Having played Shadowlands the least out of the last four expansions World of Warcraft had, I can’t say that I have any fond feelings for it whatsoever. Some of the zones were interesting, I guess? But the borrowed power systems, the unengaging afterlife setting, and the extremely dull capital city kept any of this expansion from sticking to me.
So no tear is being shed to see the baton be passed from Shadowlands to Dragonflight. What’s weird here is that I don’t feel like there are any stunning tentpole features of this new expansion, but instead it’s more focusing on shoring up the game’s weak points, providing more long-lasting character progression, and maybe even returning us to some of the fun we had during the Legion expansion. I’m cool with that, if so.
While the pre-patch is upon us (in its multi-phase glory), the expansion is still a month away. So now is the time to get my characters ready and figure out which character I’m going to be maining come Nov 28th. I have four characters at or near the level cap, and since the reset button is about to be slammed, all are eligible.
I’m also entertaining myself by going on a tour of many of WoW’s past expansion raids. I’ve never had any opportunity or motivation to see them, especially when they were the current endgame. Now? Now I can rofflestomp bosses, see all of the art and scripting, and (especially) snag some transmog.
It also makes for some pretty fun screenshot opportunities. Oh, silly boss, you gonna die in about four seconds. Five, tops.
Pre-patch day was as messy as you might have expected, with extended downtime and bugs and whatnot. By the next day it was mostly better, and I turned my attention to figuring out builds for each of my characters and then taking them out for a spin. My first go at the new talents, with my Death Knight, felt really strong. I gave her a focus on pets and throwing out as many diseases as possible, and she is handily stronger than she was back in October.
Druid was pretty fun as well. I’m finding that I can basically make more or less the same build as I was previously using, only with more stuff — more actives and passives. I loved getting some extra abilities, like doing a whole flurry of casts or having a little dragon pop up next to me during attacks. I’m sure my build isn’t optimal, but you know what? It’s mine. It’s my playstyle, and I’m happy with it.
One character that I’ve been giving increasing attention to is Yonderly, my Dark Iron Shaman. She looks so amazing, and I haven’t had a Dwarf main for a long, long time. So I started power leveling her up through dungeons. After having played a Shaman in Classic for several years, it’s nice to see that a lot of the feel of Enhancement is still there — just maybe a bit more flashy.