The Next Expansion After Legion – Expectations

So, Blizzcon is almost here, and by all means we will get insights about the new World of Warcraft expansion. Let’s discuss our expectations about it :)

Warcraft-ships

Setting

First and foremost, it’s most likely gonna be a sea expansion focused largely on Alliance/Horde clash – and with an ultimate enemy of N’Zoth/Void.

The clues are these:

  1. Jaina holds a super grudge against the Horde – and she was not idle, most probably returning to Kul Tiras kingdom and rallying the forces. Boom – here’s your Alliance faction and base of operations. Jaina’s always there, she’s not idle, she’ll play a significant role.
  2. The Horde has a mad, conquerous warchief now, who’s ready for anything to win herself some space. She’s most likely to make allies with Zandalari – after all, trolls don’t have a leader now, so this thread may be explored. Zandalar islands is the Horde’s base of operations.
  3. Anduin stopped whining, and took his father’s sword. His peaceful times are over, yet Legion was not his fight. What’s he preparing himself for, believing that the Horde abandoned Varian to death?
  4. We also have Genn Greymane who would rip the Horde’s throats as soon as he has a chance, and now he’s a father figure to Anduin.
  5. See the Blizzcon presents for virtual ticket: it’s Alliance/Horde air battleship mounts. Isn’t that a hint for ?
  6. Vindicaar vessel’s travel technology happens in space… but don’t you think it will perfectly fit the isles and traveling between them? Don’t you think we just need a different map – a sea map, and we’re good? So, Vindicaar is a preview of your new garrison – your admiral ship. Which could be leveled and geared I guess.
  7. Blizzard couldn’t help and throw in the Void forces even at Legion’s home planet. If we go to the seas, it’s gonna be N’Zoth in the end – because whenever else?

All in all it looks very much like Pandaria expansion, with brutal clashes between factions and an ultimate common enemy in the end.

Race Focus

Legion in whole was exploring four races in vast scales.

We’ve got overfed with vrykul – more than they actually deserve. We’ve got a look at a rich community of moose Tauren tribes at Highmountain.

Then there were elves, elves and elves of every kind possible: warden elves, demon hunter elves, ghost elves, corrupted ghost elves and corrupted Nightmare elves, druid elves, rebel elves and nazi elves – and there was also elves we brought with us who also got a spot in the highlight. The amount of elves and elf stories was really diverse and would be enough to please even the most demanding elf fan. And in Argus we plunged deep in draenei history.

What I would like of the next expansion is obviously returning back to the roots.

So, for the Alliance, I definitely need human (Anduin and Jaina) centered story. Alliance must also rely heavily on dwarf and gnome technology of ship/submarine building – in fact, all the process of construction, exploration and all should be supervised by Dun Morogh guys. Gnomes and dwarves got their spotlight in… WotLK last time. You know, their titan origins. They deserve much attention – finally.

For the Horde, I could think of Goblins working hard to match the Alliance tinkering. And of course the Undead – as Sylvanas was forgotten for good since the first week in Broken Isles. Now she would return. If Zandalar would become Horde’s allies and base of operations, we must expect heavy troll lore – as far as we know, trolls have not selected their chief after Vol’jin’s demise. It’s Zul-Again, yes, but trolls are always interesting.

Summary

My expectations are:

  • Setting: Azeroth’s unexplored islands in the seas
  • Garrison: Battleship, with Vindicaar’s travel-type between the isles
  • Storyline: Alliance/Horde clash over the seas and islands
  • Ultimate enemy: the Old Gods
  • Climax: N’Zoth raid
  • New factions: Kul Tiras (Alliance) / Zandalari (Horde)
  • Major lore characters: Anduin Wrynn, Jaina Proudmoore, Sylvanas Windrunner, Genn Greymane, Gallywix, Gelbin Mekkatorque – for the clash. Alleria Windrunner, Magni Bronzebeard – for the Old Gods climax.

For me it would be the best expansion ever. Gnome/Dwarf/Goblin tinkering, discovering and exploring the new lands – beautiful lands and seashores, back to Azeroth from some other planets, and focus on Jaina – my favorite character.

What are your thoughts? :)

Jaina

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Argus: Week 3

So… supposedly you’ve already played the campaign to the end and finished the dungeon :) If not yet, spoiler alert!

Alleria-Windrunner-Void-Cinematic

As with previous parts of the campaign, week 3 consists of 2 equal parts, almost unrelated to each other.

Part I: The Whining of a Geezer

The first part is the end of our trip to the past of draenei civilization and Velen’s issues. Although flashbacks were interesting enough – to see the events with our own eyes, I’ve got a bit tired of Velen’s whining throughout Argus campaign. Hopefully it’s gonna be the last we see of him for a long time.

The quests were boring: kill 12-15, visit three spots, and the worst thing is that it is repeated twice in a row. Then there is a satisfying encounter with Talgath, but it could touch the nerve more if we felt for Velen. By the time of encounter, I was so tired of the geezer’s whining that I was like: let’s get over with.

Strange thing: it seemed to me that they didn’t put an audio file in the scene of Talgath’s death. Velen makes a big silent pause before killing him – as if waiting for Talgath to speak, then after execution he tells us that Talgath unwillingly revealed the whereabouts of the Crest before death. But he didn’t! He was silent! Even stranger, Velen actually learned where the Crest is from flashback with Talgath and Kil’Jaeden a minute ago… That’s something really wrong happening. Grandpa needs a rest )

Thank gods, we go with Alleria further on.

Part II: The Void Adventures

Part 2 introduces us the threat of the Void. It’s definitely a preview of the new foe, as only lazy players don’t know yet that we’re done with the Legion once and for all next year.

Let’s say I liked the animation of the portals and corrupted Broken Draenei – it’s really awesome. All the pitch dark and stars, and tentacles. What is not awesome is the ethereals, wearing the same color palette as Suramar elves. Too bleak to my liking. If they’re gonna be soldiers of the Void, I’d prefer the Burning Crusade’s version of ethereals.

The story felt so out of place to me. Yes, the naaru in her dark period lures the void emissaries, it’s understandable. But surely not to Argus, the Legion’s homeworld! Let me remind you that Legion is still full in power, it still has endless armies of demons… and the Void are their ultimate enemies. Not Azeroth. The Void. In fact, they should have raided and burnt this area to the ground at the first hint of void emissaries. It’s Legion who should have been fighting them – not us. But no traces of the Legion.

Then there’s this blah-blah of duality of Light and Dark, Alleria finishes her learning with her mentor’s guidance, and becomes the Void Windrunner. Little is known of why she went to study void powers in the first place… Oh well.

Alleria-Windrunner-Void-Cinematic2

Anyways, we got the Crest, and Velen turns our vessel in a beautiful… well, it’s definitely worth more now in goblin black market. Still, it didn’t make its move after upgrade – it didn’t breach the Antorus gate! Velen just left it as that and went to sleep. For two weeks – suck it.

The dungeon was moderately nice and surprisingly easy. I pioneered with Baisa the Hunter – wiped once at the third boss, because we didn’t kill all the trash before pull. Well, in fact, we assumed the boss was also the trash! See? They need to do something with ethereals and their colors. And I tanked it today with Anibell the Paladin. No worries at all. Bosses just popped, we downed each of them in less than minute. Trash is annoying – but only by quantity, not trouble. Of course it’s gonna be a quest run for every toon, and I’m done with it.

So, Argus campaign is complete now. I moderately liked the plot, the best parts being all of the Quoram quest chain, and also a living colossus cannon in the beginning. Everything could be worse considering it’s damn Argus :)

This week I will finish it on the rest of my toons, and routines begin again :) Dailies, dailies, dailies…

 

Fiery Screenshots

Yet again I don’t have any time now for anything else but leading my toons through Argus’ new storylines :)

During this week my goal for all toons is completing the talbuk forest part which opens WQ for Argussian Reach, and obviously completing the second chapter along with completing one of the invasions.

1

I’m having lots of fun observing the cinematic with different alts, making screenshots. Sad enough, Anibell as a human has the most convincing look yet, but not so cool for my Gnomes, although I like few of their shots:

2

I wanted to take a cool goblin pic of Schlitzchen, but she entered the area in shaman form, so… cinematic for her was ghost wolf, which is basically a mist at this angle. I still have Faerella for backup – I would take care to dismiss my demon just in case :) And now that I’m warned, my only chance to see Tauren is Helu the Druid, who would also drop her travel/feline form before cinematic.

I did invasions on several toons, and it’s not very cool. My mage kept dying whatever she does – she suffers lots of unavoidable damage. On the other hand, when I went with Paitsu as a Brewmaster – I had so much FUN there! I put an ox statue which aggroes everything from a large distance, and toss kegs into the fray, redirecting them to myself. Absolutely no worries! Even if no one healed me, I were indestructible. So, depending on your class, it either is major pain and cemetery runs or fun.

I’m not sure I will be able to get all my toons ready for Chapter 3 by Wednesday, but I’m feeling that I’m not in a hurry now. I just take my time – I’ll be there, so I’m totally relaxed. I quit working on paragon mounts for now – I’ll resume this in a while. Frankly I need a break from it – Argus feels like more fun to do now.

I got profession quests for most of my toons. It’s strange that Tailors gave me a recipe for some old pants, ilvl 359 or something. Way outdated, so I was like: whaaa? :) Again, I’m not in a hurry – my leatherworkers need this new cloth for their quest, and I don’t even bother to send it from my other toons which don’t need it themselves :)

A total relax, just digesting the new content, savoring, enjoying it in small portions.

Argus: Week 2

Anibell-Paladin-Aggramar

*Spoiler alert: the post is mostly dedicated to the second part of storyline. 

The second part is available now, and is roughly divided in two parts.

First, we storm the Legion’s fortress. We assemble an ultimate doom weapon during our first part, actually a tank, and then grind the Legion’s defenders to dust along with their commander.

The epic thing was Legion’s marine – a fallen titan Aggramar – who chased us away. There’s some stunning moment of glory during a small cinematic, and all Twitter is full of shots, because this angle fits for character portraits like nothing else. I’m glad I’m gonna see the event with 11 more classes :)

Speaking about classes, I went with my rogue as a storyline pioneer, and it appeared to be the best strategy if you’re leading multiple alts. Rogue is capable of exploring the unknown terrain and paths without attracting extra attention, so when other alts would follow its path it’s gonna be way easier. Works for druids in feline form too I guess :)

The most interesting moment in the first part was when we were sent to slay a couple of shivarras. One of them says a perfect phrase, like “Dudes, you don’t understand! We must fight the void, or it devours us all, it’s the only way”. It was like: wow. It sounded perfectly normal and sensible! Not your normal Legion talk like “You will all burn”. Could they just start with talking to us about their purpose rather than trying to scorch us like maniacs? :)

The second part is about collecting a crown of the three dudes: Archie, KJ and Velen. I just like the plots when something whole is assembled out of several parts, it’s my favorite thing in any game, movie, or anything else, so I enjoyed it very much. The introduction to Mac’Aree was pretty boring, as I know the draenei history and this is how I imagined it all to happen, so no revelations here. The next thing where we obtained a piece from Archimonde was awesome! I particularly enjoyed the riddles, fighting with eredar version of Archimonde, and the voice of the sentinel robot… sounded very-very familiar, who’s the voice actor? It couldn’t be Cumberbatch, but it was very alike him or Alan Rickman…

Then they sent me to Legion “invasions”. I landed at some elvish platforms, lit by moonlight. It appeared to be easy enough, in fact, it seems you may not even participate and just stand in the corner after entering the portal – but it’s boring. It’s a fun thing to do, I’m gonna run them when I have a chance. The only thing is: could they make invasion portals somewhere closer to the main roads?

And I finished the first part of Argus questline (of the last week) for all alts. As expected, for shaman it was pain incarnate. I don’t care about PvP balance, it should be NOT that squishy. Running with 10% health and eating after every fight is not fun at all. I died and died in Elemental, then I switched to Enhancement which fixed things a little, but not much.

First Day on Argus

I got some proper Argus exploring yesterday, so here’s my report.

I’ve led three toons through the initiate questlines: mage, priest and druid. The new terrain was so freaking unfair to mage. As a cloth toon, I’m getting it all – and I don’t have a private tank like warlocks or self-heals like priests. I have to eat after mob fights, and eat constantly – my shields don’t help much. My ilvl is not so bad for questing, 897 or so (mind you – she has the highest ilvl among my toons), and yet it’s cemetery runs – I think I had ten.

At the same time my priest had zero issues. I went in Discipline which has only three damage spells, but those spells also heal me simultaneously. Also little trouble when running in Balance druid spec – yes, I didn’t kill the mobs from afar, they managed to reach me, but they didn’t hit my leather that hard, so I’m perfectly enduring their attacks even if it’s three or four mobs coming at me.

I’m already dreading coming with the squishiest class – shaman.

Micromantica has explored two available zones. I’m not sure I covered every spot because Argus exploration achievement is combined out of its three zones, but I seem to have been in every corner available. I did a search for a raid entrance around the map marked zone (not that I need it for LFRs), but couldn’t find it, so I put this away for later.

Argus is awesome in the ways that it really feels very dangerous, it’s not your private candyland like Timeless Isle or even Thunder island. Yet we need to check it in the long run – I mean, how tedious it might be when you need repeatable world quest running around. I engaged in multiple fights on my way to some of them. Of course it will be better as long as a I learn my paths, but I feel like I need extra 15-30 ilvl at the very least to be cool here. I’m not sure where to get gear – got a pair of belt tokens dropped from mobs (btw, account bound! So I sent the plate one to my DK). These belts are 880 which is worse than my LFR ones. Well, at least I got the new models for my wardrobe.

The storyline is logical, the only drawback being little revelations. It’s our normal shove your nose into enemy territory – set a camp – make friends with locals and solve their problems – deal with the enemy stuff. Oh yes, the draenei are so protoss now that you may call them so freely. The moment of awe was the naaru cinematic. It’s the first time throughout WoW history when I completely support Illidan and his actions. You fucking cannot do “good” to someone without asking for permission. The bitch got what it deserved, fair and square. Also I liked the depiction of naaru parts before it was rezzed – so bone-like! For the first time since BC it made me think of naaru as of living beings, not constructs or elementals, it was awesome.

Turalyon and Alleria continue to be boring as hell: elven archer bragging / paladin dumbass boring duumvirate. Blizz really needs to do something with the characters – they’re just cliche dummies now. I don’t feel any affection to either of them.

My druid Helu got several quests for her Alchemy/Herbalism and acquired new recipes: collecting an Argus herb rank 1 and crafting a pair of new potions – not sure yet what they do, haven’t even checked in my book. No such quests for mage and priest yet (they have tailoring, enchanting, mining and engineering).

As we set a base in the raid part of Argus, I see no new story coming yet. I think my plan for now would be world quest running with Micromantica for reputation until I get tired, and also leading the others through the story, like chess pieces.

So, this is it. How was you Argus Day 1?

Argus: Yay or Nay?

Woo-hoo, Argus is online, and at the very least 3 hours earlier than scheduled maintenance hours. So I was able to run through some initiate quests.

Just a quick list of my first impressions.

The story was fun enough – I guess mainly because it’s new. Still need to get a full picture, but all in all it’s promising to be a good journey. So far I’ve killed annihilans and returned to the ship for a small tour and binding my hearthstone.

Turalyon/Alleria suck yet. Turalyon is your common “I’m a paladin” thing, boring to the bone. I hope he will bloom in further quests, or else. Alleria… I’m just not a fan of elves or undead elves (her sis), so I’m not a fanboy just for the fact of her presence. And it’s hard to tell anything about the character out of two lines yet. Both provided some boring drama about their son, it was not bad, but it didn’t bring any emotions either. Because, hey, like I’ve written before: first grow a character to let us feel for it, then tell us about character’s drama. Otherwise we don’t care.

I’m positively surprised how fighting demons doesn’t feel secondhand – which I was afraid of most. I guess I’ll be fine on Argus. And it’s not because it’s new. Compared to Broken Shore: I was bored from the shore location in the first day.

I’m happy with the portal system – so far it’s just one portal opened, yet it’s totally comprehensible and cool. And the Argus map is also nice.

Cherry on the cake: new spell animations! I’ve recorded a gif video for my twitter – see it here at the link. Frostbolt is finally not more of a water jet, but a proper powered icicle. And the casting animations for different spells are different now.

So far it’s been just Frost Mage I checked – I can’t wait to see other casters, specifically my warlock and elemental shaman goblins. Who am I kidding, every caster class and spec!

I got new cloth drops from demons – something for tailoring I guess.

I haven’t got a plan yet, I will just follow the flow. I don’t have any specific goals – by now I want to explore the new area, see the new questlines, and open world quests to work on reputations with Micromantica. Then I would slowly drag the other toons there.

In general the planet’s fine yet. More to see and explore.

See you on Argus :)

Patch 7.3.: Are You Prepared?

Kageyama-Patch-7-3

Picture being courtesy of brilliant Kageyama Satsuki, are you prepared for the patch?

I’m finding myself at a big clearing up nowadays, closing the loose ends.

Artifact Weapons

Weapons

This is where I will draw the line in grinding artifact power: 52 traits. As you see, I’ve almost completed my goal of driving all the weapons to 52. Anibell, Baisa and Aurinko will likely close their part within a week, and you have to excuse Helu who had four druid weapons to level.

With the new artifact relic system, I will not care about leveling or checking the weapons anymore. Upon reaching 52, I’m just deleting this expansion-wide table of weapons from my list. I’ll be just playing the specs that I like and invest in them – with no particular goal of reaching some point. I’ve had enough of AP grind. I may even skip the AP missions at missions table.

Still, Legion did a very good thing making me play all the specs. It’s awesome that I could switch to any spec now and be confident there. Even the most shunned specs: I’ve led my hunter Baisa through Magni quest and later world quests in Beast Mastery, I tanked Kil’Jaeden in Blood with Mindebad, and now I like questing in Discipline as it’s the Light shooting spec and at the same time quite powerful DPSing with ultimate built-in self-heals.

I’m implying to heal the Antorus raid at least on my priest, shaman and monk – these are the most enjoyable specs for healing. Oh my, who could have thought of that a year ago when I hated healing! I still do though with paladin and druid :)

So, thanks, the expansion, for leading me through all the 36 paths :)

Gear

Gear

This is the table I need to complete for full class mogging sets from Tomb of Sargeras. Bosses are listed which are to be killed by specific toons – and it has to be the exact class to drop. Well, except Har’jatan’s boots for Melaris which could be acquired by any leather class.

The worst thing is that some pieces come off trash, and trash only. So you’re basically bound to run and run the raid hoping for the best, and not even having a chance to toss a coin for the needed drop. That’s not nice. So far I had a single trash drop: a belt for the priest set.

I think that after I acquire the last pieces off bosses I’m gonna call it a day. It’s a task of solo raid running, not the tedious LFR runs throughout the whole raid on all toons with a minuscule chance of drop.

So yes, during the first weeks of the patch I’m still gonna be covering the mogging slots from the Tomb.

Many Little Things

Not enough urge yet to grind Margoss reputation or Underbelly eyes, it’s yet a thing for the end of the expansion.

Still doing the daily world quests for paragon chests – four toons per day. Still need Valarjar, Dreamweavers, Farondis and Nightfallen mounts. I think it’s expansion-wide project, but frankly I’m sick of it. Should have gotten them all by now, after half a year.

Heading for “invest 50 times in every building in Broken Shore” achievements. Micromantica just launches missions for Legionfall resources and unloads them from time to time. So far it’s 28-41-10. No world quests to speed it up, but maybe I could do that by the end of expansion to close the loose ends.

Old raid mogging runs are a thing lately with me – at least I need the achievements, the rest of the toons may suffice with the most wanted chests, legs, hands and shoulders. I’ve collected 2 sets from Throne of Thunder on weekend (mage, and – as a collateral damage – priest). Performed a full run on every raid possible except Dragon Soul (because the last piece comes from Baradin) and Siege of Orgrimmar (the mere thought about the first boss solo makes me sleepy). Many pieces acquired, and I’m actually very close to covering lots of set achievements.

Speaking of mogging, I’m also spending my instant world quest completion options (like mage, death knight, paladin, warlock, and demon hunter have) for specific PvP WQ if the reward is PvP tokens – I spend them for old PvP sets. Fat chance I’m doing any PvP on my own, so it’s the only way :)

I’m good with main professions on all toons – except Melaris’ mining and herbalism and Aurinko’s mining. I will level them and also cooking and first aid via Darkmoon Faire, so I’ll be there by the end of expansion.

In conclusion: 

I’m far from done with the expansion, but mostly I’m having expansion-wide projects now.  I wish I had one more week for yet one more try with mogging in Tomb and completing my weapons, but nevertheless, I’m ready.

Bring it on! We have an epic story to explore ^_^