World of Warcraft has begun testing Shadowlands’ endgame

    
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World of Warcraft has begun testing Shadowlands’ endgame

While you tread water at Battle for Azeroth’s current endgame, World of Warcraft is testing the endgame you’ll be experiencing when you arrive there in 2021. Or 2022 – we won’t judge your pokey leveling.

Over on the public test realm, Blizzard opened up testing for Shadowlands’ endgame. Primarily, this test is for the repeatable roguelike dungeon of Torghast, but it also covers mythic keystone dungeons, Castle Nathria, all soulbinds, all conduits, all legendaries, and max-level PvP. This phase of testing also includes covenant dungeon bonuses and some eye candy in the form of ray tracing shadows.

Blizzard also posted a preview of the new and improved WoW Companion App, which will keep support for Legion and Battle for Azeroth while upgrading to handle Shadowlands’ adventures. The app will continue to allow players to access current WoW news, examine their characters, look at the calendar, and talk with their guild.

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angrakhan

I see folks claim BFA is a dumpster fire, but my wife and I rejoined a few weeks ago on a whim and I find it quite enjoyable. From the number of people I see in towns, out in the world and running dungeons this game is anything but a dumpster fire. Looks more like a smash hit compared to any other MMO I’ve played in the last 5 years or so. New zones are beautiful and full of lore. Very few bugs. Runs smoothly with very few server issues. Classes are fun to play (I already have 3 120’s). Maybe the end game raids are dumpster fires? I don’t really plan on raiding beyond LFR.

Anyway the game currently really is welcoming to new players. I just leveled a character from 1 to 120 and I can tell you that the whole journey was smooth and enjoyable. Never was I without decent gear or stuck behind some grind wall where I couldn’t catch up. Unlike other MMOs I’ve tried that felt like they didn’t really want you there, WoW really feels like it says “come on in!” I imagine that’s why it’s still after all this time the most successful MMO out there.

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Loopy

This is a pretty common theme. Folks who are playing the game non-stop are clamoring about how shitty an expansion is, and folks who are returning after a prolonged period of time are having a very enjoyable time.

I’m going to assume that there are a lot of different factors that cause this dichotomy, such as content exhaustion, experiencing transitions as opposed to dropping into the final product, spending prolonged period of time at endgame which requires a much different play style compared to somebody just going through the leveling content, etc.

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Jokerchyld

Its easy to explain really. Its the difference between end game minded players (those who want to raid until the end) and non-end game minded players (those who just want to experience the game and progress).

If you are the latter, WoW is a great game. It offers a fun world to play in where you have a bunch of gameplay systems to take part in and grow. This is consistent with each expansion. Since they are not end game raiding then system removal is more of an annoyance (something they liked and cant do anymore) since they aren’t really committed to that level of play.

Bereman
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Bereman

They are also jumping into the BFA experience near the end of it.

Worth remembering that BFA spent much of its time fixing systems and changing them to work, with the above individual and their wife seeing the fruits of those changes.

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traja

You haven’t gotten into the dumpster fire part of the game. If you wish to experience what people are talking about try and gear up properly now in end game. Meaning maximize all the different systems in BfA that cover the majority of your throughput. That part is absolutely awful in BfA and I think the current patch is the worst that it has been yet.

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Bannex

Conduits seem like another needless system that will be forgotten in the next expansion.

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Loopy

seems like another needless system that will be forgotten in the next expansion*

There, i summarized Blizzard’s strategy for the last 10 years.

xpsync
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xpsync

lol, isn’t every system forgotten in the next expansion anyway. It’s why i just stopped grinding once my two mains were broken, all a waste of time after next expansion drops.

I did hear on a podcast that the first green flower stem to drop won’t blow your epic polearm right out of the water as every expansion has in the past and that you’ll go for quite sometime before you start to replace gear?

I’ll figure it all out when i get there.

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Sorenthaz

Welcome to their design strategy since at least Mists of Pandaria. They keep adding in decently deep systems that then get discarded or rendered pointless (outside of achievements/vanity collection at best) by the end of the expansion so they can then repeat the cycle with the next expansion.

Still salty at how dirty they did the Legion artifacts by simply turning them into grayed out barely functional things.

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Jokerchyld

I think that is a factor of the replacement. If we went straight from Legion into Shadowlands I dont think I would have missed my legendary as much. What BfA replaced in Legion didn’t live up to what we had and made the loss extremely visible.

I do agree, and wish they would keep their old systems around. I would love to make progress on my MoP farm with new (keyword: relevant) things to do with it.

Thats the last piece is making WoW whole. Giving us reasons to go back to old zones so the world feels alive. Also one of the things I like about ESO. Though I dont like the combat, being able to travel anywhere (new zone/expansion or old zone) and to see activity so it doesnt look like no one has touched a specific area in years (which is what I get in WoW).

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Sorenthaz

Also what makes no sense to me whatsoever is the fact that they put in music scrolls that you can collect, giving you reasons to revisit old content/etc. to collect them…

…but it’s only for your Garrison in WoD, and Blizzard never bothered adding in anything else that would let you play the music tracks you unlocked.

That’s a system that would’ve been stupid easy to maintain and keep relevant, but no. They abandoned it. Why the flip? FFXIV gives you a jukebox in your little personal inn area so even if you don’t have an apartment or house you can still listen to your tunes, and they keep adding new ones to collect with every dungeon/raid/etc.

To not even bother continuing that system reeks of laziness imo. TBH I’m surprised they still keep pet battles going since that would seem like something they’d just randomly abandon as well, but they haven’t.

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thalendor

Wish they’d stop reinventing the wheel every expansion, just pick a few systems that resonate with people, and then iterate on them. It’s like they almost understand this with Shadowlands Legendary iterating on Legion Legendaries, fixing the one thing most people hated about them: the completely random acquisition. Yet, then we get thing like Conduits, and all the other stuff attached to Covenants that I personally think is just going to end up being a complete cluster. I think Covenants would be great as a choice based on story, aesthetic, cosmetics, and so forth, but one of the following two situations is going to happen to too many people: 1) they’ll choose the covenant they want for the ability/power progression systems and have one that otherwise doesn’t resonate with them or 2) they’ll choose the most appealing one lore-wise or aesthetically and then be excluded from groups for picking the “wrong” one. Just seems like a set of unnecessary problems just waiting to happen, but… well, here’s hoping it somehow works out.

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Jokerchyld

This goes to the question is WoW a MMORPG? Or is it a MMO? Which are diffrent to me. MMOs are all about making the best builds to defeat content with some side systems of lesser quality to support it. MMORPGs are about customization and being unique given a set of tools. “Best” isnt as important here.

Covenants to MMORPG crowd will be fine, because we dont care about min maxing. Convenants to the MMO crowd will be frustrated because they will force themselves down a very specific narrow path that everyone else will take just to be the best and defeat the content.

I dont see how you can create a game that caters to both and pleases all. I think they are looking for a good enough middle ground. From what Ive seen and read of Shadowlands its on a better trajectory than BfA was in that regard.

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Ironwu

Will sub for a bit after the Pre-Patch to see how that all goes.

But still have seen NOTHING that would convince me that the suits and developers had learned anything from the BfA dumpster fire. So not buying the expansion.

xpsync
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xpsync

Why not right? I’m seriously more into pre-patch than i am about SL tbh.

All i really know about SL, trying to avoid most of it, Covenants like pick a faction to represent. Zones are amazing, some of the best work ever done.

Personally i loved BFA, zones, atmosphere, environments, Talanji, Zandalari Empire, i really need to pick that book back up.

Bring on pre-patch! That atm is what interests me the most.

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Jokerchyld

Here’s whats bringing me back even though no one asked me.

– back to the story-based progression (at least first time through). This will add cohesion and role playing aspect which has been missing in Bfa for me.

– Ability to grind for what I want. This is the biggest thing. Logging on and being able to say today I am going to do THIS to work towards THAT thing I want

– Back to the concept of the more I play (what I want) the more my progress grows against the systems in the game. Bfa felt forced in this regards.

– Better crafting. I dont think they will ever give crafting the love it actually deserves, but the addition of oils and poisons, and crafting components for legendaries is a huge step in the right direction.

TLDR; Ill be able to play WoW as an RPG again

xpsync
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xpsync

So pumped!!! Never say Never! Never thought i’d be saying that about WoW. I’m mostly pumped atm for pre-patch tbh, so much to chew on there alone, hoping for a long stretch in there from that drop to the SL drop.