World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

Also, my decision to consolidate on the two biggest servers (Area52 and Stormrage) is biting me. I could get on to my old server, Argent, no problem.

That said, in a day or two this usually sorts out and since I don’t do any CE content, meh.

I’m a fan of old UI, but on 1080p it’s already too tiny. So I use a number of manual resizes of UI elements through MoveAnything, as well as moving around some stuff.

I spent an ungodly amount of time, especially to make Neuron work to create new custom bars WITHOUT affecting the main UI. It requires a lot more manual configuration to keep it minimal than to go all in with the fancy options.

So, despite everything looks vanilla, I had to make huge subtle changes, but it’s all done with: titan panel, neuron, moveanything and blizzmove.

ElvUI is a way better fork of tukui.

So I got the expansion and started playing. I like the look of the Shadowlands but the gameplay isn’t really any different than in previous versions.

It’s kind of funny that I had Thrall, Jaina Proudmore, and a high level Ebon Knight following me and fighting with me and we still had to pound a bit on trash mobs to kill them. You’d think with that bunch it would be insta kills, but no, we are all weaklings again.

I made a level and unlocked a dungeon. That was all I got. I got to a capital city and set my hearth there as well. There’s an open portal to Orgrimmar there now too.

What drew me back into the game was the level 60 dungeon that is rogue-like and can be played solo. If it’s good, I could have a lot of fun playing that. Looks like the reward is getting crafting materials for making legendaries.

You’re right. I forgot that I was using that before, and was wondering why the setup steps didn’t popup when I first started up with tukui. So another 20 minutes arranging things in elvui.

My wife and I got about halfway through Bastion’s story last night. The only problem we had was she had to port to Silithus and fly to Ogrimmar since the ports to there and Thunderbluff weren’t working.

I’m a little disappointed that it’s all straight questing at the start. Previous expansions threw some of the new systems right at you from the beginning. There’s no Garrison, or class hall, or Heart of Azeroth and war table.

This may be the expansion I finally leave the Horde. I was on Argent, which is dead, and moved to Area52. The guild I hooked up with there just isn’t as good as my Alliance guild on Stormrage. I am in one of the larger guilds on the server there.

I also shy away from the big UI adding. It’s too much of a pain keeping them updated and patches break them.

I think I’m the opposite. I kind of like that they make you do a campaign first before opening up the new systems. In Draenor, Legion, and BfA, I kept feeling like I needed to backtrack home in the middle of questing so I could do some busywork or so the game could teach me about followers or missions or whatever. I kind of like that this time I can just focus on leveling and seeing the quests before getting wrapped up in the meta systems. And it’s worth noting that alts can skip the campaign altogether and start the expansion by choosing a covenant and basically doing Diablo’s adventure mode.

I am in the same boat. I really hated the Artifact Power/Heart/whatever grind. Not having those systems is nice.

I mean, those things are still there, and I’m sure I’ll be just as disillusioned by them once I’m in the middle of them. But right now, it’s nice to not have them in mind.

That was painfully slow. Went through it on 2 of my alts. The loooong pauses for exposition and quest actions that were no more than “ask this character to talk for a while” got old before the first toon was done. Not a single piece of gear as a quest reward until level 51.
And then two “tour the city” quests in a row. This may be the lamest linear expansion intro they’ve done yet. Made WoD look like an epic LotR battle by comparison.

EDIT: if you are a gatherer, make sure to get trained before leaving New Shattrath, otherwise the mats will be useless greys.

This doesn’t mean your alts can skip the intro, right?

No kidding. Not only do we have to listen to exposition, for some reasons there are long pauses built in. I also loved the part where all I had to do was grab pieces of armor and place them somewhere else, but the game made me walk super slow when I was holding the armor.

I do like the look of the two new zones I’ve seen so far. The gameplay itself has been underwhelming. I’ve barely gotten into it – made one level so far – but I’m worried that they are holding back the fun for when I hit level 60.

I believe alts skip everything. Not only do they skip it, but they are unable to do the level-up quests at all, they’re blocked off.

You mean I get one character to 60 and the rest can then start at 60?

No, they start at 50 and then do world quests to level, as I understand it.

Right after I said I could not get in I was able to login last night. However I spent most of the evening getting my UI squared away. Spent the time ironing out ElvUI and Weak Auras with some predefined set ups, and I think I finally understand how it all meshes together. I had to modify the UI to show my toon’s mana bar which for some reason wasn’t showing up but eventually I dug through enough options that I figured out how to do it. ElvUI is quite powerful but you really got to be persistent and dig out things.

I really do hate the transparent background they use for the windows though. For some odd reason, one of my characters has reset the quest log background to I think the default (some sort of pinkish white parchment looking window). But every other character I use has the default (I think) transparent background. I can’t figure out what I did.

Spent a little time this morning questing in shadowlands. I do agree it’s quite linear and has all those weird exposition pauses. But I haven’t played in so long that I didn’t mind it I was sort of drinking it all in. It will definitely be something that I will want to skip or power through with my alts.

I picked up my crafting skills in the first city I hit. So crafting skills are separate by expansion now? is there any point in leveling your crafting skills from prior expansions, or is everything from those expansions rendered worthless now?

Yes, it’s the sort of thing I enjoy doing once but would be super annoying on alts. But they let you completely skip it, so no biggie.

I forgot to train my profression skills. I guess that explains why it wasnt increasing the few times I did mine something. I’m currently in Maldraxxus and already 54 or 55. The levels seem be going pretty quick. My starting ilevel didn’t seem to hurt me, most of my gear is replaced now.

I was surprised the first few quests did not award you any catch-up gear. That has been my experience in prior expansions. I was able to successfully get the catch-up gear for the two main characters that I leveled to 50 over the weekend and now I’m glad I was able to do that.

I am going to go do the main quests for my Alliance and Horde hunters. I ended up starting it on both so skipping isn’t an option. It’s not the end of the world either.

The main thing for me is – once again – deciding a faction. I paid to move from Argent to A52. In the process I traded a fun guild on a dead server, for a quiet guild on an active server. I am going to end up needing to find a new guild. Even with like 20 people on, guild chat is dead quiet. However, my horde hunter is the one I’ve played since launch with all 200-odd days on.

Alliance-wise, the guild is very active. We are like 3-4 guilds hooked together with Greenwall and it’s decent. I play essentially the same race – BELF or VELF – and the only big thing missing is my class hall title. I also slightly prefer the Alliance aesthetic – not really a factor in this expansion.

All that said, though, I tend to play mostly solo so guild chat is just a chat channel.

Which means for the next few days I am just going to see how things shake out, and then pick a faction and stick with it. I did give serious thought to faction/server changing my horde character.