World of Warcraft: Dragonflight

So, anyway, it seems a semi-tradition to create a new WoW thread for a new expansion rather than necro one of the old ones, thus the above. We’re less than two weeks from going live, and the new Class/Race (or RCC for Palladium fans) combo is live and leveling, as is the new UI and talent system.

So far, the UI and Talent system are IMHO a huge step in the right direction, although they are equally IMHO a work in progress. Since those pieces went live last week, there’s been at least 4 micro and balance patches, which is to be expected.

For those who haven’t played recently, the UI is now given a grid shaped option, letting taskbars be much more customizable in horizontal and vertical layouts, along with stacked and unstacked options. Most UI elements can be freely moved around the screen and resized, with some noticeable exceptions that hopefully will soon be fixed.

The talent system is the biggest improvement - no longer do you have a pick one of three every 10-15 levels or so, but a point based drop split between core class features and your specialization. And if you want a sub par build for raiding that solos exceptionally well, it’s easy to configure that way. Many abilities of prior and current expansions are returned in the form of such talents - so as an example, if you want your DPS (shadow) priest to actually have a decent set of heals, you can make it happen (although you’ll OOM fast).

I’ve . . . avoided the new RCC to date, along with a lot of the other materials because the game and addons are still unstable and being rebalanced - but compared to the frankly boring build of BfA, and the WTF insanity and inconsistencies of Shadowlands, I have some small hopes.

For the record, I haven’t paid for WoW for… years? I’m quite good at manipulating the AH to earn gold and then use the gold to pay for the game, so I don’t think I’d recommend paying to buy the expansion or game time with IRL money, but it still let’s me connect with several friends across North America that I would otherwise have drifted away from.

I used to use the AH to pay for my game, but for the past several years I’m back to real money because I don’t have the time/skills to do that, make a real living, doing a bunch of real-life stuff, and play the parts of the game I really like. I’m OK with that, it’s one of my few luxuries/indulgences. Every so often I purchase a game time token with in-game money, I just can’t do it consistently. More power to you if you can.

Anyhow - I’m still working out my best layouts for the new HUD. I like the customization, it’s just fiddling because it’s new.

I enjoyed Shadowlands more than BfA, but like you said, some of it seemed crazy and inconsistent.

One trick is to know the timing. In general, it’s easy to make cash late game, the mission tables in Legion or Shadowlands, the callings in BfA and Shadowlands, but tokens by that point are really expensive (230k prior to the new release). Early in the expansion though, tokens tend to be cheap.

So at the end of BfA I saved up @ 6 million gold, and when token prices were around 80k I bought 4 mil worth. So I was paid ahead for 18 months, and had capped the blizzard cash at nearly 350. Now I don’t know if the token prices will get that low, but say they get down to around 100k. I now have 16 million gold saved to buy up time.

I’m enjoying basic world play pretty well on my main. At least, as much as my broken addons allow me to. (I cannot abide most of the default UI, and their “improvements” are no such thing IMHO.)

Professions are looking like a bit if a botch; we’ll have to see how they get debugged.

The new dungeon (aka old dungeon with a few changes) was kind of fun but rather a faceroll. Probably have to be, since it’s part of the pre-release campaign and not everyone is going to take their overgeared main into it.

I will agree that the new UI is worse than a number of the custom modded UIs out there, but it’s better than the old ‘default’ option. This is certainly damming with faint praise, I mean they just had their 18th anniversary and this is the FIRST time they’ve had a default one bag option built in??? And it still isn’t an option for the bank?

I think another reason for the face-roll elements is to gear up the brand new level 60 Dracthyr and and anyone else coming back to the game after several months. Lots of people drop for months until the next big content expansion.

And frankly, the last two releases (BfA and Shadowlands) both released new areas that felt needlessly ‘hard’, bullet spongy overcrowded messes that served as excuses to make anything you had worked for in terms of faction efforts, crafting, or the like immediately valueless.

Of course, this has been an issue since at least Legion, so to expect it to change is probably a fools errand. Lots of people just drop until there is the new tier of gear, binge, and drop again. Not my style, but it’s very popular for some.

Update: Dragonflight is now “live” for North America, in the sense that they say it is. As 100% expected though, it’s completely broken. Log in, zoning, the like.

I’m going to give it the usual 48 hours or so before I try to actually do anything. It’s bad enough that the game is dropping it’s own settings (which has been happening since the pre-patch went live) and constant reloading with nothing actually happening.

Not a rant, but despite WoW being here for 18 years, and multiple major expansions, with much content pre-downloaded and tested, they just can’t ever quite get it right. Which is why I was going to do old content until the new stuff gets kludged into order, but that’s not a functional option right now.

I logged in 15 minutes before the expansion start time and camped out at the zeppelin tower. The first zeppelin arrived, we all piled on board, the loading screen loaded…

… and we all woke up on the ground in Durotar.

Got back on the zeppelin tower, waited 5 minutes (there’s a timer) for the next one, all piled on board, and…

… arrived in the Dragon Isles. So, about 10 minutes to actually get there.

Been wandering around getting my bearings, killing things, and trying to figure out both the new talent trees and the new crafting system.

Not totally broken, but I expect a crapload of people are on the servers all trying to do the same thing at the same time. Usual new expansion crap. Things should settle down by tomorrow.

Unsurprising first-day-of-xpac fiasco. I don’t know why I even bothered.

It’s always a shitshow, but I always hop on. Only took one zeppelin ride to get to the Dragon Isles, but I ended up in the Ohn’ahran Plains, a good 20 minute run from where I was supposed to get of the boat.

Meh, I know I was just kvetching a bit. And I know that there will be more maintenance than planned tomorrow (of course) and a metric ton of micro patches for the next few days. I basically didn’t schedule anything online with friends until Friday, which will probably be the next major stress test.

While I’m sure these things will not appeal to the “bash bros” who are just in it for the fighting, I am liking some of the side quests. They aren’t all violence, there’s some ecology stuff in there (easily avoided if you prefer to skip that) and some insights into past events, characters, and costs of war.

Just finished the Duroz Scaletaker side quest in the Ruby Lifeshrine (ground level). Duroz is an old warrior Orc with much regret and guilt about some of his past actions. Following two quests that don’t require you to fight or kill anything brings you more knowledge of him and his past, both good and bad. And you get to relieve the pain of a dying old man, too.

There’s an ancient dragon as well that’s sort of frozen in melancholy and memories that you can help out, too.

It fleshes out the world part of World of Warcraft, gives a sense of past and history, and I for one am finding them enjoyable.

These quests are pretty awesome for the lore fans. You get to see the personal costs of those historical events. It’s not grand sweeping epic history anymore when you talk to the survivors.

Agreed. I am very glad they skipped forward a few years and left most of the weirdness of Shadowlands lie fallow, at least for now. And a respect for the lore and the characters taking some responsibility for their actions is a welcome change from the Shadowlands “It was all this hidden big-bads fault! All of it! We promise!” :roll_eyes:

They also seem to be trying to make crafting again, but after largely neglecting it as a viable option for gear for the last several expansions, I’m not optimistic that it’s be anything other than a money sink for non-consumables.

I’m back in, Shadowlands was a bust for me, only took up 3 of my 12 alts to 60 in the end. It’s on the rails format, and complete the questlines for covenant ideas meant I never got as far as choosing one.

Over a week since the pre-patch (I was off holiday the week after), I got 3 more to 60 and geared 5 of the 6 for Dragonflight. I remember the pre-patch bit before Shadowlands was a favourite of mines, so I came back for that, but it was helpful this time, but not really that much fun (mass of tagged mobs, and a few elites).

Got my warrior to 62 at moment, just came across the worst quest for ages. “Stay a while” in the Ruby Lifeshrine. 30 minutes of a character slowly talking in text. Bearable enough done once, but this is the type of crap which is killing off alts, especially with what is now a single questline to go down. I miss the days of the likes of Lich king and being able to do it from the east of the continent and the west of the continent.

I had said that Shadowlands was my last wow expansion, but I broke as the date came closer and closer. I know I play wow differently from most people, but I never seem to be around at the 6pm-10pm time for a guilds raiding, not even once a week, and lfgs for raids are just horrible.

I don’t think you play differently. Most of the older players I know (and this went double for when I was playing classic!) just didn’t have the time for major guild based raids without leaving work early or staying up too late on a workday to do so. So most of us concentrate on 5 man play, and ignore the raids.

While I HATE the people in most LFR groups, I find it an acceptable option, generally once or twice per expansion. I want to see the raid ‘live’ as it were rather than a stream and experience the content, but doing LFR grind for gear is too much. And that’s even as a frequent healer, who has an easy time getting groups. Doing it as a DPS? Ugh.

And for a while, I liked the mythic options (started in WoD but hit their stride in Legion) in that they originally leaned heavily into older styles of play with skill, CC, focus fire, and tactics. But by BfA and Especially Shadowlands, they quickly became a place where you could only go if you were utterly overgeared so you could faceroll with aoe and burst dps spam.

Back to this expansion though. Leveling, which was greatly simplified in Shadowlands and even more so in the pre-patch, is apparently NOT going to be much of a focus for this expansion, with multiple players maxing in less than 3 hours. At a glance, it’s going to be a lot more exploration, faction, and gimmick grinding, such as the new dragonflight system. I’m… not sure how I feel about that. As @Smid pointed out, there are some interesting storyline quests that already felt stiff by the time you work on your second character, and they desperately need to introduce the ‘I’ve already heard this story before’ option Sooner than Later.

Still, all in all, with my whole 6ish hours of play (damn adulting) it feels better than BfA and far better than Shadowlands. I’ve even giving a grudging ‘worth a shot’ to friends asking if they should re-sub and play after burning out in BfA, and who took my advice to not bother with Shadowlands.

As someone who is an actual pilot some of what I like is that you actually have to participate in the flying, do things, understand the “physics” of what’s happening, and basically you’re more than just a lump on something swimming through air.

It’s a nice middle ground between only ground mounts and the limitless flight/hover/etc of past flying in my opinion.

I expect the majority of people will come to hate it, though.

I will grant that the terrible swimming through air option for flight has been in need of a drastic update since . . . . oh, at least Pandaria (BC / LK / Cata all being flying expansions, I think I’ve been more than generous) so no argument there.

So I do see the plus as more interactive and interesting, less helpful if it were a bigger zone and I have to manually fly across it, but that’s a minor quibble. I’m still wondering where they’re going in this expansion. The leveling experience is going to be short, and while there are plenty of dungeons for gear grinding, that’s a point where they tend to loose a lot of people. It seems that grinding new dragons and appearances for the Dragonriding mechanic is supposed to be the big draw and grind, but not sure it’s going to appeal to the pre-existing long term subs.

Time will tell!

But at least I look forward to playing the game again, while exploring Shadowlands felt a lot more like ‘how will they shit on the story to date’ at each stage.

It appears for about the fifth expansion in a row tanks are the easy mode for me, I level my prot warrior first (perhaps changing to arms or fury near end when the dps drops), but there’s always been this great appeal of pulling every motherfucker in the room and killing them all for a chunk of xp which other classes really don’t do. Plus can do a dungeon every so often if bored, though those can last hours if they require anyone to move out of the burning bits. Shadowlands dungeons went that way with me.

Not sure I like the lone questgiver in the middle of nowhere as I fly by, but I suppose the fly by helps a lot.

I’ll leverage rested to get the hunter and warlock up as the other easy mode characters. Only potential healer I do now is shamen, priest and druid (never healed on pally) just were painful levelling experiences in recent expansions.

I did try classic before I unsubscribed last time, and chose a warrior, because they’ve been so easy and good to play in recent expansions. Then I remembered a warrior was hopeless up until maybe pandora, I spent all my cash getting repairs, even as arms, I whittled down mobs and nearly died every single normal mob (well, I did die about 1 in 3 from full health, and those corpse runs are loooong in classic).

It’s very striking that a prot warrior is pretty much unkillable with 252 gear in dragonflight.

I have a ranged DPS Shaman I’ve been leveling in Dragonflight, she’s been able to take on multiple mobs and hasn’t died yet, so that’s not too bad. How doing it as a healer would be I have no idea, I long ago realized I’m not good in that role.