Hey, I'm back
At least, so far this honeymoon period is absolutely Goddamn big compared to the same period in Shadowlands. We can't call it yet, but the honeymoon period apples for Apples to Apples.
Oh man, we're back in Azeroth! The world feels full of life and the game doesn’t fist you just for looking at it, which is good. Quite the Improvement if Blizzard play their cards right.
This is my main point: this is the end of what seemed to be the end, and it may even be the start of a new beginning, one where the game emerges fourth from four years of utter self-destruction on almost every front. But again, I said if they play their cards right--that's still an if. Okay.
I've I mean look I almost got whiplash from saying that whole paragraph. Uh, you maybe also have whiplash from having heard it because I know it's pretty glowing.
Sure feels more like home; Shadowlands felt like four zones of alike weird death themed Disney park rather than four slices of Warcraft’s world. Right? It felt more pick themes out of a hat right? Let's do weird vampires. Let’s do an ancient Greece. You know it just kind of it felt it felt strange.
The lore was quite alienating; right? It was a creative departure that's now firmly feeling behind us. So much of the content so far in dragonflight is Worldbuilding. Right? It feels like Azeroth World building. That side quest with the dragon whose Visage is a dwarf, I mean God damn it’s such a simple Quest but it is so good. It Landing true feels to the history of Azeroth more than just about any dragon content has and that was just a small bit of writing but it really makes you feel their experience being beings that old.
Much like how the excellent Dragon riding in ff14 was just unforgettably good. That Quest was a glimmer of Wow's world at its best.
Speaking of which, we can't not talk about the side content. Iman, per the achievements, there are 34 side quest chains that is so much content and in almost every case, it is fleshing out characters, telling small self-contained stories, fleshing out the world it's built on. I guess it is expanding and deepening The Familiar Right, which means it is offering payoff to our investment in Azeroth—which is quite the opposite of what we've been used to.
Recently, this content has felt fresh and fun. Even their attempts at humor have had a high hit rate. My guild was salty, but now our guild chat is glowing. People are enjoying stories highlighting pleasant surprises that we’re all getting. Unlike side quests, a lot of these ones actually matter to the game systems.
The reputations are night and day. World quests and things to do are still there, but the design of the new rep system with its thousand rep per Renown means that everything feels like good progression. It feels natural, and the side quests reward you with a big boost in reputation while you’re enjoying novel content, meeting new characters, learning about the lore, and unlocking new features.
It just feels right, like everything is well aligned in the overall game experience.
Now eventually we'll be back to some of the usual, but man this is undeniably a step up from this relative time two years ago.
Everything in your world map, you know it's progress. And if you want to mostly ignore Renown, well outside of professions you totally can. That altered your raid logging on it'll get you know raid gear and the crafting resources that we'll get at the really you know good grafted gear it won't need to farm Renown.
But if you wanted to, well hey good news there's a catch-up system already built in from day one.
I mean compared to the way that anima ended up, it is amazing what just some slight tweaks to the overall presentation of content can do. Because when you really dive into some of the nuts and bolts, there's quite a few similarities, but it's the presentation, it’s the minutia, it's all of that that’s made it work.
Oh yeah, the events – some of them feel like MMO events. It's like group stuff. You get things like the Dragon Bane Siege, PVP world quests, and a good gear system designed around them. It's mostly stupid, wacky, and weird fun. For example, in Legion and Stormheim, you can knock people off a cliff with the extraction bar of the goat.
Events like the soup gathering are fun and well themed. The weekly stuff is well themed and makes sense in the world. There's also some grindable stuff and one-off side quests. Overall, the structure is more varied and interesting.
It's also well there's a big thing I feel astoundingly more this time around love right all those intangible things that feel better the expansion just reeks of Creator passion you know it feels like they were really glad to be back at Azeroth I would say and maybe even more glad to not be writing like weird edgy dark stuff that just didn't really land with everybody like there's more of a sense of fun and exploration and adventure and it really does work and I know this is just a feeling right but it's one that I am seeing all over the internet from the people who are actually playing the games you know what is it what is that factor that that special sauce right that like little injection of soul that uh makes an experience more than merely its mechanics, well whatever that things I think it is here in Spades as compared to shadowlands which is kind of funny because shadowlands was an expansion basically that was narratively designed around extracting a numerical value from the totality of one soul, that’s kind of funny but this time around it's making a game that is just so much more basically likable than what we've been used to and that helps I mean right take a show that I like Stargate sg1 is it full of trashy cheese and schlock and Jank yeah for some reason it's really quite lovable, same for a show like Buffy you know, I hope you know what I'm getting at.
I’m also getting at professions big time, I have to talk about them in this video don’t I professions just immense I love professions right now I'm a tailor and a Skinner on my priest I know being a Skinner makes no sound spot I like clicking in things when they die the level up experience for this is just banging the way that you get a little boost of XP for your first time crafts that just makes the initial progression feel great and then the gear that you ‘recrafting is like readably actually good for your character when you're leveling which makes you feel powerful makes you care about the profession more I got a few Titan training matrixes as I leveled up and that meant that when I hit level 70 I was able to just make a bunch of upgrades for myself immediately and now when I do a Mythic zero dungeon I know that like I'm actively excited that I could potentially get a Rank 4 Titan training Matrix which would let me craft some 372 gear and that'll be great because that will let me fill in missing slots in my character in a pretty deterministic way.
I’m it's just like a little loot token at the end I mean this feels so much better the way that crafting is integrated into gearing just I mean we were talking about the logic of it but now we're actually playing it and experiencing it and feeling it and that’s what makes uh I mean that's the proof of the pudding right it's in the eating it just feels like a whole other layer of bad luck protection unplaced all over the game so the tldr here is brilliant uh as is gearing sofa, where’s the shit I cannot find it Iman there's the Primal storms where are they that's confusing but the world PVP stuff the events the weekly Quest honor dungeons crafted gear it just feels like there’s so many ways to progress your character this time around and there’s like no shit in them I mean hell with the whole spark of Ingenuity thing and the Soul band materials that we’ll be getting from our Dungeons and our raids in season one and this is a season one thing and but that means we’ll essentially have a fully deterministic layer of gearing right and that's in addition to kind of the basics of shadowlands re-established I mean so far everyone I've talked to is pretty glowing about the state of gear and also that world content players can get fairly decked out eventually I mean yeah I'll be a bit slower but that feels fairly engaging to them and pretty dam good Andi mean for them that's just like a whole other bit of the games being opened up.
Then there's I mean look there's a thing that I cannot mention that’s dragon writing dragon writing is so goddamn good I have seen the really funny uh imager link of a compilation of people seething super hard on the official forums which was hilarious but no as far as I'm concerned dragon writing it is fun it rewards actually paying attention to the mechanics and engaging with the game I think there’s so many people who've mono games and MMO like World of Warcraft that like they don’t know second to Second fun when they see it because they're just not used to playing like video games and I guess the other thing too is Blizzard uh they were careful about something I think they were aware that yeah sure me and uh other people who are on the alpha were very glowing about our initial experience of the dragon writing but they saw all of the suspicion in then on-testers and I think that means they clearly wanted to make this feel like an evidently good thing for everyone I mean if you play your cards right you can fly indefinitely and because it's all happening as a result of literally your controls uh more than just pointing in a direction and hitting auto run it feels active it feels aggressive it feels like you get that speed by playing it means that wow it’s feeling like an active game the multiplayer races are fun the advanced you know time trials are fun we can now have fun world quests like the one where you fly through you know the Rings and all the cliffs the place the banners and like that's a question you do in like 30 seconds you get a little reward but hey it's a little opportunity for you to you know kind of duck and weave and carve about while you’re flying and then even just things like doing the world tour of the races the world tour of the glyphs this is World of Warcraft feeling like a goddamn video game in a way that MMORPGs Arlinda don't and that's good I cannot wait for a future that Embraces more stuff like this.
Okay let's take it back to story stuff, razzageth she's a more believable and successful villain than the Jailer rights he’s not coming in and destroying past lore in my opinion who knows they could obviously fuck the whole thing up um right it's just like a skeleton in the closet of uh of Alex Strazza that’s you know the skeletons out of the closeted dear what's going to happen I think that’s fine I think it feels like a fairly good expansion of the Dragon lore which is something I think generally has been quite underwritten as compared toother parts of the game and so much of it has just been relegated to books anyway that are doing it properly in game and actually paying attention to it and putting love and focus onto it I think is turning out really well I mean that whole like chromie Time Adventure at the end of Thaldrazzus that was pretty brilliant I mean that that infinite Dragon she'll be back I there’s gonna be something there I bet.
Also let's be real like the dragons cataclysm story was fairly weak I think they're more interesting they’ve got more Intrigue each of their characters I think has a more emotionally resonant story like you can you can feel the weight in AlexStrazza with uh kalegos I think especially if you watched our video going over like literally all the shit that that poor guy’s been through uh kalegos is like working really well but then at the same time the main campaign Quest is not domineering and overpowering it's a fairly simple story so far and it’s being told uh just pretty straight right like it it's pretty simple razzageth does not like what AlexStrazza and hermates did they had a war Alex locked her up and razageth is understandably really goddamn peseta she was locked up for 10 000 years which I mean I don't know I skeleton I’m sure he'll say it sucked as well so what have I been saying for ages about like the core campaign stuff I’ve said think about Legion what does that mean that means keep it big cool things like dragons fighting each other keep it very simple even have a little bit of cool cheese and then Focus your time on building the world that's exactly what they've done this time around so yeah it does make sense that I am enjoying it.
I mean so much of a story is in the telling right like aspects of the shadowlands lore would have been cool and have felt good if they were executed like how ff14 does those things like Emet set was kind of like a one expansion dude like the jailer they have wild amounts of confusing cosmology but it ends up being okay because they have the Scions who talk to each other about the lore and want to discuss the lore with each other and try to work out what's really going on and that means the player has taken along with that Journey so we're not in some bizarre situation where we see hints that are dropped in the game and try to think you know okay well what is in Steve’s notebook I guess that's the story now what's the what are they thinking about let's speculate this time around it's just more simple and in game yet with some nice little points of intrigue that we can talk about but that are rooted or like you know that are built on a foundation that is pretty simple with Alex Strazza and razigath right I think it's a pretty good balance I mean the way that I was done in a certainly meant the lore YouTubers kind of like me can't exist and have a job and that's fine but I think we'd all rather have a good game so thus far I’ll say they're not overreaching their capacity right.
The story is fitting how it is being told thus far uh now I will say in terms of my long-term confidence this is definitely the area where I'm least sure over are but thus far I am pleasantly surprised and I guess big point to kind of round this up there's no shit there's no looming drama right like by this time in Legion we were having discussions about AP, alt friendliness uh legendaries I mean OH God the legendary acquisition people forgot a lot of the downsides of Legion this time in BFA we were talking about azerite and all that shit this time in shadowlands we're talking about covenants and all of that shit this time this like there's no shit there's no shit to talk about there’s I guess no like cataclysmically bone-headed decision that like poisons the well and has you entering the expansion already on a bit of a downer because you've just been through this beta testing process that was just super dramatic and annoying and full of stuff but no now it's like hey here's the game and the game feels pretty fair it feels like we're getting generally speaking what we would want from Azeroth right so part of this is me being generally quite happy part of the positive tone.
In this video is also the contrast between you know between where we were and where we are now there's definitely still plenty of gains to be had where we’re not at the crest of the Hill yet far from it but uh I mean man just surely the difference is pretty crazy and just the minutia of their decision making consistently seems to be on point with how this expansion has been put together thus far and I guess we can then talk about future the future reveals a bit less uncertain as we covered in one of our videos they have a team that's 50 larger working on this game they've been making those significant Investments they've uh Meanchey just it seems like things are generally going in a far better Direction I think there is plenty of good stuff that came out of um you know preacher’s whole uh you know travel to California and everything came back from that and there's more and more coming from back from that uh you know as as time goes on but it does seem like lessons have been learned.
We always said the proof would be in in the eating and now they're actually playing it we can feel that better decision making so now basically where I'm left is right now it’s all for blizzard to lose if they fall back into some of those old ways if you know basically they have a really big win in their hands they just need to keep up the good work and not do anything really silly if we just have what they say they want to do which is a you know a more even patch cycle I think seemingly one that has more contact which does make sense considering the team is 50 larger if they can just do that keep nailing the basics and uh you know I mean we're fairly sure that a mage Tower like thing is coming we're fairly sure that an archeology revamp is coming like if they can just keep a pretty good Cadence there and there's really no reason why they shouldn't especially when you think about you know patch cycles of mop patch cycles of Legion and how much larger the team is now uh it's all to win it's all towing they just have to to keep it upend if they lose I think it will be because some very silly decision was made.
This is you know if you're kind of looking ahead thinking about like what are the potential timelines for World of Warcraft what percentage of them are good what percentage of them are bad a lot of times in shadowlands where you know we're thinking the next expansions are done that's it I'm out I can't take it anymore right like the percentage of if you were thinking about jailor and especially patch 9.1 you know if you’re looking at patch 9.1 you're looking at everything went into that like what are you immediately thinking you're thinking this game's shit, if this is what they think we want were in for a bad time, I think at that point the percentage of possible timelines the percentage of possible future timelines that have world Warcraft being good was very tiny.
I think right now the percentage of potential future timelines where World of Warcraft is good is at a for the past five years High and that's Goodall that means is probabilistically I think things should be a hell of a lot better, that's not me saying it will be I'm saying I think it’s more probable than it has in really any recent times that's the crack with this I thickhead this could be the start of a kind of new little rebirth A New Beginning for the game and I think World of Warcraft can grow I think this is a very strong Foundation that hopefully will be able to stand to the game for quite a long time I hope that in two years we can look back at this and think wow this is where they were able to turn iterons let's see how it goes, I'll treat it in good faith.
What I can say right now is I'm more Jazz than ever and I’m thinking about how we can put more resources and more investment into our World of Warcraft content which I suppose ultimately would twig you on to some of my decision making and how I am generally rather bullish on this and uh I mean it's great I'm just allowed to completely follow the fun follow my passion and uh I think it's been a really good time for our team too so let me know what you think of course you can check out lots of other content like our big dragon series next dragon series is absolutely awesome think yazara just came out so you can check her out uh man oh the boys did work on that video so check it out thank you for watching, goodbye!