I’m already tired of writing about Battle for Azeroth and I’ve played for less than 4 hours. It’s possible that you can infer something on how I feel about MMORPGs in general right now, but I’ll leave that to the reader’s imagination.
Big news, though: I installed an addon! Bagnon, the one (of many) that merges all your different bags into one big bag. In the past I used LiteBag for that, but it didn’t seem to be updated for 8.0, so I had no choice. I don’t particularly like to use addons that do a million-and-one different things, 99% of which are irrelevant to me. The ones with settings pages longer than War and Peace are the ones I’m talking about here, and Bagnon is definitely one of those. I look forward to finding something else to replace it someday.
In-game, I decided to go looking for Teldrassil, to see how it would present those horrific pre-expansion events to a player who did not subscribe before the expansion. To make a long story short, I was shocked-shocked!-to find that the game does not explain anything at all to a player who missed those events. If you didn’t read all the spoilers beforehand, or watch someone else play it on Twitch, or something like that, you won’t have any idea what happened or why.
All you see is a burning tree in the distance and a couple NPCs talking about survivors. Imagine if someone had played the last expansion and for some reason logged out of the game in 2016 in Darnassus before cancelling their subscription. Where would it put them when they logged in for Battle for Azeroth? Darkshore I guess. What a shock that would be for them. “Where’s my bank???”
Come to think of it, I can’t recall any reference to the events of Teldrassil in any part of the expansion yet. It’s a bit like setting a story in 1946 post-war Germany and failing to mention World War II. I vaguely remember a line about Sylvanas “answering for her crimes” from the Lordaeron scenario, but that’s all I can think of. If I hadn’t seen the pre-expansion story spammed all over the Internet all day, every day, and watched the cinematics on YouTube, I doubt I would have known what that meant.
I wonder if there were any technical reasons for removing Darnassus from the expansion. The story reason makes no sense whatsoever, but perhaps they had to shoehorn something in because they stumbled on some technical problem that prevented them from carrying the city forward. Or maybe they observed that there were never any players there, so it was a waste of resources to maintain it. Those reasons make a lot more sense to me.
They replaced the boat from Stormwind to Darnassus with a boat to Kul Tiras, which makes sense. They also added a portal to “Darnassus,” which actually takes you to Darkshore where you can view the new zone lighting and the burning world tree in the distance. (The tree, by the way, underwent a radical shape change as it burned.)
What they failed to do was add a portal to get back from Darkshore. At least, I haven’t found it yet, and Google was no help to me. Fortunately my Hearthstone is bound to Stormwind. Otherwise I guess you could fly to the Exodar and take a portal from there. (WoW still lags behind the modern world in the realm of speedy long-distance travel, though it does seem like there are more and more portals appearing all over the place with each new expansion.)
There is also a “Time Keeper” hanging out in Darkshore which will send you back to the pre-expansion version of Darkshore and Teldrassil and Darnassus. That’s a nice touch. Would that such Time Keepers existed for pre-Cataclysm areas. Hey, maybe that’s how they’re going to implement WoW Classic! Can you imagine the uproar?