BTH and I are level 105 now. We’ve recovered the Pillars from Azsuna and Val’sharah. We haven’t completed all the quests or explored the entire map in either zone, however, so we’ll have to either do that tonight before we move on to Stormheim (or Highmountain) or come back later so that we can get Pathfinder.
The stories and the artwork in this expansion continue to awe me. Questing in a group when phasing is involved, however, seems to be as almost buggy as it has been ever since phasing was first introduced in Wrath. When there is a quest to rescue someone, the first person to click on the NPC gets to see their speech bubble or hear their audio. The other person doesn’t. I missed the entire grand finale fight of Val’sharah last night because I was too many seconds behind BTH in accepting the quest and getting onto the taxi; when I reached the fight area, I kept getting a “cannot zone in while an encounter is in progress” error message. Fortunately, I did get quest complete and see the cinematic when BTH finished the fight — and I’ll get to do the fight itself again (and again and again and again) when I go through the zone with alts.
BTH has collected the Feral and Balance Artifacts and has decided to level the rest of the way to 110 as Boomkin. I haven’t gotten my other two Artifacts yet, and I’ve not gotten very far with my Order Hall campaign, either. The problem is that those are solo play things, and I would rather play together. Working from home, BTH can do those solo play things while his work computer is crunching a code compilation or a data migration or suchlike.
I’ve only been doing the Order Hall Missions that reward Artifact Power gubbins. I guess I should start doing the ones that reward Follower XP, too, given that Gnomecore is reporting being held up in his Order Hall Campaign by his Followers not being high enough level to complete a required mission. Now that the Legion Companion app is live, though, at least I can keep up with Order Hall Missions while I’m at school!
I’m beginning to have a like-dislike relationship with my Order Hall. The Maelstrom is a thematically apropriate place for Shaman, and at first I thought it was pretty cool, and I like all the little details and NPCs and so forth… and yet the more time I spend there, the more I think that open cave must be damp and chilly and slippery from the ceaseless wind and sea spray, and I feel like all those NPCs who have to live there must be miserable. Then again, I always felt sorry for all my Frostwall Garrison staff standing around freezing their fingers and tails off in open buildings, too. Maybe I will like the Order Halls of some of the other Classes better?
Furthermore, I am struggling with the cognitive dissonance Syp has mentioned on a couple of occasions — how can I be the Chosen One, the Big Damn Hero, the Hero Of Ages, when there are all these other people around who have the same gear and are doing the same things? I felt more special when I was alone in my Garrison.
And how can I be the leader of my Class Order when my Big Name Lore Figure advisors are the ones who actually know everything? They are the ones who decide where other members of my class need to go take action, and like those lesser NPCs, I just go where they tell me to go and do what they tell me to do. It’s one of those curious roleplaying situations where the character can be assumed to know more about their situation and abilities than the player does… but it’s just making me feel like a puppet figurehead.
*sigh* This all sounds so discontented and unhappy with the expansion, when I am enjoying playing it, and I’m definitely looking forward to the zones I haven’t played, the unfurling of World Quests at level 110, the evolution of my Order Hall story — and doing it all again with alts! My Demon Hunter will need to play through certain parts of Azsuna at the minimum; my Druid will need to do Val’sharah as a matter of priority.