-Island Expeditions- Island expeditions was one of the new features I was looking forward to but Blizzard no longer makes games that are ready when they are ready but rather makes games ready when the deadline comes. Thus, many of the new features are completely stripped down from what was expected and it's literally just a small scenario you enter with two other players to continue to grind out your Azerite neck piece.
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).
The idea of the expansion came up after the heroes of Azeroth dealt with so much external threats like the Burning Legion. In their own words, "so when we talk about what's the biggest threat in this world, is it the titan or is it the dwarf paladin that put a hammer in that titan's head"? As such, the enemy (at least during the early parts of the scenario) will be the opposite faction, a "vast army of world-destroying forces".
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.
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.
There’s a lot of #content in the new expansion. It’s mostly locked behind a variety of gates, some of which players can’t even control. Warfronts are the best example. You might assume joining a Warfront is a simple matter of opening the group finder. Wrong! Warfronts are only accessible for a week at a time. It’s not precisely clear how often that week will come around (it’s based both on a time gate and on the opposing faction gathering resources) but, as of right now, it looks likely to be available just one week out of every four.
Similar problems have risen in the leveling system, which automatically scales to the player’s level and equipment. For the most part, you’ll vaporize enemies more quickly as you gain power, but there are some weird dips. Many players complained they felt less powerful at level 119 than at level 110, a problem I experienced myself. And world PvP remains a strange and whacky world where level and class balance issues make wins and losses feel destined instead of earned.
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.
-New dungeons- About 3/4 are fairly decent, not too long not too short, but none of them are compelling, none make me say to my friends and guildies, "Hey, let's do this instance, I love the theme and encounters." They're dull but tolerable. The other 1/4 of the dungeons just aren't fun and you will groan when you get a mythic Keystone for the Underrot, the snake temple, or Waycrest Manor. Waycrest Manor is actually one of the better dungeons, however, with the new Infested affix, Waycrest Manor suffers from many game-breaking bugs that end in the entire instance being pulled due to doors not properly working as intended.
Meanwhile, on the island continents introduced in the Battle for Azeroth expansion, players level 110 and above who have unlocked world quests can participate in Faction Assaults. These special events, alternating between Alliance and Horde territory, will give each faction a chance to band together to defend their territory or invade their enemy’s via a series of world quests. The prize? Survival! Also faction, gear and gold. Maybe even some pride.
Players’ relationships with the NPCs around them have been hit-and-miss over the years. One of the original issues with Thrall, the Horde’s original Warchief, is that players began to refer to him as “green Jesus,” because of how infinitely powerful and infallible he was. But he’s been gone since the Warlord of Draenor expansion, and with the death of Varian Wrynn and Vol’Jin at the start of Legion, the old guard hasn’t been there to guide players the same way as it used to be.