Ok. I admit, I’m just a lurker. I don’t pay for Wow any more, I just play the starter or trial or whatever they call it. Yep. Recall that I played it for years and left when in Legion they did the “Universal Level Scaling”. That ruined it for me. Anyway, I check in periodically to see how things are doing, and of course yesterday was the big “Shadowlands Pre-Patch”. So I logged in, made a new toon and ran through the tutorial. I’m not going to spoil all of it. But you can do it too for only about a two hours investment. And you’ll wanna check out the new character customization options, although after FFXIV, I find those completely underwhelming.
You are led by the hand, literally, through the experience on Exile’s Reach. It’s a common trope, nothing original here, Blizzard:
- The ship to far off lands
- The catastrophe that washes you up on the beach
- The buddy that’s going to walk you through the whole experience, step by step.
But there are a few Wow specific tropes here too:
- The obligatory “Bomb the masses from some sort of airship”, although this airship was just a little rotor and you dangle from a rope. Come on Blizz, the Goblins and Gnomes have better little one-man airships than this.
- The “dress up an on Ogre” quest, or dress us as anything else, to sneak into the fortress, after which everybody ignores you anyway as you walk around with no costume.
- and the minor dungeon tutorial where the NPC acts, or says she is acting, as your tank while you kill some trash and a boss.
- Minor spoiler – watch out for those treasure chests lying around. They keep getting bigger and bigger as you go.
Welcome to the Real World
And when you emerge from that, they fly you to Orgrimmar with the warning that “You can never come back here again” or some such.
And the money piles up too. At the end of Exile’s Reach I had 7 gold and the mount training only cost 10 silver. I already had a mount, but they gave you a racial mount anyway, so that’s free. Not sure if they changed the “Starter” gold cap. We’ll see. Used to be 10 gold.
The surprising thing is that after you get to Orgrimmar and talk to the dude to get your next assignment, you can’t just walk out into the world and do some quests. Nope. You get a big popup that you are leaving the tutorial. Although it’s clear that in Orgrimmar you are a part of the general population.
At this step – Level 9 or 10 I forget exactly – I was able to “Transmog” my helmet to hide the ugly thing. Yep. Blizz has still not re-instated those simple buttons that say “Hide Helm” and “Hide Cloak”. You’ve still got to visit the Transmogger for those simple effects. Although, they made it impossible to hide my “For the Horde Tabard” oddly. What’s up with that? Oh well. Not much invested in their lousy decisions at this point. And as the community knows these are not high on the list of gripes with Shadowlands. Covenant Lock anyone? Rip-cord anyone? Anyway, I digress.
So the last surprising thing is that you are taken next to Zandalar. Hey, I wanna do the Blood Elves starting area – Silvermoon, Eversong Woods, Ghostlands. Nope. Not yet.
Anyway, I’ll get back to see what’s next and where they cap off the Starter account and where they leave me after the tutorial. BTW, you get a mount at level 9 or 10 just after you get to Orgrimmar. No flight yet, but you get to ride at least. So here I am, Ambassador for the Horde to Zandalar.
For the Horde or Alliance. Whatever floats your boat.
Update: The starter edition limitations have changed as of the Pre-Patch.
Used to be 10 Gold. And Level 20 is a lot “higher” now than it was of course with the level squish.