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The eternal Alliance versus Horde conflict is resurfacing again in Battle for Azeroth, the newest World of Warcraft expansion. We fought against the Legion, we brought down its most terrifying lieutenants, we saved the world from yet another impending doom, and now we are preparing to face Azeroth's true blight: the opposite faction. Despite the PvPish flavor of Battle for Azeroth, Blizzard has not forgotten two of the most solid WoW features: dungeons and raids.Alliance and Horde will be going at it like it's 1995, the year when Warcraft: Orcs and Humans launched, but PvE content is still a central part of the game. Battle of Azeroth starts with 10 new dungeons and one raid. We will meet new foes but we will be ready to face them thanks to the new artifact item and the new ways to upgrade equipment. We will also cover class changes and the state of each specialization.
Which of the new features are you looking forward to the most:
  • six zones.
  • six allied races.
  • eight dungeons.
  • two mythic only dungeons.
  • one raid.
  • one battleground.
  • two arenas.
  • 52 achievements.
  • 58 mount.
  • eight pet families.
  • 2105 quests.

Are you prepared to face an Old God?

Uldir is the starting Battle for Azeroth raid. It is located in Nazmir and it is home to an Old God. It has eight bosses. The last one is none other than Blood God G'huun.
Uldir EntranceUldir has four modes: LFR, normal, heroic, and mythic. It will drop 340+ item level gear in LFR, 355+ item level on normal, 370+ item level on heroic, and 385+ item level on mythic. Drops have a chance to be warforged or titanforged. The meta-achievement Glory of the Uldir Raider contains eight achievements. The reward is the Bloodgorged Crawg mount.

Did you know that Battle for Azeroth has a new loot system?

The only loot system in Battle for Azeroth is personal loot. The master loot option was removed. A special loot option called legacy loot mode will be available for old content. It is considered old or legacy content a dungeon or raid that is 10 levels below the character's level. As one can guess, this new loot option was designed for transmog runs.Legacy raids and dungeons will drop the same number of items as if they were current content done with a full group. The drop is based on chance and not on character's specialization. Players will be able to trade legacy loot with group members.

Goodbye raid tiers, hello raids and dungeons sets!

The biggest raid related change brought by Battle for Azeroth is the removal of the raid tier. This is a major change as raid tiers have been part of the game since Vanilla. The disappearance of raid tiers opens the way for more freedom when it comes to gearing up. Instead of having class armor we will have armor that borrows the aesthetics of the zone from where it's obtained. Similar to the dungeon armor sets for Kul Tiras and Zandalar, players will obtain cloth, leather, plate, and mail Nazmir sets from the first announced raid: Uldir. Developers hinted that Queen Azshara will be a future raid boss in Battle for Azeroth.

How is your class faring in Battle for Azeroth?

Like every WoW expansion, Battle for Azeroth comes with class changes meant to improve play style. The changes aim to make specializations more attractive and to achieve balance.Rogue
  • Assassination - is greatly simplified and remains a good choice for starting players.
  • Outlaw - seems to have more single target DPS and AOE becomes more tactical to play.
  • Subtlety - is slower paced and focuses on single target DPS.
Druid
  • Balance - remains mostly the same powerful DPS specialization.
  • Feral - bleed abilities now scale with haste which makes this specialization a valid DPS choice.
  • Guardian - specialization is improved by the removal of Guttural Roars which caused some issues in Legion.
  • Restoration - is less mobile.
Mage
  • Arcane - was not a popular specialization in Legion and efforts are made to improve it.
  • Fire - doesn't change much and it looks like it will be the top DPS specialization for this class.
  • Frost - is a good choice for starting players as it's easy to learn and does decent DPS.
Paladin
  • Protection - relies on secondary stats so it will be gear dependent but overall it hasn't changed much.
  • Holy - specialization allows the use of multiple types of weapons and remains a solid healing option.
  • Retribution - remains a slow paced but solid DPS specialization.
Priest
  • Holy - remains the preferred Priest specialization for raiding.
  • Discipline's - play style remains unchanged, the updates make it more geared towards mythic+ dungeons rather than raiding.
  • Shadow - went through some significant changes that make it a flexible DPS specialization for mythic+ dungeons and raids.
Shaman
  • Elemental - got a lot of smaller changes but it's too early to say how this specialization will behave in Battle for Azeroth.
  • Enhancement - remains a dynamic specialization with better crowd control.
  • Restoration - healers lose the burst healing in favor of a more sustainable healing style.
Warlock
  • Affliction - was somewhat improved but it doesn't have burst damage.
  • Demonology - excels in the AOE department which makes it a good specialization for mythic+ dungeons.
  • Destruction - doesn't particularly shine in single target and AOE encounters and this makes players a bit concerned at the moment.
Warrior
  • Arms - specialization was improved although the play style remains as it was in Legion.
  • Fury - seems to have been made slower paced due to the removal of the artifact ability.
  • Protection - is also slower paced and more dependent on the correct use of defensive abilities.
Hunter
  • Beast Mastery - is a good ranged DPS specialization as it benefits from mobility, its play style is roughly the same as it was in Legion.
  • Marksmanship - got some mobility improvements, it's a good specialization for single target but lacks solid AOE.
  • Survival - will continue in Battle for Azeroth as a melee specialization, it's easy to learn and play.
Demon Hunter
  • Havoc - was not changed much but its DPS is not that impressive at the moment.
  • Vengeance - got some changes but overall is a solid tanking specialization.
Death Knight
  • Frost - play style was slowed by the removal of the artifact.
  • Unholy - remained mostly the same, it's a viable DPS specialization.
  • Blood - was a strong tanking specialization in Legion and it will still be in Battle for Azeroth even if it was slightly nerfed.
Monk
  • Brewmaster - continues to be a solid raid tanking specialization just like it was in Legion.
  • Mistweaver - specialization was buffed.
  • Windwalker - is somewhat more polished and remains a good DPS choice.

Introducing the new gear upgrade mechanic – Heart of Azeroth

Artifact weapon removal, legendaries removal, raid tier removal – the primary Legion ways to upgrade gear will not make it into Battle for Azeroth. Instead, they will be replaced by what is called the Heart of Azeroth. This is an item that goes into the necklace slot. This means that we will go back to obtaining weapons and we will treat the necklace as the new artifact item.The Heart of Azeroth is obtained from Magni Bronzebeard. Just like the artifact weapon, the necklace will be the only neck item players will use in Battle for Azeroth. The new artifact power is azerite. The difference is that the azerite won't come in the form of an item that has to be used by players. Whenever azerite is obtained, the artifact will soak it. It's similar to how characters receive XP. Azerite is acquired just like artifact power but it will also be found on the map. Battle for Azeroth zones will have azerite nodes. When the character is near a node, the medallion will start to absorb it. When the artifact gains enough azerite it levels up and unlocks upgrade options for the helmet, shoulder and chest armor. So the artifact is the new way to upgrade gear.
Uldir is the starting Battle for Azeroth raid. It is located in Nazmir and it is home to an Old God. It has eight bosses. The last one is none other than Blood God G'huun. Heart of AzerothThe Heart of Azeroth will unlock three rings for a piece of gear. Each ring has traits. Players will rotate the ring to select the trait they want to use. The first ring contains four traits, the second ring has three, and the third one has two. Each piece of armor has specific traits. Higher item level equipment has more powerful traits. Players are able to preview an azerite imbued piece of equipment in the dungeon journal.The new system changes the way players choose gear. Up until now, stats were the primary criteria and raid set armors for the bonuses came in second. In Battle for Azeroth, we will also consider the traits when choosing our helmet, shoulder and chest items.

Do you meet to the requirements for Battle for Azeroth Dungeons?

Each faction has access to certain dungeons starting at level 110. These dungeons are in that faction's zone. Battle for Azeroth dungeons on normal are available in LFG from level 108 for leveling players. After level 115, all players will be able to enter dungeons on normal no matter of their faction. The item level requirement for heroic dungeons is 305.
Battle for Azeroth Dungeon Journal
 
Siege of Boralus and King's rest are mythic dungeons. Players will be able to access them at max level after they're attuned. The attunement is a series of War Campaign quests that become available at level 112, 114, and 118. To be able to complete all the quests, Alliance players must be revered with the 7th Legion while Horde players must be revered with The Honorbound. The Siege of Boralus attunement starts with Mission from the King quest. King's Rest attunement starts with Mission from the Warchief.

Check out the new item level for the dungeon gear!

Battle for Azeroth dungeons drop loot of various item levels depending on difficulty mode. New Battle for Azeroth dungeon armor sets drop from dungeons. Kul Tiras armor set drops from dungeons in Alliance zones while Zandalari armor set drops from dungeons located in Horde Zones. Normal dungeons drop 310+ ilvl, heroics drop 325+ ilvl, while mythic dungeons drop 340+ ilvl. Warforged and titanforged loot can drop on any difficulty. Battle for Azeroth quest gear stats at 280 item level.
Battle for Azeroth Gear
Squish or reduction is a mechanic that was first implemented in Warlords of Draenor. Battle for Azeroth comes with item level reduction and stat changes. What's important to understand is that this is not a downgrade. Numbers become smaller so they're easier to handle. For example, if we are to judge by the new system 960 item level gear obtained from mythic Antorus is equivalent to 240 item level in Battle for Azeroth.Primary stats on gear remain the same. For every 15 item levels, the main stat gets a 15% increase. However, secondary stats will increase at a 9% rate up from 6% in Legion. The growth becomes linear and decreases after 300 item level. This was done to prevent secondary stats becoming more important than primary stats when calculating stat gains.

What do you think of the new mythic+ affixes and seasons?

Two new affixes are introduced in Battle for Azeroth. Relentless affix prevents thrash mobs from being crowd controlled for a short while. Infested affix infects one mob from a pack with the Spawn of G'huun. This will buff (more HP, more dealt damage) the mob and make it immune to crowd control. When the mob dies, the spawn can be killed before it finds another host.
Battle for Azeroth Mythic+ Season Affixes
 
Mythic+ seasons are a new Battle for Azeroth feature. During a season, players will have to deal with one more affix in addition to the three regular ones. Infested is the affix for the first mythic+ season. There will also be two new seasonal achievements. The first one requires players completing all dungeons on mythic +10 during a season and the second is for mythic +15. The mythic+ weekly chest contains more rewards. It will drop a mythic keystone, Azerite power, and between one and three gear items. Players won't be able to change gear while doing a mythic+ run anymore. Guild members who run mythic+ dungeons as a team will be rewarded with an achievement.
Players will get more items from the weekly mythic+ chest.

Are you ready to face the new old villains?

Battle for Azeroth dungeons pit players against enemies from a bygone era such as the first Zandalari leader but also against new WoW characters such as Skycap'n Kragg who first made an appearance in Hearthstone.

Atal' Dazar

Atal'Dazar was built to be the place of eternal rest for Zandalari leaders. Dazar was the first leader of the Zandalari.
 

Freehold

 
Skycap'n Kragg and his parrot Sharkbait are the first boss encounter in Freehold.
 

Shrine of the Storm

The sea priests of Kul Tiras led by Lord Stormsong have barricaded inside the Shrine and now serve Queen Azshara.
 

Waycrest Manor

Longtime supporters of House Proudmoore, Lord and Lady Waycrest have been corrupted by Drust Gorak Tul.
 

The Underrot

A place of corruption that threatens to overtake entire Nazmir.
 

Temple of Sethraliss

Once the place of rest of snake loa Sethraliss, now the temple is a dangerous source of corruption.
 

Tol Dagor

Ashvane Company's private penitentiary, Tol Dagor is the place where all those who oppose Priscilla Ashvane end up, no matter on which side of the law they may be.
 

The MOTHERLODE!!

A plentiful source of Azerite, this place is run by Mogul Razdunk who aspires to become the next Trade Prince.
 

Siege of Boralus

Ambitious, power hungry, and resourceful Lady Ashvane has assaulted Kul Tiras capital.
 

King's Rest

Tomb of the Zandalari kings, this is the place where players will face first king Dazar.
 
Glory of the Wartorn Hero is the meta-achievement obtained when all dungeon specific mythic achievements are completed. The rewards are 25 achievement points and Reins of the Obsidian Krolusk mount.Legion has proved that players don't mind seeing old places and old faces as long as the gameplay and the challenges are fresh. Battle for Azeroth takes us back to Warcraft origins in a setting we've never seen before. Dungeon and raid encounters don't bring nothing new to the table but a change wasn't needed anyway. Legion has great raiding content and if Battle for Azeroth continues in the same manner raiders will sure be content. Classes are still a work in progress but overall, players are content with the changes. Removal of the master loot is one decision that caused some heated opinions. Players feel that raiding guilds won't have the same sense of community if everyone has its own loot. Maybe Blizzard will get back to the drawing table on this one. Other than that, the new content and mechanics hint that Battle for Azeroth might be one of the best World of Warcraft expansions.

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