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WoW Shadowlands First Impressions

WoW Veteran. Playing Since Vanilla Day 1 through every expansion including current Shadowlands

WoW Shadowlands

World of Warcraft

Vanilla was great. Everything about it was great, even the disbalance between the classes, I enjoyed it all. But to me, vanilla WoW was about legendary items. And the concept of making those legendary items useless in coming expansions (even though very few people owned them) was unacceptable. Believe it or not, I wasn’t one of the lucky owners, but that’s what made it even worse, since that’s what the game was about to me, hoping to get legendary someday.

First Legendary - Hand of Ragnaros

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Expansions TBC to BFA

List of all WoW Expansions

  • World of Warcraft 2004
  • Burning Crusade 2007
  • Wrath of the Lich King 2008
  • Cataclysm 2010
  • Mists of Pandaria 2012
  • Warlords of Draenor 2014
  • Legion 2016
  • Battle for Azeroth 2018

When I first heard about coming expansion The Burning Crusade, I was really disappointed, even though very cool things have been brought to the game, such as Arena. That main thing, was going away. Years later I realized this was only option, only way the concept of expansion could actually work. To my surprise though, The Burning Crusade was good, it was so good, I couldn’t way for next expansion, even though I was against any kind of expansions during vanilla. Triumph continued with Wrath of the Lich King, during which I spent best years of my life with this game. Absolutely loved the lore, loved the execution of it in game, loved the dungeons and raids, new classes. Everything was perfect in WOTLK.

As Arthas met his end and learned “No King Rules Forever”, I've learned that all good things come to an end, even when things are going so well, people find a way to ruin everything. Which is exactly what happened in coming expansion and continued up until Legion. Legion wasn’t really the remedy to everything but it was far better than Mists of Pandaria, Cataclysm, and Warlords of Draenor. (I’m not going to talk about these expansions, since I'm trying to keep this brief.

Legion was something of a spark of hope. Nothing revolutionary, but plenty of content, diversified content. And that gave me hope that next expansion was going to be far better. And finally, the Battle for Azeroth. This is where my personal opinion differs from most players opinions. Because most people did not like BFA, honestly, in the beginning, I didn’t like it either but with latest seasons I realized how mature the game become, especially the part I’ve been enjoying most, Mythic +. I think, in BFA, M+ reached its final shape.

M+ was not the only interesting part of BFA. Blizzard did some nasty experiments, some of which we’re not received well (PVP Scaling), while other experiments such as Titan Forging and Corruption was something people enjoyed a lot, what’s important is that everything Blizzard did in BFA, was supposed to make Shadowlands even better.

Shadowlands

We’re still week away from Season one PVP and Mythic + so my thoughts about Shadowlands is going to be very superficial. Not going into detailed analysis of every little aspect, since the major content has not arrived yet (Raids, Arena, and Mythic+). However, we can still talk about the Lore, its implementation in this expansion, new dungeons, and some general stuff.

Shadowlands Lore

Let’s begin with the lore and how it affects the game so far. My views about Shadowlands lore is very opinionated, because of one reason. I’ve reached the point in this game where I simply lean to one aspect of the game and totally ignore rest of the content. I’m talking about Mythic +. Which is basically the main and possibly the only reason why I still play WoW. Now, I'm sure you can understand my frustration when I'm forced to go through the entire lore to unlock mandatory game mechanics. I’m talking about doing campaign quests all the way to level 60. It was long and it was exhausting. Mainly because the lore has become rather different from what I'm used to. So it wasn’t all that much interesting to me. On the bright side, if you’d like to level an alt, you don’t have to go through this again (unless you want to). Blizzard made the leveling experience even more awkward for me in Shadowlands but I can live with that really. What saddens me most, is that I didn’t like the story itself. But then again, this is a very subjective, opinionated review and I can see many people liking it.

Shadowlands Dungeons

This was the part I've been looking forward the most. All I could do while doing normal and heroic dungeons, was to wonder how it would be in Mythic version, so I didn’t actually pay attention to everything else. Then I did all the dungeons in Mythic 0. My opinion? Nothing revolutionary but I can live with what we got. Some dungeons need fixes asap but that’s not a big deal, unless Blizzard treats them as they did with Tol Dagor in BFA. Important part is, I definitely feel like doing “high keys” in these dungeons and that’s more than enough for me.

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Shadowlands Routines

Now this is the part I dislike the most in WoW. (not in RPG / MMORPG in general). After what Blizzard did in BFA, with number of daily quests they brought into the game. I was hoping they would learn the lesson but no. True, the number of dailies has been reduced. But it’s still too much, and here is why. In BFA, doing dailies was not mandatory. In Shadowlands it kind of is, if you want to get more power that is (anima in this case). So far, I'm not happy with this but then again, 4-5 daily quests per island isn’t the worst thing.

Overall Experience

After you reach level 60, the game becomes rather fluid, and you as an experienced player get a feeling that everything is “back to normal”. And Yes, I'm saying that leveling and going through the lore is just a stepping stone, I don’t even consider leveling as part of the WoW gaming experience. I'd go even farther by comparing leveling process with downloading a huge patch, just waiting it to be over.

Once you get passed that, it’s just a normal stuff. You work on “Power”, professions, explore and experiment changes in PVP and PVE, farm mounts and transmogs, do the stuff you like. To me its just doing dungeons but you get the point. The reason I'm describing this general feel is because, most players, by the end of the current expansion feel like “everything is going to change and things going to be not as we’re used to”, you don’t have to worry about that, it’s still WoW as you know it, with plenty of improvements I may add.

So, if you’re considering going back to WoW, I'd say go for it. If you have played through Legion expansion and you liked it, Shadowlands is way better and you’re definitely not going to regret it.

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