Expansion Day! Part 1 on Battle for Azeroth

Today is the day that Warcraft fans have been waiting for, even moreso after the events of the pre-patch. In an expansion that is supposed to be about choosing allegiances, we are getting repeated reminders that there are no winners in war. Ignoring the debate of why the events happened as they did (I have several theories that I buy into, which I may dedicate an entire second blog), the events of the xpac did take place and they were heart wrenching. I played both sides of the scenario and I witnessed players on the horde side lamenting about how hard it is to fight for the horde after everything. Maybe that’s the entire point of the xpac. Soldiers aren’t meant to think about the actions of their leaders; they are meant to follow. And we are. And I repeat: Zappiboi for Warchief.

In this xpac, much like every other before that, I have made the difficult decision to stick with my original main: a human priest. I love my Void Elf, but I just can’t seem to take the plunge and swap mains despite how it is far cooler than the humans are. Though, let’s face it: most races are.

I will be doing a series of posts this week in addition to streaming the new xpac. If you want to follow me, check the sidebar for the channel link. This first part  of the blog will discuss my predictions for launch as well as some advice from playing in the beta.

First, my predictions. It’s a Blizzard launch of a major patch/game. It will be laggy, buggy, and annoying. Especially after the big item squish patch that broke the game. Don’t complain about it. You’ve played Blizzard games long enough to know this, I shouldn’t have to remind you. Just deal with it or wait until tomorrow when they hotfix the problems. (Or over the course of the next few weeks.)

I also predict that most players on Alliance side are going to go with the Tiragarde Sound, which will contain the Jaina storyline. She has gained waifu status after that incredibly awesome cutscene, so that will probably be the busy zone. Me? I’m starting off in Drustvar. In the beta, I really loved that storyline the best so it was the most enjoyable zone for me. It may be busy because the consensus is that Drustvar was the best zone in beta, but they could have withheld all of the cool things for launch. (Entirely plausible. Don’t want to give everything away.)

Okay, so that last one was also a tip. Here are some more:

  • When you get max level, the Battle of Stromgarde is amazingly fun as are the island expedition. Plus, getting free loot for seemingly little work is always a good thing.
  • Flynn on the Alliance side is hilarious and I wish he were real so we could be best friends.
  • The instances are a little gimmicky but I miss having mechanics that you actually needed to pay attention to in instances. Makes it more important to pay attention rather than playing Bejeweled. Sorry, wrong xpac.
  • I’m Pro-Night Elf and want them to destroy Sylvanas. Or the demon controlling her. (Maybe?) It will be really interesting to see what happens to this story later one.

Happy hunting, WoW players. The Battle for Azeroth will be upon us at 6pm on the east coast. I will start my stream around then, to share the bugs and the excitement of the release.

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First Impressions of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

I start by saying that if you haven’t read “Before the Storm” yet, you need to. It was a fantastic book that really sets up a nice picture for the upcoming expansion.

I was fortunate enough to have participated in the alpha and then was later invited to the beta. I have been streaming my progress on the beta, which you can check out on Twitch: username Leighanneore. I have already leveled a character on both sides of the aisle to get a comparison of the story and try out different characters. Currently on my stream you will see my leveling a Lightforged Paladin, waiting eagerly to try out my boomkin Zandalari that I have been waiting so desperately for.

The first play through happened when the beta first came out. Despite all the bugs, the first zone I completed was Tiragarde Sound. I was disappointed because there seemed to be no story. What happened to Jaina? Do you ever see a resolution to the Ashvane storyline? (In a recent update patch, you did at least a resolution to the Lady Ashvane story.) The leveling was very quick in comparison to other expansions. My biggest problem is that there doesn’t seem to be a good story on the Alliance side. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be any real story on the Alliance side so far. Drustvar has the most interesting quests and storyline as of this point, but that isn’t a knock to this zone. This zone has a really really good storyline to it. The bonus is that the zones on Kul Tiras are stunning.

The Horde side does have a cohesive story that was actually very well done. The zones are complicated and confusing to get around. So much so that you may see me on my stream just flying from one side to the other rather than traveling by mount. Though as soon as I learned the portal, I just did that to get back to the main city area from the docks. Still, flying to the docks is the quickest way to get there. Bwonsamdi is a nice touch to the zone (don’t want to spoil too much about this character), which I think helps to make this story better than the Alliance side.

Each side has their own positives and negatives at this point. Still, overall I have to say that I think this is an unimpressive expansion. Maybe they are saving a lot of the punch for launch, but as it stands right now it is just a little bit more interesting than WoD. I say that because at least I got my Pandas in MoP, but both of those expansions were unimpressive. Battle for Azeroth may not have even been that bad if it weren’t for the fact that Legion was such a good expansion.

Check out my Twitch channel for videos of play throughs. Eventually I’ll update my YouTube page with past videos. Maybe this week.

A Quick Recap of Gaming this Week

First thing that should be mentioned is some of the gaming related April Fool’s Day pranks.

  • Blizzard released all of their hilarious gags as usual, though I do miss the days when the joke’s were actually believable. That doesn’t take away from the hilarity of how ridiculous they are, like the WoW Dance Battle Arcade system, the new micro-holidays, and the Blizzard Game Room. In fact, check out all of the hilarious Blizzard ones here.
  • Want to up your gaming ability? Razer’s prank promised to give gamers the edge that they need to improve their skills thanks to Project Venom. What is Project Venom? Nanobots that you drink. They even offered signups for the beta, which I did because they probably are going to actually release an energy drink and my husband lives off them.
  • Final Fantasy XIV Online Go was a prank that seemed to mesh the worlds of Pokemon Go and Final Fantasy in one bizarre mobile game.

These were just some of my favorite ones. I do have to say that I would actually really love the Blizzard Game Room idea.

Overwatch League Stage 3 starts this week, and the Boston Uprising are in the running for the big final playoffs at the end. They just keep getting better and I can’t wait to see what they do in this stage. I also wonder what changes Seoul Dynasty will make to help them overcome whatever slump they seem to be in and see how Spitfire bounces back from the Fusion upset in the Stage 2 playoffs. Stage 3 is going to bring a lot of excitement.

I have been playing in the Battle for Azeroth beta, which has been pretty fun. I like it so far, though my first impressions are they had most of their focus on the alliance side of things. The first zone that I have played in, Stormsong Valley (which didn’t make the stream because I thought that they automatically saved streams on Twitch. They don’t unless you click a button. Rookie mistake that has been fixed.) was very polished looking, the zone didn’t seem as bugged, and I didn’t feel like I was traveling miles for the next quest. The Zandalari Trolls look amazing, though I’m sad the race isn’t playable yet in beta. So far, it is fun and I look forward to seeing more of it. I will be sure to blog more about the beta as well, maybe even dedicating another day of the week to the blog for this purpose.

Lastly, I have started a Twitch stream of me playing the World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth beta. You can check me out as I play both the Void Elf priest and a Nightborne mage. Eventually I will also be playing a Zandalari Troll druid, moonkin of course. I try to remember to speak while streaming, but I end up getting in a zone that makes me forget I’m even streaming. I’ll try to be better. I may move onto other games, including when Frostpunk comes out later this month or watching my fails as I play Overwatch (especially in my favorite mystery heroes mode). We’ll see how it goes. But for now, you can see the streams saved on Twitch for your viewing pleasure and I will be sure to save them after I stream there and on my YouTube channel.