The Heart of Azeroth. It’s mine. All mine. And millions of others’ as well. Seriously, you can find these things in the dollar store discount bin at this point. But hey, it’s the planet’s first attempt at making gaudy jewelry, so give it a break, won’t you?
So last night was the official launch for Battle for Azeroth, and we are now well into this new phase of World of Warcraft’s existence. As much as I really did like Legion, I was beyond ready for this expansion pack. The only question was how I was going to approach it, what with three main characters and all. With Legion, I primarily focused on one character for a long time and gradually brought alts in, but I found that that left those alts feeling way behind the curve. So this time around, I’m going to rotate nights between characters and try to keep them more or less progressing at the same rate.
Ouch. That is going to sting in the morning…
I’m much more excited for the expansion’s story and zones than its new features. I haven’t seen much hype over the Heart of Azeroth, warfronts, or island adventures, to be honest. And getting the Heart felt like a vastly lesser experience than getting the artifact weapon (with all of the class stories!) in Legion. I now have this doohickey and a bizarre hat, both of which I promptly forgot about.
At least the story really WAS gripping right out of the gate. I went to Kul Tiras with Corset Elsa and found myself in the midst of politics and a nation divided. I think the theme of a seafaring nation is a great one for World of Warcraft, and right away you can tell that this culture feels and functions differently than ones we’ve seen already.
I loved how one of the first things that happens is getting tossed into an island prison. I decided to take a nap for a bit before some pirate dude named Flynn broke me out. Elder Scrolls is screaming “copycat” here, but I do like the idea of starting from the lowest of lows and climbing back up to victory.
The city of Boralus is truly unique in the game. It’s also HUGE. I’m not one for urban exploration and felt really lost after wandering through this weirdly shaped town, but there were plenty of interesting sights and details that I’m sure nobody noticed as they were racing to the next quest objective.
I want these glasses on my characters! Can I get these glasses on my characters? I must have them!
The new housing system is spectacular! Just look at what I was able to accomplish with just one evening’s work.
There’s an autumnal feel for Boralus, which plays well with both the sea and mountains around it. Definitely a city for pumpkin spice lattes, yoga pants, and unnecessary scarves.
In addition to flight paths, Kul Tiras also features a ferry service that goes around all three zones to the inner portion of the sound. They’re very speedy boats and I really dig the different perspective of zipping to your destination. As we’re now grounded again, we have to get used to traveling without flight. This will help.
Poor lady bore the brunt of a crab uprising. I tried to help, but alas, non-targetable crabs.
Being tired and taking it slow, I didn’t make a great deal of progress. I did a quest hub or two and was repeatedly distracted by treasure chests and herbalism nodes. At least my power level felt fine in fights, with none of them being overly long or difficult.
I won’t lie, it feels great having a lot ahead of me to do in this game once more. Yes, there’s some certain anxiety over wanting to get missions back up and running, wanting to hit the level cap, and so on, but really, one or two months until that happen aren’t going to break me. I recently bought another WoW token, which pays my sub all the way through June 2019, so I can afford to absorb some time without a steady income. And we have no idea how the inflation and economy is going to shift in these next few months.
I predict we’ll be hearing about the patch cycle for Battle for Azeroth at BlizzCon this November, so I don’t think we’ll have any significant updates before then. It’s plenty of time just to adventure through this expansion and get acquainted with these new lands (and hopefully make sense of this city!).