The Shadowlands Project

I’m ok with the delay of Shadowlands. I had gotten my Atherne copy character to level 58. She would have gotten to 60 but there were several quests which were the breadcrumb to the next area for her that were not working for one reason and another for a week and more.

Because I was only running one character, trying to be very focused, doing all the quests, writing bug reports and comments, I was stuck till there was a fix. My goal had been to try out the Covenants and see how it all worked.

Because of the very linear nature of your progress through the various Covenant lands, being stuck at those junctures so late in the testing was going to be a problem. I haven’t been reading the forums or Wowhead so as to preserve my own impression of how things work.

Now, there was a beta character wipe, and you have the option to go in and test out the level 60 characters, and how exactly the Covenant experience plays out. I don’t expect the delay for release to be long, so I didn’t want to start again with a copied character at 50.

Here’s what I think.

I’m not fond of any of the covenants, having played through all of their introductory areas except just a little of the Venthyr. Those areas and quest lines are quite lengthy, and I think they give you a good feel for each race and what you’re in for.

Each has it’s own philosophical bent.

The Kyrians are supposed to look and feel (?) either like angels or val’kyr. They’re anything but pleasant. The angelic looks just made me think, you can’t fool me after bingeing 15 seasons of Supernatural this year. They seemed to draw quite a bit from the Pandarian sha of anger model.

The Necrolords present as demi-gods who don’t think much of you as you’re puny and not worth their warlike time. Too much saber rattling.

I had high hopes for the Night Fae, thinking Ardenweald was some gorgeous forest area. It’s a forest alright. The fae are right out of Kelethin Forest in EQ2. Those high squeaky voices….I’m dying here. As a plus, there is The Wild Hunt with centaur like creatures who are very cool. They’re all very nature oriented and are trying to save the groves.

The Venthyr were the biggest surprise of all, with a Prince who is a super cartoony mustache twirling villain (I think he’s one, maybe I’m wrong.) This area is like a madness infested Gilneas/Shadowmoon Valley hybrid.

Next post, creating all new level 60 characters to see what life is like at 60.

Screenshot Saturday September 5, 2020

Just because I have some screenshots I like this month, here’s August in Wow in pictures.  A few non-spoilery Shadowlands pictures at the bottom.

 

Atherne and Jaina side by side in a Tides Of Vengeance quest.

 

Tides: Be the Water Elemental!

 

Tides: In the Treasury, with the Monster

Tides: Atherne Indiana Jones:

 

Atherne snacks in Boralus and ponders her next move.  I’m going to miss Boralus.

 

One of the most annoying sequences in the game: Flynn Lovesick and Lost as he stumbles drunkenly in circles.  It feels endless!  I finally figured out once I had the quest for the flies etc done here, I could fly low over his head while he stumbled around and I wouldn’t have to fight the creatures over and over.

 

I love my Panda Monk!  Cutest pirate in the game.

 

More Monk, traveling in the Tidesage watercraft:

I’m going to miss be rowed from here to there.

 

I was so happy getting the Pride of Kul Tiras questline completed.  It’s 25 quests long.   (Whine)  I thought I could make my Kul Tiran right after this.

 

Wow and it’s use of disguises!   My favorites are the wooden trees.   Nothing odd here, folks.

 

 

Into the Shadowlands we go.

 

Transmog does not seem to be working in the beta.  This is such an ugly outfit and I can’t make it go away.

 

 

I like the whole concept of the In Between.  Very science fictional.

 

 

Modeled after Captain Obvious?

 

 

Your flight is ready for departure.

 

 

I can’t tell you how much I love these guys.  I want a Halloween costume just like these.

 

 

Your friendly neighborhood grocer!

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!

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?