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

Advertisements

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

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

Comparison in Iron

Quite the comparison to make.

This is more or less the same idea as Comparison in Blood but it’s in reverse, which is more significant than you might think. It’s also slightly overdue as I’ve not been feeling well recently. I couldn’t really do much about that, though. I’d much rather have slept at some point in the last week. In any case, this was always a spontaneous piece and one that will remain unfinished for various reasons. But as a material study it’s actually fairly useful. It might not seem as significant as I’m suggesting but I assure you it has merit.

Mostly in bringing traditional and digital approaches closer.

Needs more fire.

Hence why I’m doing these slightly odd studies in the first place. In this case, I was mostly trying to see how much impact adding line work to the piece would have. This is slightly closer to what I’d do traditionally, too. But it’s still a laborious and overworked process, as I’m still of the opinion I’m doing extra work due to the limited technical specifications of my tablet.

It’s still a possibility that I’m entirely wrong about that assumption. I don’t think I am. But I wouldn’t rule it out. I’ve definitely learned new things as a result of these material studies, though. I feel as though my digital pieces are stronger and that there’s potential for better results in the future. How I’m going to go about achieving those results, what form they’ll take, and with which equipment is entirely open to interpretation at this point. I’m almost certain I’m going to invest in better equipment mostly because I’m curious. That’s as good a reason as any to spend a lot of money, right? You know what they say about curiosity and cats. I might not be an actual cat- but I’m covered in enough of their fur that I might as well be.

The biggest challenge of this comparison was to try and recreate something recognisably similar. Not exactly the same- but recognisable enough that you can at least see what I’m trying to do. Which I hope you can. Otherwise that previous sentence exists simply to exemplify my failures. Usually I’m just applying digital approaches to previously attempted traditional pieces, but this seemed like a fun change of pace. Mostly to see how different the approaches would look and feel once completed. Unsurprisingly, they’re incredibly different.

Needs more everything.

Probably better approached with ink, too.

But that was mostly a matter of time and not wanting to invest that much into something to be used as a comparison. I’m fairly confident in my ability to translate pencil to ink at this point. I’m scarcely using that for anything worthwhile- but that’s not important. What is important is that I’ve got my confidence back. Somewhat. I think there’s some left under the cat.

I apologise if this content feels disjointed or it’s not particularly what people want to see. I’ve always believed that knowing where you came from is important, that knowing where you’re going is equally as important, and that we should do our best to understand these things. Especially for those who create. We’re often more personally invested in our work and there are usually reasons why certain things appeal to us. Being able to utilise those- through understanding, learning, and experimentation- is incredibly important to our growth. We’re all going to fail at one point or another, but understanding why we failed and learning from that is infinitely more important than not.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

World of Warcraft, Warlords of Draenor, Blackhand, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Blizzard.

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 11)

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Light’s Hope Chapel.

With the release of the Shadows of Argus it seemed as good a time as any to finally upgrade to Legion. I’ve been delaying the purchase for a while, but I’ve mostly moved forward enough that I feel good about starting my adventures in the Broken Isles. Flint, the Survival Hunter, has made good progress through the Warlords of Draenor campaign. While both Moggie and Voljaarn are ready for what lies ahead. The freshly rolled Demon Hunter will be eligible for Legion content, too. Not forgetting Sanguinaer, the Death Knight, who can easily catch up.

It’s quite exciting having so many options to choose from.

Hence the reason I’ve been purposefully delaying my introduction to Legion content. I didn’t want to experience everything from only the perspective of a Paladin and a Shaman- I wanted to bring in some of my other characters as well. Of which the Demon Hunter is an entirely new class, and, as such, is slightly more exciting. Their character creation options are great, too.

I’ve reclaimed both Ashbringer and Truthguard for Moggie. I’m more than likely going to spend the majority of my time with (and Artifact Power on) Ashbringer, but reclaiming Truthguard did bring back fond memories of being a Protection Paladin back in Cataclysm. That said, I’ve more experience and interest in being a Retribution Paladin. I could also reclaim the Holy Paladin Artifact but I’ve no use for it. Moggie has never been (and likely never will be) a Holy Paladin. The only healing he does is panic mashing Flash of Light. I kid. They’re very precise panic taps. He may occasionally throw a Word of Glory out if things get that bad, too. They have a very satisfying AoE healing bubble to them.

Jimmy Cliff has the best advice at times like these.

I’ve been feeling strangely nostalgic about Legion, too. It’s either nostalgia, heartburn, or they were right and sitting at a computer for this long is actually bad for you. It might also be the Legion Chilli that Moggie ate after leaving Draenor. It’s been a while since I’ve had to prospect ore and use gems of varying colours for Jewelcrafting designs, while Mining has mechanics that seem to offer increasingly higher returns when mining ore you’ve gained knowledge of. It’s a satisfying combination of old and new approaches to profession levelling.

The Class Order Hall is pretty neat, too.

It’s like a less time intensive reinvention of the garrison concept. But there are still reasons to visit, such as, but not limited to: upgrading your Artifact, embarking on missions, engaging with NPCs to tie together individual stories, and saving reckless Paladins who take literal armies with them and still lose. Somehow. I guess that’s why Moggie’s the Highlord and he’s not.

I’m not entirely sure how best to proceed from here, though. I don’t know if I should focus on levelling Moggie to Lvl 110, or whether I should experience some of what the Shaman has to offer through Voljaarn. Or whether I should burn through Warlords of Draenor slightly faster with Flint. I’m still fairly new to Legion, which makes me think that if I focus on several characters at once I could potentially lengthen the process by not realising later mechanics exist. If later mechanics exist. Which they probably do. Don’t even talk to me about the Monk. She’s still in Duskwood. Well, you can talk to me about her if you like. I just don’t know that much about Monks yet. I should probably think about levelling her at some point, too.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie