This is different.
Expeditions are designed, at least from a reward perspective, to focus on providing you AP for your neck. The weekly quest gives you 2500AP for about 7 expedition runs, which is a significant amount. AP has diminishing returns, and every week the amount needed for the next level drops by 30%. If you are doing the daily emissary quest, then 2500 AP is drop in the bucket. It is absolutely not in your interests to grind AP. I prefer to think of it as a happy accident. It feels like the same time investment for this weekly quest as it would be for running the daily emissary quests. Just that the latter is going to give me a) gold, b) gear, and c) reputation.
Expeditions are also self-contained, in that the rewards (dubloons) can only be spent on other expeditions. I have yet to see any other rewards, armor, weapons, or material. At least, no different than regular mobs out in the world. They are however a requirement for improving your war faction, in that you need to complete 5 different islands to even get the 3rd upgrade. There are only 3 islands per week, so it’s 2 weeks before you can get this. Mind you, the upgrades in this expansion are much less attractive than before.
All that do say is that the incentives for Island Expeditions are not there for me. Perhaps the act of doing an expedition is the driver?
3 random players taking on an open world of enemies and things to collect 6000 azerite. Roles do not matter, but there are clearly better team constructs to apply. 3 cloth DPS are going to have a rough time here, just like 3 tanks are going to be slow going.
About 90% of the island is regulars and some elites. Killing them awards azerite, and the elites reward an orb that heals you and buffs damage. So there’s some thinking required as to when to use them. Eventually there are some boss enemies that are a bit harder to take down but reward decent azerite drops. You’ll also encounter 3 opposite faction enemies, who make judicial use of their skill set. It can certainly make for some hectic battles.
The islands are decent size, and have a fair amount of randomization. Two trips are similar but not identical. I ran one where the 3 of us just mowed down everything as a group, and another that we each went our separate ways. Both worked, but the first one was so much more effective and fun. I run a tank, so I can pull 8-10 enemies without much sweat. Having 2 DPS next to me is really quick work.
Each mission is about 15 minutes long, and in order to queue for it, you need to physically interact with a table in your capital city. Queues are quick (1-2 min) but longer than a dungeon queue for a tank. Which is odd.
If there isn’t a large reward, then at least there needs to be a challenge. In normal mode, I can’t say that there is. I’ll need to give Heroic a shot. It feels more like a an open world group quest – in line with the clear % of zone, or the % azerite mining areas. There are other people, you kill things, and move on.
I can see potential here. Not as dungeon replacements… that is not even close to the purpose. Mythic+ has its role there, but these feel like an experiment. A bit more like Timeless Isles, in that they are self-contained. I’ll be giving it a few more runs, trying to get the weekly complete for the next 2 weeks, then come back with a more in-depth look.
- Expeditions are a pain to get started since you need to be in a single world spot and then wait for the queue
- They provide no real reward since daily WQ emissary work will give you more than enough AP for a given week
- They favor a balanced or at least heavily coordinated group that works together
- They are quite random
- They are fun in small doses