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The QueueNov 18, 2022 12:00 pm CT

The Queue just can’t get past character creation

I tried making a Dracthyr, but I just got stuck picking hairstyles and scale colors. This is the hardest endgame content World of Warcraft has ever added.

But before I get sucked into the character creator again, let’s go ahead and Queue.


Q4tQ: How has phase 2 of the prepatch been for you so far? How many characters are you going to have participate in the invasions or run the dungeon? Do you think a staggered release of the prepatch content worked well and should be repeated in the future, or are there changes you would like to make to it?

I wasn’t sure about it at first, but now that I’ve seen how it played out, I think the two phase launch was perfect. Getting the mechanical changes out first gave us time to get used to the new UI and figure out the new talent trees without the pressure of a new event to jump into or a new dungeon to grind.

Instead, the pre-patch spaced things out enough for the average player to have time to figure out the expansion’s sweeping changes before giving them new content to play. I think it was timed perfectly.

As to how many characters I’m going to put through the event, I’m not sure. I want to collect all the transmog, which may push me past the limit of my attention span. I figure I’ll get the Hunter I’ve been leveling, who can quickly tag everything, and level/murder/collect loot while watching TV.


If I got a full set of this pre patch gear, would Legion raids be soloable?

Legion raids are solvable with the most average of Shadowlands gear, so you probably don’t even need to gear up here — but having more gear never hurt anybody. As other members of the Queue commented, Mythic might still be a challenge, and perhaps even Heroic. I have heard that legacy raid difficulty seems to have gotten at least a little bum in the pre-patch, but Normal and LFR difficulties still shouldn’t be much effort to solo through.

(BFA raids are still tough, with heavy gear requirements, but Legion shouldn’t be a problem.)


Q4tQ: What’s your favorite way to learn a new class? I go read up on wowhead and icyveins, but it’s like drinking from a fire hose. I’m kind of slow on the uptake sometimes and just get overwhelmed. What I’d like is: basic rotation / builders & spenders if any. Then I want some basic explanation of what to use when, what spell is more powerful, what spell is more expensive, maybe what spell isn’t worth using. After I get used to that, I want more explanation of interactions, what to use on cooldown vs. what to save for a burn / heavy healing phase, how buffs or talents affect that. I’m sure I’ve left out a step or two here, sigh. Right now holy priest is frustrating me. It feels like there are a zillion aoe heals with no indication of which to use when. I did ask a holy priest friend but her explanations assumed too much I think. It was like when you look a word up in the dictionary and then have to go look up one of the words in the definition and then …

Icy Veins has an “easy mode” section for all of its guides — here his the easy mode page for Fury Warrior, which I’ve been leveling recently. The main thing this does is give you a talent build and a very basic rotation. If you’re leveling, Icy Veins also has leveling guides for most classes, which include rotations specific to your level and suggestions on which order to get talents in. Both of these are good places to start, and it lets you get in and start moving without much prep.

Once I have a basic idea of what to do, I like to just play. It takes time to get a rotation down, and to get to a place where you really remember what all of those buttons do. So I like to spend some time with it.

And then I’m likely to dig into more comprehensive guides from Icy Veins or Wowhead or class Discords, reading and practicing and reading and practicing until I’ve internalized whatever new information I’ve gleaned. Friends can also play a role here: a Warlock in my guild likes to post different builds, and I’ve been meaning to check them out and test them. But no matter where the advice came from, it’s about getting in some playtime.

But I only feel like I’ve really gotten good with a class when I’ve reached the point where I know when not to follow the guides, where guides aren’t giving good advice, and where how I play may not quite mesh with advice by and for the very best players in the game.


I need someone to make this make sense.

I log in to my lvl 48 dwood. I’m wearing questing items, almost exclusively from Legion. ilvl 49.
I go to Borealis and pull the start-zone questing mobs there, and it’s 50-50 if I can even kill them.
I figure the Stat/Level squish just hit everything like an ice cream truck full of napalm and roofing nails. Okay fine, I’ll go to the AH and buy gear upgrades.
What the actual hell is going on? The AH is a hall of mirrors on a bad acid trip. Why do you mouse over, see an item that’s somehow 100ilvls above yours despite being 10 lvls below you, and it says it has, say, 20 more int and stam, but the mouse-over says you’d lose int and stam with it on.
And I loosely follow wow news and I have no clue what the actual hell anything is; what in the [pirate ghost] chance do randoms returning to the game have?

I can’t tell you exactly what’s happening, but Blizzard did something that changed low level ilevel scaling in the patch on Tuesday. As someone who’s been leveling a bunch of alts lately, I can tell you that Heirloom gear got a big ilevel boost, and quest rewards seemed in line with it (somewhat lower across the board than heirlooms). But I’d get an odd, occasional item that was just ridiculously low for no apparent reason — for example, gear from the Warlords of Draenor mission table was ilevel 41 when quest gear I was finding was more like ilevel 141.

So, yes, something is definitely amiss, but I don’t think it’s so far amiss that your average player, or new player, or returning player is going to feel it. (I think they’re unlikely to stop playing to go to the auction house and spend gold on gear, for one.) While something is wonky, everything does scale and players are regularly directed to appropriate content if they get lost. (Too frequently directed, if you ask me. Stormwind and Orgrimmar are a mess of quests from multiple expansions that send you in every possible direction, and show up even if you’ve selected a particular Chromie Time expansion to level in. It’s excessively confusing.) Quest gear seems to be level appropriate for when you get it, but random drops seem to be a different story. The whole thing is off-kilter right now.

Another (sort of) problem: Leveling is just stupidly fast now, and you outlevel gear extremely quickly. You’ll outlevel things far faster than you can replace them, which can lead to gear lagging significantly. This doesn’t seem to be an issue Blizzard seriously considered in regards to gear, or if they did, their only response was to improve Heirloom quality.

But in the end, if you’re leveling and keep leveling, you’ll wind up with appropriate gear for your level. (Source: Me leveling a Warrior alt from 50 to 60 post-patch.) This is some weird hiccup because of a change they made, and while they should have programmed it so there wouldn’t be a hiccup, I think it’s a temporary pain point.


Q4tQ: How do you like the Dragonflight pre-expansion content? Has Blizzard knocked it out of the park, is it a single to first base, or a strike and a miss?

How do you rate it against other pre-expansions?

Are you playing either of the two new Dracthyr Evokers classes, and if you are, what do you like and don’t like about playing them?

I think letting people roll Dracthyr early is really knocking it out of the park. Not only does it give everybody something new to do in game for the next couple of weeks, it lets everyone level up and get used to the new class so we can all go into the Dragon Isles together, on more or less the same level.

Dracthyr themselves are incredible, with the best customization Blizzard has ever done, and flying/gliding around is just plain fun (see also: Demon Hunters). The starting zone is also excellent, and full of expansion story. I’m neither here nor there on Evokers, personally — the class is fine, but I don’t feel any strong desire to play it — but Dracthyr are just awesome. I wish I could play them as other classes.

Now, the event itself. It gave us the line “Guards! Arrest that handsome wizard!” (at least on the Horde side) and for that alone I consider it a triumph.

But moving beyond that, the Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr dungeon is a fun nostalgia trip with good gear and plenty of lore (keep an eye out for clickable books throughout the place). I find the Primal Storms a little less exciting: they’re messy and chaotic, with dozens of players rapidly tagging mobs, which respawn almost immediately after death. Combat never stops and you can barely tell what’s happening — just massive groups endlessly murdering everything that spawns while you stand there and hope you’re playing a class with good AOE. However, the invasions are a very solid source of XP and gar, so if you don’t mind the chaos, go for it.

Content ratings from Liz, a professional rater of things:

  • Dracthyr: A+
  • Evoker: B-
  • Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr: A
  • Primal Storms invasions: B

The event, as a whole, may not be as engaging as Shadowlands’, where you chased down rares all over the world, but it’s an event with a lot of value for any player. You can play for a very brief amount of time and walk away with a pile of XP or some big gear upgrades. If you want the best value for your time, run the event and collect the gear (or the transmog) to get your characters up to speed. If you have limited tolerance for repetitive content, like me, you may find the event getting tedious. But even if/when you do, there are Dracthyr to customize and a dungeon to run. All in all I think this is a quite solid expansion event.

And that’s all for today. Take care of yourselves out there, and enjoy the rest of your Friday and the weekend to follow. I look forward to seeing you all right back here next week where we will be celebrating America’s biggest shopping holiday of the year as is right and good.

But until then, enjoy your Dracthyr, your leveling, your invasions, or whatever else you decide to occupy your time with this weekend.

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