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.


I am having to level my Frost Mage to level 50 because she is the tailor and we need netherweave bags without buying them big time.  I need level 50 to advance and she is almost 46.  Since the big patch she is so underpowered I’ve had people whispering to me in dungeons asking if the class has been nerfed 😦    She might as well trade in her Cone of Cold for a Cone of Shame.   If you look at guides for the class trying to develop a good strategy and rotation they are as always all for level 85 and talk about skills I don’t have.  Not so useful.  I have been just alternating between Frostfire Bolt and Frost Bolt because they do the most damage, tossing in Ice Lance now and then to finish things off.

I was so desperate, I tried out the Arcane Specialization (again I haven’t any of the skills the guides recommend) and tested various rotations on the little pony-dog creatures in the Eastern Plaguelands.  Dead dead dead, no matter the rotation.  It might be that my character from another realm just isn’t properly equipped as part of the problem, but eek.  I switched her to Frost and much better survival.  Argh I say.

My right hand man has been unable to play at all since the patch because of terribly distorted graphics.  We have tried every posted solution.  Put in two tickets.  First ticket just went away, no response.  Waiting on the second one.

I dislike the new loot drop system where you pick up anything in a area all at once. I see what it is trying to do but frequently because of some sort of landscape or clipping type issues you can pick nothing up.

I’m feeling like I don’t like any of the classes since the patch.  I dislike the Talent and Specialization changes.

Pandaria is next week and I’m not looking forward to it because who knows what additional problems that will bring?  This is the first time I have thought the game is buggy as anything for many reasons.  So much for “Polish”.

Feral Cat

I’ve liked Druid best for some time now and in my Blackwater Raiders set of characters I’ve played Feral Cat.  I’ve decided to push that character forward so I can try the scenarios which are not avalable till level 85.  It will take a fair bit since I’m just short of level 64.  My Earthen Ring 73 Druid may be a better bet except that I stopped playing those characters when I realized I really didn’t know how to play any class well and I decided to create a new set from the ground up and learn from scratch.  As I have caught up in levels with my Earthen Ring counterparts I have fixed what I could on them stats and armor wise then sent them into the dungeons to try out their skills.  My Earthen Ring character has armor that emphasizes the wrong stats and I have to move my leatherworker forward there in order to outfit her properly.  Sigh.

In any case, this is the order of my Feral Cat toolbar:

Wild Charge

Tiger’s Fury




Ferocious Bite




Beserk (Use when available)

Savage Roar (Use when available)

King of the Jungle and Survival Instincts are on the second bar and have not been used by me yet. (Except I accidentally hit King of the Jungle and couldn’t figure out why my cat was suddenly wearing a dress and headpiece).

I played through several dungeons last night successfully so I think the rotation is good.

At one point the tank poofed right away as tanks do, and they asked me to be a bear till a new one was found.  Well, you can change but you have like four moves and none are really useful to keep you going as a tank.  I thought my days of having people ask me to switch to bear were done but agh.  After that dungeon I decided to switch to Guardian as a secondary talent so I could at least do it if needed.  I could not choose it for love or money.  Once Feral Cat was chosen as a primary it would only let me choose Restoration as a secondary.  I tried to read up on this to see if I was doing something wrong but could see no mention anywhere.  I don’t know if my cat is bugged or what.  I paid several times to completely reset specializations to be sure but nooo.    What is the use of having four specializations if you can’t choose between all of them?


After consulting the usual sources I chose these Talents:

Wild Charge

Nature’s Swiftness



Have not selected Glyphs yet.  I know I am keeping Rebirth however because it is so useful in a group to bring someone back while in combat.

I despise the new travel form.  It seems slow and ungainly and hops like a huge bunny.