On Wednesday, Automaton House ran New World’s second expedition, Starstone Barrows beneath the Shattered Obelisk. This one had some really neat mechanics, forcing players to avoid deadly beams and using shields to protect the group. We also struggled on the last boss at first until we figured out the strategy.
Here’s our kill video! There’s nothing particularly crazy happening in it, but it might be fun to look back on in the future.
And here’s a video showing the struggles to get a good screenshot.
Today is my dad’s birthday, so I thought I’d share this screenshot. Ever since I was a kid, I primarily used “Petros” as a character name for melee characters and “Sotiros” for casters. This started long before WoW existed. My current main is named Sotiros, a tauren shaman. “Sotiros” is Greek for “Steven,” which is my dad’s name, and I’m Greek-American. In World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, there is a zone called Bastion that’s heavily influenced by Greek mythology. Bastion has a summonable boss named Eliminator Sotiros. To celebrate my dad’s birthday, I wanted to share this screenshot of my Sotiros with Eliminator Sotiros. I took this so I could show him when I take him out to dinner!
I bought a house in Windsward overlooking the skill areas! I struggled to decide what to do – save up for a bigger first house to take advantage of the discount or buy right away? I decided to buy a tier 1 house because the property taxes would be cheaper, and I wanted to take advantage of the fast travel quickly. The fast travel is such a huge bonus!
Here gem and I are enjoying a conversation at the table. My two dogs are in the corners!
You can look out and see people running through the city below.
After a long day of adventuring, sometimes I want to rest in bed. Too bad there’s a woman standing over me, watching… always watching…
Saturday night we ventured into the Amrine Excavation to investigate the archaeologist Simon Grey and his team! gem tanked, Collin healed, and Duncan, Jonathan, and I DPS’d. We had a pretty good spread because I was melee, Jonathan was a caster, and Duncan was non-magical ranged.
The expedition itself was really fun and a good introduction to how they work I think. I think we learned a lot about group dynamics – how to properly pull, keep aggro, stay healed, kite, etc. Our first run had a few more boo-boos, but we got in the swing of things. We ran it a few times before moving on to corruption breaches for the night. I’m really looking forward to the next expedition!
The screenshot at the top shows, from left to right, NlL (Collin), Ali Wong (gem), Peter (me), Jonald Clam (Duncan), and Radwin (Jonathan)!
This week we got our second Sylvanas kill, which got most of our group Ahead of the Curve, including Moogle! And this time, unlike my first kill, we actually got a group screenshot!
We also did mythic Tarragrue, Eye of the Jailer, and the Nine. These mythic bosses are so much easier than heroic Sylvanas. Is it always like that? I doubt we’re going to push mythic much more, but it was fun to get a little mythic progress. Now that I have tier of shaman healing under my belt, I can say that I definitely enjoy it. I plan on sticking with resto shaman over disc priest next tier as well.
gem and I closed our first corruption breach yesterday, and it was super exciting! I had done a couple by running into groups that were doing it, but I had never been there from the beginning and really contributed significantly. I was 25 and gem was about 19, so we had to do a lot of kiting and eating. I had a blast! It was especially satisfying to use ranged attacks to intercept enemies that were chasing gem!
Here’s gem closing the breach! Now we just need to do about a million more for achievements!
On top of New World launching this week, I also earned Ahead of the Curve: Sylvanas Windrunner. Heroic Sylvanas seemed tuned pretty difficult compared to the previous bosses, and we’ve been struggling for a couple weeks. This week we used a smaller raid group, and it so much easier. The fight is very positional, and it’s much better with a small group. Over the next few weeks, we’ll get AOTC for the whole raid group.
Somehow I forgot to take a screenshot – not that there’s much to screenshot. But I had this clip saved!
New World launched yesterday! It’s so exciting and relieving to see the game finally live, and I’m thrilled to be keeping my progression.
Here’s a screenshot of my crew! From left to right, there’s Ali Wong (gem), Peter (me), Jonald Clam (Duncan), and NlL (Collin). I progressed with Duncan for a while, and then when Collin got on we found him fishing, of course, so we joined him. We didn’t get to play with gem too much, but we met up with her too!
Duncan and I tried talking to someone we ran into named buffpants, but buffpants was having none of it. But when we met Charizard – yes, Charizard – Duncan proclaimed, “THE Charizard?!” After typing for 10 seconds, Charizard himself responded with a “lul.”
Here’s a good screenshot of Jonald and me doing some fishing!
By the end of the night I reached level 10 and had a blast!
We recently got Keystone Master for another guildmate! Congratulations to Mike! This screenshot shows from left to right, Elias, gem, me, Mike, and Matt. He was missing a fortified Necrotic Wake for a couple weeks now, but now that’s behind him!
Tuesday night was achievement night for my raid group. This was my last Tuesday raid for a while because the group is moving on to mythic, and I’m not on their server. We still have a couple Saturday raid nights left though, which is good because I wasn’t there for the Sylvanas kill to get Ahead of the Curve.
The Glory of the Dominant Raider meta achievement was easier than I expected. I didn’t really think they were easy enough to finish in one night, but my raid group didn’t question it so maybe they always do it like this. Some achievements made me nervous; Tormentor’s Tango requires you to /taunt Garrosh, which gives you a slow debuff, and then not get hit by any Torments. And if anyone messes it up in the raid, no one gets the achievement. I thought for sure it would be hard, but we did it in one attempt.
The Kel’thuzad fight has one of the cutest achievements – Together Forever. As a reminder, Kel’thuzad had a pet cat back in Naxxramas, Mr. Bigglesworth. If you killed it, he would yell and curse you. I think it’s cute that he had a pet he loved even as a lich. Well, it turns out Mr. Bigglesworth also ended up in the Shadowlands. For this achievement, someone in the raid has to find and pet Mr. Bigglesworth, now a slime-ghost-cat, near the Tarragrue’s platform and then again near Painsmith. This will cause him to spawn in Kel’thuzad,s room, where a player can click him once more. Mr. Bigglesworth will hop on that player’s head. During the Kel’thuzad fight, that player must enter Kel’thuzad’s phylactery and deliver the cat, thawing Kel’thuzad’s head (and causing him to take increased damage). How cute is that?
Here I had some nice tea with Keridwen and Mooglegem while we waited for others to find Mr. Bigglesworth. It was our Finer Things Club.
Look, there he is riding on someone’s head!
I Used to Bullseye Deeprun Rats Back Home was an interesting achievement. There’s a vertical hoop on a stick next to Remnant of Ner’zhul’s platform (like a quidditch goal) with a second hoop swinging. Three “goals” must be scored by throwing the bomb off the platform and through the hoops. None of us had ever noticed the goal posts before.
Whack-A-Soul seemed like one of the most appropriate achievements. On top of everything else Painsmith throws at you, there are Burning Gibbets that appear on the sides. More continue to spawn throughout the fight, and they case a raid-wide four second fear. Basically, you just have to keep killing and interrupting them. This would have likely been very hard earlier when we were less geared.
This World is a Prism, on Sylvanas, was another neat achievement. One prism from each covenant spawns in phase two. Four players must each pick up a prism. In the last phase, each platform has a sigil corresponding to a covenant. The players with the prisms must stand on the sigils to channel on to Anduin. Lore-wise that does… something? But every good WoW fight needs to beams or magic lasers.
And after a little over two hours of raiding, we finished Glory of the Dominant Raider. Now we can all ride our Hand of Hrestimorak mounts! I’m not in love with the hand recolor, but it is a cool model. I have the Hand of Bahmethra from Tormentors of Torghast already. I still need the Hand of Salaranga from Breaking the Chains as well as Hand of Nilganihmaht, the gold hand and one I want the most!
I ran a Plaguefall 14 on tyrannical back on 8/23 expecting to improve my score; it ended up giving me Keystone Master! Because some people switched characters during our runs, it took another week or so for all five of our main m+ group to get KSM. I wanted to wait to post about it until I had a screenshot of the five of us on our mounts (the Soultwisted Deathwalker) but then forgot about posting until now.
I believe the five characters in the screenshot (it’s hard to identify alts) are Delarm (Elias), Kanora (Marc), me, Mooglegem (gem), and Kuuna (Matt).
Season two certainly went quicker. It was the first time I ran m+ in two consecutive seasons within a single expansion, so maybe it’s always like this. I liked the seasonal affix, but it seemed much easier than Prideful; whether that’s good or bad is up for debate I suppose. Now let’s see how high we can push!
We got our revenge on Tazasvesh, and I was so excited that I rocked out in Myza’s Oasis on the drums!
We first tried Tazavesh the week it was released, but we hit a wall on the last boss. This week, we returned to the megadungeon and tried it on hard mode.
This guy looked shady, but we made a deal with him anyways.
At our gear level now, there were some mechanics we didn’t even see because we killed the target so quickly. It was not a big deal.
I really enjoyed it, and I think megadungeons are a cool concept that Blizzard could use a bit more. It’s definitely a different style of gameplay. I think the biggest issue, if they were done more frequently, would be balancing rewards. Right now, it’s mostly just about having fun. The gear reward barely mattered since we decided to gear through m+ and come back to wreck it later.
Not that I expect it, but maybe we can get another megadungeon in 9.2!
Look at that glorious Mimiron’s Head! My mage, Mooglepete, was the character that finally got the mount to drop. Coincidentally, he was also the one that got Mollie, the alpaca, to drop! I guess he has good luck at mount farming. Bulleto, gem’s hunter, has been holding an Ulduar lockout cleared up to Yogg-Saron for months now. I think he’s happy to end his post in the icy wastes of Northrend.
I wasn’t sure what I was seeing was real for a second. I started nervously laughing when I noticed what dropped. I know I ran this a few times over the years, but likely only 10 or so maybe before I started farming it regularly. Since I started farming, I’ve run it 282 times. At first, I was running it with all 12 of my characters that were over level 50, but it became annoying to move characters I’m actively playing to Ulduar. For the past couple months, I’ve been running it 8 times per week; those 8 characters have just stayed parked in front of Ulduar. It’s nice to be finished!
We decided to clear normal Sanctum of Domination before heading into heroic. We defeated normal Sylvanas on our fourth raid night, which was in the second week of the raid. In heroic, we’re now three bosses into the raid with The Nine falling this week. As mentioned in the title, there will be some spoilers in this post.
I got the Sanctum Gloomcharger’s Reins on my second defeat of The Nine, which was actually in LFR. I’m not sure of the drop rate, but it doesn’t seem too high. It’s a pretty cool mount!
We’re struggling against Soulrender Dormazain in heroic for now, but at least we’re making progress and getting better. This is a pretty cool fight, and I really enjoy seeing Garrosh again.
Here’s the cutscene at the end of the fight courtesy of wowhead. I think this is a pretty good end to Garrosh’s arc. No redemption. He is who he is, and he does feel remorse for his actions. He goes out fighting and even screaming “for the Horde!”
And then I guess he becomes a pile of ash. Oh well.
And this is how I feel after wiping repeatedly to Soulrender Dormazain in heroic! Okay, actually things have been going well, but I thought I’d end the post there. Happy raiding!
Mythic+ season 2 is off to a fun start! This is the first time I’ve done two seasons back-to-back in a single expansion, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. To be honest, I just assumed that we’d be starting with +3 or +4 keys, but that wasn’t the case.
For now, our main goal is to get the best loot from the weekly vault rather than time lower keys. To that end, we’ve been mostly doing +15s over time, which ensures we get 252 loot each week. Soon we’ll need to start timing keys!
I’ve been enjoying the Servants of the Jailer, the minibosses from the new affix. I enjoy the flexibility they give – yeah, I know that they’re in set locations while Manifestations of Pride could pop up wherever you want, it also meant than in season one, a mistake with trash can drastically change the whole run. Plus, these minibosses seem much easier to me.
Devee, my discipline priest, has been my main since BC. In fact, 8.3 was the first time I played max-level alts. This patch, I’ve swapped to Sotiros, my ele/resto shaman as my main. Most likely I’ll be elemental in our main runs, but I’m healing dungeons too and raid as resto. It’s weird but fun to be playing a different toon as my main. Discipline feels like significantly more work and burns mana extremely fast. When things are hectic and player health is low, I feel like I had to lean away from atonement, which tore through my mana. Shaman doesn’t have that issue, but I’ll admit I certainly miss Pain Suppression, and Desperate Prayer. I miss some other CDs too, but those are the two big ones that I find myself wishing I had the most. However, the shaman has a lot of other strengths.
My elemental DPS has come a long way, but it’s still hurting in single target fights, and I’d be replacing the position held last patch by an unholy DK that could really bring the DPS. Hopefully I can get it to keep climbing and I can learn to be better on ST fights. If so, that unholy player will be healing on his holy paladin. This is my first patch ever DPSing in my main role rather than healing. Although so far, I think I’ve healed more than I’ve DPS’d across all my toons this patch. It helps that three of my four characters have healing specs!
I hope everyone has been enjoying Chains of Domination!
We earned our Glory of the Shadowlands Hero achievement this weekend! It’s been a long time since I’ve gone for a Glory achievement to be honest. This was pretty fun and not very fun honestly, although you definitely wouldn’t stumble into all of them without trying. For example, there’s Kaal-ed Shot, requiring you to pick up a Filled Anima Container in Sanguine Depths to get the Shadow Ball buff, carry it through the gauntlet, get knocked off the boss platform toward a lantern, click the lantern to dunk the ball, and then kill General Kaal. What a weird achievement.
The Voracious Gorger is a pretty cool mount. I like the devourers and the little bit of lore about them originating from the in-between. This isn’t one of my favorite mounts necessarily, but I like it. In the screenshot above from left to right is Mooglegem, Delillidan, me, Mushkin, and Kanora – with two of them naked because that’s how they earned the final achievement!
The last achievement we earned for the meta was I Can See My House From Here – another that you’d be unlikely to do without really going for it. The biggest things we learned are 1) perspective can mess with you and 2) trust your friends and don’t tell them what to do haha. We kept correcting each other, which just caused more problems.
I went necrolords with my shaman to round out my covenant quartet. Was he picking flowers here? I don’t remember the details of this screenshot, but it looks nice.
Maldraxxus is a surprisingly fun zone despite having a theme that I thought would be boring. I still feel like my nature-loving shaman likely would have preferred to join the night fae, but the quest series in which Mograine wonders why he wasn’t sent to Bastion instead of Maldraxxus puts some of that in perspective.
There are lots of fun references in this zone, like Tapani Nightwish, the innkeeper. I also enjoyed the quest names “Build-A-Bomination” and “Dude, Where’s My Necropolis?”
Since this was the fourth and final covenant campaign I completed, I enjoyed seeing the moments in which it intersected with the kyrian and venthyr campaigns. I also really like learning about how the covenants interact. There are some quests that show what other covenants think of the necrolords, which is really cool. It’s kind of odd that three of the four covenants deal with a bit of a civil war within their zones, but they’re all entertaining despite the similarities. I’m looking forward to making more abominations and eventually dealing with Kel’thuzad!
The night fae campaign, which I finished back in May, was entertaining but a bit disjointed. However, I really enjoyed it and the feel of the covenant sanctum. I went night fae with my druid, who I play as balance and resto. In my mind, I thought of my Zandalari as a tough guy – brutish, angry, quick to fight. After joining the night fae and really loving the Queen’s Conservatory, now I think of him much more as someone who cares about others.
While I didn’t absolutely love the story of going after Tyrande, I did enjoy learning about the previous Night Warriors. Thiernax, a previous Night Warrior, and his husband Qadarin were cool characters, and I like the lore about splitting the power of the Night Warrior.
I also liked meeting Huln Highmountain!
Saving the night elf souls from the Maw is a pretty cool story beat. Right now it seems like not enough, but I’m sure the Night Warrior plot will continue and should hopefully bring more closure to that part of the story.
The best part of the campaign was obviously dealing with Bwonsamdi again! He was one of the best parts of BfA, and I’m glad they worked him into this campaign. I hope he pops up more in the future.
And Bwonsamdi leads into Vol’jin! Vol’jin’s story threads from Legion and BfA were so intriguing, and I’m glad we got to see more of him. Now there are more questions. Why was his spirit still so strongly tethered to Azeroth? Is he now the Loa of Kings? Will he become Loa of the Horde? Or will his story be something different? By far, seeing Vol’jin was the greatest callback yet in this expansion.
Compared to all of that in the covenant campaign, the plot with the Drust and Gorak Zhar was underwhelming. I couldn’t even remember Gorak Zhar’s name to write this post, and while playing I had her confused Gorak Tul. I guess the Drust just didn’t captivate me. That’s unfortunate because I like their art style, and I suspect we’ll see more of them.
Lost Ark has officially been announced for localization in the West! I won’t say too much about it other than that it’s a free-to-play MMO-ARPG, and I’m very excited for it. You can check out a press release at amazongames.com.
Just because I haven’t posted recently doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy in WoW. Lately Mooglegem and I have been joining PUG rated battleground groups in an effort to earn the Vicious War Spider. Those groups come in two flavors – YOLO groups that fill quickly and are not very good and organized groups that fill slowly, use voice chat, and actually coordinate. Sometimes I might have “played” for over an hour just searching for a decent group, and once I joined one, I’d hope to stay for a couple hours.
Eventually I found steady group that welcomed Mooglegem and me to join them consistently. In addition to their RBG groups, we began to raid with them. Thanks to that group, I earned Ahead of the Curve: Sire Denathrius and Heroic: Castle Nathria! I was way over-geared for heroic already thanks to m+ and had a done a few of the bosses, but trying to find PUGs was always such a hassle that I never got around to finishing before this. It’s been fun raiding again, seeing how the fights are supposed to be done, and getting to know new friends.
The PVP grind took longer, but with a good group, I was at least making consistent progress. And about a week ago, I earned by Vicious War Spider! I’m continuing to do RBGs though because I’m having just too much fun. I used to PVP much more before it took a backseat to raiding and then m+, and it’s been so much fun focusing on it again. Playing with a coordinated group certainly helps! Now I’m looking forward to gaining rating (hopefully) and maybe earning another mount! In the screenshot at the top, I’m enjoying my mount while Moogle is on her IMPOSTER Vicious War Spider! Actually she’s about 10% off, and the rest of the group isn’t too far behind. Soon!
Last week I got Shadowlands Keystone Master: Season One! Here’s the five of us on our Sintouched Deathwalkers in Oribos. From left to right: gem (Mooglegem), me (Devee), Matt (Mushkin), Marc (Kanora) and his minions, and Elias (Delillidan). Was the other character in the screenshot the guy who made fun of us? Possibly.
This season felt a lot faster to me. We have one dungeon left, Mists of Tirna Scithe, for a sixth guildmate!
It’s a good thing I have 12 characters and do the boss that drops Mollie, because my 12th run this week gave me the mount! This is probably only the 3rd time I ran all my characters through the boss this expansion (plus whatever I did last expansion when it was current), so not bad really. Look at Mollie! She’s so cute!
I’ve collected a few new mounts and a lot of new pets recently and thought I’d share some highlights. This is the Spirit of Eche’ro, who was Huln’s moose! Who doesn’t love a good spectral moose?
Here’s the beautiful Shimmermist Runner that can be obtained by solving the maze in Ardenweald.
There seems to be just a ton of little things treasures and surprises hidden in nooks and crannies throughout the Shadowlands. I’ve been focusing on Ardenweald when not working on progression. Here are just a couple of pets.
Mollie, the last alpaca that I need, was a mount that I not get. But at least I saw it drop for my friend gem here.
And lastly, the Prestigious Ivory Courser for reaching honor level 40 – a great indication of how little I PVP now!
I finished Castle Nathria normal last week by pugging it. I’m overgeared at this point thanks to m+ but wanted to get a handle on the mechanics before starting to pug heroic groups. The raid’s pretty fun, and I think Sludgefist, Stone Legion Generals, and Sire Denathrius are particularly good fights. Stone Legion Generals can seem overwhelming but it’s not bad if people follow a plan. There are spoilers for the outcome of the raid after this.
The Sire Denathrius fight was fun with some interesting mechanics – unburdening our sins, using the mirrors, dodging Remornia. Sire Denathrius was a really cool character with superb voice-acting. I think he has a lot more personality than Prince Renethal, which is too bad. I’m kind of disappointed we defeated Denathrius so soon after his introduction.
After he is defeated, Remornia absorbs him into herself. In an effort to bind him in the blade so he can’t escape, we bring Remornia to Prince Renethal and Z’rali (the naaru from Sanguine Depths) where Z’rali uses the Light to bind and torture Denathrius. Prince Renethal remarks that after “time the likes of which your kind have yet to measure” Denathrius may be released, changed, “his true purpose once again affirmed.” Obviously Blizzard could bring him back if they wanted, but I’m doubtful we’d see it any time soon. Too bad. What a fun character!
I finished the Venthyr Campaign last week. As you could guess, spoilers in this post.
The first part of the campaign involves trying to get the Harvesters to join Prince Renathal. We’re also trying to retrieve all the Medallions of the Harvesters. Mikanikos in Bastion crafts a Crown of the Harvester to house the medallions so that the Prince can harness all their power.
When I first saw Kael’thas chained in Sinfall, I was excited and hopeful that he’d play a part in the campaign. Obviously I ended up being right. I wasn’t sure at first, but this takes place the Sun King’s Salvation encounter in Castle Nathria. Through the Venthyr Campaign, we try to help him atone for his sins and we cleanse him of the sins piled upon him that were not his own.
Is that a dead version of the Swift White Hawkstrider? How cool!
Look at all that anima!
Remember to walk your Sun King twice a day.
While helping Kael’thas atone, we discover the the Tithelord in Revendreth has been siphoning anima to allies in Maldraxxus. We discover that he’s working with Kel’Thuzad, which doesn’t go over well with Kael’thas. (Arthas resurrected Kel’Thuzad using the Sunwell after invading Quel’Thalas during the Third War.) Kel’Thuzad even has the Medallion of Dominion, the final medallion.
Working with Baroness Draka and the necrolords, we defeat him and retrieve his medallion. That’s all the medallions besides the Medallion of Wrath, which belongs to the Stonewright, the Harvester of Wrath. She remains neutral between Prince Renathal’s rebellion and Sire Denathrius.
In the end, Prince Renathal decides that Revendreth will be lead by a court and not a Sire or Master. I wonder what this means, because he certainly seems like the leader – and it’s not like there wasn’t a Court of Harvesters under Sire Denathrius.
The Venthyr Campaign got me a lot more excited than the Kyrian Campaign, although I still enjoyed both. I’m looking forward to finding out more about Revendreth’s future. I suppose it’s no surprise that there’s a lot of action here given that the raid revolves around Revendreth as well. Also, I love those glasses on my DK!
Let’s talk about the kyrian covenant campaign! Spoilers, of course. I finished it the week that the end was unlocked and enjoyed it. While I didn’t have a problem with any of it, it really started to pick up part way through.
So, a brief summary. After helping Kleia with her final trial, she becomes Ascended. During her ascension, Uther leads the Forsworn in an attack on Elysian Hold and damages the Crest of Ascension. We defeat Devos, the Forsworn leader, in the Spires of Ascension, leaving Lysonia in charge. Mikanikos rebuilds the Crest of Ascension and we empower it with three items.
Alexandros Mograine of Maldraxxus requests kyrian aid in defeating Margrave Gharmal. The kyrian travel to Maldraxxus and kill the fleshshaper. Xandria cuts out his heart, and we use this to empower the Crest of Ascension.
We travel to Revendreth and talk to the Curator about finding something to empower the Crest of Ascension. She tells us about the Seal of Contrition. We eventually track it to Duke Vielle, who we kill so we can acquire the Seal.
Finally, we talk to the Winter Queen in Ardenweald, who tells us that she can give us power but it needs to be contained. Willowblossom volunteers to help. We save a worm, Grubby, from spriggan at Willowblossom’s request and then acquire items for a ritual. During the ritual, we learn the Willowblossom herself must become the vessel to contain her power. She gives her life so we can empower the Crest of Ascension.
We track down Lysonia to the Temple of Humility where the Forsworn are fighting the kyrian. On the verge of being defeated, Lysonia and Uther escape to the Maw using a portal opened by Helya. After going to the Maw, we witness Lysonia going through a ritual with Helya to create a manifestation of her pride, which we defeat.
Uther is disgusted at the lengths to which Lysonia would go. He seems to agree with some of the Forsworn’s ideals but not their methods. We escort Uther out of the Maw. This really isn’t that big of a surprise. I totally understand Uther’s thinking. The Archon’s way seems pretty brutal, but aligning with Helya and the Jailer is obviously terrible too. And as a player, I didn’t think Blizzard would keep Uther an antagonist.
Glad you could make it, Uther… to Oribos.
We lead a big final push against the Forsworn at the Temple of Loyalty. It was at this point that I knew Uther was going to step in sometime soon. He had to save the day, right? The fight goes in our favor until Lysonia reveals that it was a ploy to leave the Archon undefended. The kyrian forces return to Elysian Hold where Lysonia is using her new powers.
And then Uther shows up to defend the Archon and fight Lysonia. Because of course. Even though it wasn’t a surprise, I’m a simple man who likes simple, cliche stories.
Right after this screenshot, Uther flies away with Thenios to the Temple of Wisdom to find out what’s wrong with his soul.
I’m hoping that later in the expansion this involves more information about Arthas and Frostmourne. How could we not? While a bit less likely, I’d like to see some change within the kyrian. Is it really okay that they give up all their memories? With so many Ascended joining the Forsworn, perhaps the Archon needs to rethink her ways. I’m sure we’ll see continuations of all the covenant campaigns in future patches!
The whole time I was in Revendreth, I was loving the style and tone. The gothic architecture, the atmosphere, and the spin on vampirism combined to create a very engaging and immersive zone. It’s giving me a strong craving to see more of this type of world. I keep thinking about D&D and end up reading about old 1st edition Ravenloft modules! Fair warning: this post will contain spoilers.
Sire Denathrius is awesome! My friend I usually voice quests on Discord while we play, and she had a good Denathrius voice! It was a bummer when the story clearly moves him to villain territory and we no longer got to read quests from him! He’s one of the stronger characters this expansion in my opinion. I don’t know yet know exactly how the Castle Nathria raid ends, but I’m guessing Sire Denathrius won’t be around for long.
This was a bit of a brutal moment. The Accuser, once Harriett the Crimson Shade, murdered her own daughter, Camille. During the quest, the Accuser says “I did not know it was you! They liked to me!” I wonder if we’ll get to find out what happened exactly.
Let’s take a quick break from the heavy tone of the zone to mention that it did contain more bears, which is always awesome!
Prince Renathal is another cool character that I hope is fleshed out more. Torghast, or at least the tutorial part of it from the Revendreth quests, seemed pretty awesome. I’m definitely looking forward to doing it more. Although I have to admit, it also makes me want to get back to Hades on my Switch!
At this point, I think I want to see this plot more than any other. It’s too bad Venthyr isn’t the covenant for me. I’ll need to get another character ready for it soon!
Another gorgeous zone! The design of these zones is truly spectacular. Ardenweald was beautiful and had some variation despite being lush forest. More importantly, it was filled with animals! Note that this post will contain spoilers.
Aliothe is the best part of this zone (obviously). To be fair, Blizzard owed us a bear after Ursoc. I did not like that part and don’t want to talk about it anymore. But Aliothe was cute and powerful! Look at us in that screenshot above! We’re buddies. Do you see both vulpin (fox-like creatures) in the screenshot?
Her background of being from a world destroyed by the Legion (even if she didn’t know who they were) was a nice touch. It still seems odd to me that our characters don’t provide information to others more often. “Hey, I think I know what happened to your planet. And by the way, I helped stop the culprits for good.”
A thousand pardons, fine citizen, I cannot hear you. I HAVE A SQUIRREL ON MY HEAD! HA HA HA HA HA! (Okay, okay, I realize the squirrel wouldn’t block sound. But this made me think of Mad King Thorn on Halloween in Guild Wars who makes a joke about the pumpkin on his head. See my 2012 post!)
Look at all our friends – a squirrel, an owl, an otter, and a chubby cat!
I’m leaning toward having my druid join the Night Fae. It’s tough with multiple specs. I like guardian and resto, but I also spend time in balance while solo’ing. However, if covenants were purely cosmetic/story choices, that’s what I’d choose. And I think it’ll work.
For a lot of the zone, I expected the Winter Queen to be evil. It seemed like she just did not want to see us, and when she did show up, she left after a moment. Obviously Blizzard knew how it looked – our characters shrugged in the cutscene. By the end, she didn’t seem evil, so what was up with that?
I was trying to guess who was in the wildseed for a while. I forget when I guessed it. It was definitely before seeing any of her visions, which would have given it away, but likely not that much earlier.
The Winter Queen said something about the soul in the wildseed being related to somehow to her sister. What did that mean? What sister? Is the sister an Eternal One, the gods of the Shadowlands? None of them seem to have a relation to Ysera. It makes me wonder if she was referring to Elune. Does Ysera have a strong relation to Elune? Could Elune be an Eternal One who left or was exiled? Maybe I’m grasping at straws or just misunderstanding.
Three out of four main leveling zones down (story quests, anyways), and I’ve been impressed with all of them.
Two zones down now that I finished the story quests in Maldraxxus! Spoilers in this post by the way. (I posted previously about Bastion.)
I was expecting just Naxxramas as a zone and a lot of evil and undead… and I guess it kind of was, but at the same time, it was more than that. It had such a cool, desert wasteland vibe to it. The houses were not all pure evil even if they were quite brutal.
The area around the House of Plagues was a bit different even if still distinctly necromantic. Here I am with Mooglegem and our slimes! My transmog is quite different than what it normally is. During Death Rising, I changed to heroic sanctified tier 10 since it felt proper to be back in ICC gear. It matched Bastion so well that I decided to put something on that fit Maldraxxus.
There were some cool characters in the zone. We knew Draka would be here from the video, but I especially enjoyed meeting her and her declaring that she was once part of the Frostwolf clan. It contrasted well with the Kyrians in Bastion being forced to forget who they were. It did feel weird that we didn’t have a conversation with Draka about the mortal world. “Hey, you know that baby you had, Go’el? Well he became Warchief of the Horde and leads the orcs. And by the way, he might be stuck in the Maw.”
Running into Lady Baroness Vashj was also neat. I didn’t actually kill her in Serpentshrine Cavern until Wrath and didn’t play WC3, so there wasn’t much nostalgia for me in that sense. However, I still enjoyed her being present.
Ooo my runeblade!
Finding that the missing Baron was Alexandros Mograine was definitely awesome. His story regarding life, death, and family is pretty interesting. In addition, I think he has a cool role in the history of the game thanks to the Corrupted Ashbringer and the various retcons. I’m looking forward to his interactions with Darion in the future.
The dungeon, Plaguefall, was challenging to heal. It might be a real “fun” time for mythic+. I had to drink quite a bit, and it’s hard to keep up with dispels. We had a couple wipes.
I didn’t think I’d like the Necrolords of Maldraxxus much at all, but I could see a few of my characters fitting here – at least RP-wise. I’ll figure out who goes here later. For now, it’s off to Ardenweald!
I finished Bastion, the first full zone of Shadowlands, although I did skip the side quests for now. I really love the aesthetics of the zone. It’s quite obviously inspired by ancient Greece, and I am down for that! Having seen the zone previews, I was most excited for Bastion and was planning on joining the Kyrian covenant.
Screenshot not really related to anything I’m about to say, but it was fun. I’m going to talk about the plot, and there will be spoilers.
I kept thinking that at some point, the player characters would switch alliances and that there would be a revolution or something. The idea of forgetting your past completely seems so harsh. As the story progressed, I agreed with the Forsworn. I wasn’t thinking the Ascended would be wiped out – just that their views would change. Well, that wasn’t the case. I don’t know if later actions change this, because I avoid spoilers (and please don’t tell me). But then, the Forsworn certainly seem bad too. Maybe the Ascended will decide to change some of their views to keep members who are tempted by the Forsworn, but the Forsworn will still be bad.
The extreme of giving up all memories and identity reminded me a bit of what Xe’ra tried to do to Illidan. At least, it shows that “goodness” can be brutal when pushed to an extreme (at least in this type of fictional setting). It’s also similar to Jedi teachings, and Star Wars kind of has the same message.
Bastion was a beautiful zone, and I had a lot of fun in it. Now it’s off to Maldraxxus!
Out with the old, in with the new! I always like swapping mousepads!
The Shadowlands launch seemed super smooth. No queues, no disconnects, and no problems. Plus, I thought the start with the Knights of the Ebon Blade was cool. I liked seeing Acherus dock with Icecrown Citadel.
Off to the Shadowlands! There was one bug I saw. I played in a party with another person, and I suspect that had something to do with this. Two NPCs had a conversation after turning in a quest, but I only saw one side of the conversation. And then there was no quest to pick up next. gem read the missed text to me, picked up the next quest, and shared it with me. Other than that, things were smooth!
The intro area, Escape from the Maw, seemed fun enough, but yeah, it might be boring for alts. I’m curious to see where the story goes. It felt to me like things were a set up; it was too easy to be reunited with our friends. Plus, it didn’t seem like they were treated all the bad. However, it’s always hard to know if that’s an actual part of the story or just because this is a game that doesn’t show gruesome torture. I’m also not thrilled with the idea that the Shadowlands is connected to all worlds. I guess I need some suspension of disbelief since I’m not seeing tons of sentient beings that I don’t recognize from the many worlds.
Death Rising, the Shadowlands pre-patch, had some interesting story points, lots of gear for catching up alts and unlocking transmog, and a small but fun plague event. I enjoyed the bits of story and character development, and I farmed rares like crazy.
Calia Menethil is in the screenshot above; she’s an interesting character given her important bloodline and rather unique status of Light-infused undead. Plus, her character model! That outfit is sick!
Watching Taelia find out about her father, the former Lich King, Bolvar, was pretty cool too. It’s no surprise she wasn’t happy to have been kept in the dark, and I look forward to seeing what Blizzard does with her and Bolvar. I suspect I’ll find out relatively soon, but I’m not sure since I’m staying in the dark about Shadowlands.
The rare farming for drops was kind of crazy, especially around Bronjahm, the Godfather of Souls and holder of bags! I managed to get one Papa’s Mint Condition Bag for Devee, my main. (Edit: I also just got one on Sotiros!) And I may have helped gem get some… including 1 duplicate by mistake. Oops. But 7 of her characters ended up with the bag, which is insane.
I also loved how for some reason, tons of people transforming into Gamon became a thing for Bronjahm! Apparently I didn’t take a screenshot, but I did take a photo of my phone once when I was the one to kick it off.
I also managed to get two Accursed Keepsakes!
I killed as many rares as I could. All 12 of my max-level toons managed to purchase all possible upgrades from the Argent Crusade and get everything for transmog. I also swapped characters per rare depending on what dropped and got a lot of drops even if I know a few ilvl doesn’t make a big difference.
I guess I got obsessive, but it was a bit of fun! It’s the little moments, like lining up on the Headless Horseman’s mount.
I posted about Nathanos previously, but he was a fun world boss that hit hard!
I think a lot of people underestimated him… look at all those skeletons!
The zombie event wasn’t very disruptive at all. In fact, I kind of wish it was more disruptive. It was hard to get infected and find battles between the living and dead. gem and I spent time claiming the Stormwind portal room for the Scourge!
Here’s a clip of me infecting and killing gem in Stormwind!
I think the weirdest thing about the event was the random dailies. I kept track of which ones I did and compared to lists online, and there were two dailies that I never saw pop up at all. Oh well, but I like to do everything I can.
All in all, it was nice little event. It gave the community something new to come together and do, helped gear up alts, and had some pretty cool little moments.
So we finally get to go fight Nathanos! You know, I didn’t like him much during Battle for Azeroth, but this fight made him grow on me immensely. I think the arrogant attitude seems cooler when I get to fight him. I enjoyed the little callbacks to vanilla. And I especially enjoyed how he doesn’t hide from us. I should have seen it coming, but why would he care if he knows he’ll just get killed and be sent straight to the Shadowlands?
And Tyrande! I’m looking forward to her character. She certainly kicked ass in the cutscene. Did you see that little smirk as she killed him? It was amazing. I usually avoid story spoilers, so I don’t know if she has more character progression in the next expansion. I hope so.
New World had a preview week back in August, and I’ve been meaning to share this gem (pun intended) of a clip that features a nude rock thief stealing gem’s rocks. (That’s less confusing when you know that ‘gem’ is the name of someone who prefers it lowercase.)
Unfortunately, I only recorded her microphone and not mine because, well, I make mistakes. But somehow I think it makes it more hilarious.
In this clip, you can see me go through some of the introduction area. You can see a bit of the combat mechanics and skills as well as a gorgeous look at the island.
My friend gave me Lost Mail recently so I could do the mail quest series and earn the Postmaster title. It excited me when I learned about it during Legion, but I never sought it during that expansion. Now I’ve finally had the chance to finish it, and it was pretty great!
During the quests, you learn how mail gets delivered throughout Azeroth and even find out how lost items that get mailed to you actually find their way to you. You get to interact with Johnny Awesome, the NPC that spoofs a twinked out alt, which is always fun. And you get to sort mail! It’s more fun than it sounds, and it’s a minigame that you can access at any time in Dalaran.
As weird as it is to say this, I’m a big fan of the postal system in general. I think it’s great how effectively it works internationally, and I enjoy trading postcards with new locations. And now I know how it works in Azeroth too! I’m proud to be Postmaster Devee!
I wrote previously about earning Battle for Azeroth Keystone Master: Season Four for doing all +15s, but I wanted to recap a little more about m+ this season. I ran a few m+ in season 3 but didn’t seriously start until this last season. I know I was late to the party, but I think mythic+ is a fantastic addition to the game. It’s great getting challenging content that can be done in small chunks of time as well as with smaller groups of people than raids.
I mainly played disc priest, but I also used shadow a little. As for other classes, I did m+ on demo lock, holy and ret pali, resto and ele shaman, and a little bit of guardian druid and frost mage. This was my first expansion playing multiple classes as end game, and I had such a blast. Yes, it was stressful dealing with a weekly chest, assaults, and horrific visions on a bunch of toons, but actually playing them was so much fun.
I’m not sure which one to even talk about. The lock was by secondary most of the expansion, but I really enjoyed learning to heal dungeons on shaman and paladin. Holy paladin felt quite different since it’s played in melee. The most challenging past of holy paladin was hunting for glimmer on Azerite pieces. I think resto shaman was awesome, and I enjoyed using elemental when doing solo content. I really enjoyed the feeling of saying “you know, I think I’d prefer to heal this on my resto shaman rather than disc priest.” I had never tanked end game before, so trying my hand at guardian druid was exciting and nerve-racking. I couldn’t have done it with guildmates guiding me, but I might try tanking more in Shadowlands. I think if I do it from the beginning, I’d actually learn routes myself. Setting the pace and routes seems like the biggest hurdle to tanking. While my mage never got super geared, it was fun really learning frost. Even at low gear levels, it became so apparent how powerful Glacial Spike was. Mages can certainly bring the DPS, but they’re also definitely glass cannons!
In the end, here’s the raider.io scores I reached:
Priest: 2017.3 (bestkeystone.com put me above 90% of m+ players that season)
You can see how I tapered off. The priest was strongly my main, and then I played the next three for most of the patch. The final two classes were late additions.
Now if only I could figure out which ones I want to play in Shadowlands!
I might be emotionally scarred from the amount of Horrific Visions and accompanying assaults I did in 8.3. They were neat content, and I really enjoyed the challenge of pushing myself to play better on multiple classes, but I also felt completely burned out by the end of the patch.
By completing both the Horrific Vision of Orgrimmar and Horrific Vision of Stormwind solo while all five masks are activated (the hardest version), you earn the Mad World feat of strength, which rewards the title, The Faceless One. I found that it was significantly harder to do this on cloth characters than any others. I really pushed myself to master my mage and warlock, while it felt like the other classes came easier. In the end, I earned Mad World as a discipline priest, demonology warlock, retribution paladin, elemental shaman, and balance druid. Five classes down!
I also managed to save up the 100,000 corrupted mementos from Horrific Visions to purchase the Wicked Swarmer, shown at the top. It’s a really great mount I think. The color looks good, it’s a cool model, and it’s small enough that it isn’t annoying when using it. I decided to save up for it on my warlock so that my priest, my main, could spend the corrupted mementos on sockets.
The Glacial Tidestorm is guaranteed to drop twice off mythic Jaina in Battle for Dazar’alor, which is fairly easy to do with people who follow some simple directions. Mooglegem got the drop on her first try when I showed her the strat. Here she is with her Glacial Tidestorm, Squishy (her water elemental), and Aborius, the elemental fury in Nagrand!
It took me a lot more runs, but I got mine too! I got on my frost mage for the screenshot so we could have maximum water elementals!
We had to visit alternate Draenor as well of course!
Hertz Locker is a Feat of Strength achievement that can be earned by completing Mechagon with all hard modes and without anyone dying.
We only tried three different nights and ended up earning it last night – the last night before it became unobtainable when the Shadowlands pre-patch hit. We had a few hiccups because for some reason, despite being able to do 15s no problem, we still learned of new mechanics that would cause a death – on trash! I’m looking at you shrink ability that can cause someone to get trampled by their friends.
Two Sides to Every Tale (the achievement for doing all the 8.1 quests on both sides basically) gives a horse to the Horde and a wolf to the Alliance, which seemed strange at first until I paid attention. The reward for the achievement is, in lore, a stolen mount.
Alliance get the Ironclad Frostclaw: “Captured in the snows of Alterac Valley, this bloodthirsty hunter now roars for the Alliance.”
Horde get the Bloodflank Charger: “Stolen from the Arathi Basin stables, this fire-hearted charger now steeds for the Horde.”
This is an achievement for completing Zandalar Forever!, A Nation United, and both Tides of Vengeance achievements. So basically, do the Horde zones and their culminating storyline, do the Alliance zones and their culminating storyline, and finish both sides of the 8.1 war campaign. I did one Alliance zone before completing the A Nation United part, so I’m not sure if they changed in a later patch or just made it easier to for alts. (I’m still working on Drustvar and will do Stormsong Valley last.)
While I liked the wolf, I thought the horse was a bit of letdown until I realized it was stolen. Now I like it!
Before talking about the raid, check out that skybox in Ny’alotha! It’s really gorgeous!
The five of us who have been actively pushing m+ were geared and had our Ahead of the Curve already but wanted to be sure the rest of the guild could get it too. Carpe Flux Capacitor has a lot of people who have been in and out this expansion (some fairly geared from pushing through +10s) as well as one friend of mine who just recently came back to WoW and was a hard carry. Plus even the five of us had some bosses we still needed. I had never done Vexiona (besides LFR) even.
We did it over the course of three nights. The first night, we cleared the first few bosses without much issue. Unsurprisingly, Dark Inquisitor Xanesh and Vexiona gave us the most trouble. We eventually pushed through Xanesh, which I thought would be the hardest boss, but then we hit a brick wall with Vexiona.
Night two we descended into that pit to defeat Shad’har the Insatiable, Drest’agath, and Il’gynoth. Again, not too much trouble. And we managed to get Vexiona down as well!
On the third night we tackled Carapace of N’zoth and N’zoth himself. It was a lot of fun to be coordinated again in a group. While I’m enjoying m+ and prefer it to raiding now, raiding is a different beast and scratches an itch I’ve had for a while. Everyone did really well, and even my friend who was a carry in regards to his gear had execution down.
Here I am on my Uncorrupted Voidgwing, which now most of the active guild members have too! As fun as it was, getting the group together also reminds me of the most stressful part of raiding – organizing 10+ people.
Hopefully we can follow a similar path next expansion: pushing m+ primarily but then looping back to try the raid before the end of the patch. This patch has been a blast!
Last week my mythic+ group finished our last +15. This was for the Battle for Azeroth Keystone Master: Season Four achievement, which awards the Awakened Mindborer mount.
Here’s our mythic group! It makes me feel gross! Matt had already finished the achievement before the rest of us but was still helping the group push. It seemed like last week was our best shot because the affixes got harder this week, and we were running out of time.
The hardest part was getting the key we needed. Our final key was Siege of Boralus. We actually had a 16 of it. Besides little issues here and there with our run, our tank disconnected for a bit. We were fairly confident though, because even if we fail on +16, we’d be able to try again on +15. We were just about done with the boss, and the timer was close. We pushed hard and accidentally went just a couple seconds over – and that’s when we realized that by finishing it overtime, our key would change. We meant to walk out and reset. There goes our SoB key.
From that point, our group split up into PUGs. Sometimes a few of us went together, but usually we were pugging alone. Matt continued to try to run his own keys in an attempt to generate the SoB key, which was unlikely. It took forever trying to get into good PUGs, but eventually we all did it! While the end was stressful, m+ was a blast and felt very rewarding!
Last week I finally finished the war campaign as a Sylvanas loyalist. Since my warlock, Voidgazer, is Forsaken and keeps the Gift of N’zoth, he felt like the perfect candidate to be a Sylvanas loyalist. I know it doesn’t offer much that’s different from the war campaign when siding when Saurfang, but it was still fun to see.
I stitched together the campaign in the above video. The cutscene at the end is the most interesting part with some dialogue between Sylvanas and Nathanos. It’s easy to look it up on YouTube, but it couldn’t hurt to record myself as well!
After completing the war campaign while siding with Saurfang, completing it on an Alliance character, and completing the loyalist war campaign, I can say that I don’t think I’ll play through the war campaign ever again!
Trolling aside, I got Invincible last week! It took 68 attempts according to Rarity, which means like a few more than that but not many. Pretty lucky honestly. While trying for the mount, I’ve also been collecting tier sets from ICC. I almost have all of them, so I’ll likely finish them up. It’ll be easier now that I don’t have to even bother finishing the raid during my transmog runs!