WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 16)

Reclaim the corrupted capital.

In what I would assume is the final chapter of the Battle for Azeroth pre-release event we return (and lay siege) to the Ruins of Lordaeron. I’m not too surprised about this as it was a prominent Alliance location before Arthas returned, and it has featured as a capital city for the Horde ever since. However, despite intending to reclaim the capital city, it’s actually in a worse state than when it was the Undercity. As I’m pretty sure it’s uninhabitable and filled with neon green blight. So the Alliance is having a bad start to this campaign.

We’ve lost Darnassus and now the Ruins of Lordaeron.

I’m not certain what has happened to the area surrounding the Ruins of Lordaeron, either. I doubt that it will be a starting zone as the Forsaken will likely start at Orgrimmar instead, or perhaps there’s a new introductory experience where they’re fleeing the ruins of the Undercity. The only way to know for sure would be to make a new Forsaken and see what happens.

Battle for Azeroth has certainly provided many questions and not too many answers. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the developers can capitalise on the answers and provide engaging content, but from what I’ve seen so far I’m sceptical. Moggie encountered the rare but (apparently) now resolved quest log bug which emptied his quest log. I’m not too upset about it as there were a few quests I was working on for a while, but most of the others I can easily start again. If I can find them. But it’s surprising that such a thing would happen as I’ve seen quite a few World of Warcraft expansions and this has never happened to me before. I’m also honestly confused as to whether there should be four or five world quests in Darkshore.

The halls of unspeakable treachery.

I’ve done all of the quests and I’ve seen both of the events but it flutters between four and five on a daily basis. I don’t know if that’s a bug but I’d assume it is. It’s not too much of a loss as you’re not at a disadvantage by not having the fifth quest, but, given that the rewards are randomised, you might miss out on completing the entire set because a quest that should be there isn’t. But I dare say that Azerite will allow you to buy those transmogrification appearances at a later date. But these hiccups do seem alarmingly common at the moment.

I’ve also noticed that First Aid has disappeared.

It has been split between Tailoring (for bandages) and Alchemy (for potions) which I don’t really agree with. Bandages weren’t as useful post-Cataclysm as they were before, but rather than remove First Aid they could have just made them useful again. Then again, most classes can now heal themselves either actively or passively and so that might have swayed the decision.

Personally, I don’t know why they would remove a profession only to split it among two other professions. It also does incur a slight loss for me as my Priest is nowhere near the level of Tailoring required for Legion First Aid, which is what Moggie had being my sole Lvl 110. But it’s a minor loss and I can do without the bandages so I’m not incomprehensibly angry about it. I don’t think there’s much more for me to do pre-Battle for Azeroth as it launches tomorrow, and without the expansion I’m likely running Legion content. But maybe we’ll all unlock the Heart of Azeroth to get a taste for how that will develop our characters. Unlikely. But it could happen. Again, I’ll leave my final impressions of this expansion until I’ve actually experienced the core content.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

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WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 15)

Witness the fall of Darnassus.

Even the events of Cataclysm didn’t eradicate an entire Alliance capital city. Deathwing may have set Stormwind aflame and caused severe structural damage, but the city survived the onslaught albeit a little worse for wear. In fact, Stormwind still stands. But the same can’t be said for Darnassus in the wake of War of Thorns. Arguably the most ambitious pre-release event in some time as it fundamentally affects an entire Alliance race, however I feel as though the Horde will be losing something of equal value as a result. Even if it could be considered a reclamation.

Remember when Deathwing used to incinerate random adventurers? Fun times.

It does seem odd that they’ve decided to split the quests into two portions released over two weeks. Especially with the second portion being as short as it is, and only really functionally serving to unlock a fifth world quest in Darkshore. But that’s just more opportunities for pre-release transmogrification sets. Which also could have been included from the beginning.

But ours is not to reason why. Ours is to defend Darnassus and ultimately get slowly cooked before retreating in the face of an expertly executed assault. Admittedly, I don’t think Sylvanas makes a good leader for the Horde but that’s only because her story has become muddled. There was little to no reason for the war. Except that the Alliance should be eradicated. But, from what little reasoning we do encounter, it seems that her anger is wrought from failing to protect her people when faced with an onslaught by the Lich King. Which just makes this even more muddled. Honestly, it feels akin to something that Garrosh would do. Therefore it’s hard to see the reason why and without the reason why it’s difficult to respond appropriately to it.

It’s a coordinated war effort.

Even the Burning Legion had a solid reason for the invasion of Azeroth. They like burning things. Such as worlds. They also like enslaving things. Such as entire populations of said worlds. I’m hoping that the remainder of Battle for Azeroth makes a little more sense, and that there’s an actual conclusion to Sylvanas’ story at some point. They’ve been hinting at it since the release of Cataclysm. On the other hand, it’s kind of disappointing to think that such a developed character could potentially meet their end in a lacklustre expansion.

Once again, I’m trying to be hopeful for the events of Battle for Azeroth.

But I think that I’ll need to actually experience the expansion before making a decision. It’s a reasonable enough request. Given that you can scarcely judge anything without having experienced it, and I do think that this is reason enough to have the entire Alliance declaring war on the Horde. So the motivation to slaughter each other is there. Especially if you’re from Darnassus.

Besides these events I’ve mostly been working on the final enhancements for the Paladin Class Order Hall. There are many quests left to complete in order to unlock new appearances for the Ashbringer and Truthguard, alongside various dungeon quests, and even achievements related to my progress. I’m in for the long haul that’s for sure. That said, I may also be levelling up some of my other characters. I’ve yet to see the potential of the Survival Hunter since the pre-release patch. I’m quite keen on seeing how the return of totems for the Enhancement Shaman works out, too. Naturally, most of the time will be spent with Moggie and his new (and possibly improved) Retribution specialisation. But, again, you have to experience it to have an opinion of it.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 14)

Statistics have been squished.

Normally you expect such things when you hear of pre-release patches, but I was quite surprised to see how significantly things have been altered and (more importantly) how Legion content has been adjusted. There’s quite a dramatic difference between 3.1m health and 20k health. That said, Moggie remains roughly as effective as he was in combat before the reduction. Minus some of the potential for AoE damage as talents have been changed or removed. We can still retain Wake of Ashes, though. So that’s neat.

Even if it’s not necessarily tied to the Ashbringer.

Which is little more than a relic of a completed campaign at this point. I’m not really surprised that they eventually lost their power, but I am disappointed that I can’t earn Artifact Power for any of my characters who have yet to experience the Legion campaign. Mostly disappointed for Doomhammer as I would’ve liked to engage in the full Shaman experience in Legion.

I’m also disappointed because all of the passive bonuses and powerful new abilities are lost if you can no longer develop the equipment. It was quite the experience to have equipment that literally changed the way your character fought, which made Legion more enjoyable as it was something different. Now the levelling curve is like any other. You also lack the signature abilities of the equipment which are inactive now. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s a devastating change, but I do wonder what the motivation for that change was as you could have left the levelling experience as was and disabled it at Lvl 110. Drained the equipment of its power at that point and not before. Then again, it’s arguable that investing in it prior to Lvl 110 would be pointless.

Weakened but not entirely ineffective.

I’m not too pleased with how Retribution feels at the moment, either. I felt as though Legion really gave back some of the more interesting, more versatile, and more enjoyable abilities which have been painfully absent in the expansions that came before it. Now it feels as though you’re forced to be a single target brawler with the few AoE abilities being Divine Storm and Wake of Ashes. I’m starting to wonder whether the new (and smaller) UI speaks of the removal of many abilities. I’ve not even tried to understand my Survival Hunter yet.

I’m not sure where all of his abilities went.

I was quite excited for the War of Thorns event hence the return. But I’m not really sure how I feel about things at the moment. I’m hoping that I’ll warm to these changes eventually, and that Battle for Azeroth will have an exciting and enjoyable campaign. I don’t know, though. I’m trying to be hopeful but these changes feel less than enjoyable for most classes.

I can only blame myself for not being able to experience the Legion campaign as intended for most characters. As I had the time to do all of those quests and I simply didn’t subscribe. But I still don’t understand why they removed those mechanics from the campaign, and I don’t see it making the experience any better. If anything I think it’ll make it worse. But here we are. At the crossroads that always exist when sweeping changes are made to expansions or mechanics. I don’t intend to be negative and I’ll definitely be talking about the War of Thorns event, but I do feel as though Battle for Azeroth is a step backwards for now. That opinion could very well change in the future depending on how favourable I find the expansion.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Those Who Travel Alsgard

Neptune is the second Lvl 110 Paladin I’ve played.

Cyberdimension Neptunia 4 Goddesses Online is an ARPG that is heavily influenced by MMORPG mechanics. Mostly because you’re playing an MMORPG with the cast of the Neptunia series. It boasts all of your favourite features, including, but not limited to: crafting, exploring dungeons, group events, loot, bosses, character classes, and character progression systems. It doesn’t boast the overflowing (and overwhelming) number of skills that most MMORPGs have, though. Which makes this a less intense and more enjoyable experience overall.

Not that having options is ever a bad thing in either an MMORPG or an ARPG.

But, in this case, the lack of options doesn’t restrict you. Each skill is generally more useful than several iterations of applying the same effect in a slightly different way. The only exception being the elemental damage skills which each class has limited access to. Naturally, Nepgear, the Mage, has access to all of the elemental damage skills. Including some that the Goddesses have.

The equipment strengthening mechanics also remove much of the busy work usually present in MMORPGs. It’s sort of like a crafting system that isn’t a crafting system. You still need to gather raw materials to strengthen your weapons or armour, but it is handled independently to your characters or their individual expertise. You can easily fully upgrade your starting equipment for quite the boost should you have the money and materials to do so. This is especially important later in the main story when more expensive equipment becomes available. Each upgrade is surprisingly potent, too. I was pleased to discover that some of the equipment I’d upgraded near the beginning of the story was still useful in the later areas. It’s a refreshing change of pace.

We must make haste for there are monsters to loot.

While there are some mechanics which I really enjoyed, there were some which were quite hazy. Like the choice of party tactics. I don’t really know what each of those options mean or what they change about the behaviour of my party members. I would assume that Blanc, a Priest, would default towards healing over damage, but when specifying what I would assume is that option she still seemed more concerned with damage. Then again, I don’t think any healing AI will ever do what I want it to do. But that’s just me being a defensive player.

That said, it’s a minor drawback that doesn’t impact things too greatly.

I’ve been looking forward to Cyberdimension Neptunia 4 Goddesses Online for some time now and it hasn’t disappointed me. It’s not exactly a full length adventure like Megadimension Neptunia VII or other earlier instalments, but it is a greatly enjoyable way to spend thirty hours. There’s definitely potential for regular additional DLC akin to MMO content patches, too.

I wasn’t sure if I’d get around to playing this one as soon as I have due to wanting to play Final Fantasy XV (Windows Edition) at release, but I’m glad that I spent the time on it. I really did enjoy the experience and do wish it were longer. It intentionally feels unfinished (for reasons explained in the story) and that only makes me want to find secret dungeons and/or bosses. I’ll be attempting to get all of the achievements, too. I’m mostly there save for the quests which I still need to finish. I’m hoping that Neptune at Lvl 110+ with an additional roster of Lvl 85-90 characters is enough to beat the final final boss. The most final of bosses. With instant death attacks and several million health. Most likely. I guess I’ll find out when I get there.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 13)

The conclusion of a glorious campaign.

I would like to thank the overflowing abundance of world quests, my champions, my cats, and Nethershards for the successful resolution of Moggie’s Class Order Hall campaign. Or what I would assume is the main bulk of the content at the time Legion was released. I don’t think we’re entirely done, as I’ve still got quests and other things related to the Class Order Hall campaign to do. But I’ve also got an upgraded appearance for Ashbringer and Truthguard alongside a new title. So I’m officially the Highlord. I’m just a very busy Highlord.

I’ve learned a lot over the course of this campaign, though.

Things that will undoubtedly be very useful for the other characters I have. Hence why I wasn’t sure if I should continue with the single campaign or start multiple ones, as I’m sure there would be new mechanics introduced which accelerate the process. Among those are world quests, collectible vendors, and the rather significant increases to Artifact Power accrual.

It’s been a fairly fun campaign, too. I’ve watched Moggie grow into quite a formidable Paladin. I’ve also taken quite a liking to Protection again, which, while it isn’t the specialisation I remember, is actually a really fun way to experience content. Active mitigation tanking is still new to me but it’s fun. There is a considerable difference in damage output, though. Which is to be expected. But the survivability and versatility are greatly heightened, which makes it a war of attrition as opposed to a burst DPS nukefest. I’ve even considered doing some dungeon tanking. I doubt I will- but I’ve humoured the idea once or twice. Truthguard isn’t as strong as Ashbringer yet, either. Though I have finally got some relics for it which have pushed me into the 4.5m health range.

Put your faith in the Light.

I certainly can’t feel bad about my progress with Moggie. I’m interested in seeing what new things the Hunter, Shaman, and Death Knight will bring to the campaign as well. So I’d say that Legion is going fairly well at the moment. It was always a rather spontaneous decision, which is why this subscription didn’t exactly proceed as expected as I didn’t foresee the purchase of Legion. Not that I regret it. But I’ve got a little more work to do to bring the others up to where they would’ve been. I’m looking forward to bringing the Monk into this, too.

She’s still made very little progress since her creation.

There are definitely a number of opportunities available if I’m willing to invest in them. I’m quite pleased about that in general, too. I’ve managed to bring all of my characters into some degree of order, which allows me to actually level and play them as I would’ve wanted to for all these years. There’s still work to be done- but it’s significantly less work than it once was.

I’m going to be starting the Legion campaign for Voljaarn next. Simultaneously, I’ll be focusing on the two Warlords of Draenor campaigns I’ve got for the Hunter and Death Knight. This way I’ll be bringing three new characters into Legion at least. Four with the Demon Hunter. Who I’m still unsure of how to proceed with. But the next subscription period will likely be focused on bringing everyone together, moving forward, and possibly accruing a decent number of Lvl 110 characters in the process. It might not be as exciting as this one was but it’s a necessary step forward. I’ve also got to figure out the professions in Legion, too. Lots of new crafting reagents of which I’m confused as to who would best utilise them.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 12)

The journey to Argus has begun!

As is probably evident by the shattered core of the planet and overflowing Fel corruption- it’s not the most hospitable place. Our journey wasn’t a pleasant one, and we’ve had to fight for what little ground we’ve gained since landing. I’m also slightly worried that Moggie lacks the gear to fully explore Argus. I’m not that concerned as I’ve got business to attend to back on the Broken Isles in Suramar, so I don’t need to return immediately. I wasn’t entirely sure I’d even reach Argus, either.

Legion has some rather interesting quest mechanics.

It’s hard to tell what’s going to feed into what with some quests. I’m also not too fond of having to clear dungeons to retrieve the Pillars of Creation, as these are quests that follow on from things that are part of your personal story (or that of your Class Order Hall). Which feels disjointed. You’re able to do everything else as the champion of your Class Order Hall except that.

The majority of my confusion regarding quests is from not playing since the release of Legion. They’ve introduced much more content since then and I’ve not experienced the natural progression of that content, so I’m experiencing the rush of various things to do all at once. I’ve gone from collecting the Pillars of Creation, to gaining ground on the Broken Shore, to travelling to Argus, and I’ve even unlocked content that I didn’t know about in a few days from reaching Lvl 110. It didn’t even need to take a few days, either. Which is not to say I’m not enjoying it- as I am- it’s just a much broader experience than I was expecting. The recent ridiculously potent increases to Artifact Power have significantly accelerated the progression of Ashbringer and Truthguard, too.

A grand collection of ancient relics.

I’ve also been working on things outside of exploring Legion content with Moggie. Flint and Sanguinaer are making progress with their Warlord of Draenor campaigns, while Voljaarn is making the final preparations to start his Legion campaign, and I’ve completed the starting experience for the Demon Hunter. The new addition, Felaendruhn, is currently sitting in Orgrimmar while I try to figure out what I’m doing with him. I’ve been thinking about trying Vengeance instead of Havoc, which I’d probably do while soloing old content to get a feel for a rotation I could use.

It’s been a while since I’ve had an entirely new character to explore.

There is the Monk, which isn’t entirely new but is a class that I’ve not explored yet. But the key difference is that they have to do the levelling process like any other non-hero class. Whereas Demon Hunters (like Death Knights before them) have an accelerated process, which allows them to begin with most of their abilities unlocked. You’ve got less time to get a feel for them.

It’s definitely one of the busier times I’ve had on World of Warcraft in a while. That’s a good thing, though. It’s nice to see that the time I’ve invested in sorting through inventories, banks, and professions has been worth something. That now I’m able to do what I originally set out to do. It’s not going to be long before I could take another four characters into Legion content, which would make five (with Moggie) and that would be the highest number of characters I’ve ever had actively levelling in an expansion. Which could easily become seven if I level the Priest and the Monk. I don’t know how much time I’ll be investing into World of Warcraft in the coming months, but I’m hopeful I’ll be happy with the results of that investment.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 7)

An extended vacation.

I decided to bring back the Adventures in Azeroth series for another four-six part extension! This is for two reasons, the first is to see whether there is enough content for it to continue and the second is to see how people feel about hearing about levelling characters. There’s a lot of levelling left to do. I won’t be talking about all of it, though. There is a fair amount of repetition involved, as, while the character will change, the process won’t. Thereby making it less enjoyable to experience a second or third time.

It’s also the perfect time to return as Hallow’s End has begun again.

I’m currently working on unlocking the (newly added) spooky garrison decorations for Moggie. But there’s a lot of different things to participate in from eating candy, to fighting the Headless Horseman, to putting out (literal) fires, and there’s even a chance to snag an awesome mount. There’s even a seasonal dungeon (likely tuned for Lvl 110 characters).

I’m hoping the garrison decorations will be permanent or at least permanently active during the seasonal event. Still, it’s only four daily quests for five days if I want to unlock them all. So it’s not like it’s all that much work. I’d like to mirror these with Voljaarn, having his garrison displaying the Feast of Winter Veil decorations all year ’round. Which works oddly well given that the Horde garrison is in a naturally snowy location. But we’ll see how it goes. I’m still enjoying the seasonal events even if I’ve already finished a great deal of them already, while being ineligible for the remainder as Moggie is still Lvl 100. Which is better for me in the long run, so, again- not too concerned about the situation.

"This is my Pinnacle and ya can't have it!"

“This is my Pinnacle and ya can’t have it!”

I’ve wasted no time in throwing Flintbeard (the Survival Hunter) into the icy wastes of Northrend. His levelling process is going about as well as expected, as there really aren’t too many challenges he won’t be able to meet with his newly acquired Survival specialisation. Especially with his pet being a secondary source of damage or tanking. The soloing strategy is still viable, too. It’s just that I know he’ll need to go through most (if not all) of the Cataclysm zones. So I’d like him to be better prepared for when that happens.

I’d rather he didn’t do it with equipment trailing by several levels.

Otherwise, I’ve been thinking about the free Lvl 90 boost that I received. Considering throwing that at the Death Knight. Which isn’t something I’d normally do, but I’ve always been in a weird place with Death Knights (from as far back as when they were first implemented). It does offer other benefits besides the levels to be gained, too.

I’ve also been thinking about Legion. It’s a purchase I could see myself making, if for no reason other than the fact that it looks like it’s going to be one of the best story orientated expansions in quite some time. That said, I think I’ll hold off until the end of this year or the start of the next. That should give me enough time to finish the remaining questing content in Warlords of Draenor on Moggie, to level a couple more characters, and to get everything settled before we embark on yet another adventure. Might even be able to earn the ability to fly out in Draenor, too. Should be a considerable boon for anyone who happens to be passing through there any time soon.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie