Pre-Patch Day 2: Exile’s Reach

Today’s morning I did some minor face adjustments to my toons (eye colour for three), and rolled a new alt for Exile’s Reach to experience the whole newcomer thing.

I’ve said it during PTR, and I’m saying it now: the new introduction was designed specifically for new players and teaches them how to play the game from scratch. From movement to questing to interacting with world objects and everything – basically everything you need, including a small dungeon experience. It was quite interesting even to me – the explanation of basics, I mean. I tried to perceive the experience as a new player, and I saw only two things where I might be confused: when you need to /wave, and a quest where harpies will come at you in waves. Yet lore is a bit on the downside.

The central ogre story seemed quite boring to me, it didn’t seem engaging or dangerous to care about. Everything else was fine: how they presented Alliance races, the whole Alliance thing, the NPC characters.
Stepping on the slippery tiles now, I felt most comfortable with the lead character – Alliance captain – being a black woman. Not that it wasn’t possible before – I said that Brother Pike from Stormsong should be played by Morgan Freeman if it were a movie – yet it’s the first time so prominent, and it felt so natural that I’m surprised. Mark you, I’m no racist at the very least, and me & my wife are the most tolerant people among our friends, it’s just high fantasy stereotypes are strictly putting ethnicities into separate – often hostile – factions, take Tolkien or Game of Thrones for example. I’m glad it doesn’t happen to WoW, and I’m glad my previous experience with high fantasy works didn’t mess here. The Alliance captain in discussion and her son didn’t feel alien in Stormwind colors – it felt like why didn’t we have these options before? So it’s a confident and firm ‘yay’ to Blizzard for bringing in variety to the game.

The next step will be trying to level up and see these things: how brutal will be Pandaria without a full range of abilities and without flying? How many zones I would be able to complete before 50? How long will it take? All in all, what levelling looks like in Shadowlands? As we have nothing else to do, this is my project for the pre-patch days before Scourge invasion.

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