Today is my last workday in this year – after that I am off for my long anticipated and well deserved 10-days New Year holiday time. As usual, me and my wife are spending it at home with cats, movies, gaming (in my case) and short quests for food to the nearest supermarket :)
I’m not a huge fan of writing posts from home, so we’ll meet again after the first decade of January. Meanwhile it’s nice to revise the passing year.
The first half of the year was devoted to cleaning up the remnants of Legion’s final invasion. I’ve been collecting transmogs from Antorus, completing multiple achievements (Field Medic and anglers reputations being the most remarkable).
I was collecting paragon mounts, and this expansion-long project finally paid off. It was July when I finally got the last one. This endeavor left me with exhaustion and a definite hate towards paragon farming.
I’ve been leveling all the new allied races which was done mostly for achievements. I like leveling alts, so that was not a chore, but a fun trip. Sure enough, as they doubled the existing classes, they did not live very long. My highmountain druid even made it to Legion, replacing the main druid, until I decided that it’s not the class I enjoy.
In general, Legion left me stretched thin. Like a lump of butter being spread over a too big slice of bread. The necessary grind of 12 classes – 12 toons not to miss a tiniest piece of story, or a mount, or a transmog set. The grind of paragon reps – on all toons to make it most effective. The bleak landscapes of the Broken Isles and most depressing Argus and Broken Shore terrains. Long story short, I have anticipated the new expansion a lot.
And it has come.
Battle for Azeroth
I am not exactly unique in feeling broken after the introduction questlines for this expansion. Many expansions started with a disaster: Deathwing shattering the most appreciated locations (serene Loch Modan!), Garrosh genociding out Theramore, my most loved city in all of WoW, Gul’dan and demons killing the adored leaders of both factions. For some reason, nothing felt as bad and disgusting as Teldrassil destruction. Mind you, Garrosh’s genocide was far, far worse – there were no survivors, and they didn’t have a chance like Teldrassil did – at least some were saved from the tree.
I do believe it has everything to do with the Horde’s leader – Sylvanas cares not the very least about honor, the thing that makes the Horde proud. What is worse, she doesn’t care about the Horde itself. The only thing she’s excited about is her Undead. The only motive for this war is wiping out the Stormwind humans and raising them as the new Undead – enhancing the only race she cares about. Orcs, tauren, trolls, goblins serve merely as means to achieve that. No wonder both Alliance and Horde stepped into the new expansion with a heavy heart.
As I wrote before, I certainly see the beginning of this expansion’s plot as dark times in Azeroth history. The war is by all means unnecessary and both factions are even not ready for it. Yet I never said that this is bad writing. In real history the kings and queens made even worse decisions, over most ridiculous reasons. And I don’t even start with the secrets we are to unveil further into expansion: the Old Gods’ influence on the minds of Azeroth leaders. Vol’jin story is a shout-out for the big dark secret unveiled, and I’m eager to find it out.
The only thing I hope for is that Blizzard would be able not to crumple the further story WoD-like according to player base dissatisfaction and deliver good and logical telling. I think we will have at least two new sandboxes – Nazjatar and N’Zoth empire, and I hope they will be delivered logically and without scratching out the linking chains and content in a rush to transfer to the next expansion.
The major drawback of the current game is of course the failed combo of azerite / azerite armor / island expeditions. As I’ve wrote before, not every idea could work, and this didn’t.
Apart from that, I’m happy with Battle for Azeroth. World quest, incursions, warfronts are something I like to do, and they keep me busy and motivated to login. Transmogs are cut down to 4 options according to armor class, and this is definitely a relief after Legion. Mission table is santa’s little helper rather than a chore. There is a shower of gear, and now you really can define the ways you want your character to grow in power – in fact, choose your gameplay style. Scrapper is an interesting addition, and I’d say it works.
Blizzard delivered a solid story writing within the zones of Zandalar and Kul Tiras, and presented us the long-anticipated nations in full. The zones are an eye candy, they are definitely worth living in – unlike the bleak Broken Isles. These are the lands I would gladly return to with pleasure in the future expasions. Despite driving the Horde and the Alliance apart to different continents, they did a great job of providing travel means – this is convenient, and you never feel like walking on a mine field while at the enemy’s continent.
All in all, I had my hands full in the first 6 months. I’m looking forward to the new stories, new activities (starting with the coming raid). By now my major toon roster’s goals are almost complete:
By Dazar’Alor siege I will be done with all reputations and hopefully Uldir tmogs too.
I am somehow relieved to have less goals, less pressure than we had in Legion. The whole expansion state now calls for a smaller and quicker sessions – and it’s cool just to login daily for a smaller time to have fun, not feeling like you’re doing a job and lacking time to do it. I don’t know about you, but for me this relaxed style of playing is much appreciated.
I am looking forward to 2019 in Azeroth.
I’m happy to say that my stats are booming again :) I need to thank you all for reading, liking, commenting and all in all being the great community which is a pleasure to be a part of. The sky’s our limit!
See you all in 2019 – and have a Happy New Year!