One thing that I’ve noticed in MMOs is that when you have a whole bunch of projects and goals that you’re more or less pursuing simultaneously, progress tends to come in waves. There I’ll be, just plugging away for days or even weeks, when all of the sudden everything starts coming up Milhouse. Major goals are achieved, I get great loot, I ding levels — I have some really good nights.
That’s exactly what’s been happening with me in World of Warcraft over the past couple of weeks.
When I came back to the game last month, it felt like I was buried under a mountain of tasks and goals. There were tons of storylines and quest chains to complete, lots of reputation tracks to pursue, and so on. I whittled it down to one thing at a time and kept plugging away, and slowly but surely inched the needle up to completion on all of them.
It felt like dominoes cascading on the nights where I’d log in and be completing two or three major achievements while finding a few great pieces of gear that inched my item score north of 400. I finished all of the 8.0 and 8.1 storylines, I got revered with all of the Alliance rep factions from those patches, I pushed on to get exalted so that I could access the Kul Tiran and Dark Iron Dwarf allied races, I leveled my heart up to 55, I started on Naz, and I even plugged away at a handful of island expeditions every week which paid out in a few cute pets.
All in all, I’m starting to feel like I’m getting somewhere. I know that I still have a ways to go to unlock flying, but it feels doable and there’s plenty of adventures to go on as I explore these new zones. I keep toying with the idea of rolling up a new alt with one of the allied races I unlocked, but I want to stick it out until I get flying for the account-wide unlock before I do that. Plus, with Classic coming in a couple of weeks, I don’t want to get too spread out.
I did spend an hour sightseeing around Darkmoon Faire the other day, which was a hoot. I remember when they first put that in the game way back in vanilla. It was practically nothing, just a few tents and some vendors, but since then it has really grown into a tremendous monthly event.
The new rollercoaster was a blast, although the buff it gives is functionally the same as the carousel while it takes you longer to ride. I kind of wish that the rep buffs could stack or that there was something else to do on the ride, but I can’t deny that having a giant rollercoaster in the middle of the faire improves the visuals while creating a stronger carnival vibe.
And while I haven’t been to Mechagon yet, I do have some thoughts on Nazjatar. First, I’m pretty impressed that Blizz pumped out two new zones with the patch. That’s a lot of new scenery and content, and while some players blazed through it quickly, I think it could last people like me a good long while.
Naz as a zone, however, isn’t the best. Conceptually it’s pretty interesting — pulling off a Moses and parting the sea to create a dry patch of land to explore on the sea bed — but functionally it’s frustrating. It’s just hard to go anywhere in the zone due to obstructions and elevation changes. I’m sure it’ll be much easier with flying, but without it, there’s a lot of winding paths to be had. It definitely makes me miss the much more open and lovely zones of Kul Tiras. I’ll do what I need to do there, but after I’m done, I can’t see coming back to this one.