I played until MoP, quit WoD and tried a bit of Legion before quitting that too and I didn’t even bother touching BfA. Originally I was skeptical that after so many flops that they could come back with an actual good xpac, but Shadowlands out the gate Week 1 was incredibly fun.
I know this was just the honeymoon stage, but the community felt alive again. People were making some good memes, the content’s art style was really well done and it felt like there was a lot of personality in each covenant. (ex: Choosing Night Fae lets you participate in a “play” where they act out WoW’s history in a satirical way where they make fun of themselves for bad story telling)
Then when you eventually hit Lv 60 which happens pretty fast (You’ll hit this before campaign ends), the cracks really start to show.
PvP at its current state is absolutely broken. Every hunter rolls MM because they can double aimed shot from stealth and take away 80% of your Heath if not all of it. Every rogue rolls Subt because you can 100-0 someone in a single stun. Not to mention Ret pallies being absurdly strong as well.
Any PvP video you’ll see on
r/WorldOfPvP is literally a bursty 1 shot cheese combo.
Which leads into PvE. For the most part this is doing alright, raid tier not out yet but the dungeons so far have been decent. A lot of is being farmed for legendaries, which imo is one of the biggest mistakes Blizz made. Some classes get their BiS legendaries early like Rogue which already is abusing its 1 stun kill rotation, while some classes have to wait until next raid tier or are just given very underwhelming powers in general for the entirety of the xpac.
The positive changes in PvE however come in the form of Anima and WQs. Anima isn’t used to increase your power, rather it gives you access to covenant transmogs, different covenant buildings like command table (NPC missions from WoD), teleportation to different parts of the map or powers up parts of the map to unlock bosses that drop mounts. It can also be used to do covenant specific jobs. (Night Fae gets you a garden like MoP, Venthyr throws tea parties, etc).
WQs seem to be a lot easier to do this time around, and are completely optional because you only really do it for anima and anima by itself only gives you bonuses like mounts, xmogs, gold or the occasional rare piece of loot.
But this system is ruined Week 2 by them having Renown levels which is another mechanic they introduced to time gate the main campaign and even upgrading your PvP gear, so it’ll take 6 months for a player to actually complete the main story for your covenant or see any of the actual good rewards or bonuses. This also sucks because you can invest a lot of time into covenants just to find out they nerf it due to PvP/PvE imbalances (Some covenants are BiS for classes over others), and they advertised some type of catch up mechanics for renown which is still not out yet.
But aside from all these things, the worst offender imo is Torghast. It’s essentially WoW’s version of a rouge like game mode where you can either solo or take a party through a procedural generated dungeon with power up RNG that can either let you one shot the whole place or spend 40 min to get to the last boss just to die and not get anything for the time spent.
There’s a lot of people who love Torghast, and that’s fine but again just in my opinion this is one of the most boring things in the game and they gated a currency called Soul Ash behind completing it, and you need that to get your legendary and upgrade it essentially forcing people to participate in it.
The worst part is that if you miss a week of it, you’ll be permanently behind every week after.
Overall, 2nd week in I gotta say this xpac is going to be incredibly dull before the month even finishes if they don’t start balancing things properly and reworking some mechanics (aka not nerfing things to the point where they become useless for the rest of the xpac) but they also had a whole beta to fix these issues and this is the end product so im not holding my breath on this one but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
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