•   Friday, September 24, 2021
World of Warcraft

WoW: Is Shadowlands a good expansion to return to WoW?

 

After more than 15 years, there are many former WoW players who have recently or long turned their backs on the world of Azeroth. Many of them wonder anew with every expansion whether it might be worthwhile to take a look into the world of Warcraft again. We take a look at the pros and cons of Shadowlands and tell you what you can expect as a returnee.

It's the natural course of things in WoW. A lot of players drop in at the beginning of an expansion and then soon leave. In particular, players who have little or no interest in spending a lot of time in the end game of an expansion and are mainly interested in the story or questing will have seen everything that is important to them after a short time. And then there are the kind of players who turned their backs on WoW a long time ago and have been toying with the idea of returning ever since, but never really came back to Azeroth.

In a large forum thread, however, the question arose whether WoW Shadowlands would not be the perfect expansion for those players to return to the world of Azeroth. In the resulting discussion there were a lot of pro and con arguments, which we do not want to withhold from you.

Shadowlands - the perfect expansion to return to?

  • Shadowlands looks fantastic
  • You may like the setting or not, but the implementation of the same is excellent in most areas. Be it the Ardenwald, Bastion or the Maw - the visuals fit perfectly to the respective story of the area and what the developers still get out of the 20 year old engine is simply breathtaking. Especially players who have not been in WoW (buy now 14,99 € ) for a long time will be very positively surprised.
  • The storytelling has never been better
  • Most players agreed in the discussions. Shadowlands has taken storytelling in WoW to a new level. This means both the framework in the form of countless cut-scenes and cinematics, as well as the quest series themselves. The stories are exciting, deep, and yet easy to understand and follow. Even if you don't read every quest text in its entirety.
  • There are so many possibilities
  • Rarely in the history of WoW have there been so many ways for players to pass the time in the endgame. From classic things like raids, dungeons, and PvP to fun world quests and dailies to torghast or pact events. There is also more than ever to discover, such as secret chests or small puzzles everywhere.
  • The group search offers a quick start
  • Thanks to the integrated group search, even beginners can quickly find their way into many activities. Of course, this is only partially comparable to organized play in a guild group. But it does offer newcomers and returnees a quick and easy way to get a rough idea of what the end content will look like.
  • The leveling path is better than ever
  • Shadowlands also revamped the path to max level. Instead of only playing the first area of each of twelve expansions, you now get a polished tutorial and then get to play through an expansion of your choice (it has to be BfA for the first character, though) from start to finish. This way you have a continuous story and don't have to jump from A to B all the time. Additionally, with Twinks you no longer have to play through the Shadowlands campaign, but are allowed to level up in an alternative way (Threads of Fate) if you don't want to go through the story again.
  • Twink-friendly as never before
  • Currently WoW is more twink-friendly than ever before. There's hardly a feature that doesn't have a catch-up mechanic in some way. Be it the fame levels at the pacts, the equipment that can be bought there or the soon to come upgradeable gear via bravery points. Even in PvP there are various mechanics to catch up if you joined later. Plus the simplified level path and of course the fact that there is far less grind in the endgame. Sure there's a lot to do there and if you want to do everything, you still won't have time for Twinks. But if you are only interested in Raiden or dungeons, you can leave most of the content in the endgame and have plenty of time for Twinks.
  • Contra
  • Equipping is more difficult than it has been for a long time
  • It's nice if you have a lot of time to play your Twinks, but you need it in Shadowlands. Because if you want to play halfway competitively somewhere, you need the right equipment. And after a certain point, that's extremely hard to come by. There are very few drops in raids, and Mythic-Plus dungeons aren't exactly flooded with them either. For many players, the only remaining source of good gear is the Great Treasury. However, you will only get one of a maximum of nine items there once a week. Or you play a lot of PvP. But if you have to gear up for PvE content mostly in PvP, something is fundamentally wrong.
  • Many features and systems make for poor balancing
  • Pacts, Soulbonds, Legendarys, Mediums, Talents, and so on are all not bad things on their own. Together, however, they make it harder for developers to get the balancing right. Because in the end, most players only care about the numbers that come out in the end. Those who want to be optimally prepared for the endgame are only made to believe that they have a choice in all of this. Only those who really don't care about their character's performance in the endgame have a choice to customize their character and their gaming experience.
  • Professions are boring and unbalanced

No matter what the developers at Blizzard do to the profession system in WoW, it does not and will not get any better. In Shadowlands the professions are as boring as ever and also very unbalanced. Some professions are almost pointless, while others are almost mandatory. Some craftsmen have to level over completely useless things that they throw away afterwards, while others still earn gold even when playing up their profession. Also, the professions are barely linked to the Shadowlands expansion or its other features. A few lousy world quests whose rewards are so low that it's barely worth getting out of your chair. This is where the developers keep leaving potential. And those who derive their gameplay enjoyment from features like crafting probably don't need to take a look at Shadowlands.
Patch 9.0.5 and BlizzCon
In just a few days, BlizzConline will begin, and patch 9.0.5 will hit the live servers soon after. From everything we know about it at the moment, the patch only brings minor quality-of-life adjustments and no major new features. Still, more things could be announced during BlizzConline that may have positive or negative implications. Those who play with the idea of returning to WoW should perhaps wait until then.

How about you - are you out of WoW and considering coming back. And to the active WoW players among us: Would you currently recommend friends to start or return to WoW?

 

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