The leveling experience for the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King levels of 60 to 80 has been greatly reduced from 6,689,030 XP to 4,412,600 XP which is a reduction of 34%. This has been a notoriously lengthy leveling section, and this reduction will be very noticeable and appreciated by those players leveling new characters such as those allied races!
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.
REDISCOVER AZEROTH AS NEW ALLIED RACES – Take a new form for your adventures as new playable Allied Races. Embark on a quest to earn the favor of the Lightforged draenei, Highmountain tauren, Nightborne, Void elves, Dark Iron dwarves, and Zandalari trolls to unlock each race and add their strength to your faction. Create a new character and complete the full leveling experience to earn a distinctive Heritage Armor set.
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.
The Alliance are able to unlock the void elves (exiled blood elves who can tap into shadow magic, trained by Alleria Windrunner after her experiences on Argus), Lightforged draenei (draenei members of the Army of the Light who fought the Legion on Argus), Dark Iron dwarves (fire-blooded cousins of the in-game dwarves of Ironforge), and Kul Tiran humans (larger, more heavyset versions of the in-game humans of Stormwind).
If you love running old content for transmog items, you'll love the new legacy loot system. Whenever a player enters a dungeon or raid where they are 10 or more levels above the content, the dungeon or raid bosses drop an amount of loot equivalent to what would have dropped for a full group when the content was current. That means players could earn loot for five people in dungeons and loot for 20 people after soloing a raid. The legacy loot system also drops other gear types, like cloth dropping for a plate wearer. It's now much easier to get the transmog gear you want, and you can also collect gear for your alts on the same run.
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.
Island Expeditions: 3-Player co-op with optional 3v3 gameplay. Players will explore uncharted isles across the Great Sea. There is azerite and other unclaimed resources bubbling to the surface that is highly sought by both factions. Complete varied and dynamic objectives with a large variety of challenges to overcome. Race against advanced AI opponents designed to thwart players using tactical and strategic moves that consistently change. Optionally, players can choose to race against other players, creating a 3v3 PvP environment.