Time is slowly running out for some of the things you will be able to obtain from the Legion content before Battle for Azeroth release date, announced for August 14th. Some of those, like challenge artifact weapon appearances will become unavailable as soon as the pre-patch hits in the middle of July. So, if for some reason you have been delaying that dreadful Mage Tower encounter, now is the time to press hard, as there is still some time left.
Things to do Before BfA
The prepatch, rumored to hit somewhere mid-July, will bring a lot of game system changes, cosmetic and other adjustments – basically everything for the Battle for Azeroth release will be introduced with the pre-patch, safe for the content itself and the new zones.
The top recommendation before the BfA prepatch hits is to focus on the Mage Tower challenge for your chosen class, as beating it will award you with one of the most attractive weapon appearances for your class and specialization.
The challenge has been designed so it is less about item level and gear, and more about precise and correct execution of game mechanics. Therefore, using the time you have left on practicing the correct timing and interrupts will be of greater help than spending in on obtaining the better gear, as no gear will be strong enough to help you through the challenge while ignoring its mechanics.
After the prepatch, Mage Tower challenge and related rewards will no longer be available to the players.
Some other things that you could consider doing as they are also going away with the prepatch include:
First Aid profession – related achievements, such as Field Medic title and achievement, as they will no longer be available from the prepatch on.
Achievements for killing Argus the Unmaker in mythic and heroic Antorus (Cutting Edge and Ahead of the Curve) will no longer be obtainable.
The mount Violet Spellwing, a reward for completing the quest Blood of a Titan by looting Blood of the Unmaker from Argus the Unmaker on Heroic difficulty or higher will no longer be obtainable.
After the expansion launch, now guaranteed mount drops from mythic Gul'dan (Nighthold) and mythic Argus (Antorus), will be available only as rare drops.
The achievement The Fisherfriends of the Isles and the artifact fishing pole will still be available after BfA hits, but it is easier to get it done before it happens, as there are large groups that you can join, who are still doing that content.
Title 'The Chosen' for completing Trial of Valor on mythic difficulty without dying, will no longer be available.
The achievements related to the Legion Brawler's Guild season, will be replaced by Battle for Azeroth related ones.
Elite PvP armor sets from Legion, Ashran-related and other Legion PvP achievements are all disappearing in BfA.
Another thing that is having a dramatic overhaul when Battle for Azeroth hits – is profession system. Each expansion will have its own tier of skill level.
What Remains the Same After Pre-patch and Battle for Azeroth Release Date
Chromie and her time-traveling series of events, related achievements and reputations will remain available, as it is a scaled experience that cannot be out-geared, so you can go after it for cosmetic rewards at any time.
Class mounts will remain obtainable, as well as their related quests.
Rare Argus outdoor monsters will continue to drop pets and mounts at same rates.
Items needed for hidden artifact appearances will remain obtainable and their drop rates will remain the same.
Achievement 'Keystone Master' for completing a dungeon at Mythic 15+ difficulty (that awards specific colors to some artifact weapon appearances) will remain obtainable in BfA, only scaled for BfA-level dungeons. Completing it before the expansion hits might be easier, as you may now be out-geared for it.
Battle for Azeroth Changes and What to Expect
Relatively speaking, Legion wasn't as alt-friendly as some of World of Warcraft previous expansions. For those who love giving their alts the same level of attention as to their mains, BfA will be much kinder.
When the Battle for Azeroth starts, there will be a lot of content to do and complete on the main characters and the transition may seem a bit overwhelming. Still, it will not be in a bad way and players have a lot to look forward to.There will be a lot of improvements in the gearing system and the impact of randomness. Many players were dissatisfied with their lack of control over obtaining the legendary items they needed.Battle for Azeroth introduces the new armor system – Azerite, which will work in combination with the Hearth of Azeroth necklace, giving the players much more control. It enables them to further empower their items depending on which aspect of gameplay they want enhanced. It will remove the feeling of complete dependency on luck in obtaining just the right piece of gear so they could perform their rotation the way they want to.
Instead, players can now simply look up the raid and dungeon journal, check where they can get the azerite armor with the powers they need, so they can focus on getting those items and level their artifact with much greater feeling of control over the whole process.The way the gearing is structured now allows players to work in the desired direction as the content becomes accessible, giving them enough time to set their goals and work on achieving them. The developers are planning to give out as much information about coming things and changes, as it is possible in advance, so the players can plan out their goals accordingly.The BfA prepatch that comes in July will introduce the players to the series of events that lead to the burning of Teldrassil, the final event that pushes both the Horde and the Alliance into the all-out war.The content that comes will be story-driven, based on quests and world quests with opportunities to catch-up on gear and learn the story of the Horde assaulting the night elven lands, resulting in burning of Theldrassil.
That content will be available to all players, regardless of whether they have pre-purchased BfA or not.Those who have pre-purchased the expansion will have access to the Battle for Lordaeron scenario, one week before the launch date, similarly as the battle for Broken Shore was available to players before the launch of Legion.
Those with Battle for Azeroth Digital Deluxe Edition can look forward to additional goodies, such as:
World of Warcraft Mounts - Seabraid Stallion for the Alliance and Gilded Ravasaur for the Horde
World of Warcraft Baby Tortollan Pet
Heartstone card back
Starcraft II sprays
Heroes of the Storm mount - Primal Flamesaber
Battle for Azeroth Features
Zandalar and Kul Tiras - Two new continents with new zones and dungeons
BfA Allied Races
BfA Island Expeditions
Level cap increase to 120
BfA Class changes with new talents and abilites.
Artifact-style necklace - The Heart of Azeroth
Battle for Azeroth expansion brings a lot – level cap increase to 120, new allied races, new raids, dungeons and Warfronts, designed as real-time strategies in a Warcraft 3 style.
The expansion revolves around the raging conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. The Legion has been defeated and the two factions are once again turning against each other in the absence of the external threat and are seeking for the new allies. As both factions' capital cities have suffered blows, the players are now being sent overseas, to the new continents to secure the position against each other.Consequently, they will not be levelling in the same zones. Horde players will go to the island of Zandalar, ruled by Trolls, while the Alliance will attempt to establish diplomatic ties with Kul Tiras and their forces.Each of the continents comprises of three zones that offer scaled leveling similar to that of Legion, so the players get to choose where they want to go. After a player reaches max level of 120, they can go to the opposing faction's zone as well, to explore and conquer.
Kul Tiras zones are Tiragarde Sound, Drustvar and Stromsong Valley, while Zandalar consists of Zuldazar, Naz'mir and Vol'dun.
Much alike the Legion where the story revolved around Illidan's redemption, Battle for Azeroth will bring the plots of its own, focusing on some of the key Warcraft characters – Sylvanas, Anduin Wrynn, Thrall, Jaina Proudmoore and even Vol'jin.
Battle for Azeroth Allied Races
To everyone's delight, BfA introduces several new races available to players. BfA new races are actually only variations of the races that are already playable. As you progress through the story, you will have an opportunity to raise reputation with several subfactions and once you complete their respective quests required to unlock these subraces, they become available for you to play, starting at lvl 20.At BfA release date, six races will be available to players, but more will be added at later time.
The Alliance gets Lightforged Draenei, Void Elves, Dark Iron Dwarves and Kul Tiras Humans, while the Horde gets Highmountain Taurens, Nightborne, Zandalari Trolls and Mag'har Orcs.
Once you unlock a certain allied race, they become available for paid services such as level boost or race change, but bear in mind that only those players who play an allied race from scratch will get an access to its respective special Heritage Armor, obtainable when the character reaches lvl 110. BfA Heritage Armors are designed with each race's aesthetics in mind and aren't restricted to armor types.
Some of these Allied races the players have already encountered in Legion, and provided they preordered the BfA expansion, they could have already unlocked the two allied races for each faction – Lightforged Draenei and Void Elves for the Alliance and Nightborne and Highmountain Taurens for the Horde.
Prerequisites for unlocking these before the expansion include completing most of the Legion's major storyline quests and reaching exalted reputations with 2 Argus factions.
When Battle for Azeroth hits, Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag'har Orcs will also become available, while Zandalari Trolls and Kul Thiras Humans will be unlocked as players follow Battle for Azeroth storyline.
BfA: Heart of Azeroth
Artifact weapons were one of the most important features in Legion, which helped shape the specific class feel and identity. The artifact weapon could be levelled up and further customized as the story revealed. However, they are going to retirement with Battle for Azeroth, being replaced by a new system – revolving around a necklace – Hearth of Azeroth.The storyline at the end of Legion culminates with the essence of Azeroth bleeding onto the surface, as its World Soul is dying. This essence, called Azerite, is what empowers your necklace and enables you to unlock various properties latently available in the armor that you will be acquiring. Azerite can be obtained through exploration, dungeons and raids. As the power of your necklace grows, the more powerful properties you will be able to unlock on your armor, making the necklace the focal point of every character's progression through BfA.
Each piece of armor that you obtain has four rings that are unlocked depending on your Heart's of Azeroth level of power. Each of the four rings can contain several powers and you can choose to unlock only one. This makes a rather complex system that will however, give players more control over their gearing efforts.
Naturally, the gear obtained from more challenging content will have more powerful abilities that the player will be able to choose from. As the power of the equipment is related, you won't need to fear randomized abilities and you won't need to farm the gear in order to get the one with the 'right' set of powers.
BfA Island Expeditions
Battle for Azeroth expansion introduces one of the coolest features – Island Expeditions. The players are sent in groups of three to race against the enemy faction's group in exploring the uncharted isles and securing resources for their team. Island Expeditions are sort of a hybrid between PvE and PvP, where you can choose to either fight enemy players or enemy AI, which comes up with dynamic strategies to sabotage your plans.
While the main theme of Island Expeditions is exploration, each new encounter can dramatically differ from the previous one. In one, for example, you can find a neutral troll tribe, which you can make your allies, while in another the same isle will be full of demons and cursed. At the same time, you will also need to worry about enemy players, who will compete against you in securing the resources for the war.If you aren't a big fan of PvP, you can choose to go solely PvE, versus the AI that will control your opponents. They will present quite a challenge as well, as they won't simply charge at you, but adjust their strategy to subvert your own, by setting traps, trying to out-maneuver you and even retreat when needed. These AI –controlled enemy groups will not be random, they will come with specially designed archetypes and personalities that you will get to know as you progress.BfA Island Expeditions will have four difficulty modes, similarly to dungeons, so you will be able to choose just how much of a challenge you want them to be.
Battle for Azeroth Warfronts are another novelty that Blizzard has prepared for their subscribers. Warfronts are inspired by Warcraft 3 and are designed as massive, cooperative 20-player battles.
They become accessible once a player reaches max level and provide the means for an all-out assault on the enemy faction.
In Warfronts, you will need to work with other players on building your base, researching upgrades and hiring troops. You will then be able to use those troops against enemy fortifications.BfA Warfronts will be located in Arathi Highlands and the zones around it, and the first battle will revolve around Stromgarde. Similarly to Warcraft 3, your team will need to build a Greathall (or Townhall for the Alliance) and collect various resources needed for building of new structures – lumber and iron. Building different structures will provide you with different units that you will be able to use in the battle.
The players in each team will also need to gather the resources and put them towards the constructions they wish to prioritize. Naturally, communication is the key to get it done right. Once the constructions have been placed, you can begin with the recruitment of your troops and sending them to attack.Warfronts are designed as PvE encounters (no PvP is available), around 40 minutes in length, where you will be fighting AI-controlled armies with their specific army compositions and strategies.
Battle for Azeroth Social Features
Battle for Azeroth introduces a range of new World of Warcraft social features.
Integrated Voice Chat. This time, players will be able to connect in-game via Battle.net and set up their voice communication without the need to use the 3rd party software like Discord or Teamspeak.
Wow Communities. These are similar to guilds, but allow forming and joining multiple communities. They have their own roles and roosters so players can easily organize moderating their communities. This allows players to easily connect and socialize among each other, beyond the activities provided by their guilds. The communities can be made around any common interest, such as trading communities, crafting communities, etc.
Raids and Dungeons. Battle for Azeroth will introduce 10 dungeons. As they start out, the players will have access to four of them, but as they reach the max level, all of them will become accessible.
Mythic + raid and dungeon system remains the same in BfA, with some improvements in the User Interface and how the players can find and join desired Mythic + groups.
First raid that will become available to players in Battle for Azeroth is Uldir, Halls of Control. It is a facility were mad scientists attempted to study the ancient beings before, naturally, things went downhill. The players will find the facility completely corrupted by the Old Gods and their task will be to find the source of the corruption and eradicate it for good.
Queen Azshara – is vaguely announced as one of the bosses the player will encounter in Battle for Azeroth. It is still unknown in which raid/tier it will happen.
Battle for Azeroth PvP Changes
Naturally, as Battle for Azeroth expansion completely returns us to Allliance vs. Horde conflict, it also brings some notable changes to World of Warcraft PvP.
PvP and PvE servers are no longer. The whole new ruleset is built that now allows the players to opt in or out of the open-world PvP.
PvP Brawls are weekly mode battlegrounds, where the usual encounters are turned upside down with additional unexpected twists.
New Battlegrounds, the first one - Seething Shore, being introduced even before the BfA expansion hits. Players will be tasked with securing Azerite deposits as they fight over the map for it. This Battleground will also provide an introduction to the story that will lead to Battle for Azeroth all-out war.
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