Choosing my Covenant in Shadowlands

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.

Choose your destiny – Bastion, Ravendreth, Maldraxxus, or Ardenweald

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.

As sure as I can be

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.

I have chosen

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.

I am not sure why I chose the command table, it ended up being exactly what I expected

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.

Jumping into the Maw yet again

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.

Blaine just sitting there in Oribos

I haven’t gotten much further past there, though I have run down a couple more stories in Ravendreth.

That achievement

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.

Choose your experience

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.

More places to explore

And I’ll just have to see where it ends up taking me.

5 thoughts on “Choosing my Covenant in Shadowlands

  1. Ula

    I’m focusing on Renown at the moment, which involves mostly world quests with just one trip to the Maw per week (to free souls). I guess that leaves most Maw and Torghast stuff to do later. It’s my understanding that they plan to release new content from time to time within the expansion, so it could amount to quite a bit of content. I’ve been very busy just playing my main, just doing Renown. I’m considering going back and bringing in my warlock Tabea or my death knight Toha at some point though.

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  2. Redbeard

    You must choose a side, correct? There isn’t a scenario where you invoke Neil Peart’s line from Freewill: “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”?

    I’m curious, because in the end which choice you make won’t matter to the story –only to which substory you see, and the buffs you get– if this follows the standard MMO process. I was kind of hoping that the choice you make would matter to the expac story, but I guess that’s not gonna be the case.

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Redbeard – You are on the full tour storlyine track by default, even if you dismiss that window. But you can go back at any time to the NPC way back in the Inn in Oribos and swap over to the Threads of Fate. I did some of the story in Bastion, then was back in Oribos and checked.

    But once you choose Threads of Fate there is no going back to the storyline track. Basically it is an option to skip ahead to choosing your covenant and bypassing the tour.

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  4. Ula

    @Redbeard @Wilhelm Is Redbeard asking whether you must choose a Covenant? You’re not forced to, but you wouldn’t be able to progress the storyline past the intro line at all, to my understanding. That is, the only questline I seem to have access to now is my Covenant quest storyline. You’d also not accrue Renown, which is sort of replacing what would traditionally be leveling in this expansion.

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  5. Ula

    @Ula Replying to myself, it occurred to me that I should clarify that the Night Fae mount I obtained was awarded immediately after I finished my Covenant “jumping in” quests. I’m not sure why this Covenant awards a mount so quickly, except to maybe keep you from quitting after all the abuse they put you through in the into.

    Also – regarding what would happen if you didn’t choose a covenant – you could probably still do some of the Maw/Torghast storyline, but even with those my Covenant gave me early quests to go there, so I’m not sure how that would work.

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