By sheer luck, Tanya and I got an early invitation to the Alpha, which carried over into the Beta.
Tanya hasn't been playing it much. Neither have I really, but moreso than Tanya.
I am leaving these notes for my old guild mates hoping they will come in handy in the new expansion.
All of this info/advice can change before Live so please be flexible and forgive me if some of this seems to be inaccurate for Live.
There is a nice Level 850 epic Ring available for sale in Dalaran (Jewelry Shop) for 250K gold. If you have or can acquire this much gold before go-Live, you will be in nice shape on Day 1. This ring has on on-use effect that ports you to Dalaran, which is very handy since there are lots of quests and a bank in Dalaran (but still no auction house). You can get to your class order hall easily from Dalaran. The ring will serve you well for a long time since you won't replace it until you are max level, and even then it may take awhile. It is worth putting on the most expensive enchantment you can afford (e.g. +700 mastery) since you will have it so long. It is an excellent ring and a no-brainer at level 100 if you can afford it.
There are no weapon enchantments in Legion, but the weapon enchantments from WoD will work on your new Artifact weapon, albeit with diminished returns through to level 109. Still that is better than nothing, so make sure you have three weapon enchantments, one for each of your artifact weapons. More on weapons later. In case this isn't clear: Your WoD weapon enchantment will get weaker as you gain levels up to 109. Then at 110 it will not have any effect at all. But since there are no weapon enchants in Legion, better something than nothing, right?
Something else to bring along with you is WoD potions. There are no Agility/Intellect/Strengh potions in Legion. There are other interesting potions, but not these basic staples. I haven't tested, but they probably have diminishing returns at higher levels, so bring some stacks and make your leveling process quicker.
Class order halls - This is where your new "mission board" is and quest hub for your class quest chain. The mission board is much simplified from WoD. You can only have 5 active followers at a time, and you can send from 1 to 3 followers on each mission. Your % chance of success is displayed for you. If you get the chance over 100%, then the spillover is your chance to win a bonus reward. For example, a 130% chance of success means you will succeed and also have a 30% chance of winning a bonus reward which is pre-identified for you.
Level your followers up to level 110, then to rare (blue) where one slot opens up for bonus gear, then to epic (purple) where a second slot opens up. The bonus gear can increase success chance, grant extra bonuses against certain mob types, shorten mission duration, etc.
You can also recruit two types of disposable nameless recruits. At the hunter hall, these are called Archers and Trackers but I expect there are analogous recruit types for other classes. These cost order resources and can be placed on missions with your regular followers (taking up one of the 3 available slots). They are "used up" when their mission is complete. They grant +10% or +15% chance to success by default, but they can be beefed up to increase the success chance, and some of the bonus gear you can apply to your followers increases their effectiveness when they are on missions with Archers/Trackers.
You will get a quest for your artifact weapon almost immediately. You need to choose a spec (there is a quest to make your choice) and then you are sent off (from Krasus Landing in Dalaran) on a short quest chain. Unless things change drastically, you will have your first artifact weapon within an hour. I will be level 750. When you reach level 102 you can begin the other quests to get your artifact weapon for your other specs. Again, I'd recommend putting a WoD enchantment on them unless you are 110 when you get your weapon, in which case the enchantment has no affect.
You will invest quite a bit of time and energy building up your weapon. You have probably seen your Artifact calculator. Each ability your purchase costs a certain amount of Artifact Power (AP). The cost grows with each ability your purchase. For example, the first ability (point) costs 150, the second ability (point) costs 175, etc. The actual numbers have changed several times in Alpha and Beta so there is no telling what they'll be. If an ability has three levels, then you must spend three (increasingly expensive) points to fill it up before you can move on to the abilities beyond it. After you spend 13 points on your weapon, the price per point jumps enormously. I think #13 costs me about 1000 AP, and #14 was over 6000 AP. The ability I am working on now costs 39,600 AP. The reason for the jump at #14 (I've learned) is so that you won't hesitate to build up your second artifact weapon for another spec (ability costs for your other weapons start over at 150 AP). You can get your alternate spec weapons up to 13 points cheaper and faster than you could get the 14th point for your "first" weapon.
You get Artifact Power points by completing quests (usually towards the end of quest chains) and looting treasures. Silver elites can also drop AP items. When you click the dropped item, it adds AP to your currently equipped weapon. so this lets you farm AP for your secondary weapon while using your primary. When you switch specs your weapon switches automatically. I'm not sure if you can switch your weapon manually, sorry haven't tried.
I think what I am going to say here is important: There is a research ability in/outside/near your class hall called "Artifact Knowledge". This is probably the single most important piece of advice I can give you. You want to begin your Artifact Knowledge research as soon as you can. Here's why: You start at Artifact Knowledge level 0 which corresponds to AP rewards at 100% of normal value. When you reach Artifact Knowledge level 1, this becomes 125%. Most (not all) sources of AP will give you 25% more at Artifact Knowledge level 1. Here's the catch: It takes 5 days to research Level 1. And 5 more days to research Level 2. Each successive level gives more and more AP. I'm at level 9 now and I think I'm at 675%. I used to be glad to get 200 AP at a time. Now I often get over 1000 AP.
You can begin researching your Artifact Knowledge when you are max level 110, and you must be friendly with every major faction in Legion (5 or 6 I think).
Note on Artifact Knowledge research time: Blizzard has indicated that the time to research the next level can and will decrease to 4 days, then 3, etc. This might be gated server-wide. On Beta it is down to 2 days. I'm not sure what you should expect in Live, but get it going ASAP.
Artifact gems - At the top of your artifact calculator there are three gem slots.
Filling in a gem slot has two effects:
First and most importantly, it increases the iLevel of your weapon.
Second, it grants you a bonus point to one of the abilities in your artifact tree.
You will get gems as quest rewards as you level. Pretty meager ones at first (+2 iLevels) up to more powerful ones (all of mine are +39 but I've seen +46).
When you receive your weapon, the 3rd gem slot is locked. To unlock it you must complete your class quest chain. It is a huge deal to do so, as it will easily allow you to add 20 to 30 iLevels to your weapon. Your class quests are identified as such in your quest log.
There is an incredibly handy item called Flight Master's Whistle. I don't know if this is beta only or not, but it has a 5-minute cooldown and when you use it (you must be "outside") an eagle will come pick you up and drop you at the nearest flight master. What a time-saver!! Remember you can't fly in Legion. The requirements to get this is exactly the same as to start researching Artifact Knowledge: Reach level 110 and be at least Friendly with all Legion factions.
Here is some advice:
You'll get a breadcrumb quest in your class hall to "pick a zone" to start your questing. It doesn't matter which one you pick, each zone (except max level "Suramar") scales to you so if you are level 103, you will find level 103 mobs wherever you go (except Suramar which you should avoid until 109 or 110). This should help prevent over-crowding. The only thing that might affect your decision of which zone to start in is that you can get some profession quests in Dalaran. You can kill two birds with one stone by choosing the zone that corresponds to your profession. For example, the engineering quests are in "Aszuna" so I picked that one.
The advice is to stay in your zone until you finish all the quests! There usually nice artifact gems as rewards at the end of lengthy chains. There are also bonus events (like WoD) for nice XP and resources, they show up on your map so I'd highly recommend doing them all. This is also a very effective way to hit friendly with all factions which you need to do to unlock Artifact Knowledge research.
That's all for now, good luck to you all!
Todd, I think Tanya will play again after her grandmother passes away. She is spending a lot of time taking care of her. It is my intention not to play again. I will say, this looks like a very entertaining expansion though.
Here's a bit more max level info...
At max level you will have access to new "World quests". These will appear as exclamation points on your big map. Most of these are solo-able, but some are raids for World Bosses that drop 860 loot and a chance for a legendary 895. I've seen two legendaries drop from world bosses for raid members, but never got one myself.
The world quests are nice because you can get Order Resources, Artifact Points, Items, Money (and rarely an Artifact Gem) and/or Faction from doing them. You can see the reward ahead of time by rolling over the exclamation point on your map and pursue those rewards that interest you. There are bonuses available: If you complete four World Quests for the "bonus" faction or zone, you get a nice Rare cache.
Blizz has announced that they intend to have hundreds of possible World Quests so they don't seem as repetitive as they have in the past. Many of them I recognize as normal leveling quests I did in that zone, so they do have a wide variety to choose from.
The World Quests is all I ever do any more, plus queue for a daily heroic dungeon. Completing your first heroic dungeon each day rewards a nice Artifact Point bonus (that increases as your Artifact Knowledge increases - I hope I've mentioned that already!). Everything is so focused on your weapon. Any world quest that offers AP or Gems is definitely going to get a lot of attention. If it is a solo quest it will be crowded. If it is an outdoor raid it will be easy to join. I bought my 39K ability last night and the one I'm working on is 50K but now I am getting upgraded artifact knowledge every day, I'm at 800% now so the AP are coming faster.
There is an infamous quest in Dalaran that you get very early called 'Trial by Fel Fire'. You need to get 4 crafted items (cloth leather mail plate) to complete the quest. It is the gateway quest to enabling you to create Obliterum, which is the item used to upgrade crafted gear. I haven't bothered to do the quest so i don't know a lot about it, but crafters should be warned that they will have lots of requests from guildies to make these items. 25% of trade chat is people looking for items for this quest. It looks like an annoying quest when you get it, but you shouldn't ignore it, and work out a guild system where people can contribute mats to crafters in exchange for the items.
I've only run one mythic dungeon and I got a keystone that expired (they only last a few days). Similar to Diablo, which I haven't played in so long I forgot, you can use keystones to generate a tougher mythic dungeon with higher rewards. People are looking for groups for mythic+2, mythic+6, etc. I guess the rewards are higher. I wish I knew more about it to tell you but I'm not really hard-core and don't know anything else about it.
More if I can think of anything. Are any other guildies in the Beta?
Sorry to hear you guys won't be joining us for Legion. I haven't really heard of anyone else testing beta, but thanks for the feed back. Question though... So when you're farming points for your second weapon you're not adding more points to your first weapon anymore? Shouldn't we be more influenced to keep adding points to our main spec/weapon? I don't know how the point system works but I would like to work on multiple toons, so I don't know about farming points for a second weapon just yet. Hopefully working on alts won't be as difficult as it looks/sounds =P. You guys take care and God bless.
I wouldn't be surprised if Tanya played again eventually.
As for the 2nd weapon, here's a little more about how Artifact Points work...
In the default UI, there is a AP progress bar across your screen directly above your normal level progress bar. When you switch weapons, your progress bar adjusts to the level for your currently equipped weapon. When you mouse over it you can see (for example) 65/150 so you can see how close you are to being able to buy your next ability.
The abilities get more and more expensive independently for each weapon. So after you have leveled your main weapon's AP 10 times and purchased 10 ability upgrades, your bar might say 85/950. So it will take 950 points (I don't know the exact numbers and they'll change before Live anyway) to buy your 11th ability. If at this time you were to equip an alternate artifact weapon for the first time, your bar would say 0/150. You are back at the beginning for that weapon and your abilities are back to being cheap (at first). Whatever AP you earn while questing or exploring will be applied to the weapon you have equipped. By the way, you change weapons by changing specs, and you learn your alternate specs by doing the quest for the appropriate weapon. At level 102 you can get an additional artifact weapon.
Sorry I'm rambling. So if you go out and earn 100 points with your new weapon equipped, your bar will say 100/150. Now if you equip your original weapon, its bar will be 85/950 right where you left it.
So if you level up your 2nd and 3rd weapon, aren't you taking potential AP away from your "main" weapon? Yes, but here's why that doesn't hurt as much as you might think... There is a certain point (after buying 13 weapon ability upgrades) where the price per upgrade skyrockets. I think it went from 1200 for #13 to over 6000 for #14. I did a double-take when I moused over it, and asked others about it. The reason #14 is so expensive is so that leveling your alternate weapon(s) will seem cheap by comparison. You can level another weapon up to ability upgrade #13 for cheaper than you can get #14 on your main weapon. This at least encourages some variety and players will almost certainly try multiple specs because of this.
Of course if you are a healer or tank spec or otherwise know you are sticking with one spec and will never try another, then yes you might be a bit better off by sticking with building APs for your original weapon. But the abilities eventually get so expensive that you will probably scoff at the slight cost of the first dozen points. For example, my next ability upgrade for my Titanstrike (Beast Master gun) is 50K APs.
I will repeat what I repeatedly repeated above: Get to Level 110 and begin your Artifact Knowledge Research as soon as possible. This is the key to keeping Artifact Points flowing in at a high rate. Quests and rewards of 100 APs will rise to over 1000 APs with enough time spent in Artifact Knowledge Research.
Til later - Dennis