Well here is something that I really didn’t anticipate: I ended up liking Maldraxxus waaaay more than Bastion. Sure, Bastion has the pretty enough visuals, but it’s hollow and boring. Contrast that to Maldraxxus, which actually makes a necromancer’s man cave seem interesting if you inject enough high-spirited story in there.
This zone is really the kind of energy that Shadowlands needed out of the gate, but instead we get it after the Maw introduction, dull-as-dirt Oribos, and HerculesLand. It’s like a mini-Game of Thrones shoved into a single zone, with five of the houses tasked with protecting the Shadowlands now turning on each other thanks to Sylvanas’ machinations.
I particularly liked the monster design of the zone. Lots of slime and slime monsters and bizarre twisted creations, all partying it up in undeath central. At the center of the place is a gladiator pit that had some humorous encounters with the various contestants.
I actually was taken aback to hang out and do quests with Vashj, who I guess is now a sort-of good guy in the afterlife. Actually, it’s kind of weird that I’m only now bumping into characters from the rest of the game, unless I have been all along and just didn’t recognize any of them. It’s not as if my WoW lore is at the collegiate level.
All in all, I had a good four or five days of questing in Maldraxxus. I took a lot of breaks to rush to various rare bosses that would spawn with the promise of a shot at some desirable back items. Since I hate cloaks, I’m really desperate for a backpack here. No luck yet, but I’m planning on farming this later on.
Another highlight of the zone was a trip up a possessed tower. It had just the right amount of challenge and chaos without being a drag.
So yeah, Maldraxxus is the first time that I’m feeling like Shadowlands is living up to potential. I even liked the covenant skills — a damage shield and a DoT attack — so I am considering pledging this frat. Now out with the color green and in with the blue as we head to Night Fae territory!