I started off the expansion with 12 friends that all were hyped about the game. Unfortunately all but 4 of them have now quit. I'd like to share our experience as a friend group. We are not rockstar players, and had goals to play casually doing M+, world content, and maybe raid occasionally.
It's fun, we all enjoyed the first week or two. It becomes a drag so quickly though because it literally accomplishes nothing in the game besides your legendary currency. Not only that but most of us barely have enough gold to afford more than 2 legendaries.
If we could actually accomplish things in Torghast it's a fun experience for most of our group. It gave us something to do as a group that was enjoyable if we didn't have a good group or enough people on to do dungeons. Just to call out something specific for us – if we could grind out Soul Ash, Valor, and Anima I think we'd find Torghast an enjoyable alternative experience to get things accomplished when we didn't have enough people or a group comp for M+.
This just isn't very fun. Most of the affixes are friggin' annoying. A lot of our group plays melee. The anti-melee mechanics on top of all the affixes makes it not that fun to play melee in the first place, and is even more awful when you run a melee heavy or all melee dps group. Just way too much random shit that makes life miserable and annoying as melee. I don't think the target cap was making anyone feel good about their classes either, but it's not a thing that made anyone quit.
The design of trash in general also isn't that great IMO. So many caster/archer mobs. Mob design and affixes that make it basically impossible to do any kind of large pulls for an average player (just because the MDI can do it, doesn't mean any normal group can). Most of us didn't play BfA, so again going back to Legion I think the big pulls with much more manageable trash was a lot more fun. I like a lot of Shadowlands dungeons and bosses, but this general philosophy for trash just doesn't feel fun most of the time when you get affixes involved.
The reward structure kind of sucks for M+. The vault still gives you worthless items or you get 15 rings and capes in 4 weeks XD. I think Valor was a great step in the right direction, but it didn't bring any of my friends back. They had already quit and when they saw they would have to do 5 dungeons every week on every character and that it would take multiple weeks to upgrade a single item even if they committed that time, they weren't interested.
Tank gameplay is awful. Like you shouldn't have to be a mythic raid geared tank to not be scared for your life on 60% of trash pulls in level 14/15 dungeons. Even more so if you aren't a "meta" tank. Again, I'm not going to claim we are rockstars but my tank friends would be like "dude I'm hitting my buttons and this stuff is still owning me". It's just not fun man. Tanking has enough pressure as it is, it completely turned off the few people that we had tanking that they felt like it was too hard to stay alive on top of the normal pressures of tanking. Tanks do not feel powerful, and they need to. Like maybe Legion Blood DK was too good but at least people had fun playing a tank then. I certainly don't think it was breaking the game at that time, you would still fail your timer if your dps sucked and was dying to things.
I feel like this has to be the worst version of world content we've had in a while. The world quests are the most tedious we've ever had. The removal of the flight whistle, and these world quests that get deliberately placed off in the farthest corner to give you the most running back and forth between flight paths possible. We would log in look at callings and world quests and more often than not just log off. It is not engaging content, it is not an enjoyable use of time.
The other part of this would be The Maw. At least for us, it's kind of similar to world quests. It just takes a lot of time for no reason. Arbitrary restrictions that are far more annoying than creating any kind of interest or danger. As you had to get more souls every week it reached a point where you couldn't even finish weekly quests in a single day. Just hella boring content similar to world quests. I dunno, maybe we were doing it wrong but not a single one of us enjoyed The Maw.
4 of my friends were playing horde, the rest of were alliance. People had raiding plans, guilds, other friends. There's a lot of reasons they chose one faction or another, and it sucks massively we couldn't play together. And no, duplicating characters and all the grinds and gearing just to play the same character on both factions is not something we are going to do. Maybe that's an answer for you, it is not for us. As friends started to quit, as raiding guilds fell apart, it became harder and harder to get groups and it just compounded the issues when maybe we had 2 horde friends online that would have been perfect for the group but we were prevented from playing together so no one got to do anything that night.
I don't feel like "just pug" is an answer here either. Every single day on this sub reddit there are posts about how awful the pugging experience generally is in this game. We wanted to play with our friends, not random people that often have the issues attached mentioned in before mentioned reddit threads. Have I had some great pugs or pug groups? Sure, absolutely. But it's definitely the exception in my experiences. Also pugging M+ as a melee is well…LUL. Good luck getting invited to any group in the first place.
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