By a good Blizzard tradition, servers were up way before scheduled maintenance – it was supposed to end by 1 p.m., but I was able to login at 8 a.m. with absolutely no worries.
The patch brings us multiple little things. I’m sure I will need to visit Magni, quartemasters and profession trainers, but these household chores would be put for laters. I’m excited to see this new stuff though.
What have I seen so far?
Reputations are beyond Exalted, so we can farm them for extra toys and pets. At some point I just got sick and tired of toys – they are just too many, and I barely use them if at all. Not much of a pet battle thing too, but acquiring pets is kinda: why not.
For what it’s worth, Legion absolutely killed my desire to grind reps beyond Exalted. So I’m not farming them on purpose – my tries for pets and toys will only happen in case if they come naturally.
The next activity was Tyrande Ascension storyline. Long story short, she comes to Wrynn and wants Darkshore back asap. Anduin says that they lead the war on two fronts already, they don’t have resources. He says that they will retake her home before the war is over, but she says fuck it, I’m doing this myself. Now.
…which proves once again that night elves have a stupid bitch in command. I mean, what the fuck, you know the situation. You are participating in the high strategy council. The Alliance leaders tell you that they are ALREADY stretched very-very thin, and what do you do? You withdraw the night elven elite forces from the war effort, worgens follow, and the Alliance also has to spare the most precious elite champions (us) for the cause.
And what this is all about? A thin stretch of a Cataclysm-ruined terrain at the edge of the world, pressed across the impassable mountains. With a nostalgic value, but nothing apart from that. There’s your true leader thinking.
Who even left her in command after all the massive mistakes we were observing from Legion? And why does Malfurion not talk some sense into her? Really, these ‘decisions’ – well, should I better call them ‘child tantrums’ – are NOT fitting a leader in the very least.
Anyways, as you follow the rogue leader, swearing under your breath, the effort itself is quite cool. The ascension itself was more funny than epic, but by all means Tyrande has dinged several levels towards badass (too bad they don’t give out brains along the ritual too).
I’m surprised to suddenly like Maiev in this scenario. I’ve hated her ever since she was the hero in Warcraft 3 – where you personally led the chase after Illidan, and throughout Legion. Now she’s still grumbling, but what do you know, one of the most sensible and likeable persons in the whole theatre of madness.
The following scenario offers a piece of revenge effort – with a moderately nice result in favor of the Alliance.
Then comes the Darkshore warfront where you can queue.
Overall impressions are mixed. There are not much changes from the game mechanics if at all: collect resources, build the base, grab checkpoints, wait for the catapults to clear the defenses, and kill the final boss. I’d say it’s good rather than bad – we haven’t got to learn anything new, and the warfront was cleared in a breeze.
The bad thing is the scenery. Well, you know, it’s Darkshore. A patch of bleak and dark woodland. Unlike Arathi, there are no any serious constructions and/or valuable, well-mended resource sites. Just field camps and broken carts. Which proves my point: we’re doing it to ease the night elf tantrum, not for any strategic goals. And thus it feels totally anti-climactic.
Well, I need to say some good words about goblin constructions in the end of scenario. First you assault something at least remotely reminding an outpost. And in the end there is a massive, high-tech floating sea platform – an awesome example of goblin engineering. The mechas which play the role of defense towers are also very impressive, and it proves that goblins are providing one of the most valuable contributions for the Horde, and they definitely are not idle. This machinery is nothing like we’ve seen before. Well done!
As an Alliance player, you may find pleasure in killing the other side en masse. While Orc/Troll/Blood Elf vs Human/Dwarves/Gnomes in Arathi version is a fair battle, which feels like a decent challenge from both sides, Darkshore is about Worgen/Night Elves vs Undead/Goblins fighting for mutual brutal eradication. No mercy, no prisoners – just death coming on tips of blades, guns and claws.
This is an excellent way to execute your revenge for Teldrassil, or – on the Horde side – take pleasure in blighting the hell out of the woods (we were having this fun leading Arthas troops in Warcraft 3). Apart from that, from strategic point of view, the warfront is a meaningless bloodshed.
The reward for winning a warfront is 385, also the tmog sets are very beautiful – in fact, the only beautiful sets from group content in BfA so far. I’ve won a headpiece.
Speaking of rewards, emissary cache now offered her a 370 piece. Would I even have any gear upgrades in Dazar’Alor LFR with their 370? At least I go there for transmogs.
The next part is war campaign. Apparently the Horde’s story comes first, because the Alliance is briefed about a succesful Horde attack at Norwington Estate. Now they are aiming at Anglepoint, an access to the heart of Kul Tiras via western seagate, and that is where the hero, Taelia and Jaina head for repelling the first assault while the Kul Tiran military is assembling the strike force.
Even on your way you see Jaina in action, as her water elementals drive the boat to the assault point, and I’m thrilled to fight alongside her.
What happens next? We’ll learn today in the evening.
There are also faction assaults which I’m eager to participate in, and the Horde side of the patch – seeing Darkshore world quests and bosses, and of course war campaign.
The patch so far surprisingly doesn’t seem scarce in content – we shall see how it works.
Lorewise, the war is entering the active stage, and I’m pleased to continue the plot from the prior checkpoint – wherever it leads us…