I was out of the city for a few days, sitting on a lake, catching some fish and drinking some beer. September is the start of hockey, but I’ll be going dry for the month to lose the weight I put on during August. Should be a fairly straightforward affair. Getting back into the exercise routine will be fun with 3 games a week…
Back to Legion.
Monk hit 110
I finished Azsura, which as you may recall wasn’t too hot on my list. I then moved onto Val’sharah, with even more night elves, though a focus on Malfurion, Xavius, Cenarius and Ysera. The zone was a lot better lore-wise, up until the near-last battle. Spoiler, you end up killing Ysera to save the zone. Ysera, the ex-dragon aspect. As a solo quest. Remember Cataclysm where the last 3 raid fights where Deathwing? Even Malygos had his own raid. Anyhoot, finished the zone and ran the dungeon. Every boss there was “don’t stand in front”. Nearly every fight is an AE fest, but the bosses are all tank and spank. I was 109 when I left it behind.
Highmountain was the last zone and the FIRST thing you do in that zone is take an elevator. I’m not enamored with the Tauren lore, what with the saturation of tree-hugging elves just before it, but this zone does an OK job with it. Lots of earth elemental stuff. Oh, and drum collection, all around the main hub (reminded me a bit too much about the poop collection quests). I hit 110 and left the zone ASAP. Suramar was next and I only got far enough to unlock the main hub.
I’m not trying to move the Class Hall campaign forward, though it’s far from intuitive what needs to be done. I had to hand in 100 bandages for some reason…now I’m not quite sure what I need to do. And apparently, 110 is when the game really opens up. Soon enough I hope, once I figure it out.
Alt – Elemental Shaman
I have a rogue, hunter, druid, demon hunter, and shaman sitting at 100. The rogue is from day 1 of launch but was more or less replaced by my monk in MoP. The hunter is broken in group play due to Barrage. The DH is going to sit for a while, since it’s the same mobile playstyle as the monk. I’ve tried playing a druid for years and can never get into it – always feels like it’s a lesser version of other classes. That left the shaman to get going.
I met Thrall, and the class hall is in the middle of the world (the Cataclysm starting experience). I completed the elemental artifact quest, which was inordinately long. The lore was good (more MoP is a good thing), but the overall process focused a bit too much on self-healing to my tastes. My reward was a set of claws. An elemental shaman, one who shoots fire and lightning, gets a pair of claws. Hoping the alternate skin can be found quickly.
Experience so far
It’s a drastically better leveling experience than Warlords, as I’m not continuously needing to go back to my garrison. The quests themselves work. The art/sound is excellent. The zones may not be my cup of tea, but the scaling is a great thing to me. Combat mostly works, artifacts and power as well. Dungeon layouts are good.
There are rough spots, and spots that I think won’t be fixed for a while. Professions are wonky from 100-110, where they are mostly useless while leveling. And when you hit 110, then the stuff you make is useless at that level (for a fair chunk). Engineering is mostly broken. Boss abilities are inconsistent and either are tank and spanks, or very melee unfriendly (except Odyn, which is solid fun).
The good is outweighing the bad so far. Once I get my teeth into the word quests, a month or so in, then it will really be the meat of the game and a solid understanding of the longevity. I can say that moving away from farmville and grinding, making all content relevant, should be a good thing.
This part needs it’s own section. I play on Stormrage, one of the launch servers way back when. Day 2, the server started conking out and has continued to do so since then. It would appear that Blizz has reduced the server capacity (for queueing) since then, to help. So last night, 10pm EST, there was a queue of 4,000 people with a 1 hour wait. That was after a 15 minute break.
I get that server load is a problem every expansion. Stormrage though… is by far the worst (Voljin and Dalaran are close). It has a 99% Alliance population. Either free transfers off are required, OR character creation should be restricted to those who already have characters on the server, OR through invites. This would be similar to the linkshells in FF11. Anything to keep the random “new” players from playing on that server.