The Queue: Once again around the carousel
Friday, you have arrived again.
Do you think Shadowlands will have a 2-3 boss “mini raid” like Legion and BfA did? If so, who do you think we’ll fight?
I think it’s likely. It’s clear Blizzard likes the formula, and I think short raids give us a nice break from longer slogs and bring some variety to raiding.
As to who it will be… really, who knows. As Condiment pointed out in the comments, the Baron from the House of Rituals is a possibility. We could crush this uprising in a small raid. We could also have a short Forsworn raid where we wind up fighting Lysonia and Helya (yes, Helya again) or even a Sylvanas and/or Nathanos raid. Any of these might be put in a larger “Maw” raid — they’re all working with the Jailer, for sure — but they’re also all slightly separate factions with their own interests. You could break out any of them, all of them, or none of them.
It could even be someone we don’t know yet. Take Crucible of Storms: I’m still not sure exactly who Uu’nat was, but it’s a raid and they dropped loot, so whatever.
Why would anyone walk anywhere?
Because the Maw is a terrible place, and the best way Blizzard found to express this was by keeping you from riding your mount. Which has worked pretty well, really.
Do you think Forsaken could dance the waltz without falling apart?
They actively fight in combat situations, so they have to be able to take a hit without (literally) falling to pieces. Unless things have changed since last I checked, a waltz is a bit more gentle. Plus Forsaken can actually have skin covering their elbows and knees now! They’re sturdier than ever!
Qf4Q – When I ding 60, maybe this weekend, what should I do first?
Finish your Revendreth quests. You’ll probably hit 60 before you finish the zone, but you can’t join a Covenant and start their quest chain until you complete Revendreth.
Next, it’s time to pick your Covenant. You’ve played through all the zones now, so you should have an idea of which faction is most interesting and whose abilities were most fun. (And you can talk to each faction in Oribos to try out their abilities a little longer before choosing.)
Once you’ve picked, start your Covenant quests! The quest chain is locked to your renown level, which essentially time-gated it. However, since you’ll be behind the current renown cap (21), you’ll be able to earn renown from doing lots of activities — like Callings (essentially the new version of World Quest Emissaries).
At that point it’s on you to decide what’s fun. If you want to PVP, you can dive right in — and it’s a pretty good way to gear up, too. If you want to run dungeons or raids, you’ll need to put in some hard work gearing up, but your Covenant quest will give you lots of gear that you can upgrade (if you have enough anima). You can investigate the Maw and Torghast — and Bolvar will ask you to do both — but it’s my advice to avoid spending too much time there. When you get frustrated, get out and do something you enjoy more. You’ll have to do Torghast to earn the currency to craft Legendaries, and you’ll have to spend some time in the Maw to earn reputation to buy certain things as well as collect souls for your Covenant. But a lot of people don’t really enjoy the Maw, and game mechanics will force you to leave if you overstay your welcome. Give them a try but don’t feel like you have to run everything in these challenging areas every day. Dip your toes in and decide for yourself.
In BfA, we knew that Sylvanas had somehow obtained a massive power boost. After using these new powers to kill Saufang she then poofs off to who knows where. I remember long ago shaman had a totem that when dropped would cause nearby hostile forces to attack it instead of the shaman. That was how I saw the treatment of N’zoth. He was just a diversion, an afterthought left behind to keep us busy so Sylvanas could do what she wanted without our interfering. For that primary reason, I rate BfA in the bottom tier of all WoW expansions.
Q4TQ: The start of a new year is traditional time to reflect on the past. How do you rank BfA overall?
I would rank BFA in maybe third or fourth place, but certainly in the top half. I would agree that the direction Sylvanas has taken is odd (and we still don’t know what’s happening there), and perhaps there was a bit of handwavey “hey, look over here!” — but N’Zoth was a real thread and we knew we were building up to fighting him. It was a pretty natural progression from Azshara.
I have plenty of complaints about BFA. The Azerite grind was tedious. Corruption and Horrific Visions and Invasions were interesting for a while — and a huge, much-needed gameplay shakeup at the end of the expansion cycle — but they outstayed their welcome and grew to tedium. Island Invasions bored me from day 1. And I straight-up hate the insistence on this kind of horde vs. alliance story.
But overall I thought the storytelling was fantastic — you had an in-depth, unique story for both factions, filled with cinematics that often featured your character. There were lots of scenarios that gave you unique experiences that really focused on you, the player. You felt like you were doing big things and you were in the heart of the action. (Something Shadowlands lacks — there seem to be fewer cutscenes, and they’re more likely to focus on NPCs and only include you in the background. And scenarios where we play a special role seem to be few.) The world was huge and colorful and full of character, and you were at the very center of the story. BFA perhaps did that more than any other expansion — it was at least as good as Legion in that respect. And I really enjoyed raiding in BFA. Dazar’alor is absolutely one of my favorite raids in the game, and Eternal Palace is certainly up there as well.
So despite its flaws (and every expansion has flaws), I think it did a lot of things right and was overall a fun time.
P.s. also there was that cinematic of Anduin punching Wrathion. I think that has to push it up one rank by itself.
How do you like the Calling system so far? I feel like it’s very non punishing if you miss a day or five.
It’s nice that you aren’t pressured to log on and do Callings every day, but I don’t feel like they’re particularly different from World Quest Emissaries. There’s a bit more variety to them, giving you a little more flexibility in what you do, but they follow the same basic pattern “do X amount of work for Y faction, earn reputation.” One new quest appears every day, and they rotate around — perhaps a bit more randomly than Emissaries.
One thing I don’t really like is how, by connecting them to Covenants, you now have to pick up the quests at your Covenant and turn it in at your Covenant. It used to be you just went to the zone, did your World Quests without having to pick anything up, and then picked up a reward from your local faction emissary, all in the same zone. So it takes a little longer and you have to remember to pick up your Callings. It feels a bit more cumbersome than our previous system, but it still works the same and fills the same role. I have no serious like or dislike of the system.
Am I the only one who is paying zero attention to soulbinds? I set my first up, and see no reason to change it.
I am paying something around 1% attention to my soulbinds. As I’ve leveled, I’ve given a couple of glances at the best builds and ideal conduits. I’ve switched a conduit once, after I decided I liked a different one better. And most of the guides say I should switch to a different soulbind at a higher level (Kleia will give me a crit boost, but not until I hit renown 34), so I’ll look into that when I get there.
But all in all… it’s pretty “set it and forget it.” Until you get relatively high renown their aren’t a huge number of choices to make, and the effects aren’t ground shaking. It feels a lot like Azerite Traits, but instead of being attached to gear and we have to set it up whenever we get a new drop, it’s attached to a Soulbind. I think that’s an improvement, but it’s not a hugely exciting system, either.
And that’s all for today, friends. I wish you a pleasant and peaceful weekend. Stay safe, pet your dogs, tell your loved ones you love them, and I’ll see you back here next week. ❤️
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