Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Should you play World of Warcraft: Shadowlands as a Casual Player?

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Is World of Warcraft Shadowlands for casual players?

Well, in this video I want to give you my answer for that question.

Every now and then, I hop back into World of Warcraft and see what those Alliance and

Horde boys 'n girls are up to.

Usually, things are worse than I left them.

Since I got other MMO's, like Guild Wars 2, on my mind I only play World of Warcraft casually.

So lets see if this expansion is for me.

It's me Kyo and let's dig into the video.

First, let's have a look at the story.

The story in an MMO is usually not grindy and focussed on the casual audience of the

game.

In Shadowlands, this is no different.

But there are some positive and minor negative aspects to the story.

If you have a level 50 character you can hop straight into the story.

You will be directed to assist Bolvar Fordragon, the new Lich King, near the portal that Sylvanas

has created by destroying the helmet of the Lich King.

You could see this in the Shadowlands trailer.

This portal allows us mortals to enter the Shadowlands; basically the heaven and hell

equivalent of World of Warcraft.

The rest of the story is for you to find out!

When you enter the shadowlands you will immediately see that they are divided in several sections.

We have Bastion, Maldraxxus, Ardenweald, Ravendreth and the Maw.

Each of these areas offer enough variety in terms of environment and side quests to keep

you busy.

But let's not stray too far from the question; is the Shadowlands expansion for casual players?

As I've said, the areas offer enough variety for every kind of player.

You can easily play through the whole story in a day if you are a hardcore player.

For a casual I'd give it about 3 to 5 days of 2 hour sessions.

So, I think you should be done with the story in about 6 to 10 hours.

After you are done with the main story, you can start the story for a Covenant of your

choosing.

These covenants are all linked to one particular area of the Shadowlands.

This does not mean that you will only be doing quests in a particular area but the Covenant

you choose is where your 'homebase' will be.

I think this is a really nice feature that allows you to represent and learn more about

the Covenant you like the most.

The story here can feel a bit grindy for some but personally did not find this troublesome.

For some specific chapters I had to get some extra reputation in order to continue.

Usually, I got most of the reputation I needed from doing side quests or doing the main story.

The remainder of the reputation I could easily get by doing a few world quests or side quests.

Also, since I played this straight on release day, I could not progress the entire Covenant

Story in one go.

I had to wait a week before the next chapter would be unlocked.

Although I do not mind waiting a week to catch up and explore other areas, I don't like this

system in combination with World of Warcraft's business model.

In order to complete the story I would have to purchase extra game time to play through

my Covenants story.

I'm dedicated enough to do so but it's a bit of a sketchy tactic if you already paid 40

euros for an expansion, an additional 12 for the game time.

And now, I have to pay another 12 euros of gametime to finish the story.

I don't agree with that and I consider this non-casual friendly.

However, the longer you wait, the more chapters are released.

So, by the time you are watching this, you can probably play through the whole Covenant

story in one go.

But keep in mind that this tactic is also used whenever a new patch comes out.

If you are just playing for the story, it's best to wait as long as possible before you

start playing the Shadowlands expansion.

Wait until all quests and stories are playable in the game and then start playing.

Although that might be hard, it's the most financially beneficial and casual friendly

option.

If you want to play through the story on an alt character, that's also possible.

However, Warcraft offers you the option to replay the story on your alt character or

rush straight into world quests.

I personally really appreciate the option to choose here.

If you really want to relive the story for a second time, you can!

But most players just want to gear up another character and do not want to play the story

another time.

But is the expansion overall alt friendly?

Honestly, I think Shadowlands is very alt friendly.

As a casual WoW player I'm not really into joining the gear treadmill and getting those

extremely hard achievements.

I mean, I like those things but I simply do not have the time at the moment.

So, whenever I'm done on my main, which is currently a Night Elf Demon Hunter, I enjoy

leveling my alts in Shadowlands.

As I've mentioned before, in Shadowlands you can skip the main story if you have already

completed it once.

This allows your alts to complete World Quests right away and allow them to quickly improve

their item level so you can take them into raiding.

In that regard, it's very alt friendly.

Also, before Shadowlands, Blizzard introduced the 'level squish'.

Instead of your maximum level being 120, it has been 'squished' down to level 60.

This was introduced to simplify the leveling and to reduce the large item level numbers

of a piece of equipment.

Although your level might change, your power does not.

This level squish also came with the option to level wherever you want.

Over the more than 15 years that World of Warcraft exists, an enormous number of areas

were added to the game.

If you had to play through all of these for every character you create, that would be

a tad boring.

Luckily, Warcraft now lets you choose what areas you would like to level in.

So, when you reach level 10, you can walk up to Chromie in Stormwind or Orgrimmar and

choose what areas of what expansion you would like to play through.

If you only want to level in Northrend or Outland, you can do so!

This allows you to complete the storylines at your own pace and not skip past them to

get to the maximum level as fast as possible.

If we can attribute this level squish to the Shadowlands expansion, then I'd say that the

expansion is extremely alt friendly.

But what about the end game?

That's the thing where players are most interested in.

Well, that's comparable with other expansions like Battle for Azeroth.

Luckily its a bit easier due to the removal of Titanforging and the Heart of Azeroth.

It's not hard to get into end game content like Raids but it just takes a long time.

This is where I suspect that most casual players won't get to at this stage of the expansion.

To enter the most recent raids, your character needs to reach a specific Item Level.

Every weapon or piece of equipment you get from quests, drops or from the Auction House

has an Item Level attached to it.

This item level is usually associated with better stats for that specific piece of equipment.

So, the higher item level you have, the more damage you do and you meet the requirements

of that raid.

For example, Castle Nathria, a raid in the new Shadowlands expansion has an Item Level

Requirement of 170.

In order to play that raid I need to make sure that my item level is an average of 170.

The hard part... or well... the time intensive part is getting the average Item Level of

170.

Usually, you get better gear with a higher Item Level score from World Quests, Heroic

Dungeons or story quests.

However, the story ends at one point so you need to start doing Heroic Dungeons or World

Quests.

World Quests usually show you the reward beforehand but it is usually slightly better than the

item I already have.

This while my other piece of equipment is still of a relatively low item level and drags

the average item level down.

Upgrading and looking for a better piece of equipment can take time or can be bought from

the Auction House.

This is usually a pricey option but could increase your item level rather quickly.

Doing Heroic Raids is in my opinion the most fun method to increase your item level.

However, a better piece of equipment is not guaranteed.

So, after spending 30 minutes on a dungeon it's possible that you leave with just a bit

of extra gold.

You could always spend that gold on a better piece of equipment on the auction house of

course, but I'd rather earn the equipment myself!

To conclude this segment, I think there is still a barrier for casual players to get

into the end game content.

On the other hand, it's good to have dedicated players into raiding.

It should not be given to everyone without them putting any effort into it.

Although I do think that it should be easier for casual players to earn higher Item Level

gear much quicker.

Usually, a catch-up mechanic gets implemented a few months after an expansion but then you

are always one or two steps behind on every raid wing.

So, waiting a few months could save you some time if you want to raid but don't mind waiting

for a few catch up quests.

For now, I'd say the end game is not really accessible for casual players.

Now, to conclude the video.

Overall, I'm happy with the Shadowlands expansion.

I do enjoy it a lot more than the Battle for Azeroth.

The different areas are very engaging and the story is also very appealing.

Most of the content is accessible for casual players however the raiding and end game content

are locked behind a gear treadmill.

Warcraft does this all the time, it might not be a bad thing but it's definitely not

something casual players can do right away.

The first raid in the LFR has a minimum item level of 170.

And as we speak, I do not have that item level just yet and I'm currently grinding it for

a few weeks now.

I don't think this will change soon but I expect to have a catch-up mechanic for it

in the next few months.

Do you agree with my insights and opinions about the Shadowlands expansion?

Let me know in the comments.

If you want to support me, consider subscribing, liking and sharing this video.

It helps a lot.

For now, I'd like to thank you all for watching and I hope to see you all in the next one.

PEACE!

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