out to quest in your second zone selection.
If you need the abridged version, because you’d rather spend an hour in a game than hearing someone talk about a game, you can also check out the excellent “New & Returning Player Guides” series from YouTuber (and World of Warcraft expert) Bellular. And you probably even skip the bits about ”how to purchase” or “how to install” the game, saving you even more time for new World of Warcraft adventures:
Island Expeditions: 3-Player co-op with optional 3v3 gameplay. Players will explore uncharted isles across the Great Sea. There is azerite and other unclaimed resources bubbling to the surface that is highly sought by both factions. Complete varied and dynamic objectives with a large variety of challenges to overcome. Race against advanced AI opponents designed to thwart players using tactical and strategic moves that consistently change. Optionally, players can choose to race against other players, creating a 3v3 PvP environment.
If you’re a returning player, consider paying for a month’s worth of playing time—a mere $15—and using the game’s newer Class Trials to see if you still have that spark for higher-level play. While you can also go the “Starter Edition” route for a free, limited romp through Azeroth, you might need a little more than the newbie zones to help you decide whether you want to play through the game’s latest expansion.
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This was a seriously entertaining read. Your unapologetic style of writing about this topic fit so perfectly. Unfortunately, I had to choke back a laugh more than once at work and now a few of my coworkers are looking at me funny. . .Speaking of which, special shout-out to that Fortnite entry. Anyway, I'd personally like to add Hello Neighbor to the list. (I know it technically launched in Dec 2017, but it continued assaulting new consoles in 2018 so I'm arguing it counts.) What started as an unexpectedly fun balance between straight-up goofiness and an intriguingly dark backdrop transformed into an unfinished mess I cannot fathom to this day. Even the betas and alphas added new problems before fixing any of the old ones like it was nobody's business. At least YouTube playthroughs provided ample warning on that one.P.S. I highly recommend videogamedunkey's review of Super Seducer to anyone willing to listen.
The game guide to the World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth is a handy set of practical advice and guidelines that will help you in getting answers to the most important questions about the new expansion. Battle for Azeroth is the latest expansion set to the much-loved MMO game. Since its launch the game has collected great reviews and everything indicates that Blizzard has delivered another exquisite in-game content for months to come.