Posted in World of Warcraft

Wrapping my head around the Shadowlands endgame

After hitting level 60 and finishing the standard leveling experience in Shadowlands, I’m looking back at it and going… what was the point? It was fine busy work that served as an introduction to the factions and the settings, but to me it feels that Blizzard really missed an opportunity to give this stretch anything important or vital. It was, as I started to suspect, a lengthy time gate to the “real” expansion content.

So I’m just going to say this and leave it: If Blizz can’t figure out something better to do with its leveling — better rewards, a vital role — then it needs to stop adding it with each expansion. Really, there’s nothing much missed if you got a level 60 and started in on the rest of it.

And that’s what I’ve been tackling over the past week and a half. I realize that I have a sort of heightened anxiety when I reach expansive parts of game (in terms of content or even layout) with no good feel for the lay of the land and what I should be doing to be efficient and satisfied. Shadowlands’ endgame sprawls out in front of the player like a wide-open buffet, and with only a couple of hours to play a night, I didn’t know what I should be doing to make the best of it.

So I did what I should’ve done from the start, which was to log out and do some honest-to-God homework. Icy Veins has a terrific endgame guide that walks complete newbies like me through all of the different systems, and I took a page of notes from it, dividing it into weekly and daily objectives. The game itself does lead players through this, mind you, but I knew I’d only be at peace if I got a high-level overview first.

From there, my Druid joined the Night Fae covenant and started plugging away at world quests, renown, dungeons, and all the rest. I’ve done a few Torghast runs (underwhelmed) and dived into the Maw a few times (cautiously pleased). I got my gear up to the point where I could actually heal again, and I’ve been getting to know Shadowlands’ instances this way.

I will say that I’m not too happy with the world quests this time around. First of all, we have no flightmaster’s whistle, and that is so annoying. I still don’t understand why Blizz thought this helpful and beloved feature was a good idea to omit here, but the end result is that it makes transportation around these already complex zones difficult. Second, there seem to be fewer WQs in general, and the ones that do pop up seem to take a lot longer than in Legion or BFA. I asked my guild their impressions about this, and everyone agreed.

That said, I do like the renown reward track and the variety of activities. I love not having to worry about multiple faction reps this time around, and I’m certainly not lacking in interesting things to do any given night.

I’d love to get my Death Knight up to speed with Shadowlands, but that would take away from my Druid’s making progression. I may start splitting my time between the two, but we’ll see.

2 thoughts on “Wrapping my head around the Shadowlands endgame

  1. If I recall, the devs wanted to push more people into social settings, and get rid of the “log in every day for WQ” mindset. Read, have dungeons be the baseline for daily content. Even Torghast has no real purpose outside of a long slog for a legendary.

    You’re on the dot with regards to there being no difference between 50 and 60. The leveling portion is a (pretty darn good) tutorial. Sort of like an interactive cinematic.

  2. World quests are sort of de-emphasised. They’re still there but you don’t have to bang out your 4 WQs in the stated zone every single day any more. Well you can, and on some days your calling is to go do 3 WQs in a specified zone, but on other days you have a choice of ways of completing (run a dungeon, kill some rare monsters, find some treasures) which lets you mix things up a bit.

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