Sometimes that requires players to earn gear to give them greater powers that they haven’t yet unlocked. That sense of progression is at the center of what makes World of Warcraft great and so successful over the last 14 years. There should always be a balance between gaining gear and strength through lower-level content and taking on the hardest challenges the game has to offer. With Battle for Azeroth, Blizzard has missed the mark. Getting to elite status just requires grinding content that isn’t fun, instead of players demonstrating their skills.
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).
At the end of Legion, the titan Sargeras was imprisoned, but not before he plunged his sword into the planet Azeroth. This not only devastated a massive area (much of the desert zone of Silithus is now cracked and scorched), but badly wounded the gestating titan inside. While the heroes managed to ablate the worst of the damage (at the cost of the majority of their artifact weapons' mythic power), the world is still wounded and bleeding a substance called "Azerite," which has great magical potential. The Horde Warchief, Sylvanas Windrunner, attempts to consolidate Horde power on Kalimdor and gain a monopoly on Azerite (which is primarily found at the southern end of the continent). Her campaign to do so, the War of Thorns, formed a pre-launch event for the expansion and ends with the major Night Elf holdings on the continent seized or (in the case of their capital city of Darnassus) annihilated. The Alliance makes a retaliatory strike against her home base, the Undercity, which was formerly the human capital of Lordaeron. This succeeds in driving the Horde out, but before leaving Sylvanas saturates the area with disease and toxins that render it uninhabitable. With this tit-for-tat military exchange, the Horde has almost complete control over Kalimdor, while the Alliance has near-total dominion over the Eastern Kingdoms. With further conflict inevitable, Battle for Azeroth takes the two factions to the continents of Kul Tiras and Zandalar to recruit new allies in order to turn the tides of war.
Island Expeditions are three-man scenarios that pit the team against three enemies using what Blizzard calls “advanced A.I.” That means the enemies will act more like players, pursuing goals proactively and filling class roles. The expeditions take inspiration from action RPGs, with randomized areas that mix up the experience each time. Players’ main goal will be obtaining resources more quickly than their foes, and expeditions should last 15 to 20 minutes. While primarily meant for PvE, there is a PvP mode that replaces the opposing A.I. with teams from the enemy faction.
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth focuses on the rivalry between the two most important factions of Azeroth, the Alliance and the Horde. The expansion adds two new continents (Zandalar and Kul TIras), divided into islands, where you can find new dungeons and raids, quests and previously unseen enemies, as well as six new playable races. Once again, the maximum experience level of the player characters increases (from 110 to 120). Battle for Azeroth also introduces two new game modes. In the first one, groups of three characters explore chosen maps and fight randomly assigned monsters and threats. In the other mode, groups of twenty characters each try to take over locations in strategic places for their factions.
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.
Tiragarde Sound and Stormsong Valley are both fairly similar zones, but Stormsong is a little longer, meaning that you might not even have to finish it to hit 120. Tiragarde also comes with a bit of a warning. There are plenty of side quests to do in the zone after you finish the story quests. Don’t do them. It’s not worth the time or the experience you’ll get.