I’ve slipped a bit on keeping up with Shadowlands, though that is less to do with the expansion and more to do with my ability to juggle multiple games. I can generally focus on two MMOs… and only if one of them is EVE Online, which is different enough from everything else to not overlap. So if I get hooked up with something in WoW Classic… which I have been… then I am generally playing that and not retail WoW or some other fantasy MMORPG.
Anyway, I left off last time having finished up in Ravendreth, at which point you get sent back to Oribos to make the big decision.
As I noted previously, the whole level 50 to 60 experience and tour through the four zones is just an elaborate intro to the expansion. I know for many the end game is the game, but this looks like Blizzard’s attempt to make the end game the game for everybody.
And I am not necessarily against that. I have done a lot of the world quest and story line quests and other events after hitting level cap since Wrath of the Lich King. We’ll have to see how people deal with the idea that you can hit level cap so quickly and then spend the next two years doing events and alternate progress.
So there I was in Oribos to pick my covenant. There are representatives from all four hanging out there by Bolvar Fordragon and you have to talk to each one to update the quest that ends with you picking one. Given my reactions to the various zones, Maldraxxus, the Necrolords, or Ravendreth, the Venthyr, seemed the best options. In the end the Venthyr abilities won me other, and I made the choice.
Once you click the button you are semi-committed. I hear it is a bit of a pain to change covenants, but I haven’t felt the need to track that down.
Oh, and an achievement. Always an achievement.
And then it is off to your chosen covenant to dig deeper into their tale. There are more story lines to run down, world quests to do, and currencies to acquire, with which you can unlock various things.
And, eventually, you get back into the Maw and back on the trail of Anduin, Jaina, Thrall, and Baine, the four leaders who helped get you out of the Maw in the first place, after which you spent ten levels getting introduced to people while they suffered.
In fact, the commute to the Maw becomes a pretty regular routine, such that the awe and amazement that NPCs first displayed when you showed up seems somewhat misplaced. You’re jumping down the portal to the Maw as part of your daily commute because there is always something to do there.
That doesn’t necessarily make me happy. The Maw is one of those zones where it is really easy to get in over your head or have an unfortunate respawn. I die a lot in the Maw, which seems odd in the land of the dead, but you roll with it. It is inconvenient and usual, and my repair bill is huge… or it seems huge. It would bankrupt me in WoW Classic. But somehow my gold balance keeps slowly rising due to the rewards. I had some gray vendor trash that would have paid for an epic mount in vanilla.
But the Maw is the path to Torghast, which is the center of things. I do a bit better in there than out in the Maw solo. My ret pally has just enough oomph to deal with most things, if I choose the right zone boosts.
I’ve been in and rescued Blaine Bloodhoof so far, though he seemed surly afterwards. He probably knows how much time I spent dawdling before I got to him.
I haven’t gotten much further past there, though I have run down a couple more stories in Ravendreth.
But I don’t feel in that much of a hurry to carry on. If we’re going to be doing end game for two years, then there isn’t any reason to get burned out on it a month in.
And then there are alts. With the easy run to level 60… and, honestly, the run from 1 to 60 is pretty manageable compared to the pre-squish days… this seems like an expansion where people can get a lot of max level alts going. I pushed my hunter, always first among my alts, into the expansion, but haven’t decided which path to take with him. Once you have one character at level cap you get a choice. You can go the full tour route, or you can commit to a covenant straight up and run with that.
I haven’t decided for my hunter yet. You can go on with the tour path as long as you want, but the moment you choose a covenant you give up the tour and cannot return to that path. I am not sure which covenant would suit him, or even if I want to jump straight into end game world quests and what not right away.
As for the rest of the group, Skonk went with Kyrian and Bastion, that seeming compatible with a priest, and Ula went with The Night Fae in Ardenweald so she could spend more time with her pal Moonberry. Ula has pushed ahead and already has a mount even.
My pally will keep swinging away in Ravendreth.
And I’ll just have to see where it ends up taking me.