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!
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.