World of Warcraft

For Anyone Returning After a Long Break

wow9 - For Anyone Returning After a Long Break

I have seen many comments and posts regarding players who have decided to return to Azeroth after some time away. Much has changed friends. Long Post. Crash course for the changes in the last ~10 years of WoW.

Since Wrath of the Lich King:

Collections: Mounts / Heirlooms / Toys / Battle Pets (WoW Pokemon) no longer take up inventory space and have been set into collection tabs. These collections are account-wide.

Races and Classes: Cata – Goblins and Worgen. MoP – Pandaren and Monks. Legion – Demon Hunters, beginning of the Allied Races – Void Elf, Nightborne, Dark Iron Dwarves, Lightforged Draenei, Kul'Tiran, Zandalari Troll, Mag'har Orcs, Highmountain Tauren

Leveling: Major stat squishes can have pros/cons for most classes and specs. Questing as a healer is much less painful than it used to be, however still not particularly recommended. DPS is nice, but not all classes will have the same survivability. Questing as a tank (sometimes) offers less DPS, but it is difficult to die. There is a vast collection of items which can increase XP gain, from potions to gear. There is now quest tracking built into the blizzard UI as well as markers on the map indicating quest objectives. This can be helpful, but is not always 100% accurate for every quest.

Zones: Have been split up by expansion. All classic areas now level with your character from 1-60. If you do not enable War Mode, you will not be involved in world PvP. This has mostly made lower level questing easier. A zone story line can be completed without completely out-pacing the zone to where it no longer yields XP.

Stats: No more: Hit / Expertise / Armor Pen / Defense Rating / M per 5 / Spirit. Added: Avoidance, Leech, Speed. Versatility in a general fashion replaced defense rating / bonus armor / spirit.

Talents: If anyone has been away for 10 years, there are no more talent trees. This can be shocking.

Mounts / Riding: 60% speed ground mount is obtained at level 20. 100% at level 40. Flight can be learned at 60. Cataclysm added flight to Azeroth and Kalimdor. Flight in MoP is learned. Flight in Draenor and Legion can only be obtained with an achievement. No flight in BfA yet.

BoA/Heirlooms: If you managed to start collecting heirloom gear for alts, it might have only been good up to level 60 or 90. It must now be upgraded to level 100 / 110 / 120 to continue using it into the higher levels. This can become rather expensive.

*Dungeons: If you missed it, there is a Looking For Group system that automatically matches a tank, a healer and 3 DPS to complete a dungeon based upon their Level. The players will be teleported directly into the instance. Once you reach the level required to enter a classic dungeon, you can scale into that instance after you level outside of its natural range. You could, for instance, take a level 55 tank into a Shadowfang Keep with a level 25 DPS so long as you are in the same group and queue together. Much of the content into BC/WotLK/Cata has scaled poorly making some instances difficult to complete.


Professions have been separated by expansion. It is no longer necessary to level any profession from 1 to max through all the other content. If you really want Outland enchanting, you could focus just on that.

*Raids: Post-WotLK Raid content falls into Normal / Heroic / Mythic Modes. There is no longer 40 man / 25 man / 10 man raids. Normal and Heroic raids scale to the number of players from 10 to 30. Master Loot is no longer an option. Everyone has their own Personal Loot rolls per boss. Looking For Raid is also available. Same concept as LFG, it's just 25 people for a Raid. LFR is rollface mode. If you manage to wipe, everyone will get a buff. Normal Mode can typically be accomplished by a group of gamers dedicated to cooperating enough to complete encounters. Heroic Mode is probably more akin to what Normal was in WotLK. Mythic Raiding is designed for the top players and can be compared to Heroic mode from long ago.

Addons / UI modification: Curse still exists, if that was your thing, but the desktop application has been merged with Twitch.

Inflation: If you thought you had a reasonable amount of gold when you played last, chances are you will be dirt poor. Might I suggest a WoW Token. $20 for ~115k gold. Alternatively, if you definitely did have a ton of gold, the WoW Token can be purchased with gold in exchange for game time.

End Game: Warlords, Legion and BfA have all heavily focused on completing the story line (pretty much as a requirement) to start the end of gameplay. This is a common trend and has carried over to BfA. World quests, along with Emissary rewards, started several expansions ago and continue into BfA. These are pretty much daily quests on a larger, rotating basis. Dungeons now have a Mythic difficulty. Mythic Keystones can be used to increase the difficulty and rewards even further. PvP still has Battlegrounds (now with a Rated Battleground format), arenas and the option for world PvP.

*Note: The Group systems are locked based on player level as well as average Item Level.

This is meant to be an overview. There are some fantastic resources at wowhead and icyveins. I appreciate anyone taking the time to read this as well as feedback regarding the information. I have neglected specific information regarding changes made to PvP as I have not been involved in PvP nearly as much as I have in PvE.

Any glaring inconsistencies can be addressed and edited. Thanks for reading and hopefully this is useful to someone.

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