I’ve got to list my predictions that turned out exactly as planned. Just for self-importance sakes :) Previously I’ve been 90% right with prediction of expansion’s lore, now this is the Patch 8.2. release date.
Not a moment too soon, not a moment too late – we’ll see the Rise of Azshara in less than a week.
The trailer has left me with mixed feelings. They are more personal than objective, so here are my concerns.
Lorewise, it’s three things.
I’m glad that we will see Lady Ashvane – she’s one of the best WoW villains in the recent history. It’s obvious what Ashvane wants for herself: power, so she acts in the vein, and her pact with Azshara is more than logical. But I hope there would be an explanation what hopes did Sylvanas put in her, because so far it’s very unclear (another Sylvanas’ “great” plans?). I’m not happy with the boss model design – if anything, Ashvane should have been a complete and utter cosplay of The Little Mermaid’s Ursula, keeping her great persona (and tiddies) and adding up some octopus tentacles in the bottom area.
Going back to Sylvanas, I’m very happy that Nathanos will vanish in the haze after we land in Nazjatar and will not boss us around anymore. Lor’themar and Thalyssra are much more enjoyable allies to look up to. Also I crave for a revolution, and this will be delivered in the sequel of War Campaign.
The third lore thing is Azshara herself. I hope we will get enough feedbacks during the Nazjatar storylines. We need to see her in the court before transformation – a lot. The pre-Shattering persona doesn’t sit well with me. On one hand, she was clearly lovable by all of her population, not only her court, and cinematic shows her to use all her arcane magic powers to try and save the common people. On the other hand, she was absolutely ok with making deals first with Sargeras, then with N’Zoth – and she was still trying to summon the fallen titan despite that demons laid waste to her subjects and her territory. How’s that possible?
Either way, we’ll get an excellent current villain. Her desire to play with us, like a cat plays with mice, is quite intriguing. And her mesmerizing voice acting is giving me shivers, especially in the trailer’s ending :)
Bonus points for using the Tidestone: the heroes and Khadgar were stupid enough to completely forget about it! It was barely a small raiding naga party that we fought with. We should have kept it in mind, that they will send others to get it by all means.
Our new allies are both interesting and not. Mechagnomes will charm from the very beginning – it’s their thing. In Nazjatar, I’m interested in the Horde side – gilbins, makrura, murclocs, sea giants will be extremely fun to deal with. On the Alliance side though we get another version of jinyu, and I hated them throughout Pandaria. There’s nothing attractive, fun or awesome about them, so I’ll just have to live through it.
The new terrains are a bit sad. With all the Mechagon’s wonders, it still looks like a rusty trashpile for now, so here go us, hobos :) Nazjatar just got out of the water, and if you’ve ever drained a fish tank, you’ll recall how stupid and damp all the underwater beauty looks in the fresh air. I’ll be extremely glad to be mistaken, but so far the trailer visuals look bleak and uninspiring. So far I can basically hear the slosh-slosh sounds, and feel breathing either clouds of metallic rust and dust, or damp rotten seaweed. There’s still hope for music though – I’ve written a piece about its soundtrack which I praised, so maybe the whole effect will be fine.
However the terrains will be, they will bring me what I like most after lore: exploration! And not only the new zones, but also flying in the older ones. Gone will be the days of falling into Zuldazar ravines, struggling with endless streams, rivers and water stretches, navigating through millions of blood trolls and sethraki. And stags. Gods, I hate stags in this expansion. And an option to sit on the peaks between Stormsong Valley and Tiragarde – it’s the first place where I’m gonna fly :)
The new dungeon Mechagon is currently a sad thing to me – I’m stepping in it not earlier that it arrives on group finder later into the expansion (and split into wings, I presume). I’m not doing its mythic version.
I didn’t muse about or spoil the new artifact system to myself, we’ll see what it will look like. Azerite armor wasn’t that bad in my opinion, if there’s anything which will improve the experience, I’ll greet that.
All in all the patch looks like it’s not just Christmas presents – it’s like Santa just turned over his sack and poured all the contents on the floor in front of us. It’s gonna be the days of unwrapping the new stuff, and the key goal is not to try to play with everything at once. Content overdose is a thing, so one thing at a time.
I’m not in a rush for the gear power ups, because we all have 380+, and I can queue into Raid Finder as soon as it becomes available with any toon. So the first weeks will be limited to 2-3 toons: Micromantica, as my eternal flagship, doing Nazjatar story and reputations Alliance side, Schlitzchen (probably) doing Nazjatar story Horde side, then dailies and all. I think some other toon will explore Mechagon and dig its reputation – most probably Pins the Rogue for easier navigation in the unknown terrain to learn the paths and whereabouts. Once they’re set on daily routines and get the grip of how things are done, the other toons will crawl in after.
My motto for 8.2.: slowly and with pleasure. There’s so much to learn and check out that it feels like a smorgasbord. There’s nothing that I rush to finish before patch – I even go for this weekend to my beloved Finland to have some laptopless, gameless summer fun with my wife and friends. Let the patch come and surprise us (in a good way). Until next week!