The first major expansion for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, Tides of Vengeance, is out now, launching roughly four months after the expansion’s release. After the high point of standing as one to defeat Sargeras in Legion, the truce between the Alliance and Horde unraveled, escalating into all-out faction war after the Burning of Teldrassil.
If you’ve taken a break from WoW — perhaps because you were shocked by the dark turn of Teldrassil or missed your trusty, overpowered Legion Artifact — here are some reasons to try out Patch 8.1, Tides of Vengeance. And if you want to dive into the nitty-gritty, you can always check out Fanbyte’s sister site, Wowhead, for all your Battle for Azeroth guides and answers.
Justice for Teldrassil
The Burning of Teldrassil left Alliance players heartbroken, as well as eager to fight back and reclaim the lands of the Kaldorei. The Battle for Azeroth launch was disappointingly empty of any Teldrassil story development, but now Tyrande is back. Gone are the peacekeeping elves we came to expect from recent WoW expansions. In their place are the primal elves from Warcraft III, led by Tyrande Whisperwind — the Night Warrior.
You’ll experience the action through the new Darkshore Warfront, which has a bit more personality than the bland Arathi Warfront introduced at launch. All the major characters from the Burning of Teldrassil are present — even some with unexpected allegiances — and there are many items to collect to show your faction pride: Kaldorei-themed armor sets and Nightsaber mounts decorated with Warglaive saddles, for instance.
If elaborate Heritage Armor appeals to you, but the steep Allied Race unlock and leveling requirements do not, you’re in luck with Tides of Vengeance. Dwarves and Blood Elves are the first two non-Allied Races to receive Heritage Armor. Tauren and Gnomes will come in a future patch.
The unlock requirements are quite simple, too, unlike those for Allied Races. Just hit max level and Exalted with the home city. Blood Elves are in for a harrowing trip to the past, reliving Arthas’ assault on Quel’Thalas, which culminates in Kael’Thas’ difficult decision to destroy the Sunwell.
The best part of the Blood Elf Heritage Armor? You’re not stuck with a robe; it has pants, too.
Loot acquisition in early Battle for Azeroth felt like playing a slot machine. From gear upgrades to cute battle pets, everything was randomized.
Tides of Vengeance cuts down on the randomness. The update introduces vendors that sell notable rewards for key parts of the game. While the RNG remains for some types of rewards, you’ll walk away after a few hours of play with some hard-earned currency to purchase equally lucrative rewards. At least that’s the plan.
In the new patch, Seafarer Dubloons serve as Island Expedition Currency, while new Warfront and Assault World Quests reward Service Medals. Both currencies let you purchase whimsical items like mounts, pets, and cosmetic armor.
If gear acquisition frustrated you in early Battle for Azeroth, there’s a vendor to assist with that as well. Scrap your excess Azerite Armor for Titan Residuum and run weekly Mythic Dungeons if you want even more. Then spend it for Azerite dungeon gear. You can even target specific traits, purchasing pieces that constantly elude you.
Leveling, especially in the 60-80 range, was particularly rocky since the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch due to the stat squish. And once at max level, some parts of Battle for Azeroth weren’t especially alt-friendly.
Patch 8.1 reduces the experience needed to level to 120 by roughly 25 percent. Meanwhile, there are more heirlooms, maps to unlock flight masters, and experience potions. Now is the time to finally hit 120 on your Void Elf or Nightborne to unlock their new Heritage Armor.
Saurfang is Back
Sylvanas, the divisive Warchief of the Horde, abandoned the faction’s principles to secure victory at any cost. Saurfang stood as an alternative Horde hero — one that embodied honor and loyalty —for those shocked by Sylvanas’ warmongering in Battle for Azeroth, While he’s been languishing in a prison cell in-game since his capture at Lordaeron, players were treated to a special high-fidelity cinematic at BlizzCon. The video, called “Lost Honor,” shows Anduin and Saurfang reaching a tense understanding. Now we reunite with Saurfang in a brand-new quest series.
Is Sylvanas still your true Warchief? That’s fine, too. Blizzard introduced an element of player choice through this Saurfang quest line. Decide carefully before picking a side, as your actions may determine quests in future patches.
And those are the big beats for this newest patch! Stay tuned on both Fanbyte and Wowhead for more information about the update, and all future World of Warcraft content, as it develops.