As we round out the first week of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, I am firmly and securely at the back of the pack for this expansion. I saw some people moaning over Twitter how they weren’t level 120 by the second day and I’m like, my highest character right now is 113 after a full week. So zip it, maybe?
Other than to stress me out with artificial comparisons, I don’t get why World of Warcraft even has leveling any more. With zone scaling, no new talents, and no new skills, what’s the point of leveling for progression? For a blanket stat progression alone? I remember when leveling used to get me excited in this game, and now it only makes me feel bad because I’m not the higher number that other people are.
Instead, the real leveling is the Heart of Azeroth and the item level average. That’s where progression comes into play. And that’s fine, but in that case, this expansion would have worked just fine without any new character levels whatsoever. Just embrace the horizontal progression and be done with it.
That gripe aside, I’ve had a rollicking good time exploring this expansion over the past few days. I’m sticking with my nightly rotation between my three characters, focusing on one per evening to the exclusion of all others. It may hinder my progression now, but I’m playing the long game here — and I know I will be happiest to have them all more-or-less in parity when I start pushing into the endgame.
Plus, it’s kind of cool to be able to have three characters with three different experiences. Syppi, my Hunter, is staying close to Boralus by questing through Tiragarde Sound, while my other alliance toon, Syppy the Death Knight, is making her way through Stormsong Valley. Then every third night, I switch over to the Horde, where my Warlock Lilaca is getting the hang of Zuldazar and her new demo rotation. This gives me variety, keeps them progressing together, and keeps me from going crazy over feeling like I’m abandoning alts to focus on just one character.
I used this expansion as an excuse to finally create a dedicated auction house alt instead of using Syppi for that. So over a long, long series of packed mail, I transferred about 500 or so items to the AH mule and set my business up there. Everyone’s buying right now and I’m making some pretty good money. I’m definitely excited that the price of WoW Tokens has dove from over 200K down to 130K or so. Buy, buy, buy!
Part of my slow leveling progression comes from my tendency to wander off the beaten (questing) path for any and all diversions that come up. Want to explore some? See what’s up on that glacier? Get that herb node? Fight that rare mob? Go treasure chest hunting? Take some pictures? That’s me, easily distracted gamer. And that’s a fun way to do it, too, because you’re taking the game on your own time and at your own pace instead of letting it dictate to you exactly what you have to be doing.
Everybody loves a good Winnie the Pooh homage. I got a huge laugh out of “Melancholy Mule.”
I know that there’s this rat race mentality to get to the new end and start ramping up for mythic-plus and raids and rep grinds… but you know what? All of that will come in time. It doesn’t have to be done the first week, or even the first month. I’m making a checklist of things I would like to pursue down the road for this expansion, but we’ll be here for two years. I’m only going to get one shot at going through this with a fresh, unspoiled perspective. Why would I rush that?
Probably my favorite bits of this expansion, other than the incredible visuals/music, are the stories. I’ve been surprised more than once with some great voice acting or shocking cutscenes, and I keep getting drawn into the various tales of these islands.
It’s also deeply satisfying to end a night by mailing a full bag full of green gear, herbs, and other assorted bits and bobs to my AH mule. The economy is all over the place right now, but at least I know I’m making money even while I wait for my mission table to crank back up that passive gold generation once more.