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.
Get exalted reputation with every faction you can. This relates to the previous two pretty directly. Gaining reputation with most of the factions of Kul Tiras and Zandalar will allow them to sell you high-level gear, while gaining reputation with the Champions of Azeroth faction will grant you levels for your Heart of Azeroth, the neck piece where all of your AP is stored.
":" - Any time a step ends in a ":" instead of a "." means that the next step is part of the current step you are on. This generally means the next step should be done while working on the current step. This means every "start working on" or "continue working on" will end in a ":". But this is used with other occasions as well, so keep this in mind.
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.
Heart of Azeroth: Our world is direly wounded. Players will be summoned via Magni Bronzebeard to Azeroth herself. She will gift players with a medallion called the [Heart of Azeroth]. Her life essence seeps from the world in the form of [Azerite]. When players wearing the medallion come in contact with azerite, this sought after resource becomes a source of power for selected pieces of armor, providing players a way to level them up. This feature replaces the artifact system of World of Warcraft: Legion. Currently the plan of development is to limit the upgrade system to 3 pieces of armor. Players will be able to choose the stats they want to better fit their play-style.
Excess Potion of Accelerated Learning: Acquired in your Garrison (part of the Warlords of Draenor expansion), this gives you a 20-percent bonus to experience from killing monsters and finishing quests. It lasts one hour, but you can buy it multiple times and use it back-to-back. Alliance players buy it from Sergeant Crowler, horde players buy it from Sergeant Grimjaw. Does not work above level 99.
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.
Unlike regular games, MMORPG don’t have a single player mode offline. During the game you need to be connected to the Internet. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to play by yourself: World of Warcraft offers a variety of options for playing the game alone. But there are other adventurers in the virtual world and if you want to share the fun of the game, you must be connected to the Internet. The main part of the game focuses on a group of players, who explore dangerous dungeons and defeat powerful monsters together, helping each other.
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And, of course, there are plenty of in-game addons you can use to make your adventures in Azeroth even more efficient. Try checking out Azeroth Auto Pilot, which points you where to go, handles all your NPC discussions and quest turn-ins, and automatically sells your junk gear (among other features). Deadly Boss Mods is still a must-have, so you don’t die in dungeons quite so quickly. Pawn helps you tell whether the gear you’re getting is actually an upgrade or not. World Quests List gives you a much better way to see what’s happening in your zone (and sort for the rewards you’re prioritizing).
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.
These things happen during prepatches. There are always kinks to work out, and typically those kinks are offset by the items and experiences players receive during the prepatch events themselves. The vast list of bugfixes demonstrates just how doggedly Blizzard developers are playing whack-a-mole with in-game issues. But in the past few expansions, it's become a bit of a trade: Hang with us during the rough patch and we'll reward you with goodies and some seriously overpowered, fun gameplay, Blizzard seems to say.
It seemed like the Horde players at BlizzCon sat divided during the opening ceremony Before the show started, players cheered for Sylvanas Windrunner, the current, evil(-ish) warchief of the Horde, when her picture showed up on screen. But when the Lost Honor cinematic played and Saurfang talked about “wanting his Horde back,” the audience had a massive, excited reaction.
Just before Battle for Azeroth goes live, you will want to log all of your characters out in the zone of Silithus so that you can acquire the quest to talk to Magni and obtain your Heart of Azeroth (refer to our Heart of Azeroth guide for more information about this item). This is the new artifact-type of piece of equipment that you will use for all of the Battle for Azeroth expansion. Once you acquire your permanent neck slot piece of equipment, get back to Stormwind or Orgrimmar to begin your scenario that leads into the introductory areas of Kul Tiras and Zandalar.
Dugi’s leveling guide is the leveling addon I’ve always used to level as fast as possible. It will show you where to go and what to do in-game, speeding up the leveling process. This is optional though, as the game already does a pretty good job at showing you where to go at all times. The addon does, however, come with a couple of other nice features and perks.
That’s because armor of higher level has higher Azerite power requirements than lower level armor. That means a shiny new piece of Epic gear will have better stats but, unless you’ve been diligent about your Azerite power grind, won’t have as many traits unlocked. You lose options as you earn better gear. Eventually, you’ll grind out enough Azerite to earn those traits back, but you’re left with limited customization until then.