Gearing up and facing your fears in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

Since Battle for Azeroth launched, I’ve been quiet. The first few weeks of any World of Warcraft expansion launch are a bit of a frantic mess. With so many new things to experience and explore, it’s not uncommon for players to feel a little overwhelmed, so instead of adding to the chaotic mess of information that also appears right after any new expansion, I’ve been keeping my head down and playing through the game.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m playing both factions this expansion. My main is still Horde, but I have an Alliance Void Elf who I’ve been using to play through the Kul Tiras story. Which has been both rewarding, because the Alliance story in this expansion so far is some of the most remarkable and best storytelling we’ve seen in this game ever, and frustrating, because sometimes it’s very hard to experience all of that on an alt.

Especially when that alt is decked out in questing greens and has an item level of 286, and you suddenly find out the main questline is going to require you to complete a Mythic dungeon – Siege of Boralus.

I must admit, I was surprised. While both the Alliance and the Horde are able to unlock a Mythic dungeon for their faction by completing a storyline achievement – and then the opposite faction’s Mythic dungeon through their war campaign – only the Alliance are given a quest to go into their dungeon (if there is a Horde-specific questline that takes us into King’s Rest, please comment and tell me, because I’ve yet to find it). The Alliance questline is also much, much longer and more involved than the Horde one – taking players through all three Kul Tiras zones, and in and out of dungeons before finally landing the bombshell that it will only end after completing a Mythic. Horde get a pretty fun scenario, and that’s it.

I’m not mad though. Horde got Bwonsamdi, so we still win.

On my Horde alt, I completed my first Mythic at ilvl 320, but that’s only because I have some lovely Horde friends who invite me to all their guild events, and who were happy to carry me through King’s Rest. My Alliance is on her own. A quick glance at the group finder will show anyone that most groups wanting to run Mythics require at least an ilvl of 325. Gearing up to that level with no friends, no guild, and an absolute loathing for heroic PUGs seemed frankly impossible. I figured I would give it a go anyway.

Four days later, and I just finished Siege of Boralus.

Here’s what I did.

First, I focused on world quests. I use the add-on World Quest List, which allows me to see what rewards are available at a glance. A lot of world quests reward gear, and the gear they reward scales with your item level, so while at first I was only seeing quests that rewarded ilvl 295 gear, it didn’t take long to see quests that rewarded much better gear (for my Hearth of Azeroth, I mostly just focused on completing enough island expeditions to get my weekly reward of 2500AP).

From what I’ve seen, world quest gear goes all the way to ilvl 330 (where I think it may cap, though I have had a piece of gear randomly upgrade to 335,) so I was fully prepared to use this method almost exclusively.

Then Warfronts started.

PSA: The revamped, Warfront version of Arathi Highlands is jam-packed with rares, and these rares can drop toys, mounts, and ilvl 340 gear.

By the time I finished flying through Arathi Highlands, making sure to kill and loot every single rare, my ilvl was 319. To be fair, though, I was unusually lucky – picking up no less than five new pieces of gear, one of which upgraded itself to ilvl 345. A quick run through the morning’s world quests, and I found myself at ilvl 325. I was ready.

The next step was finding a group. Every group I applied to rejected me so quickly, I began to worry that I still wouldn’t be able to find a group without actually finding a guild to help me first. So I breathed in, gritted my teeth, and, preparing myself for an hours-long wait as we find a willing healer and tank, listed my own group.

It took all of 10 minutes to full.

We died a few times, especially on the last boss, but five complete strangers helped each other get through a Mythic dungeon. There was no screaming, no crying, and no shouts of “noobs!” or votes to kick. As someone who used to avoid Mythics like the plague, and who only does them now because I have friends I’m comfortable enough to run them with, it was quite a wonderful experience. So much better than LFG heroics.

So while there are a million things I can tell you to make sure to do in Battle for Azeroth, from following Wowhead’s daily and weekly checklist to grabbing the world’s most adorable demonic goat, if there’s one piece of advice I can offer this time around, it’s this – try the things that you’re usually too scared to try. You, like me, might be surprised at how easy the impossible becomes.

Nobody knows what the latest Death Stranding teaser means, but it’s provocative