Shadowlands is finally on the horizon and as such Blizzard has released the real pre-patch event which leads us into the story of Shadowlands. This time the pre-patch only spans two weeks instead of BfA’s three week event, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When I wrote about BfA’s pre-patch I commented that there really wasn’t enough content to warrant three weeks, and I still agree with that statement. BfA’s pre-patch had some great stuff in it, but I think it would have been received better if the quests and story wasn’t stretched as thin as it was. Shadowlands seems to be a short and sweet event, with a gear catch-up system that involves killing Scourge in Icecrown – a location from a fan-favorite expansion.
I started the event by accepting a quest from Genn Greymane to kill Nathanos Blightcaller, who was sighted at his home in the Eastern Plaguelands. He was apparently waiting for all of us adventurers to stop by and take his loot, a challenge I happily took.
After a pretty cool cinematic involving Tyrande and Nathanos’ neck, I left for Icecrown to help with the Scourge that are quickly getting out of control. On the way there I couldn’t help but wonder what Nathanos’ plan was – he’s no doubt on his way into the Shadowlands, but why didn’t he just tag along with Sylvanas to begin with? Questions that will most likely be answered in just a couple weeks.
The rest of the content for this week involved a funny quest where you help a Gnomish engineer (it’s always a Gnome) test out his mind control device on a Ghoul, dailies that reward currency which can be turned in for gear, and timed spawning throwback WotLK bosses throughout Icecrown.
Even though there hasn’t been a ton to do during the event yet, I’ve been having fun with what we have. I had so much fun flying around Icecrown to get to the next world boss, and hanging out with TONS of other players while we wait for them to spawn. There is palpable excitement and energy in the game leading up to a new expansion launch, and I’m happy to be a part of it every time. I expect that things will get even crazier next week when the Scourge invasions unlock, and players will be able to turn into zombies via crates of infected grain in capital cities. I remember taking part in the zombie mob back in WotLK, and I look forward to the hilarity it’ll cause this time around.
Keeping the other things I mentioned in mind, possibly my most favorite update from the pre-patch is the addition of map pins! This is a feature that is common in many other games, especially those with large maps or lots of places to explore. It’s a welcome and overdue addition to WoW, and I love that players can link their map pins in General chats. For instance, when asking where the next world boss will spawn in Icecrown, people will just link their map pin which creates one on your own map. It’s a small feature, but it makes a huge difference.
I look forward to Tuesday and the chaos that the weekly reset will bring, if only for a short time. When it was announced that Shadowlands was going to be delayed, in the back of my mind I knew there was a possibility that it wouldn’t release this year. I would have been fine with that if that’s what it took to polish the game enough for release, but I’m also pretty impatient and pretty happy that we’re at the 10-day mark. I’ve played some of the beta, and while I avoided most of the spoilers I could, what I saw looked pretty good. I couldn’t help myself from trying out Torghast, and I’m glad I did. It’s a blast and I expect it’ll be even better in the live game.