In Battle for Azeroth, we are given the Heart of Azeroth, this expansion’s equivalent of the Legion artifact weapon. In the previous expansion we allowed a one-time equip of the Legion artifact weapon in order to open up quest lines as it was previously thought the artifact was required to access Legion zones and subsequent quests. On hindsight, the Legion artifact equip was the wrong decision as there ARE some Legion quests available (not all).
With this in mind, we turn our gaze towards BFA. All characters are able to access the new BFA zones from Stormwind (Alliance) and the Echo Isles (Horde) without needing to skip the Battle for Lordaeron scenario and without equipping the Heart of Azeroth. Since we can all access the new BFA zones freely, mage portals and warlock summons will continue to not be allowed.
Overall the Heart of Azeroth is a very strong “stat-stick”, one that normally would never be allowed under Iron rules as it violates our gear quality rules. Without equipping the Heart of Azeroth, a challenger will be unable to take / complete any “War campaign” quests, which would account for about half of all quests available to a challenger in their faction zones. With some exploration, we’ve found that there are a significant number of breadcrumb starter quests that are not related to the War Campaign; enough quests should be available in BFA zones for a challenger without needing to unlock the War Campaign.
Presently, an equip of the Heart of Azeroth and subsequent achievement will lead to a red-flag for any challenger and it will remain that way for the forseeable future. The removal of a potential avenue of cheating in this case outweighs the reduction in quests available for BFA.
It is an item we can revisit should we see no significant progress towards Level 120 for most of the challenges. For the time being, you will need to scrounge every ounce of experience from anything you can find.
I appreciate everyone’s feedback and advice over the last few days as it played a significant part in the direction we are taking now.
Good luck and safe travels!