Tuesday, December 27, 2022

2022 Year In Review

A year-in-review post is something that I used to do pretty regularly on this blog, but it seems to be a habit that I've gotten out of over the last few years, so this is an excellent time to bring it back.  Looking back, my previous year-in-review post was in 2019 and was entirely about World of Warcraft.  It is notable how much things have changed since then, as I have a lot more games to write about for 2022, although, after a break, Warcraft will still play largely in the story.

I started 2022 primarily working on FFXIV's new expansion, Endwalker.  Over the year, I managed to get all the DOH/DOL jobs to 90, except Fishing, and managed to get 11 combat jobs to level 90, with all the others to at least 50.  I've stayed current on the raiding content and look forward to the next major patch coming out in mid-January.  I've still been playing Summoner as my main class, so I am fully geared on that particular job but not others.

Once I got most of my jobs leveled in Endwalker, I switched to focusing more heavily on Guild Wars 2.  While I had played that quite a bit before Endwalker launched in 2021, I still hadn't gotten fully caught up on all the expansions and living story content.  Plus, a new expansion launched in the Spring of 2022 called End of Dragons.  I spent a lot of time getting current on the content and working through the new expansion.

In June of 2022, I returned to World of Warcraft after a break of almost 18 months.  I got caught up on the current content on Joar, working through Korthia and Zereth Mortis and working through all the raid content I'd missed.  I also leveled a few more characters to max, but not nearly as many as I'd entered Shadowlands with, totaling 42.  Before my break, I only had 3 characters at max level, and I managed to get 5 more done before Dragonflight launched.  

Most of the summer and fall basically involved splitting time between World of Warcraft and FFXIV with a little bit of time in ESO thrown in for good measure (enough to finish up another faction for Caldwell's Silver and make sure that I was also staying current on content there).

Since the launch of Dragonflight, I've been almost exclusively focused there.  So far, only Joar is at max level, although I'll probably hit max on my hunter very soon, as they're currently sitting at level 69.  After the hunter, I think the paladin will be up next.  

Joar has done the first wing of LFR once and is working through building renown with the various factions, although not at any particular fast pace.  I'm doing the main things at a somewhat leisurely pace each week.  

Looking forward to 2023, I expect the first few weeks to be focused mainly on Warcraft, with a detour in January to run through the new patch for FFXIV.  The main plan in Warcraft, assuming I hit 70 on the hunter before year-end, is to level at least the death knight, paladin, druid, shaman, and demon hunter to 70, and we'll see where we go from there.

In FFXIV, I'll continue to work on other combat jobs.  I'm currently leveling both Warrior and Ninja simultaneously, and both are sitting in the early 60s.  

So that's the year-end update!   See you in 2023!



Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Initial Impressions of Dragonflight

My playtime has been limited because of some real-world travel and other obligations.  I hit max level on my main undead warlock Joar, but I haven't attempted to level any other alts.

I've done most of the available things once you hit max level as well.  

I stuck to the main story quest for leveling and did a few dungeons.  This left me a little more than one level short of max when I finished, but that was quickly completed by doing some world quests and queueing for a couple more dungeons.  A lot more dungeons unlock when you complete the main story quest, regardless of whether you are at max level, so that also helped.

Overall, Dragonflight's leveling experience was much more cohesive and well-put-together than it has been for the last few expansions.  The zones all fit together well and don't seem like they're entirely separate stories in land areas that just happen to be near each other.  There seem to be fewer bonus objective areas in each zone than usual, and I missed those.

I also did manage to run every single one of my alts with a profession through the early part of Waking Shores to get the Dragonflight professions, which then let me go through and do the Darkmoon Faire profession quests on all of them for the skill-ups, knowledge and artisan's mettle.  I figure that'll be helpful later on once I start leveling those guys.

My initial impression at end game is there is a ton to do!  I started working on my professions and have gotten tailoring and enchanting up to around 35.  I haven't done much with either cooking or fishing at this point.

There are fewer world quests available this time, and there's also no main faction objective each day like there was from the Covenants in Shadowlands.  I've been knocking out the world quests for reputation and running some regular dungeons.  The excellent news is that the way they've structured things at end-game, the to-do list really ends up on more of a weekly cycle rather than a daily cycle, which gives you a lot more flexibility so you don't feel like you're falling behind just because you couldn't log on for a particular day.  At least for me, that is an excellent quality of life improvement.

This is my current list of the weekly cycle for max-level characters.  Please note that this list is intended for a casual player, not someone pushing high mythic+ keystones or high-end raiding.

  • Grab the various weekly quests in Valdrakken each Tuesday upon reset - Aiding the Accord, Profession Quests, Dungeon or World Quest weeklies, etc.
  • Run the Great Hunt at least once
  • Run Siege of Dragonbane Keep at least once
  • Participate in the Community Feast once
  • World Boss
  • Wrathion or Sabellian and Obsidian rep
  • Cobalt Assembly (there seems to regularly be a world quest up related to some aspect of this)
  • Trial of Elements and Trial of Flood
  • Super Rare Circuit

I'll talk more about each of these in a later post.  The timers on a few of these can be a little challenging to figure out, and I haven't found a great solution for that yet.  Also, a few of these are more about gearing up initially and can probably be stopped once you're fully outfitted in current gear.

I have yet to do the Great Hunt or the Community Feast stuff, but they're both on my list for this week.

Regular Gaming Update

Right now, I've been playing many different games, but I'm not really focused enough on any of them to have much to report. In terms...