I am more or less at the point in Battle for Azeroth where I put my main into “maintenance” mode and start leveling and minimally gearing up my alts. This is my normal expansion play style: spend most of the first patch exclusively on my main, get her to a gear and achievement level that will facilitate continued raiding and maybe profession development, then start having some fun with my alts.
The timing in this expansion is a little different than for previous ones, but the basic pattern is the same. In the last two expansions, I have pretty much waited to do alt leveling after we get flying, but I find myself with little to do already in BFA. I have maxed out reps, completed Pathfinder Part 1, and gotten to a comfortable 368 ilevel with some decent azerite traits. I wouldn’t mind crafting the 385 mail boots and legs, but it is now appearing more and more unlikely that I will get enough expulsom to make that happen before the next raid tier, at which point the gear will likely be moot.
I have run enough M+ dungeons to realize I don’t want to do any more of them. I have kind of written off the AP chase, so that frees me from the rather tedious Islands grind. Yes, I am probably two or three azerite levels behind many of my raid team, but I just can’t make myself get excited enough about it to spend extra hours every day chasing every bit of it. I do the emissary quests — though I am not really sure why — and also any world quests that award trinkets so I can grub out one more expulsom, but other than that I don’t do world quests.
There is absolutely nothing worth doing for ship mission table quests, so I don’t really even think of those any more. Warfronts? Yeah, ok, I do the lucrative pre-control quests including the world boss, and I run one battle scenario once control is reached. That’s it. Honestly, I can’t even get excited enough to contribute mats to the cause, mainly because I find the rewards so puny, and also I would not care if the goal was never reached.
There will certainly be some things I want to do with my main when 8.1 goes live, but until then not so much.
This is not a complaint about BFA (though I do have plenty of those), just a statement that for me the expansion seems to be aging faster than Legion or even WoD did.
Anyway, it seems time for me to move into alt-development mode. I just finished leveling my balance/resto druid, and she is geared to around 340 ilevel, so probably I will dip a toe into our Friday normal Uldir fun run we are starting up tonight. I would really like to become more proficient with my balance spec, and possibly also gear up enough to where it doesn’t feel like I could run out for coffee during my spell casts and not miss a beat in the rotation.
The main reason I leveled the druid first is that she is an alchemist, which of course is Blizz’s favored profession. Even buying the overpriced mats, I save a ton of gold by making my own flasks and pots. I think my next alt to level will be my fire mage, partly because she is an enchanter, but mainly because I get such a kick out of fire mage visuals and procs — it is just plain fun. After that, I don’t know, probably my engineer windwalker/mistweaver monk, just because this class continues to fascinate me even though I have never gotten very serious about learning it.
One thing I noticed while leveling my druid is that there seem to be a lot of decisions to make in BFA about exactly how far to go in the post-leveling process. I decided to do the bare minimum to open up all the world quests, and have pretty much ignored the mission table and Islands. Doing world quests, including emissaries, allows me to gear up and also pursue the rep needed for advanced profession recipes. Getting gear also eventually allows a shot at the gear from Warfronts. I will still need to run a couple of dungeons, but hopefully those will be mercifully short and easy and get me the items needed for professions. I ran just the first wing of Uldir LFR a couple of weeks ago, and it was enough to convince me to wait for the next raid tier before I make LFR a regular feature of my alt activity.
The post-leveling leveling process definitely seems to complicate the alt game. Prior to Legion, for the most part, once you got your alt to max level you were ready to participate in most end game activities. Sure, there were a few gear level thresholds here and there, but basically reaching max level was your ticket to all end game activities. That just is not the case any more. As with profession leveling — where there are levels within levels — now leveling also has a second tier. I suppose I am used to it now, but sometimes it still feels a little like a bait and switch. Congratulations, you reached max level on your alt, now Surprise! you get to do round two of leveling! And again, this extra leveling has probably the greatest detrimental effect on casual players — the majority of us — because it forces us now to be a lot more discriminating about which alts we want to post-level and exactly which end game activities we want them to participate in. Not the worst thing in the game, certainly, but a significant change in direction.
On a completely different subject, it appears that the BFA patch schedule will not be the same as the Legion one, despite Mr. Game Director Hazzikostas saying they thought that was a good schedule. Legion patches hit, almost like clockwork, every 77 days. That mark will occur in BFA next Tuesday, and almost certainly we will not have 8.1 by then. I suppose the delay has to do with Blizzcon timing, and Blizz feeling like they need something more than Classic to announce about WoW then. It will be interesting to see what the release schedule is after Blizzcon — will it revert to the 11-week one, or will it be extended?
That’s it for this week. See you all on the other side of the weekend.