Hopefully, you have a good idea how you want to begin your endgame experience in Battle for Azeroth. A whole new set of content will drop on September 4 when the Uldir raid opens up and the PvP season begins. That also marks the beginning of Mythic+ dungeons in BfA. Even after that happens, many of these tips and strategies for gearing up will still be the best sources of early gear for your new 120 characters.
These are a genuinely challenging and dynamic way to play. No two are alike, and the A.I. actually does give you some real opposition. Island expeditions are like dungeons, available in normal, heroic, and mythic difficulties. That means you can press into higher difficulties for more of a challenge. Of course, the PvP version pushes everything to the max.
It's hard to step out of the shadow of Legion, which was utterly fantastic in almost every way, to enter an expansion where you get one item per boss in the last expansion because the rules have been changed to force more grinding, where you have to grind reputation in the old expansion that you probably skipped because rep grinds suck JUST to unlock allied races (who aren't fully unique races since they recycle old content such as animations), where questing has SOMEHOW become boring again and where your new abilities are given by items you'll swap out every level, meanwhile being only boring passive effects no one cares about.
I've identified a pesky bug that had me confused for months now. I would get serious slowdowns (from 60fps to as low as 20fps) whenever the dugi waypoint arrow was active and I started moving across the map (especially quickly like flying on mounts/flying masters etc.). I tried everything, and all that could fix it was clicking "Remove all waypoints", so that the arrow turned off. I thought maybe the arrow needed to constantly update locations/routes, and a new game update had perhaps broken that feature a bit.
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.
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.
/way commands like /way Shadowmoon Valley:Draenor 50.0 31.2 Ashlei don't work correctly. According to the way TomTom works, this waypoint should be created in Draenor's Shadowmoon Valley. Instead, it will be created in Outland's Shadowmoon Valley. So it seems there is currently no way to distinguish between zones that occur more than once with the same name, such as Shadowmoon Valley or Nagrand.
Battle for Azeroth’s War Mode puts you into PvP mode and grants you 10 percent extra experience. But since the two factions will mostly level in separate zones entirely, you should almost definitely have this on when you’re leveling. That said, if you start getting killed by random PvP players consistently, stop using it. Although 10 percent is nice, it’s not worth dying every few minutes for.
First, a bit of context: I've been playing the game since six months before it was originally released, and I make no apologies about liking it. It's getting long in the tooth, as with all games that have been on the market for 14 years, but Blizzard seems committed to continuous improvement. The last expansion, Legion, was the best the company had ever released. (Stop arguing, Wrath of the Lich King fan boys. It's true and you know it.)
Thanks for this guide. In the preparation section, you could add Goblin Gliders which are always super useful. I also recommend picking Northrend Engineering and Draenor Archeology as temporary professions. The first allows the use of the loot-a-rang toy which allows looting movs from a distance. The second one is required to picknsome treasures in Draenor.
You can try joining a Discord server themed around the class you’re playing, how you like to play World of Warcraft (achievement hunting, dungeon-running, player-versus-player combat, etc.), or your location, to name a few examples. World of Warcraft also has player communities built directly into the game. Find a community themed for newbies, or whatever else you want, and you’ll have a great resource to go to with questions. You might even make a few friends (or fellow adventurers).
“That’s the impetus behind everything, is to just make sure that players feel like things that they do in the game will have great consequences or great victories or whatever it’s going to be, right? Ultimately, our job is to create a world and environment and mechanics that support all that stuff. And however the players choose to make their choices is really up to them.”
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.
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.
For Alliance it's Lok'Modan, Redridge, Darkshore, Felwood, Stranglethorn (both parts), Plaguelands. Somewhere between 3 - 3.5 of these get you to 60 in like a 16 hours /played, if you queue for dungeons at the same time. I recommend dropping everything at 45 and going to Darkshore-Felwood if you didn't do them yet - they are literally the fastest levelling zones in the game right now, maybe only trumped by Silverpine.
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.
Dugi and Zygor both had their guides updated before Mist of Pandaria was released and both guides are kept updated with all the patches and changes to the game. Dugi is way faster with updates and has a lot more. Zygor seems to hold out and then do a big update. With new content such as guides etc, Dugi is definitely leading the way with Zygor usually many months behind. Zygor now offers the same number of guides as Dugi but it took them a long time to catch up.
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.
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.
Both guides have a different look. Many players choose the Zygor guide because of the way it looks, with it’s modern, clean appearance. Zygor has improved it, so its easier to navigate. Dugi Guides interface blends into the game more, as it looks more like something you would find within World of Warcraft. It has icons down the right hand side for selecting your guides and is really easy to navigate.
Players who were around during Mists of Pandaria might recall a dungeon mode called Scenarios, which involved teams of three players instead of the traditional five. Island Expeditions bring a similar feel, with groups being tasked with plundering treasure off various islands. Your team faces off against other players or AI-controlled characters from the opposing faction and whoever can collect the most treasure, or "Azerite," wins.
You earn a large rested experience bonus when you log out in this rest areas. This gives you a massive 200-percent bonus to experience gain from most actions (though experience from quests isn’t included). The amount of rested experience you earn increases the longer you’re logged off, and your experience bar will be blue (instead of purple) while you have the bonus.
So much new stuff. The war questline expands. Island expeditions get a couple of new locations to explore. Azerite armor gets tweaked so it’s slightly less stupid than it already is. While we wait for the servers to go back up, Blizzard’s prepared a handy survival guide for Tides of Vengeance. I suggest looking it over, or else risk not surviving at all.

XP Potions: The Elixir of Rapid Mind and Elixir of Ancient Knowledge no longer drop. They can be bought on the AH still but are way to expensive for it to be worth it. The Excess Potion of Accelerated learning is available from your garrison quartermaster but only works for level 91 to 99. As of Patch 8.1 you can also buy the 10% XP Potion Draught of Ten Lands.
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.
The Horde 12-20 (Barrens + Stonetalon Mountains) guide has been rewritten and revamped.  In addition, there has been numerous tweaks to the speedrun route to make things faster and easier to follow.  Also, in case you haven't noticed I am now adding about 40% more info per step and redoing all the images.  Unlike with my previous vanilla guides, I am now giving a brief explanation of where to go and what to do with each step along with any other helpful tips.
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.
At 98 you have the option to drop what you're doing and return to your capitol city to start the quest for your Legion Artifact weapon. However, I do not believe this is necessary to do right away unless you're struggling with kill speed in your current gear. I would recommend waiting for a natural pause, such as hearthing to repair and clear your bags. From 100 to 107 you won't even really fight mobs that often; only just enough to clear the way to any treasure you need to pick up.
The vanilla WoW Horde leveling guide you see on this site was originally made back in 2006 by Joana (AKA Mancow, or FuriousPaul).  The guides have been tweaked many times over the years to make things "faster".  The leveling guides were made because of all the messages I got from people asking me how I was able to level up so quickly on new realms.  I was first to level 60 on 7 different realms (3 with Mancow and 4 with Joana), even winning Blizzard's "First to Level 50" contest they held back in 2006.
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.
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.
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.
As late as possible. Early on, you’ll want to follow the missions in Battle for Azeroth right up until you get the option to send a follower on a two-hour long quest. As soon as you get there, stop doing the War Campaign missions. You can come back to them once you have reached something like 119 and a half and finish leveling with those if you want. If you don’t use these missions to cap off your leveling journey, then they’re the first thing you’ll want to do once you reach max level.
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.
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.
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