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New World of Warcraft Expansion, Battle for Azeroth

I'm going to use this thread to discuss a bit on World of Warcraft (WoW), and possibly to bookmark some stuff related to the game. I decided yesterday to check the game out again, and it seems I forgot a ton of stuff about it. Because of some fish-out-water moments I had, I'll write about this without assuming a reader knows much more than the basics.

My Warcraft experience has been driven mostly from the social aspects of the game. Of course, I do like the RPG/swords-and-dragons game genre...but there are many games which handle gameplay better (Dragon's Dogma, Dragon Age, Elder Scrolls Skyrim, etc.). The biggest motivation to play the game, and return to it a couple of times, has been friends who play too. My first experience was in 2007 during the Burning Crusade expansion. WoW was becoming huge; almost a cultural phenomenon in the video game world. I started playing at the same time as my buddy Dub (substituting for his real name here); we didn't do much aside from run around doing quests and exploring. But the in-game world was tremendously immersive.

By the time Wraith of the Lich King came out in 2008, I knew several more people in real life who played. I convinced my sister and her boyfriend to try it, a woman who Dub was dating (who became his wife) played, and another friend too. Eventually, we started a guild dedicated to coordinated goofing around, and friends-of-friends started joining. It was a really fun time, but it fizzled out by the time the next expansion released. We all sort of played, and eventually didn't play at all. Years later, I came back again briefly a couple of times. But most of the gameplay consisted of catching up on stuff I missed. I played some during Legion (the last one), so I don't currently have far to go to catch up for this new one.

Although Dub and his wife, my sister, and most of the people who previously played don't subscribe to WoW anymore, I think the new expansion might still be fun as I play through the story. I don't have much interest (or time) to do the "serious" Warcraft stuff (Player Versus Player Arenas, Raids, etc.), but it is still a fun game. Dub has expressed some interest in trying the game again, which would be cool.

Over the last couple of days, I've been getting myself familiar with some of the online resources that can help with the game. For my reference, and another new player if they find this, here are some good links:


Apparently I missed much more content than I thought! I don't think it's actually going to be possible for me to catch up on everything I missed before the new expansion comes out in a few weeks. I might just have to take the rest of Legion as a "skip this" and start with the new stuff in August. At least I'm at the max level (110) so I can jump right into Battle for Azeroth. It's just too much to tackle!

I have to give Blizzard credit, they packed an insane amount of content into this game. This makes me remember thoughts I had about this game years ago - it's literally impossible to finish. And that is another reason I stopped playing it. You don't really play other games much when you're invested in this one, which is too limiting.

Since starting to play again, I received some excellent advice from the owner of Alunaria's Avenue.  Alunaria's Avenue is basically a Warcraft fan site, with a focus on very immersive screen captures and stories. Here's what she said as advice to new players, or people coming back to the game after a long break:

There was recently a huge overhaul to the leveling process. And a stat squish too. If you are the kind of player who loves to immerse yourself, quest through all the zones and so forth, then this is the perfect time to chill, and level a character to experience it all over again – without the annoying outleveling a zone half way through it, making all the quests go gray and provide no XP. Now you can level to 60 in most Vanilla areas, for example. And the later expansions tie together, so you can skip a continent and move onto another if you want. But if you are another kind of player, who’s all about end game, then naturally, that is not for you.

If it was me, I’d spend the time to get comfortable with whatever class I plan to take with me to Battle for Azeroth. And do the story lines of Legion. They are so great, well written and captivating. To me, at least.

Forgetting everything about WoW, if it was a while ago you played, is natural, I think! I did that too. I returned in Legion after a long break of many years. But Legion really caught my attention because of the stories.

One strong recommendation I have, is to wear blinkers (right word in English?). There is a lot more to do in the game, than there was earlier, and it’s easy to drift off, and forget what you were doing. I tend to have a little list written down, I can look at from time to time, to remind me, what I wanted to do. hah. I imagine, with little kids, that your time to play is also very limited, just as mine is. So all the more important to have a bit of focus, so one feels as if they get things “done”, while also enjoying themselves, if that makes sense?

I thought this was really great advice, and helped me figure out how to approach the new expansion, which comes out in a couple weeks. I've decided to really take it slow; small bites, as time allows. I may even back up, and try starting a fresh character to experience some of the older world too.