WoW Allied Races, Alpha, and Taking a Break

As expected/predicted previously, I have hit something of a saturation point when it comes to World of Warcraft.  I am good for six months of sustained play generally, after which I tend to reach a plateau and start to look into playing something else for a while.

I usually have a set of goals when I start out.  This time around getting flying in the Broken Isles was a key item.  I managed to unlock that back in December.  As usual, a task that looked like it would take some time actually went faster than I thought it would.

First Flight in Legion

I also worked on pet battles some, growing my menagerie beyond 600 collected and finishing the Celestial Tournament finally.  I also leveled up quite a few pets to 25, so I now have quite an army to select from.  But pet battles do tend to lose their charm if all you’re doing is leveling.

When that was tapering off we had the Battle for Azeroth pre-order show up, which included the ability to unlock allied races.  I was already set for the Highmountain Tauren and it did not take me long to get the Nightborne unlocked as well.

Moose on moose action outside Orgrimmar

However, the Horde really isn’t my thing.  I just happened to have finally leveled up my Tauren druid to level 110 this time around, the first time I’ve bothered to get a Horde character to max level, which enabled all of this.  But I wasn’t sure I needed to level up another Horde character, especially not from level 20.

Meanwhile I was somewhat out in the cold on the Alliance allied races.  They required exalted status with the two Argus factions, Army of the Light and the Argussian Reach, and I wasn’t close on either.

That, however, gave me a new goal.  I hadn’t spent much time on Argus, where flying is not allowed.  So I dug into that and, this past weekend managed to get to exalted with Argussian Reach one day.

Also the 50 faction achievement

And then, having collected up a pile of faction tokens, went exalted with the Army of the Light the next day.

Another exalted faction

I waited for Darkmoon Faire to show up to use the boost to faction you get from riding the merry go round, but I didn’t really need it.  I had collected enough tokens to have gotten there without it.   But now I was set.

Allied Races unlocked

I went and ran through the missions to get the Lightforged Draenei and Void Elf options… the quest chains take about 20 minutes each, but that was about it.  I wasn’t keen to roll up new characters.  I have seven characters at level 110 already, and could get an eighth there pretty quickly, but I wasn’t feeling it.

One other goal I had was to get a character to try out the scaling leveling they put in with the 7.3.5 patch.  I did do a bit of that in Northrend with a Horde character, but did not get too far and never quite got around to doing a post about it.  Probably the biggest impact level scaling has had on me is that now all the mobs in Warlords of Draenor scale up to 100, which isn’t gray for level 110 characters, so for the Darkmoon Faire quest for 250 grisly trophies I can run around Draenor one-shotting mobs with impunity.

That helped me make some progress towards another minor goal, to get the Darkmoon Dirigible mount.  I’m still working a bit on that this week as Darkmoon Faire is up.  But I am not going to make it this month.

Meanwhile, my account renews at the end of the month so I think I am going to let it lapse.  I have other games I want to pay attention to at the moment and my zeal for Azeroth is in decline.  It is probably better that I take a break now and come back with fresh enthusiasm when the Battle for Azeroth pre-launch events start to kick in.

Of course, as soon as I decided that was probably the best course, Blizzard threw something my way, and invite to the Battle for Azeroth Alpha.

Come test our game!

Fortunately I long ago discovered my own problems with alpha and beta access.  Nothing diminishes my desire to play a game once it goes live than playing it before it goes live.  One of my pet theories is that the “it was better in beta” crowd that inevitably becomes vocal after launch is partially driven by the fact that at launch the game is no longer fresh and new to them.

That is certainly the case for me.  So playing in the Battle for Azeroth alpha now would only make me less likely to care about it when it did go live.  This is why I no longer do alpha or beta or even early access in some cases, though for some games early access is almost all you ever get. (e.g. Landmark)

So I’ll likely let WoW run down for now and come back to it when the time is ripe.

6 thoughts on “WoW Allied Races, Alpha, and Taking a Break

  1. Bhagpuss

    I think you’re quite right about beta feeling better than live because beta was new and live isn’t. It’s only one of the reasons, though. In the days of real betas, MMOs changed a lot before they launched. There were sometimes specific periods of beta that felt almost like a different game. EQ2 is one that I particularly remember. There was a point in mid-late beta when it was possible to solo in dungeons (albeit the low ones – I never got much past 20 in beta and I vaguely remember that there may even have been a level cap of 20 for the period I’m thinking of).

    A lot of people liked that, especially coming off of EverQuest and never having played WoW, which was also still in beta. When an update came along and changed it so that you could only solo the very beginning of dungeons it felt like a slap in the face. That was one time when I definitely felt beta was better than live – and indeed better than beta later.

    I may be misremembering all of that, of course. It was a long, long time ago and I didn’t have a blog back then to go look up the details. I’ve always remembered it that way though and one thing i am certain of is that *something* changed in beta and I didn’t like it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – I think there is also a general bias against change unless it directly and obviously benefits us. Even if the change makes things a bit better, if we’re already invested in the way things were any change sets us back. (And doubly so when viewed through memory. How many times will people clamor for the nightmare that was day one crafting in EQII? Didja love that in beta?) And beta, being full of changes, probably leads to a sense that there was a moment of greatness during beta, after which it all went down hill. Again, pet theory, but not one I’m pulling out of thin air. It semi-jibes with some of my own experiences before I decided to avoid beta as a general rule.

    Also, while there may have been level caps on betas, I wouldn’t under estimate the influence the early levels have on people. For me the first 5-20 levels sets the tone for the game. A bad experience can send me away while a good one can keep me banging away even if the levels after that do not deliver in the same way. But if they get changed up and you have to do them again, some of the magic might be lost.

    Basically, I think we fool ourselves a lot, but I am not sure if I am fooling myself with the evidence I have to hand, which is all in memory, something that fools me more than anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. wowstorylines

    I’m still plodding along with Legion and getting things done for the races and my flying – this expansion hasn’t been all that great for me due to RL health issues and I wasn’t able to play as much or as often as I would have liked. I’ll catch up, don’t worry. LOL, the corker was that I got the Alpha about two weeks ago and I’m still trying to dabble with that a bit as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jesse Low

    I think Legion has been a phenomenal expansion. I hadn’t played in 8 years and it brought me back. Every class feels special with the mounts, order halls, artifact weapon. BFA already feels like a let down. Which makes sense. Legion felt like a last hurrah to get back to the 10mil subscribed accounts thing. Thew threw everything in there so BFA can’t help but feel not as exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alunaria

    I feel the same way about Alpha. But then again, I will never run out of things to do in WoW, ever, so I’m far too busy to play live and Alpha at the same time, hah. What will you play instead of WoW, when that runs out, then? :)


  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Jesse Low – Legion is/was good. I like the zone design and enjoyed going through with my main and the first few alts. It doesn’t feel like there was a huge content gap like there has been in past expansions.

    @Alunaria – I have things on my list to do, I just get a bit worn out on WoW after about six months. Limited attention span or some such. I need to step away and do something else for a bit so it will feel fresh again when BfA is on the horizon. We have one guy in our guild who never takes a break. I think he has been playing straight through since we formed up back in 2006. He keeps the guild warm for us while the rest of us slack off between expansions.

    I’ve been tinkering with Shroud of the Avatar. I’ve been playing Rift Prime with some friends. And I planned at some point to play one of the old school MMORPGs I never played back in the day. We’ll see.


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