Level 50 in BfA

We didn't quite get there last Sunday since we didn't end up having as much play time that day as expected, but it didn't take long afterwards. For the curious, my /played time to get to 50 was just under 26 hours. For comparison, my two 60s in Classic took 9-10 days to level each. Even in SWTOR, which I consider to have an extremely fast levelling track these days, my last max-level character took a few hours more to get there than my monk. And even that was with reading quest text and plenty of idling. Blizzard weren't kidding when they said that they just wanted to get you to max level asap with this new system.

In terms of content, we cleared all of Tiragarde Sound (which is mandatory to do first on this new levelling path) and most of Drustvar. We probably would have had to finish Drustvar to ding if we hadn't padded our XP gains with some Cataclysm profession dailies and Halloween event quests. My understanding is that there's a lot of story content left to do, not just Stormsong Valley but also the zones added in later patches and the whole of the war campaign. We'll see how far we get before I lose steam as I so often do with questing once the XP gains stop.

I do want to say though that the immediate experience of hitting max level was awkwardly and hilariously disconnected from everything that had come before. In terms of look and feel, the trip through Exile's Reach and into BfA provides a fairly coherent tale of adventuring in a classic fantasy environment and even if you're a new player or don't have much of a lore background, the story should be straightforward enough to follow. But then you ding 50 and you get this pop-up quest from some crystal dwarf who wants to see you urgently in Silithus, a place you've never been. There's a handy portal to get you there in Bolarus, but other than that there's no real context for what's going on. In the Chamber of the Heart there's a console that lets you watch the Legion end cinematic if you like, but again... if you don't already know these characters and what's been going on, it's pretty incomprehensible and just teaches you that apparently some giant fire dude stuck a sword into the planet while you were hunting witches in Drustvar and you didn't notice.

Then the Heart of Azeroth and your first piece of Azerite armour are dumped on you with little to no explanation. I even needed my husband to point out that the heart's Azerite level had now replaced my XP bar. I know that with Shadowlands coming it's all going to be irrelevant anyway, but why bother new players with this thing at all at this point? It just breaks the flow big time and is unnecessarily confusing if you ask me. It's like saying: "Hey, I know you're enjoying your questing at the moment, but please come and pick up your pointless grind mechanic first, it's very important."


  1. Can I be the first commenter to officially laugh at the fact that they managed to get Magni back into the story? Last I saw of him, he was pretty much dead due to trying to figure out [whatever, can't recall] prior to Cataclysm's release, and he was crystallized in a magical accident.

    I'm starting to think that my pet theory, that Jaina will get turned into a Blue Dragon and become the head of the Blue Dragonflight, is inching closer and closer to reality. A few years ago I would have considered it purely fan fic, but now? Yeah, you heard it here first.

    1. This is a seemingly insoluble problem for all MMORPGs with expansions. Other than completely removing all previous expansion content every time a new one launches, which would be incredibly unpopular, no-one seems to have come up with any way to explain to how the past is continuous with the present. Oh, wait, no - ArenaNet have. GW2 had some spurious quasi-lore quasi-metafiction handwaving rationale about how every time you visit any zone outside the current set you are seeing some timelocked pocket univers or something. I never really figured it out. It makes absolutely no sense anyway because they also insist on adding new, current-timeline content to those same old zones.

      I'm not sure there's any way to avoid the inevitable confusion a latecomer must feel other than making each expansion a cmplete standalone game, something I've long thought would make far more sense.

    2. There are some obvious solutions to MMORPGs and the expac problem. For starters, plan on expacs from the beginning: don't go "oh yeah, we should probably come up with something new".

      But cheekiness aside, here's a few solutions:

      --No levels. Make the MMORPG a skill based system where the longer you use something, the better you get at it. Period. And the longer you use something the greater the chance you unlock a new skill using that something. It makes no sense that if I unlock a skill in, say, GW2 I'm going to be an instant expert at it. You have to work at it to become an expert.

      --No levels extends to health. You've got 100 health (arbitrary setting), deal with it. But so do most of the baddies (that are human/humanesque). Which leads to...

      --No levels means so-called "low level zones" in game remain dangerous. Sure, your skill with a blade goes up by a ton the longer you play, but there's nothing keeping the "low-level" baddies from getting in a lucky shot and making life hard for you.

      --Keep new expacs to new zones. No refurbishing of old areas, and no reworking of the storyline to change major events in the older areas. Which leads to....

      --Keep the focus on the players, not the top level NPCs in the world. When the game becomes a telanovela, you lose sight of what's important to a game: the player.

      Aside from all of those ides, I agree completely that an expac should be a separate game.

    3. They would need to kill off Kalecgos, the current leader and Jaina's former lover. ^_^ That would also be awkward for anyone who has done the Dragonwrath quest chain as putting Kalecgos in charge was a part of making that legendary staff.

    4. Pallais, I'd bet money that a love sopped Kalecgos would go for it just to have her back.

    5. Not have himself killed off, of course, but to step aside so she could take over.