Hello WordPress readers!
So, it’s been a minute. I want to elaborate quickly, by exposing a slice of personal life and then talking about alpha really briefly. I’ve been playing a decent chunk of alpha over the last week. Like…a good sized chunk.
(119 is the current cap on alpha, btw!)
So where did this time come from? Well, here comes the personal part.
I’ve been rather displeased with my work for a while now, and looking to get out. It had gotten particularly bad over recent weeks, to the point where I didn’t want to play games, or write, or do much of anything. I started looking for a new job, knowing that this was not okay and that it was something I could fix, given enough effort. So I did indeed get a new job, and resigned last week! I intended to work for a while longer, giving a little more than a two week notice, but the employer I so loathed, thankfully, opted instead to accept and pay my notice out, and sent me home. So now I’ve had the time to play, and I used it to dive deep into Alpha to have a lot of new stuff to talk about!
This is, unquestionably, a good thing, and I am very happy with this outcome.
So, onto Alpha.
I’ve now completed two zones of the three in Kul’Tiras, two dungeons, and an island expedition. I’ve stepped into Blackwing Descent 25H to see how old raid scaling works (spoilers: not well at all).
I am going to be writing a full series on my experiences from a gameplay perspective this upcoming week, during which I am still off before starting my new job. I’ve been workshopping a lot of different ideas, most of which will be gameplay focused without spoilers! There is actually, despite the unpolished state of much of Alpha, a lot to say. The game’s state is fascinating at present, as Legion has slowed to almost nothing going on, while more Alpha invites have gone out and the chat on those servers has grown and become more boisterous.
I think early on, to tease what is coming, what I will say is this – Alpha is mostly just leveling right now, and while that is mostly an evolution of the same experience we’ve been playing for 14 years now, it is also one of the best leveling experiences I’ve played, even in the rough state of Alpha. It reminds me of the better part of Warlords of Draenor, the early leveling in which everything is well=placed, with a large variety of activities. It is, also, however, still WoW leveling – it isn’t really the point. The Island Expeditions, however, do showcase something that I think is promising for the future of the game – a widely varied endgame we haven’t seen since Mists of Pandaria.
The Mists endgame had a relatively large swath of content, with scenarios, heroic scenarios, dungeons, challenge dungeons, raids, and questlines with each new patch. While there were gaps in this game (no new dungeons post-launch, the basic-ness of scenarios, etc) – overall, it was pretty damn good.
BfA promises more than this potentially – with dungeons, adding the repeatable Mythic Plus system instead of Challenges, scenarios in the form of Islands, Warfronts, which are a big question mark at the moment, raids with more difficulties and flexibility, and world quests. If we get new dungeons similar to Legion, and new questlines with each patch, this endgame has the potential to be one of the best in the history of the game. I’ll talk more about the dungeons I’ve played and the content that is there in the pieces I’ll be putting up this week, because each topic deserves a bit more elaboration than a big piece like this can include.
Overall, I think this expansion feels on-track to be something really great. Of course, that does mean the potential exists for it to be a letdown, and for as much as Alpha has peeled back the veil hiding the content from us, there is still much we do not know, and in that content could exist good or bad gameplay and lore.
Taken as an in-progress, accurate representation of what Battle for Azeroth holds, however? I’m pretty damn excited.