It took some time but it is official, I finally have a level 60 character in the WoW Shadowlands Beta. Actually, it was not that hard to get to 60 but I have had a lot going on at work so it took me a little bit to get through the content. Following the main quest line will get your character to 60 and complete all the prerequisites to choose a covenant.
In an earlier post, I wrote that I had a Priest “stuck” in Ardenweald because I was bored of the Priest. As I leveled my Warlock I realized I was not bored of the Priest per say, I was bored of Ardenweald. Frankly, I could not wait to get out of that zone. It is the one that feels the most like slogging through previous expansions. On top of that, it seems like they wanted to make the most whiney characters for this zone.
Once I got to Ravendreth it was better because I love the design of this zone. In the WoW Shadowlands beta, this one feels like it had the most attention. But still, leveling is just okay. It really did not feel like there were any great improvements beyond the graphics and being in a different zone. However, as you start to get near the end game content things started to pick up interest for me.
Throughout the leveling experience you will go back and forth to the Maw to do different quests. At the end of the Ravendreth zone you are sent to the Maw again, but before leaving you have to do a mini instance for Torghast. This is where I saw functionality that I don’t recall from any other expansion.
While in Torghast you collect Anima Orbs and they unlock abilities to make the instance easier. For example, on of the first things I came across as a Warlock was the ability to improve the cooldown for summoning Demonic Tyrant. This is very helpful since every time I use this ability I also get 5 Soul Shards.
There is a lot going on in Torghast and to be honest I am not sure I 100% get it all right now. But you get powers, can earn currency toward legendary items, and complete objectives each time you go in. It kind of feels like a better version of the Island Expeditions from BFA.
After finishing the introduction to Torghast, I had to do a couple more quests, I dinged 60, and I was off to choose a covenant. As this was my first character, I had to follow the quest line all in the specified order. What I learned is that you will have a bit more flexibility for alts. Most notably is the ability to choose a covenant as soon as you come out of the Maw the first time.
After I chose a covenant, I was able to open up world quest and followers. Because your followers are tied to your covenant your first character will not be able to work on this part of the game until you reach level 60. You can also start working on upgrades associated with your covenant. Fortunately, the end game content is more fun so far than the leveling experience.
One quick side note on professions. So far they are not robust in the WoW Shadowlands beta. My main character is a herbalist/alchemist. There have not been that many herb nodes so I have not been able to work much on alchemy. What I did notice is that WoW has gone back to partial flowers like they had in Mists of Panderia. I hated the flower petals thing back then and was glad to see it go. I hate that they brought it back. It is hard enough to find flowers; add to that you don’t even get 1 flower per pick….YUCK.
The WoW Shadowlands beta is starting to get fun. There are still some buggy behaviors, which is to be expected. I think I will try a second character to see if/how the experience is different beyond picking the covenant sooner.