Posted in World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft: Shammylamydingdong

My second post-9.0 project for World of Warcraft has been to level a Shaman from scratch to level 50. Yonderly 2.0 here — a Dark Iron Dwarf — has performed according to expectations, although not much above nor below them.

I’ve been playing her as Enhancement, as I usually do with Shamans, and I have to say that the way the game is set up now, that spec takes a good long while to really come into its own. A lot of skills and talents that I use in my regular combat rotation didn’t come until well into the late 20s or 30s, which meant that at times, I felt like I was slogging through what some other classes I’ve played would’ve soared.

And speaking of soaring, now that I’m on my second 9.0 character, I can definitely say that level 30 is the tipping point for the leveling experience. Until then, you’re ground-bound and without flight whistles for easy recalls. But after 30? It’s flying, flying, flying in pretty much every expansion except for BFA (unless you’ve unlocked it there, which I haven’t). It’s such a game-changer to get flight that I feel physical relief when that moment happens. I know that for the next 20 levels, I won’t have to worry about figuring out tricky navigation.

As I went through Warlords of Draenor with my Gnome Hunter, I decided to jump over to Legion for Yonderly. I still have such fond memories of this expansion, although now it’s a little bittersweet to see artifact weapons neutered and the old endgame rendered moot. Still, the zones are a lot of fun, and I made good — but again, not great — time. Somehow I did get off the track of the main story quest and didn’t end up completing that arc, but no matter. I did plenty of zone quests and gobbled up XP anywhere I could get it.

And when I did get high enough, the Shaman started to be a good time. It’s definitely not in the running to be my most favorite spec, but I did like the two pet summons I got, the bonus attack procs, and all of the self-healing abilities. After a point, I simply stopped dying, even to waves of bad guys.

I’m probably not going to push a third character now that we’re a week to go to the expansion. No, from now on it’s doing pre-expansion event stuff and farming as much gold as I can get!

One thought on “World of Warcraft: Shammylamydingdong

  1. Much though I’m an advocate for true free flight as an option in MMORPGs I do feel there’s a strong correlation between how valuable it feels and how familiar with the game – and specifically the game’s geography – you already are. When I levelled my shaman from start to fifty recently I found getting flight a mixed blessing at best. I definitely found the option to fly over obstacles diminished my connection and involvement with the game. Now, levelling up my vulpera ranger, currently in the mid 20s and groundbound, I find that connection and involvement restored.

    The effect, however, is strongly dependent on this all being brand new content for me. I don’t play WoW regularly and almost all of what I’m seeing and doing is coming to me as completely fresh and unfamiliar. I’m glad to be directed into experiencing in a more intimate fashion. In games where I’ve played through the zones numerous times on many characters over a lot of years, like EQ2 for example, I’m very happy to fly over it at a great height and only have to deal directly with the parts I need to visit.

    I think what I’d do in WoW would be to allow flight not by level or by character but by completion of content and by account. Every zone has a number of flight masters and I think most also have zone storylines. I’d make flying available on a zone-by-zone basis, dependent on having visited all the flight masters in that zone and on having completed the zone storyline, if there was one, but once you’d done it on any character it would apply to the account so you’d never have to do it again.

    I’d also sell zone flight licenses in the cash shop, individually for each zone, so those who didn’t want to wait could just pay up and fly immediately.

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