Friday, November 27, 2020

Initial Thoughts on Shadowlands

 I'm leveling pretty slowly at this point.  There are probably two dozen folks in my guild that have already hit 60, but I'm still plugging along at level 55 working my way through Maldraxxus.

Part of it is I haven't really invested an excess play time at all into leveling at this point.  This is a busy time of year for me IRL, so I'm just squeezing in time when I can.  It took me over a week to hit 60 in BfA and it doesn't look like this time is going to be much different.

Couple of learnings so far.  I started out by doing most of the side quests in Bastion and now that I'm farther along, it seems pretty clear that was completely unnecessary.  Particularly if you're queueing for dungeons as they unlock and getting the xp from them, I'm not sure the side quests are going to be needed at all.  The big unknown at this point is whether the achievements related to those side quests will be needed for unlocking flying.  With the achievement not currently in the game, there doesn't seem to be any way to tell.

The campaign part of the leveling process feels much more linear than almost anything that Blizzard has ever done before.  I personally don't mind that, particularly since you'll have the Threads of Fate leveling option available for later alts.  But if you were planning to level 40+ characters to 60 like I might, not being able to mix things up would very likely drive me nuts after a while.  The Threads of Fate option should almost completely mitigate that though.

My affliction warlock is feeling pretty strong.  No issues at all with completing anything at this point.  Also ran the Necrotic Wake dungeon, and that felt pretty decent as well, although none of the gear that dropped ended up being an upgrade, which is a little disappointing.

Professions also feel pretty good at this point.  I'm keeping them going while I quest and it's been nice that I actually have useable gear that's available as I'm leveling the professions as well.  It's been a LONG LONG time since that has been the case.

So far, I'm feeling pretty positive about Shadowlands, at least in terms of the initial leveling process.



Thursday, November 19, 2020

Ready for Launch

 It's been a long time since my last blog post.  I'm gearing up for the launch of Shadowlands next week.  Joar is all prepped and ready to go, along with my other 5 or 6 primary toons that I will level first.  Bags are empty, quest logs are cleared and we'll be all ready to hit it.  Like most recent expansions, I'm not in a big hurry this time, so won't necessarily be jumping in on launch day and rushing to get to 60.  

The order this time will be Joar (of course), then hunter, paladin, death knight, druid and demon hunter.  After that, we'll see.  But it will definitely be back to regular commentary in this space on World of Warcraft.

I'll provide some initial thoughts on Shadowlands next week once things get kicked off.  I've intentionally not spent any time in the beta this time hoping to delay my burnout a bit.  When I look back on my favorite expansions, I think they were Wrath, MoP and Legion

On the Final Fantasy XIV front, I'm finally caught up on the main scenario quest storyline content and my main jobs (Summoner and Scholar) are level 80.  I've started working on leveling my gathering and crafting jobs, working on each of them a little at a time in order to be able to leverage cross-job synergies.  I really like the way gathering and crafting works in FFXIV, particularly relative to Warcraft.  There's a story to it with the regular quests along the way and you really end up feeling like someone that is operating in the appropriate market.  It's really nicely done.

I've mostly been doing the daily Grand Company turn ins combined with the regular job quests and that seems to be more than enough to get me a couple of levels each day on each job, as well as helping me rank up with my Grand Company by generating plenty of seals each day.

I've also started to work on two more combat jobs - Lancer / Dragoon and Machinist.  I've been less interested in that, but working on it a little bit every day.  My Machinist is sitting around 37 and my Lancer is around 25.  

There will be a new series of MSQ quests that are due to release sometime in December, so I may take a brief pause from WoW to knock those out when they release.  I'm really looking forward to the continuation of the recent story line.

Necromancer Done. Only Warden Remains

 I managed to get the Necromancer to level 50, so now only the Warden remains.  He's currently sitting at level 39, so it's not too ...