WoW 8.2 Impressions After Almost Two Weeks

WoW 8.2 Impressions After Almost Two Weeks

WoW's 8.2 expansion came out almost two weeks ago. As someone who has been quite a dedicated player during Battle for Azeroth, I thought I would share my thoughts on 8.2 -- particularly my 30,000ft looking down thoughts as they apply to existing players and players who may want to return and jump into the second half of this expansion.

New Zones (Nazjatar and Mechagon) as "More Content"

The new zones are thematically wonderful. I enjoy both settings. Nazjatar is breathtakingly beautiful and the scenery is truly second-to-none in this expansion. Mechagon is a bit more simplistic in its design, but the theme is on point.

Content wise, both zones kinda suck. There is very, very little "playable content" in these zones. I do not count grinding world quests and dailies as "playable content." Repeating the same sets of quests over and over each day to gain reputation is not playing a game.

Both zones have a sprinkle of story/lore to them. Nazjatar is the prelude to Azshara's Palace raid, and Mechagon sets the stage for why we go into Operation Mechagon. Neither are truly all that memorable.

I unlocked flying after 10 days.

The Grind for Flying

Here's why the "content" isn't very fun: You have to grind it to gain the reputation needed with two factions in orders to unlock flying. This slog took me 10 days of doing every single daily and world quest except for the pet battles (I didn't have the pets to win them).

While only 10 days, this was one of the most boring things I've done in WoW since I returned to play over a year ago.

Exactly how I felt after unlocking flying.

I'm in a guild of ~20 very active players. Only two of us have flying right now, and maybe 3-4 others are even halfway there. The rest aren't even bothering, and many have gone inactive as a result of the grind and "unplayable content." Yikes.

Essences for the Heart of Azeroth

The new essence system is very similar to Legion's Netherlight Crucible. You basically get to slot special powers and abilities into your necklace. I like the system. For the most part, the essences offer some neat perks. There's no stupid cost to replace essences, and finding them is very transparent.

Season 3 Starts Next Week

The part that I enjoy most about WoW right now is the Mythic Dungeon treadmill. I enjoy going into dungeons with guildies and challenging ourselves to beat our time and then complete harder difficulties. I enjoy the pace at which this rewards me with gear.

I also enjoy the season aspect of the treadmill where it resets every 6 months or so. This has allowed me to swap mains each time and play a different class. The catch-up mechanics have allowed me to not feel locked into one class. This has definitely helped keep me engaged.

Azshara's Raid Looks Good

 The two previous raids have been a fail for me. Although I beat Heroic and got Ahead of the Curve, I found neither of them to be a lot of fun. Uldir, by far, was the worst. Compared to Uldir, Battle of Dazar'alor was awesome... but that's saying very little.

I have high hopes for Azshara's Palace. I think this will be the first raid so far that actually progresses the 'big picture' story in Warcraft's Lore. We're actually going to fight Azshara, which is something most of us have been thinking about for 14 years.

Perfect Time to Return

Now is a great time to jump into WoW. 

  • Flying just came out (and the grind, though painful, only takes 10 days tops)
  • Gear reset happens in 4 days, so you won't be behind
  • New raid coming out is the first meaningfuly raid to the story
  • Lots of other people are returning
  • Two new zones (with lots of grinding, yay!) have brought out more "to do" (your mileage may vary)

Though a harsh critic of the themepark model, I continue to enjoy WoW's ability to provide me with a casual experience that adapts to my chosen pace. It's perfect for me during this time in my life where I don't always have a lot of free time to a reliable schedule to game.

  • Your conclusions seem strangely at odds with the body of the review.

    It also strikes me that, for what you seem to enjoy about WoW these days, it really doesn”t need to be an MMO at all. Blizzard could split the whole thing up into standalones and you could do Mythic Dungeons, for example, as a totally seperate game.

    • The two new zones aren’t great with respect to their contribution to the game’s “content,” and the grind to unlock flying sucks. M+ dungeons, the new raid, the new essence system, and Season 3 look great to me, though. In the grand scheme of things, what I really dislike is a small component of the bigger picture.

      In many ways, this type of game is not an MMO as I would like to classify them. I do enjoy working together in an online atmosphere to tackle harder dungeons, and I enjoy the gear progression aspect of that. I also enjoy my character getting stronger. So yeah, that could be a standalone game.

    • I almost wish they would. I have some friends I know would love mythic+ dungeons but they never make it through the long slog of things to do to get to that point.

      I have a similar struggle in FFXIV trying to get through all the MSQ to get caught-up. You’re forced to complete it and can’t just jump into the new content unless you pay to skip it.

      I tried 8.2 and last about 4 days. BFA is fundamentally flawed for me and I don’t expect any patch can fix it. Here’s hoping WoW Classic has an influence on 9.0.

  • “Content wise, both zones kinda suck. There is very, very little “playable content” in these zones. I do not count grinding world quests and dailies as “playable content.” Repeating the same sets of quests over and over each day to gain reputation is not playing a game ”

    I think you’re being fairly harsh here. There is actually quite a lot of content. You may not like it, that’s fine, but there’s a lot. These are max level zones designed to give solo players a mix of short, medium, and longterm goals to work towards by completing a variety of repeatable content.

    There are a rotating set of world & dailies quests (not the same ones every day). There are mini-games. There are lots of unique rares to summon with unique rewards. Some of the rares require groups, are hidden, or take special items to summon. For achievement hunters, there’s many new achievements to collect. There are lots of new transmog appearances, pets, toys, and mounts to collect. People who enjoy collecting these things (many people) will take months to complete these zones. What more exactly are you looking for from this type of solo player zone?

    As far as saying doing the same thing over and over to gain reputation “isn’t a game”, I find that an odd statement to come from an old MMO vet going back to Everquest. How many hours have you spent grinding the same mobs over and over again in EQ for rep or an item?

    • It’s all by how we define things, right? Grinding repeatable dailies isn’t good gameplay content to me, but camping orcs for 10 hours in EQ is fun. Keeping it within the game, I’ll run M+ dungeons all year long but the thought of killing 15 Naga or 10 crab or 30 Turtles for dailies bores me to tears.

  • 8.2 has been just about enough to make me walk away from this game for good after 11 years of playing. Who the hell wants to do repeatable content day-in and day-out in the same goddamn zone and nothing else? Masochists, that’s who.

    Nazjatar, though pretty look at it, is like that hot, exotic green-eyed brunette girl at the bar you can’t help but notice repetitiously and slyly reach under the purse on her lap to scratch her crotch. Ewww. And Mechagon? It’s like Summer camp all over again, only this time all the spastic kids don’t have monitors or restraints and they’ve been breeding off-season. Again, ewww.

    If Blizzard thinks putting us all in collars and chains simply to gain flying in the game is going to win new subs, it’s got another thing coming. Flying was fine the way it was pre-Warlords but I guess the old axiom of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” never occurred to them.

    And whoever it was that said we all can accomplish revered rep in only 10 days is an idiot. We’re not all living online you know.

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