Category Archives: Ding
Roughly a month after Shadowlands released, here I am at 60. I was in no particular hurry and have probably been left far behind by my guildmates. However, if you gulp you can get indigestion, so I’ve been chewing slowly and steadily.
My approach has been to take one toon up a level, then another, and then another, with a level’s separation between Grimm / Illume / Jasra / Floramel. So, today I popped 60 on Grimm which means when I next level Illume, she’ll pop 59, and so forth.
This has worked pretty well before, but there’s a problem with Shadowlands.
In the past, there has been a barely-visible set of railroad tracks under your feet, but they took multiple paths to max level. In BC we all started in one place, then took multiple paths out of there. In Wrath we started in two different places. Same for Cataclysm, with a reversion to the BC model in MoP and WoD and BfA, and a great multiple entry model in Legion (the best IMO).
But here, in Shadowlands, we’re locked on to very strong tracks, and they will not abide deviation from a given path. You don’t advance from one zone to the next without achieving certain key points – Maldraxxus is the most blatant, with its five runes. Get all five and you’re off to Ardenweald.
I do see that there are flight points available to all zones at some point, but I’m not sure if you can actually fly to one out of sequence. Something to look into.
So, overall it’s been a slice, but it’s been an increasingly boring slice. Hopefully once I complete all the storylines I will have more choice in what I do next, but right now it feels like some bloke in Irvine is playing the game for me. The levelling game feels like it’s been written out of the story so we can rush into endgame. Seriously, why not eliminate it completely if that’s how you feel? Publish a comic book and be done with.
I’m pretty sure that this game would be a lot more playable for my alts if I maxxed out one character before levelling any of the others, but that basically means I needed to have foreseen this and adjusted my playstyle before I ever played. Pretty stupid assumption if I’m honest. Never trust a software engineer – or game designer – to be particularly smart.
The most annoying part of this is that Shadowlands would be easily playable as a four-starting-zones game, ala Legion. But they chose not to do it that way. Reflect on that.
Tonight I started at just over 2,000 reputation short of being Revered with the Mechagon Trudgniks. I wasn’t expecting to get all that rep in one night, but the “find the chests” WQ was up so I popped it with a quest to spare.
So I’m flying in the current content once again. I wish I could say it wasn’t a slog this time, but it really felt like a slog. This “pathfinder” business started, what, in Draenor? I think it was Draenor. And the funny thing is, it took a month, grinding as fast as I could. I think it took less time in Legion, and it definitely took less than a month this time.
But it FELT like a slog through two pointless rep grinds.
I wonder if others feel the same way about the duration and pointfulness.
It’s funny, in that it feels like it was deliberately time-gated to drag things out. But if it takes less than a couple of weeks before you see people zipping around on flying mounts, how much of a delay was it?
I know I’m not alone when I say that I feel that Blizz is introducing time-wasting content to try to engage players longer – by “engage” I mean “engage players in time wasting activities”.
Okay, listen. Nobody’s kidding anyone here. Of COURSE they’re trying to drag things out, keep you involved longer without any real reward.
But what Blizz needs to do at this point is maybe put more effort into making it look less like they are.
Next up: something like 1000 manapearls to max out my benthic gear. And maybe by then they’ll have new content.
In Burning Crusade, I had just started playing in earnest as a Hunter ((Grimm Mk 1 was a warrior, don’t ask me what spec because I clearly had no clue even then!)). I just kinda joined in with the group once I got to level 70. In Wrath of the Lich King, we had a serious guild blow-up so nobody was ready to raid until after 3.1. In Cataclysm, Eff the Ineffable was still getting it together and we didn’t start raiding until around February, a few months after release of 4.0.3.
So here we are in Pandaland, and I find myself a bit rushed. Raiding starts this weekend, and until last night, I wasn’t even the right level!
In a way, I illogically resent the need to hurry. I prefer to take my time, smell the Peacebloom, and take it all in.
But, nobody’s holding a gun to my head. I don’t HAVE to be in that first raid. I might not have a guaranteed place in the future, but that’s the price you pay for being less committed to raiding than your team mates.
So the truth is, I want to be there, if there’s a spot, and I made that choice without any coersion. So I should put on my big dorf pants ((Normally we don’t wear any under the tabard.)) and get as prepared as I can in the time remaining.
I’ll still have a chance to lollygag. Jasra, Flora, and Illume are all going to progress through the content a bit slower, though Jas may have to hurry a bit if the Bunnies start thinking about raiding in the near future. But that would be unusual, that’s one laid back group of peeps. 🙂
It’s pretty odd, by the way, to ding 90 and be nowhere near the final zone of the expansion. And I didn’t even start out with rested XP.