So Long, Shadowlands!

You were a rough expansion to start but ultimately just okay. Ultimately, it ended up being pretty fun towards the conclusion of the expansion.

What happened to me during the past several months?

After my previous guild decided to disband from raiding and leadership stepped down, I was idle for several months before I signed on with Death Jesters on Stormrage (Yes, that Death Jesters). It’s been a thrill and although I’m disappointed for not being able to secure Cutting Edge in any of the tiers, I’m looking forward to Dragonflight. Although the organization isn’t pursuing top ranks and pushing high-end progression, the atmosphere continues to be fun and focused. It’s a far cry from previous years when they would frequently challenge for top placements. Now the guild is home to players on the older side with families and other obligations which prevent progression raiding.

I did it again

After a few months on the roster, I volunteered to help with recruiting efforts. I agreed to headhunt and recruit for specific classes or roles that we needed and continue posting guild ads on various communities to raise our visibility and profile for interested free-agent players.

That was enough to get me elevated to a leadership position.

I don’t know why this happens to me.

I hope I get a raise to my repair bill stipend at the end of the year.

It’s a weird spot to be in since after I winded down Conquest, I told myself I just wanted to play the game. Proper Villains allowed me to do just that all the way from the end of Legion through to Shadowlands before we succumbed to Castle Nathria.

Anyway, if you’re one of the few people that still check on my blog once in a while, DJ’s is looking specifically for:

  • DPS Warrior
  • DPS Monk
  • Any ranged DPS

The roster size is sitting at 25 but we would love to raise it up to 28. We raid Friday and Saturday nights from 11 PM Eastern to 2 AM Eastern. Raiding aspirations are CE for all of Dragonflight and to do that on a 2-night schedule means we need to be efficient and quick to learn.

Apply here!

Shadowlands Review

With the expansion wrapping up, it’s time to discuss what worked well and what didn’t. I had high hopes at the start. Torghast seemed like a fun piece of content but it quickly became an added requirement when legendary currency was tied to it.

What worked

  • Covenants: Seems like a big stride overall in the reputation system. This has carried over into Dragonflight with the four new factions. It reminds me of a mini in-game battlepass for each of them with assorted rewards and event unlocks.
  • Legendaries: Revisiting a few legendaries from Legion was fun. I would’ve appreciated more diversity in choice as a Holy Priest, but Flash Concentration was just too good.
  • Torghast: As mentioned at the start, the roguelike content for WoW was a nice diversion. I think revisiting something like this has it’s place in the game but the reward and systems structure warrant a closer look. I didn’t like feeling I had to run it twice every week at the start to continue to power up my legendary in addition to everything else that needed to be farmed.
  • Fated Raids: A bit controversial among some, but I felt it was a neat mechanic to revisit and recycle Nathria and Sanctum to make them somewhat relevant again. Great way to add a bit of complexity and depth to some of the Mythic encounters while training players to zero in more on the buff mechanics.
  • Threads of Fate: One of the few alt friendly systems added to the game. It was easy to just zone out and complete various quests without following a linear track. Glad to see it come back to Dragonflight.
  • Creation Catalyst: This was a late expansion addition as an element of bad luck protection for gear. Makes sense with the introduction of tier gear again to give everyone an eventual path to their full set.
  • Dinar Tokens: Another fun late expansion addition saw a way for players who missed out on certain weapons, trinkets, and rings as an alternative way of obtaining them. Yes, I’m looking right at you, Soulwarped Seal of Wrynn. The hard limit of 3 tokens was a fair restriction. I ended up with a surplus of 2 tokens that I’m just going to use on Shadow gear for leveling (Hello, Antumbra, Shadow of the Cosmos).
  • Zereth Mortis: It was just pleasant to be in a new outdoor zone that’s vibrant and not all doomy or gloomy. Still not sold on Poc-o-Poc then again, I’ve never really been into those pet things or any of the cool outdoor features.
  • Tazavesh: I hope we get to come back to this place in the future as it’s own capital city somehow. It made for a fun mega dungeon. Between this, Mechagon, and Karazhan, it’s been my favourite.
  • Castle Nathria and Sepulcher: Although Nathria was where my Proper Villains stopped raiding, I still enjoyed the encounters. Denathrius was one of the better end-tier bosses. Sun King is one of those rare bosses that also emphasizes healing directly as a mechanic and allows us to go off (especially Holy Priests).
  • Mythic+: The end-game dungeon system gets further refinement. Not only did we get new affixes, but now we’re getting a seasonal rotation of dungeons. It started with Season 4 and revisiting old favourites like Mechagon and Karazhan, but boy if there was ever a case against voting and democracy, Grimrail Depot is the perfect example of it. Definitely not fun in a close-quarters environment with the likes of Quaking and Shrouded.

What didn’t work

  • Currency grinding (Anima, Soul Ash, etc): Three straight expansions worth of grinding for borrowed power gains gets kind of annoying. We had Artifact Power in Legion, Azerite Power in Battle for Azeroth, and then a combination of Anima, Soul Ash, Soul Cinders, and Cosmic Flux (to a lesser extent). Normally, I’m fine with most currency grinds but this just felt excessive.
  • The Maw: For the first few weeks, this wasn’t so bad. What got to me was the constant weekly hunt for souls to turn in at our Covenant in order to unlock more of the features (and it ended up increasing in quantity). I liked the element of constant danger but the inability to mount was just so troublesome. I was extremely happy after getting the Maw mount as it made traversing the large zone that much easier. If there were more teleports to areas around the zone, it might’ve helped eased the frustration and annoyance I felt.
  • Korthia: I can’t explain why this zone didn’t connect with me. Maybe it just reminded me of the Maw too much. There were some nice activities and fun encounters, but aside from the story progression and the various character moments, Korthia wasn’t a zone that Iooked forward to.
  • Soulbinds: Didn’t really feel connected with any of them. It did feel more like a hassle to switch to the one I wanted to use for various activities (Raiding vs M+).
  • Conduits: This might be why I didn’t care much for the soul binds. Not only did we have to get the right conduits to drop, but we also had to progress and upgrade them accordingly. I already that for normal gear and it was an annoyance to me to need to do that for abilities and spells.
  • Covenant Swapping: Although Covenants were fine, it was the swapping between Covenants that proved to be an undertaking at the start of the expansion. Some were suited for raiding and others were better for M+. Had to jump through multiple hoops and grind some more just to change allegiances. The current iteration should’ve been in from the beginning.
  • Sanctum of Domination: Painsmith and Sylvanas were absolute grinds. I did not look forward to stepping into this place and my best showing was only 1 Mythic boss cleared when it was level relevant.

There are more things that I’ve forgotten about or that have changed over the course of the expansion, I’m sure. Right now, all eyes are looking towards Dragonflight at the end of the month. Whether or not Shadowlands will be remembered fondly or not is a question to be answered in the next decade.