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.
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.
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’re jumping back in for Battle for Azeroth, we recommend checking out the big “what to do first” guide from Wowhead. You’re also going to want to brush up on specific advice for your class—both Icy Veins and Wowhead have incredibly detailed guides for all of the game’s combinations of classes and specializations. Make sure you go in and figure out all the new (or changed) talents you’ll be using, and start to memorize a typical combat rotation so you don’t die nearly as much in game’s latest incarnation.
A "stat squish" and "item squish" was implemented to lower the numbers used in the game, e.g. a legendary item previously with a level of 1000 reduced to 265. Unique class-specific buffs are added back, i.e. mages' Arcane Brilliance and priests' Mark of Fortitude. Titanforging—a random event that raises the initial item level of an item gained via drops or rewards—is still in the game; however, if the item is one of those affected by the Heart of Azeroth, then that item cannot be titanforged.
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.

Elixirs serve the same purpose as Flasks, but the buff expires if you die. You'll only use these between 1-70, generally speaking, until you can start buying Flasks which persist through death. Try not to die, and carry extras just in case. If you can't find an Elixir with the stat you want, look under scrolls, since they count as battle or guardian buffs as well.
For collecting artifact power to level up your Heart of Azeroth necklace, island expeditions are unbeatable. There’s a weekly Azerite goal that you need to meet through the expeditions, and when you do, you’ll be awarded 2500 artifact power. There’s a small chance that you’ll get weapons from completing expeditions too, but they’re not a reliable source of gear.
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.
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