At a quarter to eleven last night, give or take a few minutes, my XP bar magically re-appeared. Then began a couple of hours of continuous, gloriously bug and lag-free playtime. In fact, so much fun was had last night I’m still quietly reeling at how hassle free everything ended up being. It was almost as if Activision Blizzard read all that criticism about them from both Pandaria and Draenor and decided not only to make things better, but ensure 100% that NOBODY would have any room to be critical come Launch… except that one guy who kept killing Cenarian Circle guards. He’s got a REAL problem.
I’ve seen only scattered complaints about being stuck in places, or NPC’s not functioning that was then subsequently fixed by dropping and restarting a quest. What there’s been far more of is pure, unbridled joy at what Legion brings for players, however they decide to play their game.
After my Alpha/Beta time I’d resigned myself to not doing the Beast Mastery artefact because of what it gave players, but a lot has changed between then and now, enough for me to take the plunge and ‘adopt’ Hami as my own. Ironically this now allows me to solo with both tank and dps pet and frankly, I could not be happier. The questline to get the weapon has just the right combination of comedy and historical relevance, and no I’m not spoiling any of it for anybody. Needless to say that’s me at the Throne of Storms, which is all you really need to know. After that, I went and opened the Class Hall (Hunter Edition) and then completely ignored ‘organised’ and went rather gloriously off script.
That meant time at the Dalaran Fountain (boy is that gonna get annoying when you’re fishing and its just all duplicates) and making sure I had every single Professions quest required, which is quite a few. Then I may have killed everything I possibly could to skin it, got more Professions quests and then gone back for more. I’ve located the NPC I will need to use when I’m doing the Fishing Artefact, and this morning I managed to pull up my my first two Achievements in a Secondary Profession because, you know, DOING IT RIGHT PEOPLE.
I am beyond happy this morning to be not playing, too. I know it is all there and people are levelling at the speeds that please them, but what this means is that I’m no longer constrained by other people’s demands on what should always be my game and rules to begin with. It will mean I’m maxxed in Skinning and Fishing well before I even see 102 (101 is four bars away thanks to doing Nessingwary quests (and starting my Cookery journey.) I actually found my first legitimate bug there too, so there’s proof not everything is infallible.
What will surprise so many people, I think, is that this game is very, very strong. It will be a brave person who’ll criticise at Launch anyway, but if End game and patch content are as robust as this? I wonder what the streamers and critics will find to pour scorn on because really, truthfully, I don’t remember so much enthusiasm for not screaming to max level since… well, Vanilla. There’s SO MUCH to do that by stopping myself from wading into the real story it feels as if I’ve lost myself already to the Broken Isles. My problem, for a long time, was assuming that plot was all that actually mattered, yet for me it is establishing a working relationship with new mechanics that often prevents me from taking plot in successfully. That therefore happily makes me the Hunter who went AWOL to fish and gather while everyone else did the work. I’ll get there eventually, and won’t really care if you spoil me along the way.
Mostly, I’m having the time of my life.