WoW: Shadowlands (coming Nov 23 2020)

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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands (aka the eighth expansion of this damn game).

Release date: 7 p.m. EDT Oct. 26 (4 p.m. in LA, 11 p.m. Mon in London, midnight Tuesday in Paris)

Official site: worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/shadowlands

Key features:
* 5 new zones and one new player hub (Oribos)
* 4 covenants (pick one!)
* Infinite dungeon (aka Torghast, Tower of the Damned) ... seems like it fits somewhere between the cloak runs and the loot islands
* Level cap of 60 (sted 120)
* New leveling experience (you can go from 10 to 50 in a single expansion)
* Storyline involves the Lich King 2.0 and Sylvanas (OK, so I've paid little attention to the run-up)
* Patch 9.0 is TBA; will include the usual changes (level squish, new and modified class attributes) plus a scourge invasion

Raid unlock schedule (starting with Castle Nathria):
Nov. 10 – Normal and heroic difficulties
Nov. 17 – Mythic, LFR first wing
Dec. 1 – LFR second wing
Dec. 15 – LFR third wing
Jan. 5 – LFR fourth and final wing

Guild info: Everyone here has an open invite to join GWJ Alliance on Blackhand-A. (No, there's no corresponding Horde guild that appears active.) There's little to no GWJ-A activity these days (except for me and my sorry band of alts). If anyone wants to organize instance and raid runs after SL drops, have at it. Otherwise, feel free to park your toons there for the perks, etc. If anyone wants to set up an official GWJ guild somewhere else, OK by me

SHadowlaaaaaaaands *pokin the thread*

edit: also when i get alt-itis, i'll make the alt on blackhand and park it on the GWJ guild

I'll ping someone for an invite for my current Alliance main; I've still got a couple of characters in the guild, but they're all in the 80-100 range.

Hope it is better than BFA. It sounds like quite the step up on paper at least.

Heirlooms are important! Rest xp is important! Heirlooms give you double rest xp as a set bonus. The increased regen does help if you are a soloer and altoholic.

The shadow priest changes are fantastic and I haven't even gotten the fiend summoning and talents. (crits on several spells like mindblast, and I believe sw:death, sw:pain, devouring plague, etc will spawn fiends) Devouring plague is back and awesome! The class really feels like a caster and unique (not a mage clone or a warlock without a pet)

Arms warrior is pretty fun too. Whirlwind is baseline I believe, and you get it very early. (by level 10 at least) My only complaint is that there is no ranged pull other than charge at low levels. It was very weird charging an aloft condor in Redridge.

Affliction warlock has just a small change so far but it really makes the class. You get a baseline aoe nuke that does increased damage based on the number of dots on the target. Corruption, agony, life drain dot, plus nuke, nuke, dead is a satisfying rotation. Throw in a seed of corruption for more aoe and you can throw caution to the wind but still handle a lot of situations.

Demon hunters, havoc got nerfed some but we got immolation aura and vengeance has become less bland as a trade off.

Tanglebones wrote:

I'll ping someone for an invite for my current Alliance main; I've still got a couple of characters in the guild, but they're all in the 80-100 range.

PS to my earlier note (bc this post from TB reminded me of it):

Every so often I clear out toons that haven't logged on for a while. (Meaning several years.) The guild roster is due for a pruning again. Gotta tidy things up before the expansion!

If I dropped your toon and you want back in, PST me in game -- Jorrn (main), Rucker (first alt) and Shoeshine are the three toons getting the most time these days.

Don't expect much from GWJ-A these days except for free bags, anvils and battle pets in the guild bank (for god sakes take some of those pets please) and a quicker CD on your hearthstone. I will not talk to you or make eye contact if you request that.

Does anyone know if the special event will grant gear and bonus xp to catch up before Shadowlands? They did that before Legion which was awesome.

jdzappa wrote:

Does anyone know if the special event will grant gear and bonus xp to catch up before Shadowlands? They did that before Legion which was awesome.

The new leveling system is itself supposed to be a lot faster. They may just leave it at that.

It is a lot faster. A LOT!
You can putz around and level a new character to cap in 15-20 hours.

Heirlooms have gaps but they do work to lessen the need for constant gearing.

Well, can't say I'm surprised, but it's starting to look like we're headed right to a "one, maybe two covenants are good per class"... which will almost inevitably lead to a raid opening week nerf before Mythic hits... which then leads to a potential reshuffling.

With like 3 different power gain systems built into them, it's inevitable... but I wish Blizzard would just learn the lesson to make this stuff all super low power gains or just stop.

As it stands, my two mains for next expansion, Priest (all 3, probably Shadow primarily for raiding, then healing for off-nights or 3rd healer fights for my guild's group) and DK (unholy for fun, Blood for tanking) are likely to both be Night Fae, and my first alt with probably paladin is likely to be either Kyrian or Necrolord.

jdzappa wrote:

Does anyone know if the special event will grant gear and bonus xp to catch up before Shadowlands? They did that before Legion which was awesome.

There will be gear from the pre-patch event. Basically, post level/ilevel squish, the equivalent of Normal Ny'alotha gear (445), mostly based around weapons from ICC and Naxx as I understand it.

Making it super low power gains would be the worst solution imo. No interesting character development then.
Either accept that players will be pissed at you for forcing you to make decisions that might end up sub-optimal (“This is an RPG!” is not a terrible hill to die on).
Or let people respec freely, so they can just jump whenever there is a balance/meta-change.

Or allow leveling on all specs and give the ability to switch between them...

I haven't played since Legion, but I'm starting to get that WoW itch. What's wrong with me?

merphle wrote:

I haven't played since Legion, but I'm starting to get that WoW itch. What's wrong with me?

Found the problem!

I enjoyed BFA :-/

Heh, didnt mean to take a dig at BFA there

I'm a BFA fan. I look at it as Legion 2.0 in terms of gameplay and grinds, though I much preferred the artifact weapon to the HoA neck piece. And Boralus is amazing.

I enjoy the WoW world and Lore. It is fun to go back every now and then and casually play thru LFR to get the new story and lore. BFA is enjoyable overall with really only Warfronts being a mostly fail for me.

I still dont understand why they didn't allow the island expeditions to be a solo thing.

The areas, lvling and story in BFA are all fairly good. Horde much more so than Alliance imo. But I think most of the game systems were quite weak compared to Legion. The neck piece, the azerite armor. Really no excuse for launching with that azerite armor system. Especially after Legions great artifact system.

Later BFA systems were much better. Essences were pretty good, if a bit bad in implementation (yeah, another re-re-grind that want you to hate alts). Personally thought corruptions were interesting (if ignoring the immense balance failure), but I can understand why raiders wouldn't like it at all.

Still, Legion is probably the best WoW has ever been game design wise (even if nothing can beat WoW vanilla - WoW Wotlk nostalgia), and BFA some of the weakest imo.

Legion felt like the epic finale to the storyline. Best expac since wrath.

There's a really important design lesson to take from the Azerite system. When they designed it they set out to solve all the problems the Legion artifacts had. And they pretty much succeeded. Unfortunately in doing so they also removed all the sense of progression and accomplishment from their advancement system, which is kind of a fatal flaw...

I think they boxed themselves into a corner with artifact weapons. It was a system that screamed this is the last expansion. In BFA they had to put the brakes on and do a last minute detour and the Azerite system, while promising, had that scrambling on full display.
I think the pieces were there but they should have taken a page from the artifact weapons with the sockets. But instead of giving pluses to different stats or just giving them, they should have been associated with the different powers. You still have the tiers that unlock as you level the weapon, but they are slots where which gem or whatever you slot will socket that power for that tier.

The powers were based on offense, defense and utility. Whether you use a utility gem (or off or def) in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd slot would determine what utility power you equipped. This would combat the only thing I hated which was finally finding an upgrade but losing the critical self heal on it for my rogue. This was even worse for dual wielding classes where one weapon would be contemporary and the other would be way underleveled. And also the trap that you could normally hand down the old main hand weapon to the off hand, except if it was main hand only This made gearing up for item level at cap that much harder.

Heretk wrote:

Legion felt like the epic finale to the storyline. Best expac since wrath.

I wouldn't disagree with that.

What's the Artifact Weapon / Heart of Azeroth for Shadowlands? Is there one? Is it Renown (i.e. the currency you're supposed to grind out)?

There is renown but there is also legendary weapons (equipment?)
And you know in a point release they will implement something like corruption to grind.

You craft Legendary Armor and add powers to. Legendary Shadowlands info

Calculator to Craft your Legendary

Medmey wrote:

You craft Legendary Armor and add powers to. Legendary Shadowlands info

Calculator to Craft your Legendary

Thanks, and yikes. The material costs are unbelievable. But at least you can pick your slot instead of hoping (a la Legion) that you'll stumble onto it.

Enix wrote:
Medmey wrote:

You craft Legendary Armor and add powers to. Legendary Shadowlands info

Calculator to Craft your Legendary

Thanks, and yikes. The material costs are unbelievable. But at least you can pick your slot instead of hoping (a la Legion) that you'll stumble onto it.

Any idea what the drop rate/gather rate on that soul ash is?

edit: oh i found it, roughly 30 per week, more as you get better at torghast.

So who here is going to go against meta and choose a covenant based on looks/lore versus functionality? On the forums I keep reading that death knights must go Night Fae for PVE. To the point where going against meta will get you locked out of higher content which is something I want to pursue in the expansion. I mean might as well during COVID.

But I just watched the Night Fae video and have zero interest in joining that faction, at least not on my main.

It just really sucks that this is such an issue.

In theory they're dedicated to balancing things such that you can do whatever covenant you want.

But even if they do the community will decide on a "best" one for each spec anyway and still discriminate.

The only real solution is to find a guild that actually buys into "play what's fun even if it's suboptimal" and just do stuff with them.

jdzappa wrote:

So who here is going to go against meta and choose a covenant based on looks/lore versus functionality?

* raises hand *

Uther is the leader of one of the covenants, and I've played a paladin since before Wrath, so that's a brainless choice for me. I don't end game until the end of each expansion, so I could give two sh!ts about what's right and proper to squeeze out an extra 1 percent of deeps or heeps or whatever tank epeen is.

I'm sure I'll run my alts through the other covenants to see how they roll. I have no idea how I'll pair toon and covenant at this point.

I guess I'll check what the abilities are from each, and let that affect my choice. But I dont care which one is best. I have no plan to raid anyway. And the best one will likely change anyway.

I think this is totally overblown, and maybe Blizzard should push people out of their comfort zone a bit more, if this is such an issue for the 'community'.
Yes, for the handful of world first raiders this might be an issue*... other than that, meh. Give me some meaningful choices in my RPGs, thank you.

*Not even that. The world first raiders will just solve this by having 4 characters of the same class

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