It always feels strange sitting back down at the keyboard to blog after an absence. This weekend was of course the Labor Day holiday weekend here in the United States, and our plans caused me to miss Saturday. Since I was taking a single day off, I decided to go ahead and take the entire weekend off to just chill out and enjoy the goodness that is Legion. When we last spoke I was sitting at level 105 and knee deep in Azsuna. Since then I have dinged 110, which for some reason took me starting the final leveling zone High Mountain to accomplish. Most of my friends hit the new level cap without touching that fourth leveling zone, but I am thinking some of it might be coming from harvest experience. Additionally I seemed to get all log jammed up in my Class Hall quests, because it seems the order in which they would love you to level for Warriors is Stormheim and then High Mountain. However I did Stormheim, Azsuna, Val’sharah, and finally High Mountain… and even then the Warrior quest was buried deep inside of the content so much so that I finally said screw it and went out trying to find the location only to wind up terrain hacking my way onto the appropriate path with Heroic Leap. Have I mentioned how bad I am at following the path? This is my downfall in many games… that I see that a path exists, but the first thing I want to do is go running off into the wilderness on either side of said path. As a result I miss so many quests because quest givers tend to be… on paths. Also as a result my first time through a zone takes me easily twice as long as literally any other player because I keep ending up backtracking trying to find that quest I missed. On the positive however this expansion seems to FINALLY reward folks getting way the hell off the path.
This screenshot… is the result of getting way the hell off of the path. This is quite possibly the most enjoyable quest I have done in a really long time… and I didn’t understand a damn word of it. That is right, you end up doing a quest for a Murloc… who only speaks Nerglish which I had to google to find out what the hell their language is called. The result is a bunch of quest objectives that are “0/1 ?????” that you have to sort of figure out on your own what the little guy is wanting you to do. This quest is something that none of my friends seemed to know about, and I only managed to find because I was completely off the path and wandering aimlessly along the coastline of Suramar. This expansion more than any to date seems to be the expansion that Blizzard finally learned a lot of lessons, or at least reflected those lessons in their design process. In the past there was always a problem of folks ONLY doing the boss that was required for a quest in a dungeon run, and then pugs often times dropped immediately after that kill. So there was a high likelihood that you would get randomed into an instance with the boss you needed already dead. Now anytime there is a collect X item or kill X boss from an instance quest, it also requires you to kill the final boss in order to get credit. Similarly they seem to have learned the lessons of what made Garrisons feel horrible, because the Class Order Hall while deeply related in design… feels nothing like the Garrison did in the daily requirement of logging in and doing wizard chores. To make this even better it was announced over the weekend at Pax West that there was a mobile companion app on the way that lets you handle the Class Hall bits without ever needing to play the character swap game.
Another thing that I spent a significant amount of time doing this week is exploring the various dungeons. Yup you guessed it that also means that I have once again shifted focus to tanking, and have for the most part put my two-handers away for the moment. Both protection and fury artifact weapons are at rank 13… which means any further progress is going to be completely silly as far as the artifact power cost goes. I am however largely focusing now on the sword and shield, and am even considering doing some pvp to unlock that specific appearance. The above screenshot is extremely special because Belghast and Finni were started at exactly the same time back in Vanilla. Both my friend and I really wanted to level a Warrior and a Priest, but had minimal luck getting traction in leveling them solo. So we made a leveling pact and we quested our way through the old world content as a Holy Priest and a Protection Warrior… and it was a blast. All of my bad tanking habits probably started here, because she enabled my horrible instincts. I would roll up into a Gnoll camp and pull the entire thing… knowing that she would keep me alive while I whittled them down slowly. Once I hit the level cap I started tanking the alt raid nights for the Late Night Raiders, and with the release of Burning Crusade I shifted focus to tanking as my primary gig. However due to motherly responsibilities, Finni just doesn’t get the amount of playtime that she used to so it is always awesome when we can run relevant content together. The way this expansion levels content so that it is perfectly viable for a 100, 105, and a 110 to be in the same instance is really nice. While other games have done this well for quite some time, I am happy to see Warcraft catching up here.