War Campaign Progress and Establishing Alliance Footholds

The other day I finished the second part of the Alliance war campaign, which is a series of max-level quests gated behind reputation gains with the 7th Legion. Progress on my war campaign stuff has been pretty slow, since I haven’t had much luck with earning rep very quickly. But I figured I’d write about my experience so far because the most recent quests were in Nazmir and some pretty interesting stuff happened. I’m also throwing in some photos of establishing footholds on Zandalar, since those got swept under the rug while posting about my leveling experiences!

After starting my war campaign in Vol’dun, where I assassinated the leader of an important Horde archaeology assignment, I was sent to dark, swampy Nazmir. My mission there was simple, learn about the Horde’s war efforts there. After helping some Tortollans who were being held captive by Blood Trolls, they kindly informed the Alliance of a secret meeting being held.

Saving Tortollans and Disposing Blood Trolls
The Necropolis
Bwonsamdi, Troll Loa of Death

While in the area I went to the Necropolis, a sacred place of the dead for the Zandalari Trolls. To my surprise I ran into Bwonsamdi, Loa of Death, who I haven’t seen in-game up until now. I’ve avoided a lot of spoilers about him so far, but I can’t wait to play through the story with him.

After spying on the Horde meeting where Princess Talanji and Rokhan were present, a surprise third person also showed up: Blood Prince Dreven. Yes, that means that the San’layn are relevant again, at least for now. The San’layn are a race of vampire elves, originally appearing in Wrath of the Lich King, that greatly resemble Blood Elves. Differences include gray skin, different eye color, and of course all their magic has to do with blood. I don’t actually know much about the San’layn or where they came from, but they were supposedly mostly wiped out after WotLK. In this current expansion, though, they have made an uneasy alliance with the Horde thanks to Sylvanas. For some reason Sylvanas thinks these elves can be useful to her, and I have to assume that she hopes that the San’layn can help with the Forsaken plight somehow.

The meeting between Talanji, Rokhan, and Dreven didn’t tell me much, but after that I set out with Shandris and Keeshan to kill Dreven. That didn’t go so well…

Fallen Sentinels

Three members from Shandris’ Sentinel Army were killed in the process, and Dreven got away. That was the end of that quest-line, so I need to work on my 7th Legion rep to unlock the next part. It seems like Blizzard is trying to set up the San’layn as an Allied Race, but that depends on if they don’t betray the Horde. In all honesty, I would be so excited for vampire elves as a playable race but I’m trying not to get my hopes up!

Shores of Zuldazar

Zuldazar is full of lush forests and jungles and is home to many different types of dinosaurs. This zone was the first area I chose to start setting up a foothold in, and I love how it reminds me of an updated Stranglethorn Vale.

Uldir, Former Titan Facility

Nazmir is a spooky place with lots of swamps and Blood Trolls, but it’s also the place where the Titans built the Old God research facility Uldir an untold number of years ago. Of course, the Titans’ research went horribly wrong and the facility had to be locked and abandoned. Through thousands of years evil festered inside those sealed doors, twisting the land around it. While I don’t know much about Nazmir because I still haven’t started leveling my Horde character, I can assume that that ancient evil is what drove the Blood Trolls to madness. Questing and stumbling across Uldir was startling and left me in awe.

John J. Keeshan

When arriving in Nazmir I was pleasantly surprised to see Keeshan, an NPC Alliance players will remember from the Redridge Mountains quests. Keeshan was put into the game as a reference to Rambo and, while he usually spends his time killing Orcs, when I found him in Nazmir his gaze was set on the Blood Trolls.

Vol’dun

Vol’dun is a harsh desert environment where the worst criminals from the Zandalari empire are exiled to. This zone is my favorite out of the three possibly because it brings back memories from my time in Uldum, a zone introduced in Cataclysm.

Jani, Loa of Scavengers

When I started my war campaign here, I did a small quest-line that was so unlike any quest I have ever done before! I don’t think it was part of the war campaign, and was just a normal quest that Horde players could complete while leveling. Poor Quartermaster Alfin just didn’t know how quick Karma would hit him when he had me kill teeny dinosaurs, called Saurids, that were terrorizing the new Alliance foothold. The Saurids were one of the first things I noticed when I established the foothold in Vol’dun, they’re like rats!

After turning in the pest control quest I found a junk heap that turned out to be an altar to Jani, who is the Loa of Scavengers. To teach me a lesson, Jani turned me into a Saurid and made me go bite Alfin’s bum. I loved every minute of that quest, and I was so happy to find that there’s an achievement for completing all of Jani’s quests!

So far I’ve been really enjoying the Alliance war campaign and exploring the Horde continent, and I can’t wait to start on my Horde character!

Questing Through Stormsong Valley

I finally finished all eight chapters in Stormsong Valley after making myself go back there so I could get the Kul Tourist achievement. I knew I’d have to finish the zone at some point anyway if I ever wanted to unlock flying! Stormsong is in a weird place for me maybe because it’s the last zone I quested through and by that time I was a little burnt out. After questing through long and intricate story-lines in Tirigarde and especially in Drustvar, the quests in Stormsong didn’t give me that same feeling of awe.

While the zone itself was beautiful and the music was calming, I was anything but calm. I was in a rush to finish all the quests so I could get the achievement, and then go write this blog post because I’m terribly behind on that. But, even though there are a number of factors that may have led to why it didn’t have that same feeling as the other zones, I can’t shake the feeling that there was something else, too.

Overlooking the Valley

I have to agree with many people from the community on some of the out-of-place quest-lines in Stormsong. The whole part where a section of Brennadam got destroyed by the Horde didn’t seem to fit with the story, and I recently learned that this wasn’t Blizzard’s original intention (Edit: ctrl+f+”Stormsong” to find it quickly) with that quest-line. I heard a lot of talk about the Quillboar part and, even though it wasn’t my favorite, it was still ok. I may have been under the wrong impression that all eight chapters would have something to do with the Tidesages and the lost Kul Tiran fleet.

Horde Incoming

Right after first being introduced to the zone, Taelia and I started investigating the strange behavior of the Tidesages and why they seem to be of no help in locating the lost fleet. While we do get our answer (Old Gods, man) in a compelling quest-line, it eventually ends and we are left with a dungeon quest for Shrine of the Storm. I was left wanting more, and with lots more chapters to play through I was excited to find out what was next. While there was a great quest-line involving the Naga (more on that later), the rest of the zone didn’t really deliver on my expectations of more spooky Old God stuff. This could be a problem of me getting my hopes up, however, and I do know that Blizzard fully intends to give us more Old God stuff in light of the Azshara Warbringers video.

Confronting Lord Stormsong

Speaking of Azshara, I fought Naga over at Fort Daelin who were summoning a giant water creature thing, called the Pride of Azshara. Players from Legion will remember the final boss, Wrath of Azshara, from the Eye of Azshara dungeon. The one I fought in Stormsong looks the same, but has a slightly different name. These creatures seem to be magical manifestations of Azshara’s emotions, and aren’t that easy to defeat. The one from the Eye of Azshara dungeon was already greatly weakened by the time the boss encounter started. It was very exciting to have a quest-line all about the Naga, and it was awesome to be able to see their updated model used so much.

Pride of Azshara

The Naga were exciting to me because ever since watching the Azshara Warbringers I know they have a plan that has been stewing for ten-thousand years. No, these Naga aren’t just part of a random quest to kill ten of them (but there’s still lots of that), in Stormsong they are clearly attacking the Kul Tirans with a purpose. Azshara has been waiting ten-thousand years for whatever is about to happen in the next couple major patches, and it is going to be big. Plus we finally get our first in-game glimpse of Azshara’s new model when we pick up a quest item that has a message from the queen herself! Needless to say, I’m very excited for what is to come, and chances are you already know that if you read my last post!

Aside from the usual excitement that comes with Old Gods and Naga, I did some other quests that stood out to me. The first being a quest-line that takes place entirely in Deadwash, where the Irontide Pirates are attracted to rumors of lost treasure. It was here, after turning in a couple quests, that I hit level 120 and took a short questing hiatus. But after returning to Deadwash and finishing up the chapter there, I found the treasure and was awarded 83 gold along with a letter in the mail claiming that the rest of my share would be mailed next week. I’m fairly confident that my gold will never show up, and I certainly wasn’t looking forward to buying a new mount.

Treasure Hunters of Deadwash

In my travels through Stormsong I came across the honey bee farm, Mildenhall, where its owner was experimenting with honey production. Increased honey production as well as increased bee hostility made for an interesting time when I had to help save the farm. The new bee models are adorable and makes me want to get a honey bee mount that much more!

Buzz…

Overall, Stormsong Valley was as beautiful as the first two zones I went through, but leaving Stormsong to the end and feeling burnt out may have contributed to why I wasn’t as excited about questing here. Some of the quest-lines were really awesome, like with the Tidesages and Naga, while other ones felt out-of-place, like the Quillboar and Horde. I’ll have to revisit how I feel about this zone when leveling alts and I’ll make sure not to save it for last! Right now, Stormsong to me feels a little bit like a missed opportunity, but I also understand that Blizzard really wants to build up to the Old God stuff.

Warbringers: Azshara is Finally Here!

It is so awesome to finally get confirmation on a part of Azshara’s past that had been long speculated by the community, and hinted at by Blizzard! It was very different from the Jaina and Sylvanas Warbringers videos in that both of those have elements of current events rather than just the past. By now, a lot of people have learned about Queen Azshara and why she’s so important in Warcraft lore but it is great to finally see events published by Blizzard that are definitely canon. Azshara is one of my all-time favorite Warcraft characters, and through her I learned about the story of the Highborne and history of Night Elves as well as the Burning Legion. In case you don’t know about Azshara or why she’s important, I’ll explain!

Way back in history, before Night Elves even existed, a group of Trolls had found their way to a large, mystical lake of scintillating energies. Eventually these Trolls had learned to manipulate the energies of the lake to create magic. After creating a civilization around the lake, referred to as the Well of Eternity, the Trolls’ physical features began to change, and from them evolved the Night Elves. The Night Elves were close with nature and worshiped the goddess of the moon, Elune. However in time, some Night Elves renounced Elune in favor of higher arcane understanding. They became obsessed with using the Well’s energies for greater and greater purposes. These Night Elves became known as the Highborne.

The Highborne were the upper caste of Night Elf society and, in their arrogance, looked down upon all those other Night Elves who weren’t a part of the nobility. Azshara was one such Highborne who became queen and leader of all Night Elven civilization. She shared the opinion of other Highborne in their thinking that they were superior to the others. Queen Azshara was loved by her people for her mastery over magic and her beauty. Azshara was born with bright golden eyes, a trait that Night Elves say predict a great destiny. She was incredibly gifted in magic, and is said to have used her magic to increase her beauty even more, in order to make her people love her that much more.

Azshara was vain, narcissistic, arrogant, and cunning. When the Burning Legion was drawn to Azeroth through the Highborne’s use of magic, she saw an opportunity for greatness. She made a deal with Sargeras, Lord of the Burning Legion, in exchange for even greater power. Many of her Highborne followed her blindly, probably unaware of the full truth of the bargain that had been struck. However many Night Elves fought against her in the War of the Ancients, notably Tyrande Whisperwind, Malfurion Stormrage, and Illidan Stormrage. In the war, where the great Ancients of the forest were called upon to help protect Azeroth, the Well of Eternity was ultimately imploded in order to cut off the onslaught of the demon invasion. We can see what happens after the Well is imploded in the Warbringers video, where Azshara makes a deal with the Old God, N’Zoth. And, for ten-thousand years, Azshara has been under the sea with her Naga building her empire.

So why is someone so obviously evil one of my favorite characters? Because she is not simply evil, but a complex character with good and bad qualities. It is not likely that she cares very much for her people, save for the fact that a ruler needs people to build an empire. She had no problem letting N’Zoth turn them into Naga and become slaves to both his and Azshara’s will. Yet they still love their queen, which means that they are still enamored with her in a way that suggests magic. Azshara is the same person that she has always been inside: a monster. And with the help of an Old God, now she looks the part too.

Yet she is also shown to be very intelligent and cunning, like in Warbringers where she refuses N’Zoth’s initial deal. She is a queen, not a slave. I loved that whole scene of her telling N’Zoth what the deal is, because it is so her. She is strong and doesn’t back down from what her vision is. She wants power and a massive, eternal empire where she will always be on top. That, to me, is what makes her such a good villain. Ever since I first learned about her I knew I wanted to face off against her in a raid, and was increasingly frustrated when they teased us with bits of lore, but no new story. When the Well of Eternity Heroic dungeon came out in Cataclysm I was so happy, and I loved the dungeon, it just wasn’t enough! Hearing about her at Blizzcon 2017, where they finally announced Queen Azshara as a raid boss, was awesome. And, if I wasn’t excited enough, Azshara’s Warbringers video came out and blew me away.

While it will be sad in a way to finally defeat Azshara (as far as I know), it always had to happen. Her reign must come to an end, and when it does it will be quite a significant day for my Night Elf Hunter, as well as Night Elves everywhere. Because of Queen Azshara meddling with powerful forces like the Burning Legion and the Old Gods, much has happened to Azeroth that could have been avoided.

Questing Through Drustvar

Last week, shortly before I started feeling awful, I left Tirigarde Sound for Drustvar, eager to start in a a brand-new zone after all the time I had just spent in Tirigarde. Going into it I didn’t know much about Drustvar, except that it’s spooky! I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Drustvar as I’m not normally a fan of spooky things, but I ended up loving it and having a blast with the story there.

The whole zone oozed dark magic and spookiness, which made the whole place feel like Halloween, except in Drustvar it’s like that every day. Before arriving in Drustvar I thought that only part of the zone was spooky, and I severely underestimated their witch problem! But, running through there for the first time in order to turn my quest in at Fallhaven, I quickly learned that I had the wrong impression. Especially when I met the creepiest little girl, Abby Lewis, who insisted I find her stuffed animals for a “tea party” and didn’t seem phased by all the terror going on around her. I ignored her quest until later, so that I could head to Fallhaven and grab the flightpath…

There I learned firsthand of witches’ curses when I found that all of Fallhaven was under some kind of spell. But it wasn’t until after I helped Abby Lewis with her “tea party” and she performed some kind of ritual did I start to realize that all of Drustvar must be under some kind of curse.

Party Time…

I love the story there, and though I still need to go back and finish Stormsong Valley, I think the quests in Drustvar were my favorite. Through the ten chapters there, I learned a lot about the history of Drustvar and why Kul Tiran Druidism makes sense. I am still surprised, even while writing this, about how much this story resonates with me and still gives me a feeling of awe.

My journey in Drustvar truly began when I came across the daughter of the ruling family, Lucille Waycrest. House Waycrest has been a supporter of the Proudmoore Admiralty for a long time, and they are known for their strong military. As such, I was sent to investigate the absence of the Waycrests at council meetings and look into why the place is just so darn creepy. Through my adventures with Lucille, I learned about the Order of Embers and even helped resurrect the Order. Back two-thousand years ago when Humans first came to settle Kul Tiras, they encountered the Drust. The Drust were a savage race that went to war with the Kul Tirans right away, even when they tried to negotiate for peace. The Drust used a dark magic that nobody had seen before and could not be destroyed by normal means, so the Order of Embers was formed. Within the Order, members figured out methods to kill the Drust and were seemingly successful when their leader, Gorak Tul, was killed by Arom Waycrest.

Meeting Lucille Waycrest

The mystery that the newly re-established Order of Embers set out to discover was the reason for the return of dark magic in Drustvar. Eventually, after much witch-hunting, I got a quest that sent me to Whitegrove Chapel to pay respects to a former love of Lucille’s. I played through the short quest-line there and learned that Lucille’s fiance was murdered by assassins on the day of their wedding ceremony. Learning about Lucille’s past was heart-breaking, and even more so when I learned that her mother payed off the assassins because she didn’t like that Lucille was marrying a common merchant. I did feel a little better when I returned the wedding ring to Lucille, so that they would be able to be together in some way.

Now I’ve learned more about her parents and I really didn’t like her mother at all. However, the worst was yet to come when we finally made it to the gates of Waycrest Manor and found that the surrounding town had also succumbed to dark magic. When Lucille approached the Manor to see if her parents still lived, she was faced with the truth. Her mother was the leader of the Heartsbane Coven that was responsible for spreading witchcraft in Drustvar, and her along with Lucille’s father had been turned into monstrosities.

Waycrest Manor

And now the full story has been uncovered. When Lord Waycrest became sick and was dying, Lady Waycrest desperately tried to call out to any power or being that could hear her. Gorak Tul, leader of the Drust, had been locked away in the Blighted Lands for two-thousand years after the war, just biding his time until someone released him. That someone was Lady Waycrest when she called out to him unknowingly. Using Lady Waycrest and giving her dark new powers, Gorak Tul’s curse was unleashed upon Drustvar. The Heartsbane Coven was formed with a mission to bring Gorak Tul fully into the physical world.

After finishing up the main story, I went and completed all the side-quests that were left. Of note were the quests I did for the Thornspeakers, which is the group of Kul Tiran Druids. After finishing the quests I was taken to meet the High Thornspeaker, who turned out to be one of the last remaining Drust. It turns out that not all Drust wanted to go to war, but wanted to live in Drustvar peacefully and practice Druidism. Drust are naturally shapeshifters, so some Kul Tirans who are descendants of the Drust can learn Druidism. I was curious about the reasoning behind Human Druids, so that explanation was really cool!

Overall I loved Drustvar and like Tirigarde, it had some really great memorable characters. I loved learning about the history of the Drust and Kul Tiran Druidism, and the whole thing gave me Game of Thrones vibes. The whole time I was learning about the war with the Drust I couldn’t help but think of the First Men in GoT, when they were trying to defeat the White Walkers.

And, most importantly, I learned that poking another player with Lucille’s Sewing Needle has a chance to turn them into a witch! I’ve poked so many people with that needle so far…

Witch! Witch!

Ding! Level 120!

A lot has happened since my last post, which was wrapping up the quests in Tirigarde Sound. Yesterday I finally reached level 120, even though I wasn’t feeling too great! While my brain has felt like mush for the better part of a week, I have been questing and documenting my experience all the same! So, in the next few posts, allow me to recap what’s been going on. This post, though, is about some of the things that I have been up to since reaching max-level.

After hitting 120, I didn’t jump into max-level content right away. I was a little burnt out after grinding through zones densely populated with quest-givers. Instead I switched over to my Horde character, because I told myself that I had to finish leveling my main before getting distracted by the Horde continent. The scenario that I played through as part as the introduction to Zandalar and the Zandalari Trolls was pretty fun, and had a small twist that I wasn’t expecting! I’ll talk more about that when I upload a video of the scenario, because I really enjoyed it. Other than that I headed to Zandalar and did a few introduction quests there, but I haven’t left the city left. In fact, there is still a lot to explore as I’ve heard the Horde capital has a lot of little details just like the Alliance one.

Arriving in Zuldazar
On top of Dazar’alor

Today, on my Alliance main, I started the max-level War Campaign content. I know there are some quests that open up in Boralus at level 120 that involve Jaina, so that’s what I thought was going to happen when I turned in “A Mission of Unity”. Instead I was sent to Vol’dun on Zuldazar to observe and assassinate some Horde archaeologists. I’m not complaining, the quests there were neat, but now I’m confused about that quest-line with Jaina everyone’s been talking about! Especially since it ends with a cool cinematic that I’ve had to avoid on YouTube. But I really like Vol’dun, and it might be my favorite Horde zone. I could only complete a  small quest-chain in my War Campaign before my quest log told me I needed to get more reputation with the 7th Legion to continue. That’s ok with me, especially if this is a Suramar-like gigantic quest-line.

Today I also figured out how to open the locked Merchant’s Chest in Drustvar, which is located on the side of the road leading out of Whitegrove Chapel. I thought that the birds circling around the dead merchant might have the key, and was further intrigued when one of the birds cast a spell called “Steal Trinket”. Only after I found the key and opened the chest did the birds respawn, and I noticed that one bird held a set of keys from his talons and had a Merchant’s Key buff. I love these types of details in games that give players a sense of accomplishment when they figure out the puzzle.

That’s all for now, I still have a lot more to explore. I have probably five quests for dungeons that I haven’t seen yet, and I need to start skilling up my professions, among so many other things that come with a new expansion! Next I plan on getting my blog up to date with all of the questing I did leading up to reaching 120.

Finishing Up in Tirigarde

Last night I finally made it through all of the quests in Tirigarde and started the intro quests for Drustvar, but had to stop myself so I could write this post! While questing through Tirigarde I picked up so many quests that I thought I might hit level 120 before leaving the first zone. When I finished everything yesterday I got halfway to level 115, so questing in this one zone so far has brought me almost halfway to end-cap.

The quests that I finished up were different from the main chapter quests in that they had a different feel to them. They felt like just quests rather than a contribution to a larger quest-line that will get me closer to understanding the full story in the zone. This might also have to do with me trying to finish up the left behind quests so that I could move on to Drustvar. Even though the left over quests weren’t as fun as playing through the main story in Tirigarde, there were some quests I did that put a smile on my face.

I gathered supplies to make a sweater for a Tortollan’s “dog”, Rupert, who turned out to be a Grizzly bear cub. I was hoping that when I turned in the quest I would suddenly see a sweater appear on Rupert, but that didn’t happen. Maybe I should submit a bug report to Blizzard! I also took selfies for a Gnome that was looking to increase advertisement for his resort and worked for the Roughnecks, and did some other minor questing.

Checking out the Tour Groups
Selfies with the Wildlife
Fighting Mutineers at Greystone Tower
Keeping Rupert Warm at Kennings Lodge
Helping the Roughnecks

Overall, I think that Tirigarde was a good introduction to Kul Tiras for me and it helped me learn about what has been going on since the Alliance lost contact with them. I loved leveling through it and being introduced to the Kul Tirans as well; I love their models and their voice lines. The people here have so much character and you can tell that politically, things have been messed up lately. I’m glad that the capital city, Boralus, is in Tirigarde because I still have a lot left to go back and explore! But for now I’m off to Drustvar to try and help out with their witch problem.

Starting in Tirigarde Sound

I actually completed all seven of the quest chapters in Tirigarde yesterday, but I figured I’d break up my posts on this zone since there is so much to cover. Also, while the chapters may be finished, there are a lot more quests left over in the zone and I want to experience all of that before I move on to Drustvar. So far I love each of the story-lines I have played through and the world itself is breathtaking and massive, which makes it an absolute joy to level in so far. Tirigarde reminds me of Grizzly Hills a bit, with its gorgeous pine trees, babbling brooks, and mountainous landscape.

The beautiful landscape made me slow down and take everything in, which is probably the reason why I haven’t left the zone yet! During my travels here I broke out of prison, met Flynn Fairwind and Taelia, got shipwrecked in a cove full of sirens, became an Irontide Pirate, uncovered a scheme by Lady Ashvane, attended a fancy equestrian festival, and more! Along the way I met some pretty neat people, like the Kul Tirans and Tortollans.

Outside Freehold

I love pirate stuff in WoW, and I always think back longingly to the quest-line in Booty Bay where you become a pirate and captain your own ship. When Blizzard reworked the Combat Rogue specialization to Outlaw, I was all over it. I think the whole thing is hilarious and quirky, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out that a whole expansion based on seafaring nations was on the horizon. After I was put in prison by Lord Admiral Katherine Proudmoore, Flynn was the guy who helped to break me out. The reason for that being the Ashvane Company, led by Lady Ashvane, has been doing suspicious things lately. We soon found out that Ashvane is dabbling with Azerite in order to make powerful weapons, and is assumed to be feeding the Lord Admiral lies and clouding her judgement towards the Alliance. Flynn came up with a fantastic plan to stowaway on a ship that was suspected of shipping out Ashvane’s weapons. You see how well that goes…

The ship was run aground by the siren’s call! There I spent some time taking out some sirens and trying to break Flynn of the siren’s kiss, which subsequently led to his heartbreak. Then, in one of the funniest quests thus far, he got drunk and leads me around in a circle while searching for Freehold. Despite all Flynn’s efforts, we made it to Freehold and enlisted as pirates so we could get inside the city.

Eventually we left Freehold when Taelia arrived to take us to safety. Then I do some more investigating before we headed back to Boralus and revealed Ashvane as a traitor who was after the title of “Lord Admiral” all along. After a thrilling chase on horseback she got away, but I have a feeling that wasn’t the last I’ll see of her.

I then saved a noble’s son and got invited to Lord Norwington’s Estate for a festival that involved a horseback riding competition. This area was beautiful, with its open courtyard, gardens, and the houses were decorated with some nice art. My favorite part of this quest-line was helping a Tortollan overcome his fear of riding horses, and his happiness when riding a horse for the first time. The whole thing was sweet, especially because his son Joma was encouraging him the whole way. It wasn’t all relaxing, though, because Troggs crashed the party! After repelling the Troggs I could get back to the festival and watch the beautiful fireworks over the mountains.

After that I headed to Anglepoint Wharf, where workers and citizens were coming down with a strange illness. People were getting infected by the tainted barrels of fish, by what appeared to be Old God-esque parasitic brainworms. After further investigation, it turned out that part of the Sea Priests from Stormsong Valley have tapped into the dark magic associated with the Old Gods, and they were responsible for infecting the Wharf. After cleaning up a little, and taking out the leader of the corrupted priests, we got a nice visit from this fellow…

Viq’Goth

Boy was he angry. We were able to make him leave, but he was far too powerful to kill without a group. I looked for him in the Adventure Guide and saw that he is a boss in the Siege of Boralus dungeon, so he’s no pushover.

It seems like I’ve rambled on a lot, but I haven’t even covered the whole zone! I’m trying to touch on the important parts, but there is so much detail that I’m not sure which details to leave out. After completing the Anglepoint Wharf quests I got the achievement for completing all the chapters in the zone, but there’s still a lot left to explore. Until today I couldn’t quite place why I love the new zones so much, but I think it’s because these zones aren’t ruined with green fel magic! That’s not to say that the zones won’t someday be ruined with Old God magic, but I’m enjoying this while it lasts! Next time I post it will be about me finishing up in Tirigarde and what I thought overall of the story, and I can’t wait to see the rest of the quests!

Happy Launch Day!

Battle for Azeroth is finally here, and I must say that I have had a blast just in this first day. I was very nervous that server problems were going to sour the evening, but the launch went live without an issue! So far I really have to hand it to Blizzard and how smooth this launch was. I expected for everyone that was waiting in Stormwind to be mass disconnected, but instead we were given our introductory quests right on time.

Patiently waiting for expansion time

So far I have already completed four out of seven chapters of the Tirigarde Sound story, and I’ve been loving every minute of it. The characters are great, the entire zone is beautiful and aesthetically amazing, and there are so many quests! Blizzard really wasn’t kidding when they said they wanted to do more Suramar-like quest-lines in the future, because there is so much to do just in this one zone. I have that now familiar feeling of being overwhelmed by the amount of stuff to do, and that’s exactly what I hoped for. While this is only the first day and there is a lot more to experience, I have thoroughly enjoyed the quests and characters, and generous cut-scenes to go along with them. I have no doubt that I’ll be going into more detail with my experiences in Tirigarde Sound, but I’ll keep it brief today. I’m looking forward to playing more and uncovering the story!

Boralus from afar

Taking a Look Back at Legion

In less than twenty four hours from the time of writing this, World of Warcraft: Legion will come to a close, and Battle for Azeroth will go live all around the world. I want to use this time to reflect on the last two years of WoW, and talk about how much of a blast it has been.

Blizzard learned from many of their mistakes made during Warlords of Draenor, the expansion before Legion. WoD had a notoriously bad expansion launch due to  the new Garrisons feature, where players would disconnect from the game every time they tried to go to their Garrison. On top of that, the Garrison mission table system, while exciting at first, quickly became dull and encouraged players to spend most of their time sending followers on missions to get rare items instead of actually leaving their Garrison to get them themselves. Needless to say, the Warcraft team at Blizzard had an idea for WoD that everyone was excited about at first, but did not work as well in practice.

Lorlathil in Val’Sharah

All these things led to why Legion was so awesome. After WoD came to a close, we were promised more content and faster content, as well as a revamped follower system (the order hall). Blizzard acknowledged the mistakes made during WoD  and delivered on their promise for more content so as to not make the game feel stagnant. In Legion we got class Order Halls and Order Campaigns, World Emissary Quests, cool new zones (pictures featured in this post), random legendaries, the awesome Suramar max-level questline, to finally travel to Argus, and so much more. While no expansion is perfect and there are things about Legion I did not like, I have had so much fun playing Warcraft these past two years, and, to me, Blizzard really nailed it.

Nar’Thalas Academy in Azsuna

There was so much content in Legion that I, and many others, were left feeling overwhelmed with the amount of things to do! Once I quested through each zone’s story-line and completed my Order Hall campaign I started the Suramar story, which was a beast in and of itself. The plight of the Nightborne and my journey with them to help liberate their city from the influence of Demons was one of the most important feeling quest-lines I have ever done. Additionally, I could complete World Quests and get my Emissary Cache, which gives me a chance at legendaries and other rare loot. Micro-Holidays were peppered into the mix, something I have only recently started exploring. The story of Legion was compelling because we were fighting The Burning Legion, and we knew that most likely we would get a glimpse of Sargeras, one of the biggest baddies since forever.

Wrynnfall on the Broken Shore

The Alliance faced the death of their king and, likewise, the Horde faced the death of their Warchief. We stopped the Legion from regenerating eternally and put a stop to their leader, with Illidan becoming jailer to Sargeras. And, most importantly, Khadgar was a major character! Seriously, we got a lot to play through in Legion and I hope that this level of content and quality carries over to BFA. That being said, there are some elements to Legion that I did not necessarily like…

Pinerock Basin in Highmountain

While Legion is regarded by most as a huge success, I believe some things fell a little short. In particular I did not like the changes made to Professions, because in order to max out skill level, players had to run dungeons and complete a quest-line that to me was annoying. Because of the amount of stuff to do, leveling Professions was always on my lowest list of priorities and I never completed the quests. Mostly I was annoyed that Professions tied into dungeons and that, if you never do the dungeon, you can’t max out your skill. With the changes to Professions for BFA having already been implemented, I can only hope that a new system for skilling up has been found.

Nashal the Watcher in Stormheim

As I quested and finished the Suramar quest-line on my main, I did not feel compelled to go through that several more times on alts. While the quest-line was amazing because it was a new story unfolding around me, I knew it would not hold the same sway over me a second time. Getting my Nightfallen reputation to exalted multiple times just made me feel tired, and, at the time, so did thinking about running through the quests a second time. Thinking back on it now, it would have probably been a fun thing to do on alts while waiting for BFA, but I was too busy being in awe of Argus and shiny new Allied Races.

Suramar City

My last major point is a small one: green. So much green! After two consecutive expansions with loads of Demons and fel magic, I think I have had just about enough green to last a lifetime. I loved that Legion revisited old topics like Illidan, Sargeras, and Suramar, but after two years of that I think I’m ready to move on. Even after the controversy that BFA has caused within the community thus far, I find myself excited for a clean slate. With the Burning Legion out of the way we can focus on what’s really important: war! Seriously, I am excited to see where that whole story goes and how many patches it will take Blizzard to give us N’Zoth and Azshara.

Mac’Aree on Argus

After such an enjoyable expansion with many high points and significantly less low points, I am anxious to see how Battle for Azeroth will compare. I hope Blizzard continues to give us awesome content and learn from the mistakes of the past. I’m nervous because after any big character arc comes to a close, there is typically a lull while writers build up the next big important plot-line. After imprisoning Sargeras, it feels as though a big part of Warcraft lore has come to a close, at least for now. I’m also nervous for the release tomorrow because I believe it’s WoW’s first ever global release, and that might be a disaster. While it is very possible that there might be awkward points in the story for the next couple of years, I hope that Warfronts, Island Expeditions, and the War Campaign will help to bridge that gap.

That being said, I am still very excited to start brand-new quests on two new continents tomorrow. If I wasn’t excited about new stuff in Warcraft, I wouldn’t have played it as long as I have. Every launch to me feels like Chistmas morning as a little kid, where I run downstairs and unwrap some gifts that are a total mystery as to what they contain. The most important and exciting part of Warcraft to me has always been the stories told, which is good news for me since Blizzard has said that BFA is going to be a very story-driven expansion. I have been very good at avoiding spoilers so I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow!

 

 

Lordaeron Scenario Gameplay

This scenario surprised me in so many ways and I had a lot of fun doing it! The first time I ran through it, it was hard to focus on something for too long because so much was going on. I lost my mouse cursor a few times amid the other players and NPCs! I think that it would have made more sense not to stretch the pre-patch through three weeks, but Jaina flying in on a ghost ship propelled my magic makes up for some of that! Seriously though, Jaina completely stole the show.

When Sylvanas orders the blight to be spread even though her own troops are still out on the field, it felt terrifying. Trying to keep fighting all the while retreating ever so slowly due to the growing blight was a really cool part of the scenario that I really enjoyed. I love things that have consequences like that, and I can confirm that the blight really does hurt. Those little details really help to make the world feel alive. On he flip side, when playing the scenario as Horde, Sylvanas orders the players to spread the blight themselves. Having played through that on an alt, it felt wrong and made me sad, which is exactly how you’re supposed to feel.

This scenario had a lot of the right things: cool cut scenes, fun mechanics, and emotional moments. I kind of had a feeling that the Siege of Lordaeron was going to be the high point of the pre-patch, but I do wish it wasn’t split up as much. We still haven’t seen the Azshara Warbringers short, which I am really looking forward to! I am hoping that it will be released over the weekend, or even right before the servers go live on launch day, as a kind of shocking precursor to the expansion. Only three more days (for NA players) to go!