Last week I talked about it feeling like it was the end of the expansion in World of Warcraft, and in part that was due to the way that I am playing the game and focusing on alts. However there is apparently another key way things are starting to feel like the end of the expansion, and that is catch up mechanics. Now yesterday I posted about pushing through and dinging 110 the Legion expansion level cap on my Orc Deathknight. I managed to find a couple of lucky grabs on the auction house including 3 cheap pieces of demonsteel at 835 item level and a cloak at 870 item level. Other than those items however I managed to scrape together what is a reasonable item level to start going and doing stuff… in a single nights time between a combination of world quests, legion invasions, and opening the broken shore. When I first saw the Dauntless items I found them a little underwelming… but that was on my already 890 main character. The fact that you can start picking up 850+ items for 400 nethershards… when I walked into the Broken Shore with roughly 4000 of them… allowed me to really flesh out those missing gear slots. The only negative there is that the rings and trinkets are both “Unique Equipped” which were sadly the two slots I needed the most. Thankfully during the invasion event last night I managed to pick up a second ring at 840, taking my item level to the point where I could apparently start queuing for Looking for Raid.
Now I am not sure what the item level breaks are for the various LFR segments… but I was honestly shocked to find out that I could queue for Nighthold without having done anything in Emerald Nightmare or Trials of Valor. Before heading to bed I did the first part of Nighthold and picked up an 860 necklace and an 860 artifact. So other than a few strategic grabs from the auction house… I managed to pick up everything else I needed to gear a character in a single night. I am now sitting at 846 item level… and will probably finish doing the rest of LFR tonight hoping to pick up a few more pieces. I also need to start running dungeons so that I can complete the Death Knight Order Hall sequence… and during the day today the final missions that I need to run should be finished. I guess while sitting on a higher level character I didn’t notice just how quick the item level ramps up, but while out roaming the world on a brand new character it is extremely noticeable. It definitely seems the end of expansion catch up mechanics are in full effect, as the game attempts to usher you closer and closer to that 900ish item level. I still have yet to get a Legendary, but in truth I have only been trying to two nights now. I also need to research how exactly to get the alternate artifact appearances, because while I am not expecting to go crazy and start farming for them like I did on my Warrior and Paladin… I do however don’t want to miss easy opportunities when they come up.
The other interesting thing I am noticing… is that playing Horde on a server cluster where the Alliance greatly out numbers you… leads to some interesting interactions with other players of the same faction. The two items I got from LFR I was functionally handed by other players who were offering them to me. Also while out in the world on Broken Shore especially… the horde seems to do the same sort of thing that I do in open world zones on my warrior. That is help random players. There are a lot of cases where I was straight getting wrecked and another player ran up and started attacking the same mobs to help me push through them faster. Up to this point I really haven’t had much in the way of communication, so maybe I am just reading intent into their actions where it really isn’t there. Just saying so far it has not been a horrible experience, and at least the public channels are not clogged with madness the way they are Alliance side. I still have a significant problem with the Horde in general… not from a factional standpoint but from the standpoint that “bestial humanoid” is not really the sort of thing that I flock to in games. However Orc seems to be a happy medium for me, and I’ve come to this realization pretty much any time I play one. Every other Horde race and I have significant issues. The Tauren are just too big and feel lumbering and slow. The undead and trolls… I cannot get past the hunched posture… or the tusks… or the missing bits of armor. Bloodelves have the problem of being the most elvish elves ever… and if you have been around my blog for long you know my distaste for all things elf. The goblins in theory are an option…. but they sorta end up being played for comic relief much in the same way that gnomes do that that annoys me. The Horde really missed their opportunity to make a lifetime member of me when they failed to somehow recruit the Dark Iron Dwarves. For the moment however I am largely okay with being a blue green guy with a Mowhawk and Mutton Chops.