Shadowlands – First Impressions

Shadowlands – First Impressions

It has been about two weeks since I was invited to play in the World of Warcraft (WoW) Shadowlands beta. Having participated in other betas for WoW I thought I knew what to expect but this one has not been the usual experience. Each zone has a very distinct feel to it almost like each one was meant to be an expansion of its own.

Let me set your expectations about what to expect from this and other posts about the beta. I am an average player not a power gamer. I like to be able to dive into a new expansion without having to do a ton of research about how to get started.

Getting Started

To get started you create a character with a template based on the covenant you want to try. The toon starts in that zone and they are randomly assigned a level from 50-58. While not a bad idea, it did cause a few problems. At this point I have characters at different levels of stuck in each covenant.


Running Around Bastion – No Quests Yet

The first toon I created started in Bastion for no other reason than it was the first on the list of choices. My character rolled to a level 50 and that seemed fine. I would be able to do the whole 10 level experience.

However, when I zone into Bastion there are no quests to be found in the immediate area. No problem, this is beta and you must expect it to be a bit buggy. I mount up and start riding around. Soon I come to a camp that has 1 quest and a flight point. Yea, new content to explore. However, that first quest did not trigger any follow on quests.

Some of the few quest I did find were for two factions within the Bastion covenant. Once you finish both quest lines you get to pick which one to align to. But still no follow on.

Next I decide to ride out to some of the other flight points. Maybe I will find some quests along the way. In the end I found about a dozen quests in the whole zone and that got me only 1.5 levels. I am now stuck at level 51 and no new content.

In the past this would not have been a problem, I would just mount up and ride to another zone. Well, not so fast in this new zone structure. Each zone is like its own planet. I never found a portal to central zone or to the original lands. My toon is a warlock so I am stuck.


The next toon I made is a mage in Ravendreth. This zone is the one I like the most thus far. The graphics are awesome, the Eastern European (Transylvania) vibe is cool, and there are tons of quests to do. Now I have something I can really test out and see what the new expansion will be like.

If you play WoW you know mages can be a bit squishy and hard to solo in the beginning. One must take a cautious approach and not pull to many mobs at once. Some of the quests were hard because of how densely populated the mobs were but that was fine. Usually the problem was my fire jumping to another mob and pulling more than I wanted. Eh, I died a lot and then would just rez and keep going.

The problem came when I died and my ghost kept falling through the world. Since the rez point was bugged, I submitted a bug report moved on.


Ardenweald – Beautiful Graphics

Character number two is stuck… no worries I will start another one. This is what beta is all about. This time I create a priest and head to Ardenweald. Like all the zones, the graphics have experienced a major upgrade. The zone is beautiful and it has a lot of quests to do. To be fair, I am not so much stuck in this zone as I got bored playing the priest.

Ardenweald have a very druid feel to it with the fairies and dryads. Of course there have to be imps running around causing mischief. I think this zone is the one that felt the most like the previous expansions. To a large degree it had the same feel as Legion questing in Val’Sharah. Not bad but not exciting.


Maldraxxus – Home of the Death Knight

The last zone I tried was Maldraxxus. There was an immediate feel of death knight in this zone. The desert wasteland with lots of bones from various sized dead animals litter the scenery. Not to say this is bad, just not my favorite vibe.

However, there are quite a few starting quests; enough to get 4 whole levels before I ran out. The game sent me on a quest to Oribos, the main city for this expansion. Once there the follow on was not available. At first I was stuck but when the server rolled the ability to go between worlds was activated.

Yea, I will just go to another planet to quest (but still not Bastion). NOPE, I can go to a different zone but no quests showed up. Yet another character is stuck. At this point I realize that I am going to have to create a level 60 toon and jump straight to the end content.

Level 60 Content

I played around with the level 60 content some but meh. It was fun being able to pick a faction and decide which faction bonus to use. The thing I don’t like about jumping to the end is I feel very confused about how it all fits together. Right now this expansion is disjointed to me. But again, this is beta so I expcet it will get better.

In point of fact, the ability to copy a character has been activated. I am going to pick my favorite toon and see if the starting experience is different now. Lets hope so.

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