World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

Hard to believe I’ve been play this game for 15 years, but here we are. Anyone playing the new expansion? I’m kind of slowly working my way through it (adult responsibilities will do that). The story’s not bad, but the end game systems seem a little intimidating with all the covenants, soulbinds, conduits, legendaries, etc.

I’m grinding out Mechagon to get flying in the prior expansion before upgrading… but my initial impression from what I seen in the stuff put out by Blizzard does seem to make the endgame frikkin’ complicated.

More and more I just solo game and play in the world. I hate being compelled to do Raids or groups or whatever. I’ll do that stuff sometimes, but I find it hard these days to find a block of 2-3 hours to really complete a large raid. I also wind up playing at odd hours which can make grouping hard. Then you have alts that need to group to do prior content to level up to current content.

It has gotten… complicated.

But at least it’s not as grindy as Vanilla was oh those long years ago…

I got pulled back in, too. Max level stuff is definitely complex, but I don’t think it’s too bad unless you’re looking to min/max your characters out. Pick what sounds fun, figure the rest out later. There’s definitely more research involved than most previous expansions, however.

I’m a bit behind my guild (old group that I’ve joined and left as I’ve burned out on the game), as they started the first raid tonight. I decided I’d rather enjoy the ride than go crazy on making sure I have the best setup for my characters.

I made the decision to “enjoy the ride” rather than stress about min/maxing about 14 years ago.

Although how I play it has changed significantly over time, I still enjoy it. I suspect that if it hadn’t continued to change, even though some of that change has been annoying, I wouldn’t have stuck with it all these years.

Back, on 12 max level characters, one of each class, I’m calling it on this one, it’s the worst one, worse that Cataclysm. That was the only previous expansion I never got all my characters to max level, though to be fair I left BFA and came back once flying for alts was on the cards, and did the last five characters levelling with flyers.

So much blah blah, escort quest, another cut scene, then fly you off somewhere different, yet another platform in the sky with nothing much on it. I tab out as more walking about and telling me stuff happens after a quest turnin. Plus only one real levelling area in sequence on rails, even Cata has a choice of places to level, some better than others. Experience for levelling is all over the place, with 12K reward got mid 53 and 5K turnins for long quests later around level 56.

I might be different, I tend to level about 4 characters at a time, and use rested xp heavily, filling healer and tank alts with instances, but LFG groups faced with that hook mechanic in the early instance, and aoe and fearing trash, those weren’t particularly enjoyable.

I actually enjoyed the icecrown pre-launch bit and played that a lot, with the four starting characters pretty much geared before the start. I took one of the undergeared ones out to try it out, and they died like a dog on the first few quests after the city, and was utterly useless as a healer in an instance. It’s been a long time since the likes of a shadow priest was like “nope. that won’t be levelled”.

I do regret getting the six month subscription option in this, I suspect I will leave it for a couple of months and complete the levelling and feel no need to come back after this.

To be fair, I wasn’t feeling it at the end of BFA, but this one is the worst.

While I finished Legion with at least one toon of every class at max level (first time I’ve ever done that), I ended BfA with my druid and demon hunter pretty much completely unplayed aside from hitting the Darkmoon Faire every month. I also got my warrior, shaman, and shadow priest to max level only at the very end, after the level squish made getting there faster. This is all Alliance-side. Or course, a big contributor to my not leveling every class this time was that City of Heroes escaped into the wild and I was able to play it again for the first time since 2012, and I canceled my WoW sub immediately and started playing CoH again. So I was away from WoW for more than a year, playing superhero. But after creating 95 different characters in CoH, I sort of alt-ed my way to getting bored and decided to take a break from it. Of course, this pandemic contributed to that - my job got completely shut down, and sitting at home playing one game, all day, every day, led to burnout.

Horde-side, in BfA I got my tauren paladin to max as always, and she was followed by my orc rogue. Then I set a personal “record” by finishing an expansion with four Horde alts at max level. The fourth was my troll survival hunter - an alt I rolled either late in Wrath or early in Cata, and then mostly neglected. He never managed to finish an expansion at max level after Cata, since he was always sort of an afterthought. So I decided to change things up and designate him as my Horde main this time around. I was just a bit tired of always leveling my human ret paladin first, and then turning around and leveling my taurent ret paladin next. Thought it might be more fun doing two different classes this time, and that’s how it’s worked out. Survival is turning out to be a lot of fun.

I do seriously wish that the opening sequence in The Maw was skippable on alts. God it’s tedious after a few times! I was trying to get most of my alts through it far enough to train their Shadowlands professions so that, even if I wasn’t planning to actively level them right away, they could still hit the Darkmoon Faire profession quests for 5 points each month. But I’d had enough for now after about the eighth time through.

Anyway, as usual I’m not doing any dungeons or raids. But at least now I have a better excuse than “I don’t want to”. My wife is disabled, and there’s always a chance that she might need my help “right now”, so I don’t want to find myself having to bail on a group all of a sudden with no explanation.

I used to be a big dungeon player, but starting in… hmm… might have been Legion I sort of lost interest in them and went to mostly solo play. Or I’ll go back and solo an old dungeon.

I just don’t seem to have the time to block out hours of time for raid anymore. That’s partly because I’ve been working full time (sometimes more) all year being an essential worker.

Interesting. It might be time for discussions of the goods and the bads of the character classes. For instance Survival was the go to spec, perhaps Pandaria, it hit hard but gave up the pet. I got the impression that it was more a of close combat thing in recent expansions, like a rogue, and there’s enough roguelikes in this game, be that druid cat, monk, demon hunter, stabby shammy and of course rogue. If it turns out to be a nice one like back then, I’ll perhaps go that way. BM is easy but kind of boring.

Let’s get started on the good and the bad. The good first.

Warrior rocks. It’s been my first char to max in the last three expansions. I levelled as prot the last two, pull everything and anything, grind down ten mobs at once. Self healing makes it unkillable. Got two good swords, and fury is turning out to be nice this time too. Arms was my classic levelling spec, but no more.

DK too, levelling like a tank. Never got the hang of frost (except when it was tank spec). Doing one now. Mobs are too spread out, want to rush in and pull everything. You can see the fragile classes around loving someone to gather up the mobs for aoe.

Shammy. This has been a solid first three level for the last three expansions. I believe the stabby one is good, but the elemental one has been fine for me. It’s healing makes a good instance diversion

Warlock. Solid and good, I do either destruction or affliction, but get bored after a bit. Dot dot dot tab dot dot dot tab. Still, easier than even hunter.

Rogue seemed to be better this time around, shadowstep and mutilate might get me back to the enjoyable zip/stunlock move on levelling which was good in Pandaria, but they separated those two skills last few expansions.

The bad, or the mediocre, I haven’t touched many of these, but the others seem same as last expansion, so will comment from that.

Shadow priest. Binned. Horrible. Ok, so I was undergeared but I got owned by 2 mobs 15 seconds into the first map, and took me three goes to kill the big mob in the cavern just by Aspirants Rest. It wasn’t that bad last time though, more mediocre than good.

Mage. Is it ever good? A nice arcane spec back as far as Cata was good, but my memory of mage is corpse running and thinking how little any other spec dies compared to the mages.

Druid. Boomkin. Never been a good spec for the last three expansions. Like a mage who can run away better. I think I might even have levelled a bit as a tank last expansion I was so bored with the dps on the boomkin. Used to be a solid dps and a great healer. Was still a decent healer when I managed to suffer the dps levelling.

Pally. I don’t remember enjoying it last few expansions. Not awful, but not fast. The prot wasn’t wonderful to level and neither was the ret. Back pre pandaria, Pally was the best class to have. Great tank. Great healer. Solid DPS. So much so it’s the only class I created a horde character of and levelled to the max, I think to 90.

Monk. Why not just play a rogue. Baffled by the healing. Utterly baffled by the tanking spec (I remember once putting out a taunting barrel which took the aggro. but that was gone last time I fucked up a dugeon trying to tank with one of these). Painful.

Demonhunter. Much of a muchness, really. A hybrid without the healer. I can’t recall if I ever tanked with it. It doesn’t strike me as memorable.

I can’t recall which expansion we were in when I switched him from BM to Survival. May have been Legion (and he never set foot in BfA content - I didn’t get to him until after the level squish and the change to the leveling system, so I just finished getting him to 50 in the Broken Isles, geared him up with Nathanos and Icecrown, and then it was off to Shadowlands). But the spec is basically melee with a partner. Pull with a ranged shot that administers a DoT, pet charges in and bites a couple times, I lob a grenade, and then come up from behind to poke with my spear while my pet keeps its attention. It’s different, and fun :slight_smile:

My ret paladin is kind of frustrating. DPS is fine, but I (and some other ret players I talk to) are all wondering why the hell we wear plate armor, because it doesn’t seem to help at all. It’s like wearing wet Kleenex. Fighting two enemies at once pretty much guarantees your health dropping well under 50%; 3 or more, and you are probably going to die.

And I’m not sure I like how covenants work. They may look like Legion’s class halls, but it appears that, for Kyrian at least, my story progression has come to a complete halt until I get around to running a specific dungeon. I’ve already run into a couple features that unlock after I complete “Chapter 4”, but apparently I can’t even start chapter 4 until I run that dungeon.

Ugh! I hate requiring dungeons.

That’s it on the Ret Pally! Exactly how I feel, I’m a tincan who can self heal and yet I die like a rogue and end up pulling one thing at a time. I think I did go prot in the end.

Ah, with survival, I didn’t realise the pet was back. Stabby with pet might make it different. Perhaps next three levels for variety once the rested has built back up (part of my alt levelling is pretty much always using full rested till it runs out).

I don’t really pay attention to the story, I missed this information. What dungeon do I need to do? I did a few on my tank and healer, but before they got the quest for Necrotic Wake, and once I decided to go back into that (which can be really painful with large trash pulls and hookers), it didn’t allow me anymore.

I haven’t played the game for about a week now. I was looking forward to the expac, but it’s just the same grind, get gear, repeat and I’m finally tired of it. I’m going to take a break for a few months at least.

That’s unfortunate, but if I recall correctly the class halls also sent you through a couple of dungeons in order to complete the storylines. It’s a shame because I really used to like healing five-mans. I used to have a crowd I could run with, and even when I had to pug usually people were friendly and understanding.

Now it’s just go go go. No communication, no patience, kicked at the drop of a hat. I won’t even touch mythics, the expectations that people have in those of perfect execution to beat the timer is insane.

I’ve been maining my enhance shammy and for some sick reason I do enjoy being back to the “frantically mashing buttons as they come off cooldown” playstyle. I do miss totems, though. They were such a core component of the class’s flavor and playstyle, now they’re an afterthought. Ah well, maybe I can play a proper ally shammy when they release WOW Classic: the Burning Crusade. :grin:

If this is going to happen, can we skip Wow classic?. It was horrible. All the stuff we forgot improved things. Four hour deadmines with tank with all gear needing repairing multiple times. Twenty minute corpse runs. All that effort to get to level 20, I was mining and herbing continually and I had one green item on me, and just over 1 gold 20 silver pieces which was wiped out by a single repair. GREEN HILLS OF STRANGETHORN PAGES!

From what I can tell, you have to kill Devos in the Spires of Ascension dungeon to complete Chapter 3. When I reached Renown 8, that supposedly unlocked Chapter 4, but nobody in Bastion has anything for me. Granted, I’m mostly assuming that the next chapter is locked behind that dungeon. I suppose it’s possible that Chapter 4 simply doesn’t become available until next week.

I just finished Chapter 5, so I’m guessing new chapters don’t open until you finish the previous one.

The entire renown system is time gated. You don’t have access to further campaign development because it’s locked behind renown leveling, and you don’t have access to renown leveling because it’s gated on a weekly basis.

Renown schedule from this WowHead guide:

Week Renown Weekly Cap
1 3
2 6
3 9
4 12
5 15
6 18
7 22
8 24
9 26
10 28
11 30
12 32
13 34
14 36
15 38
16 40

If you’re at renown 12, you’re done until next week.

The decision to squish levels is interesting.

No posts since December?

Anyway, I canceled my sub near the end of December (then used gold to re-up for one month because the sub ran out on Dec. 23 and I remembered I wanted to at least grab the Christmas presents) and went back to City of Heroes.

Shadowlands just … it’s like Blizzard decided to go all-in on every aspect of the game that I don’t like, and eliminate or de-emphasize every aspect I did like. To quote Joe Biden, “C’mon man!” Reach max level, and immediately have multiple currencies/systems to start grinding? Bleh. Thoroughly unrewarding WQs?

Went back to CoH, and discovered that, while I was taking a break from it, the Homecoming devs made some neat improvements. The big one is that they implemented global, long-range teleportation. Now you can instantly teleport to any zone in which you’ve earned at least one exploration badge. And you can do this from anywhere - you don’t have to use fixed portals, because the teleporter is a device you carry.

I fully admit that at this point WoW is something I return to as much because it’s familiar as anything else.

I thought the storyline for Shadowlands was decent, and more coherent than some they’ve done. Not super enthused about the “covenants”.

I’m enjoying going back to older content and leveling alts as much as advancing my main.