Sunday Afternoon Getting Beat To A Pulp Report

I was doing so well with my Atherne beta copy character.  I started playing her and abandoned the stock level 50 character when I saw she was having an easier time of it.   Breezing along, I was. Today, all of a sudden, a few boxes from level 53, whammo.   This fight right here.

Multiples just kept coming and coming.  I had to get ten items from these, and the drop rate was perfect.  Once I had them, the dang things just kept coming.  And they hit hard. I had to use Shadowmeld to stop the fight.

After this, there was a Fill In The Bar With Bad Guys area, and I could barely survive a fight with two of them.  Somehow I had been weenie-fied!  Sad Panda.  You’ve got to do those Bonus Objectives though, for the xp and gold.

The picture below is for my spouse who will appreciate the name.


Atherne does look cool here, though, a very dark purple.   Shadow Ath!


I did manage to get through all the bad fights until I was dreamily in a field picking flowers and, Cone of Shame, a little dog creature came and just shredded my poor cat.   You’d think it was several levels above her or something.

Here’s how it looks when you’re dead.  All dark and gloomy.


I’m looking at my other live characters again and am thinking I’d better try to get them geared as well as I can, and level their Heart of Azeroth up as much as possible.  Though the effects aren’t there, the item level is.  Atherne’s gives her a necklace item level of 131.

Also, on the live server “real Ath” needs to stock up on Health Potions like mad.   Ath Beta version can make a health potion, but the herb is dropping as petals, so she doesn’t have enough to make what would help her here so far.

Feeling Puny!  Happy Sunday!

Exile’s Reach The New Player Experience (Not Too Spoilery)

I’m not going to talk about plot points because everyone should get to to see it play out at least once for themselves.   I feel the same way about the other new areas.   It should unfold for you as something all fresh.

There’s a new area of the game called Exile’s Reach that basically serves as a very long tutorial.  It’s levels 1-10.

I created a Night Elf Druid and she’s on a ship right away, heading to her destination.  You learn all the movements, the UI, how to fight.

With each level gained, you get a new skill.   My Druid started with Wrath.  There’s even a Druid Quest.

Now my Druid had no choice of Exile’s Reach or another destination.

I briefly created a Human Paladin and she could choose Exile’s Reach or Stormwind.   Note: I now see that the first character created on the beta server as a level 1 was treated as a brand new account and she was automatically sent to the tutorial.  Any new characters created can choose a starting location). I chose Stormwind so I could see if they had changed the low level experience in the old world.

The opening cinematic was talking about King Varian Wynn, a bit about the Lich King and Cataclysm.  So they still need to line up the cinematics at lower levels to bring your new character into the events of the present day.  I didn’t play through this area because fresh Paladins are really so sluggish to play.  They just feel like they stand there forever before striking anything.   Crusader Strike with a 6 second cooldown …agh.  Anyway.

Exile’s Reach has a decent plot line, interesting enough characters, except for one who was annoying, and whiny.

For truly new characters, you get a couple of bags as rewards, which is always welcome.

There are treasure chests, a wandering Silver Elite my level 7 character could take on easily.  Three mini-bosses two of which had swirly stuff for you to avoid stepping in.

At level 9, they threw me off, way off.  You need to queue for a dungeon!  I didn’t do it right away because I assumed there would be queue times and who knows what to deal with in the dungeon.  My Feral Cat had only two skills at that time to use.   How is this going to work, I thought.   Whoa, you’re in the dungeon with no wait time, and no other players, nope it’s two NPCs.  One acts as a tank and one a healer.  Shocking, I say.

Back in Stormwind at last.  I was very disappointed that my Night Elf did not get any time in Kalimdor.  How does does she know how to be an elf?

Even more extraordinary to me, there’s a summons to Stormwind Keep where the scenes play out that send you to Boralus.  Level 11 and sent to Boralus!  The rest of the world doesn’t exist for her?  Yikes!

Though they send you to Tol Dagor, that whole scenario is no problem for the character. Still!

Here I’ve been, leveling characters and I’m always so happy to get them to level 110 and hear that great Boralus music.  It’s a proud moment for them.

It feels quite a bit different to be swept there without all of the adventures that Azeroth has to offer, boom you’re just there, and getting the tour of Boralus with Talia.  Everyone in Boralus (players) seemed to be either level 11 or 50.   I’ll explore more later.

I’m sure there’s more that happens soon for the character, but I’m anxious to get back to my level 51 Druid in Bastion.

I did out of curiosity copy a level 75 Warlock to the beta.  Boom, level 28, off to Boralus!    She did seem to get a quest option that would take her to Pandaria, but it kind of messed with the whole follow Jaina and go to Boralus shuffle.

Very interesting.



Into The Shadowlands

I spent some time last night and this evening playing in the beta.  My method anytime I’m testing is to have my handy notebook and I write down all the changes I notice, the quests (last time I even wrote out all the quest texts), any problems I see.

This time I have my laptop serving for note taking.  I’m reading all the quests but am only noting the title, the quest giver and the objective.  Many times I’ve got a pile of quests and can’t recall who gave me what.  This fixes that.

Starting out, I created a Night Elf Druid with the pre-made level 50 character.  I just wanted to re-create Atherne and get going.  There are a ton of new hairstyles, and that’s just the Night Elf.  I kind of got lost.  You have some necklace choices and some viny stuff for your hair.  New hair colors!  Black, a lavender, and one that is almost blond.

Not to be too fiendish, but here’s one called Looped. They actually have named all the hairstyles, even the existing ones.   Yellow eyes!


For once, I remembered to write down my toolbar skills layout, so I could just copy it to the beta character.  However, it initially appeared that most of my skills were gone.  It turns out, they have split up the spellbook so there are overall Druid skills on one tab, and the Feral Druid skills I thought were missing were on a separate tab.


Then, I cleverly forgot to do my my talents.  I was already in the Maw, but luckily they’d provided Tomes of the Quiet Mind so I could fix it all.

So this level 50 isn’t my own character, she’s got good item level 75 gear.  Still.  My answers to some of my questions so far:


Well, how horrible is The Squish? Why isn’t anyone whining about this?    It doesn’t feel like you’re squished.  It isn’t any different of an experience than a new expansion ever is, you just gear up as you go along, pick your fights carefully.


Is this expansion depressing?   So far I will say no.  The Maw was only depressing as far as the psychological welfare of some of the characters you meet.   Despite place names like The Crucible of the Damned, and little ghostly gnomes and drenai stuck in the floor, the game has had many dark areas where it’s all gloom and doom.  There are also areas of the afterlife where everyone is all cheery and philosophical about souls passing through.

What are my initial impressions?   I’m finding the story so far to be interesting.   I would use the word immersive.  It’s telling a story World of Warcraft hasn’t told before, which is something.  Of course dread, icky Sylvanas lurks somewhere, but we knew that.  As long as she doesn’t get much prominence and meets a grisly end, I’ll be ok.

I think the changes to appearances are pretty great.  I should make a human though and see if they still look like Olive Oyl with a squished face.   Agh, and did they fix the gnomes?  I’ll have to check.

Will I wish I’d spent more time gearing everyone up?   I’d have to do a character transfer to see if my girls get flattened.   It always works out.  I’m not worried.

They’ve Opened The Floodgates!


This is what happens when you keep checking your launcher.   Can’t play till later, but I have questions, and am very excited, as always, to see what’s next.


Here are my questions:

Well, how horrible is The Squish?  Why isn’t anyone whining about this?

Is this expansion depressing?

What are my initial impressions?

Will I wish I’d spent more time gearing everyone up?

Will I wish I’d kept working on Horrific Visions and Corruption?

Or can I just start wherever I am and work my way to better gear within the expansion itself?

I plan to send four characters to do four different Covenants.  What are they like?  Do they add anything interesting to the game?   Is there some strategy to picking a particular Covenant for a particular class?

Are they killing off any NPC characters I care about?

The leveling experience.

Just how accelerated is this?

Can you still play through the quest lines of previous expansions if you want to, or are they so altered they may as well have been removed?


And Then There Was One

Shaman to 120, check.


Last, but as it turns out not the least at all, my Windwalker Monk.  Boosted to 100 a couple of years ago.  Only had played her to the mid-30’s.  Definitely no feel for the class.  Today she takes over the run.  She reminds me a bit of Demon Hunter/Warrior/DK.

I looked at Icy Veins for a rotation, and as soon as I did that, she was wiping the floor with foes.   Again, a class I shouldn’t have let molder.

She’s got Herbalism and Alchemy, and can craft her own potions as she goes.

I felt good enough about her skills that I queued for a Legion dungeon.   Halls of Valor.  It went great.  She’s on her way!