World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

rittchard
rittchard
So the newest expansion for WoW arrives next week:

https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/battle-for-azeroth

It sounds like they are finally embracing the "Warcraft" side of things in the way that was originally promised, with PvE modes that resemble the RTS game (but from your character's perspective) and a complete change to PvP where everyone on any server can participate whenever they want. Lots of other stuff too, of course. Will the promise be fulfilled? I have no idea but I have to at least try it out lol.

A small ragtag group of players is forming if anyone is interested in hanging out. We will be playing Horde on Area 52. Expansion comes with a lvl 110 booster so we will likely all be using them to get straight into the new content.

Comments

  • Gratch
    Gratch
    GT Member
    I'm sure that at some point soon, I'll get the WoW itch that seems to hit me every 18 months or so. I'll then play into the mid-levels before I get bored again, and wander off to other things...like I've done at least half a dozen times over the last few years. :)
  • rittchard
    rittchard
    GT Member
    Gratch wrote: »
    I'm sure that at some point soon, I'll get the WoW itch that seems to hit me every 18 months or so. I'll then play into the mid-levels before I get bored again, and wander off to other things...like I've done at least half a dozen times over the last few years. :)

    lol - if you have a lvl boost sitting around, or you end up buying the xpac that comes with it, I'd definitely recommend that over leveling a new character. They've done things to improve the leveling (or so I've heard) but I doubt most people have the stomach or patience for it these days. If you really like the low level content, my guess is it's still better to do it after you store up some gold and loot to pass down (using a high level character) to make it easier/faster.

    Some people argue the boost is like cheating, or that you don't "learn" your character, but plenty of others say it doesn't make much difference, since you end up having to learn the endgame skills regardless.
  • Gratch
    Gratch
    GT Member
    I always feel like an idiot when I level boost because I don't really know how to play the character.
  • rittchard
    rittchard
    GT Member
    Gratch wrote: »
    I always feel like an idiot when I level boost because I don't really know how to play the character.

    Honestly you will have to learn the nuances of your character regardless as some of the high level Talents/skills are crucial to your build. You can take your time to learn your class as you do the solo leveling content from 110 to 120. Even then it's probably good to check out a guide or whatever to learn additional nuances for grouping, presuming you intend to participate in group dungeons, etc.

    ---

    Anyway here's my BfA "review" from a fairly casual player's perspective (no raiding).

    Assuming you start from lvl 110, after some preliminary content you are whisked away to a new area where you get access to a new zone, similar to Legion in some ways. The story starts up fairly compelling with some cool animated cutscenes introducing the growing conflict between Horde and Alliance, who I gather were somewhat united against Legion (I don't remember all the story details). After the cool buildup, though, you are once again sent out to build up your reputation in 3 different story faction zones and it gets a little hard to remember what the big picture is while you are doing fedex quests and watering plants, etc. These areas do allow you to solo quest your way from 110-120 and beyond in fairly traditional WoW-like fashion. Some of the quests are deliberately (I assume) mundane, while others are quirky (save the turtles!) and every once in a while they give you a cool interface change finale quest. The rewards are plentiful, and cash inflation has gone hog wild. You'll be piling up gold in the thousands, only to find it won't buy you much in the way of gear. Thankfully the gear rewards through questlines are pretty generous throughout.

    A new "feature" is that you can turn on PvP-always mode while questing, which grants you faster leveling, but the risk of running into Alliance members who can kill you. I never used this mode on my first character so I can't comment much on it aside from saying most people seemed to use it and did not have much problems getting ganked or whatever.

    Throughout this, you will also be building up your "Heart of Azeroth" by gaining azerite, which is a secondary/endgame leveling mechanism which boosts your gear. Certain items will come with special skills or procs that only unlock as your Azerite level gains. It's a much slower gain/grind than the main experience/level which is clearly intentional.

    There are a number of new dungeons, and if you haven't played in a long time, they've streamlined the way you can get into a group by simply selecting what role you will play and then putting yourself in a queue. You can choose specific dungeons and specific difficulties or just go for a random choice. It's a great system, with the only bad part being the occasional asshole stranger(s). This is something I didn't get to do much of in either of my earlier rounds with WoW, so I am really enjoying it now. The dungeons are definitely some much more difficult content, so it's best to go along with an experienced player. But then again, part of the fun is encountering new things and trying to work your way through them.

    Once you reach lvl 116 and have done a couple of additional specific questlines, you will gain access to one of the other new features: expeditions. These are fairly short 3v3 (initially all PvE, can also be PvP if you go with a full group) adventures where you compete with another AI team to collect enough azerite. You can gain it by mining, picking up items, killing creatures, and killing opponents. It's a lot of fun, short and rewarding.

    After you hit 120, another short questline will unlock World Quests for you. These are mini quests that pop up all over the place that allow you to improve your gear, azerite, and faction standings. Most of them are solo-able, or you can get credit while playing solo, except for a few which are tied to a specific dungeon.

    The other big new addition is the Warfront. It's started off a bit shaky but you can see what the intent is/was. Basically it's an open raid-like zone (I think 20 players at a time, maybe 40) where you fight (this is all PvE so far) to take over resource points, gather resources to improve your base, and then battle your way to victory alongside a bunch of NPCs. It's supposed to (and does) give you the feel of being in the midst of a Warcraft scenario. The first time I ran through the scenario I thought it was a fantastic piece of new content, particularly for a casual player. You get a raid-like, war-like atmosphere that's kind of different from everything else. They also gave out great gear rewards (relatively speaking) which made it worth your while to play it multiple times. The problem is it got to be a bit repetitive and I guess too easy overall. I'm sure they are working on it.

    Then if you happen to enjoy PvP, there are a ton of arenas and battlegrounds you can play in. I tried a new 5v5 one thinking it might be like League of Legends, but it turned out to be more like League of Rapists. Most of the match (if I was alive) the entire other team would jump all over me and I could barely move. The random battlegrounds are much more my style, and there just seem to be a ton of different ones. Each has a different goal to win, so it's probably best to learn the maps and goals. I keep going in cold and just trying to find my way, but they have been a blast.

    So the good news is there is just a massive ton of content for all types of players, no matter what type you are, so as long as you are patient enough to find your niche, you should likely have a good time. The "bad" news is that in terms of the expansion, they kind of lost their way in the core storyline by making sure there's all this side stuff to do. I honestly don't know if the main story came to a close or if there are going to be more chapters or whatever. Also, after all these years they still haven't quite developed the "perfect" Warcraft-like content that I had always imagined, but it's certainly the closest they've come. It's clear the potential is there in terms of the engine handling tons of NPCs and real players at once, so I'm hopeful they get this implemented well over time. There are still remnants of "gated" content, meaning you are not encouraged or allowed to participate if your gear is not good enough, but this is far far less than it was years ago.
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