With the Dragonflight pre-patch event in full swing and the expansion release in just a few days, I thought I’d talk about how Shadowlands season 4 went. I already blogged about Heroic: Fates of the Shadowlands Raids. Now let’s look at m+ and RBGs
I mainly played Sotiros, my resto shaman again. We didn’t go for Keystone Hero this season, so it was an easier season. I had a 2229 rating, which is mostly the +16 to +18 range.
I barely played Devee, my holy priest. Maybe I’ll play him more in Dragonflight! He had a 1481 rating and was missing a lot of scores.
Mooglegem and I earned the Vicious Warstalker mount this season in rated battlegrounds. The win rate was fairly even, and I earned an extra Vicious Saddle too.
Back in mid-August I earned Fates of the Shadowlands Raids, and a couple weeks ago I earned the heroic variant. Once we earned our Jigglesworth Sr. slime cat mounts, we promptly jumped off Oribos!
While most people reading this likely understand the fated system, for those of you don’t, this was the first time Blizzard used something like this for a raid season. Rather than using new raids or even just updating an old raid (like Naxxramas and Onyxia’s Lair level 80 versions), this season involved scaled up versions of all three Shadowlands raids. Each week, one raid would be “fated,” scaled to current ilvls and with additional affixes to change things up a bit. Most of these affixes boiled down to being buffs, but some did cause issues on fights that were positionally difficult. The affix on each boss rotates each time the raid is fated as well.
Each boss could have one affix when the season started and later it was changed to two out of a possible four.
Chaotic Essence: Someone must interact with it to make it hostile. When it’s hostile, it keeps summoning little adds. Every little add that’s killed grants a stack of a damage, healing, and absorbs buff. The adds do damage, but it never felt like it mattered.
Protoform Barrier: This appears as a buff on the boss. When dispelled, it creates an add that’s attackable and shares a big absorb shield with other enemies. When it’s killed, it mirrors the damage done to it to the boss and gives a damage bonus to players. (There’s also a second add that healers can heal to reduce the absorb shield.) This was usually not a problem, but if the group is near a wipe, the boss is almost dead, and then a Protoform Barrier appears, it can cause a wipe.
Reconfiguration Emitter: An add casts raid-wide damage and gets a stacking damage buff over time. Once it casts or is interrupted, it’s attackable. When it dies, it increases player stats based on its power level. This never felt like an issue.
Creation Spark: Players get debuffs that will create circles on the ground when dispelled or expired. Standing in one gives players a mini lust. Every circle that doesn’t have a player standing in it will explode with raid-wide damage. This can be deadly on heavy movement fights.
Here’s Delillidan (Elias), me, and Mooglegem (gem) on our mounts!
This fated system certainly seems designed to extend the life of the content without heavy development. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and I enjoyed the season. However, the fated rotation adds difficulties. During the first three weeks of the season, my raid group spent the first raid night of the week doing normal and the second doing heroic. On the third week, I had to miss the second raid night. While I earned my normal achievement and the mount, it means I missed heroic fated Sepulcher. In the following weeks, my raid group decided to raid just once per week and stick to heroic. Three weeks after the previously missed Sepulcher, I had to miss raid night once again – which means I once again missed heroic fated Sepulcher. Yes, it’s on me for missing raids. But bad timing with a schedule plus the fated rotation can really hurt things.
I did manage to do some pugging to get my heroic fated Sepulcher of the First ones done. Now I’m Sotiros, Hero of Fate!
I earned Shadowlands Keystone Master: Season Four about three weeks ago and earned this purple beauty – the Restoration Deathwalker! (And I’m glad they recolored it, because this one is much better.) I enjoyed mixing in the old dungeons to keep things fresh, and I think it was a good test run of how mythic+ dungeon pools will work in Dragonflight. It’ll be a little weird not to be experiencing all the new dungeons in the first Dragonflight season, but I do think it’ll help keep the second season feeling new and exciting. From left to right in the screenshot is Delillidan (Elias), Carmela (Marc), Sotiros (me), Mushkin (Matt), and Mooglegem (gem)!
Now that we’re a couple days into Shadowlands season 4, I thought I’d talk about how the last season ended. I successfully reached my three goals – 3k m+ rating, Ahead of the Curve, and the Vicious PVP mount.
I definitely spent more time on mythic+ than anything else in Shadowlands season 3. I ended the season at 3017 rating on my shaman.
Here’s the breakdown from raider.io. As we were unlocking portals, I had timed a couple +20 fortified keys but no tyrannical, so I really thought tyrannical was going to be the harder one. Somehow I ended up with a lot more rating from tyrannical than fortified, which I didn’t realize until working on this blog post.
Not the most exciting screenshot, but this is when Shadowlands Keystone Hero: Season Three popped! Like last season two, I main’d restoration shaman. I also earned the rest of the dungeon portals this season that I didn’t get last season, and we made sure everyone in our m+ group got all the portals.
I also played holy priest a little. My goal was just 2500 rating, and I got that done without much stress!
I finished Sepulcher of the First Ones heroic on my resto shaman, although the Jailer did give me some trouble. We ended up splitting the raid team into multiple small groups after determining that the fight was easier with smaller groups. I didn’t end up getting my kill until week 19 of the season – 56 days after defeating the previous boss, Rygelon!
This is Carcinized Zerethsteed, the Ahead of the Curve mount! It’s pretty cool.
The Shimmering Aurelid mount was the reward for Glory of the Sepulcher Raider; it’s another awesome mount!
My goal in PVP was to get the Vicious War Croaker, which is the cool frog mount that you can see I earned above. I love the frog animation in which the frog shoots its tongue out to eat the glowing fly! I PVP’d on my priest in discipline.
I ended the season at Challenger II – 1691 RBG rating (also my best) with 45 games won out of 95 played. We also tried 2v2 arena a little, although I like battlegrounds significantly more. In 2s, I ended Challenger I with a rating of 1481 and best rating of 1490 with 20 wins out of 37 matches. Mooglegem and I were expecting to do much worse to be honest, so we were happy with how we did. However, you get much less credit toward the mount while doing 2s, and it caused way more stress. We mostly did RBGs, but it was nice trying 2s.
It was a good season! Now it’s time for season four, which will definitely feel a little different for PVE. I hope everyone has a great season!
Last week I earned Keystone Master, and this week the last of my 5-man group earned it too! (He would have had it earlier but he fills multiple roles and splits his time between multiple characters.) As is tradition, we took this screenshot on our mounts on the edge of Oribos. From left to right, we are Mushkin (Matt), Delarm (Elias), Sotiros (me, Peter), Todesfall (Marc), Max (Todesfall’s pet), and Mooglegem (gem).
On 3/26 we defeated the Jailer in Sepulcher of the First Ones normal! I guess I got behind on updating the blog. It’s a fun fight, but Anduin feels like better fight and something closer to a final boss. Maybe that’ll feel different on higher difficulties.
We’ve moved on to heroic progression and are currently 3/11. Hopefully we push further this week!
We’re in the 7th week of the Shadowlands Season 3, but I never discussed how mythic+ season 2 ended for me.
I ended with a 2294.1 rating, almost entirely healing. According to raider.io, globally I was in the top 6% of all characters, 4.9% of healers, 7.2% of shamans, and 7.5% of restoration shamans. I was the 65th best Horde shaman on Kil’jaeden and 48th best resto shaman on Kil’jaeden.
My top key ratings worked out like this (with asterisks indicating key level increase like raider.io’s UI):
De Other Side
Halls of Atonement
Mists of Tirna Scithe
Spires of Ascension
The Necrotic Wake
Theater of Pain
I earned Keystone Hero for Theater of Pain, Spires of Ascension, and Mists of Tirna Scithe for completing them on +20 or higher (in this case, +20, haha). While they were far from easy for me, I think others were within reach had I pushed to do them earlier. I didn’t try until the last couple weeks of the season, and our group had to split up to earn them.
Korthia and the covenant assaults in the Maw brought a lot of new mounts to hung back in 9.1. With 9.2 here, I’ve been looking back at my 9.1 goals. I got most of the 9.1 Korthia/Maw mounts except the Hand of Nilganihmaht (putting the rings together), the Fierce Razorwing (Death’s Advance paragon reward), Tamed Mauler (Archivists’ Codex paragon), and Hand of Salaranga (Breaking the Chains, Korthia meta achievement).
This is my favorite mount from the patch and one of my favorite all time mounts – the Fallen Charger! The gold looks awesome!
The Rampaging Mauler from Konthrogz the Obliterator is also pretty.
I don’t use the Mastercraft Gravewing from Stygian Stonecrusher a ton because it’s so big, but I do think it’s really cool.
The Forsworn Aquilon from Wild Worldcracker is really cool. I know Kyrians already had other tints of this, but I like this one!
While not from this expansion at all, my group has been occasionally going back to Mechagon to get Aerial Unit R-21/X from the hard mode. Only one party member can get it per run, and I came in last! But I did get it last patch. Sweet!
With the release of 9.2, I wanted to look at the transmog I’ve been collecting this expansion. Here’s what I earned, with more details and screenshots below:
Kyrian, cloth – campaign and renown
Venthyr, plate – campaign, renown, and Ember Court
Night fae, leather – campaign, renown, Queen’s Conservatory, and Winterborn
Necrolord, mail – campaign, renown, Abominable Stitching, and Unity
Kyrian 9.1 – all four
Venthyr 9.1 – five of the eight
Night fae 9.1 – all four
Necrolord 9.1 – all four
Castle Nathria – all four LFR sets
Sanctum of Domination – cloth, leather, and plate LFR sets
PVP Season 1 – cloth aspirant and gladiator
PVP season 2 – cloth aspirant, gladiator, and elite
First, these are my completed Sanctum of Domination sets. I got the LFR sets for leather, plate, and cloth. I actually like the cloth raid finder tint (the last one above), but the other raid finder ones are rather boring. I didn’t try for mail raid finder because I was pushing heroic on my mail character, but I didn’t finish the set. Funny thing is, I don’t think I’d use the cloth LFR tint despite initially liking it because I like the PVP variant much more.
These are the Shadowlands Season 2 PVP sets I collected – all three cloth sets. The aspirant is the same as last season’s aspirant. The gladiator variant is really cool although the elite set has the extra flair.
These are the raid sets I collected from the first tier – all four LFR tints. These are actually all pretty cool in their own way. In order above, those are the mail, plate, cloth, and leather sets. I used the mail set on my shaman for a while.
In season 1 of PVP, I only managed to get the aspirant and gladiator variants. As I mentioned above, the aspirant is the same set in both season 1 and 2. While I prefer my priest in a robe over pants, I think the gladiator tint doesn’t look as nice as the LFR tint.
I got all four of the Aspirant’s Regalia tints, the Kyrian sets from 9.1. I think they fit Kyrian pretty well.
I collected the four Night fae tints from 9.1. They’re cool, but I think I like the 9.0 leather sets better.
I can’t really imagine using any of these even though I did collect all four Necromantic Vestments tints for Necrolords in 9.1.
I’m not sure why, but Venthyr had two different sets each with four tints in 9.1. This is the set with pants, Court Attire. I collected three of the four variants.
And I collected two of the four Inquisitor’s Vestments tints.
My first character this expansion was my Kyrian priest, and I collected two of the cloth Kyrian tints. I didn’t progress much in Path of Ascension so was unable to collect the other tints.
After my Kyrian priest, I played by Venthyr DK. I got three of the plate tints, with the campaign version being the coolest.
I played my Night fae druid third and got all four of the leather tints. I like the one with purple leaves best!
I played a Necrlord shaman last and collected all four mail tints despite not liking any of them. Why did I spend my time doing that?
I’m not sure how many of the ones I missed I plan on getting. I’ll continue pooling my anima to get the missing 9.1 Venthyr tints. I dobut I’m going back to old raids. Doing Path of Ascension for the missing Kyrian cloth tints or the mirrors for the missing Venthyr plate tint isn’t high on my priorities. I like a lot of the Kyrian armor actually, but I absolutely do not want to grind more Grateful Offerings!
While my druid normally uses one of the Night fae ones, my other three toons use different transmog. While not related to collecting Shadowlands sets, let’s finish the post by talking about them.
I love my priest in T10 from Icecrown Citadel, including a weapon from ICC. There is a touch of Shadowlands there – the back piece is Kyrian.
On the last night of Winter Veil, four members of Carpe Flux Capacitor decided to go on a Winter Veil sleigh ride through Orgrimmar together! From left to right, that’s Syravia (Marc), me, Mooglegem (gem), and Mushkin (Matt).
I look especially silly in this one I think, but I’m also blocking Mooglegem unfortunately.
We’re gonna hit the camera!
I also recorded our little ride too.
As an added bonus, can I just say that cutscenes are way more fun when I’m in my Winter Veil transmog?
When am I ever going to see a ranking like that again? I ran some Legion timewalking mythic+ and realized that I had a shot at topping the rankings without too much effort. I managed to become the #1 shaman on US Kil’jaeden for Legion timewalking! I expect to fall as more people play, but it was fun to get here for now.
Happy 17 years to World of Warcraft! It’s crazy that the game is still going and I’m still playing! Here’s my current main, Sotiros, with the anniversary event world boss, Doomwalker. I’m also using the Akama’s Edge weapon transmog that was introduced for the event!
I took a screenshot of my first character, Petros, for this post. He’s level 14 now after the Shadowlands level squish but was 32 previously. I don’t think I broke level 20 with him before I switched mains. In this screenshot, my warrior is wearing mail boots (because I didn’t have anything else), no helm, and no belt!
This is the earliest screenshot I can find of Petros, night elf warrior and my first main, on 11/25/2004. This is only two days after the game was released.
By 12/12/2004, I had switched to Dimitri, a tauren hunter.
At some point soon after that, I made a hunter on a different server. I wanted to switch from a PVE to a PVP server. This is Petros, orc hunter, on 5/15/2005.
I can tell by my screenshots that on 3/18/2007, I hit 20 on Petros, my warrior. I’m not sure if he was back to being my main or if I was bouncing between a few.
By 10/16/2007, I was playing Sotiros, my shaman, as my main. He was level 24 in this screenshot. Crazy that he’s back to being my main today! He’s the same character shown in the screenshot at the top.
When gem started playing, I switched to a priest to help her level until she caught up with my main. I loved playing him so much that I decided to keep him as my main. Here’s the earliest screenshot I can easily find of Devee from 3/25/2008. gem’s character, Mooglegem, is in the background. Devee was my main until the most recent major patch, 9.1, on 6/29/2021. He was my main for over 13 years!
Here’s a good screenshot of Devee with Mooglegem. It’s one of the earliest I can find of the two of us where you can see us both clearly. This is from 4/4/2008!
As an added bonus, here’s a screenshot of Mooglegem with Sylvanas on 4/11/2008. This is during Sylvanas singing Lament of the Highborne upon turn-in of the quest Journey to Undercity. Things sure have changed!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.