Archive of: Tag: world of warcraft

Battle for Azeroth

A few weeks back I caved and bought the Battle for Azeroth expansion for World of Warcraft. No, that’s not why I didn’t blog much in the last 2 weeks of September. Anyway, I played it heavily for the first few days I had it; I leveled my “main” (a Human Protection Paladin) to level 120 very quickly. Surprisingly quickly in fact. I just followed the quest chains, and by the end of my first session I was already at 116 or so. By the end of the weekend I was at 118, and with a couple of hours mid-week, I was at max level. In Legion, using similar play patterns, it took me a couple of weeks to reach 110.

In general, levelling and questing through the new zones has been wonderful. There’s always a new storyline to discover, and the atmosphere of the zones themselves has been amazing. I only fell to my death off the side of that mountain in Drustvar once twice three times.

I’m about halfway through the “free” game time I had for WoW, and I’m probably going to resub for at least another 6 months. A lot has been made on forums/Reddit/YouTube about “Beta for Azeroth” and the general quality of the systems in the expansion, but honestly? I’m having a blast.

Granted, I’m not your usual modern WoW player. I’m more interested in the solo experience and I’m only logging in a couple of times a week at most. The “time-gating” and Azerite armour issues many players are complaining about simply don’t apply to me. I hated World Quests when I first unlocked them in Legion, but for some reason I’m really enjoying them in BfA. I log in, check my map to see what WQs have the best rewards (gear or rep tokens are my targets right now), and knock out 4-8 in short order. If I have time, I then carry on any questlines I’m working on. If a Warfront is open, I’ll jump on the several quests available for that – the rewards and drops have been pretty good for me so far for a handful of “kill 20 of X” quests.

My goals in the game, in rough order right now, are: to get the Pathfinder achivements in Legion and BfA, unlock WoD flying, then start unlocking Allied Races. Whenever I need a break from that I’m experimenting with how far I can get soloing Dungeons and Raids. I went into Legion’s Emerald Nightmare (Normal) with ~ilvl 290 gear and soloed everything upto Ursoc with only a few deaths along the way. Those deaths were mostly on Elerethe, which I put down to unfamiliarity with the mechanics. I can get Ursoc to between 8%-15% remaining health fairly consistently, but I seem to be just short of getting over the finishing line before the debuffs get too much. I’ll try again after a few gear upgrades. I even tried Trial of Valor before that (I had a quest), but – while I was in little danger of dying – the length of time it would take to down the first bosses was impractical. My hands started to cramp up after 15 minutes or so, with me, Hymdall and Hyrja all still above 70%, so I bubble-hearthed out of there.

I’ll get them eventually. It’s just a matter of time.

Quick Thoughts on Returning Character Experience Vs. New, in World of Warcraft

I’ve been granted some WoW in-game time as a resolution to an old support ticket, so I’m able to jump onto my higher-level characters again. I’m comparing the experience to the one I had with the new character I started earlier, and… hooo-boy the experience on my 110 Paladin was confusing. I stopped playing pretty early in Legion’s lifecycle, so when I logged in I was prompted to do the Legionfall scenario straight away, then after 1 quest or so, I was immediately whisked off to start Argus. While I’m on my way to Argus, I’m prompted to start the Siege of Lordaeron, leaving me wondering what content is actually worth playing through. Playing the Siege would net me a shiny new weapon, but no way to follow up on that storyline until I drop £40-£53 on Battle for Azeroth.

On top of the questing confusion, all my talents were reset and my abilities changed. These were expected, but it adds to the sense of unfamiliarity. I’m not a fan of the GCD change and how it affects Paladin rotation, but that might just be a symptom of generally feeling lost. Right now I feel like I’m just mashing random buttons whenever I get in combat, in the hope something fires off.  On a character I’ve played on-and-off for 11ish years, feeling lost is very uncomfortable and frustrating!

I guess I’m in an odd position in that I’m coming back after a new expansion is released, but I haven’t unlocked the new content yet. In general the experience seems to be that while new characters get guided to where they need to be, returning characters need to figure out for themselves what they’re meant to be playing through, with the implication that you will just drop anything “old” from your Quest Log immediately. But there’s nothing to tell you in-game what is out-dated. In my case, for this character, the path forward is pretty much “buy BFA and forget about anything Legion-related,” but if I’d been returning at some point around the pre-patch, with no clue as to what had been released since I stopped playing, I would have been completely disorientated.

Maybe I’ll just stick with a new character for now

Hello Again, Elwynn Forest…

Ok, so I gave in and installed World of Warcraft last night, after saying I was trying not to get sucked back into the game. I’m just playing the free-to-level-20 “Starter Edition” for now, using it as an opportunity to explore the improved levelling experience, and classes/races I’ve never played before.

One thing that immediately struck me as I was levelling a Hunter through Elwynn Forest: I’ve never seen the starting areas so busy. Even with the small bump of users a new expansion brings, starter zones are usually pretty quiet in my experience. Northshire Abbey was packed, as were various quest-related areas throughout the zone. I can’t remember seeing Elwynn that busy — ever — in the ~11-12 years I’ve played the game.

It seems that even in a world of level-110 character boosts, levelling up the long way has finally come back into fashion.