This blog is part of my series about my thoughts and experiences in the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor beta. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to get in there and do stuff yet, for two reasons.

One, the beta did not want to download at first.  Two, the new patch caused my (nearly full) computer to have issues.  I’m getting a pop up window that tells me my start up disk is almost full.  I can’t finish downloading the new patch until I make more room on my computer.  One way to fix that problem is to use up some of the screenshots I took while in the beta by making a blog out of them.

I was excited to roll a pre-made Level 90 character because none of my characters in WoW are Level 90.  I think the closest one is maybe Level 67 or so.  It didn’t take long for me to learn that I am not ready for a Level 90 character.  The screenshots that you see in this blog were taken on July 20, 2014.

It wasn’t that long ago when Blizzard was advertising that you could pay to “zoom” one of your characters up to Level 90.  I didn’t look into the details about that mostly because I wasn’t sure that doing so would be a good idea for me.  The ability to make a pre-made Level 90 character in the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor (WoD) beta gave me the opportunity to roll a Level 90 and see what that was like.

I choose to roll a Draenei Shaman – which meant I automatically started in Stormwind.  My Draenei Shaman in the current WoW is Elemental, so I picked the same for this new Level 90.  I had no idea what some of the spells were, what they do, or the most effective way to use them.  I realized that some stuff would be new, but the amount of it made me feel a bit overwhelmed.

Next, I decided to figure out what I was supposed to be doing.   There were three giant non-player characters (NPCs) in Stormwind.  You couldn’t possibly miss them due to their gigantic size.  I figured at least one of them would give me guidance on where to start as a newly formed Level 90.  Was there a way to get to the Blasted Lands portal directly from Stormwind?

Savage Flaskataur Esq. is a Consumables Vendor.  I’m sure what he sells is very helpful.  However, at first glance, I have no idea what those items are useful for.  I decided to wait to make any purchases until after I gained a better idea of what I actually needed.

Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade is a bit hard to see because he is translucent.  He wanted to send me into a raid.

Greetings, and thank you for helping to test the Warlords of Draenor Beta!  This made me smile.  It’s nice to get a “thank you” for beta testing.

I can teleport you directly into a number of raid or dungeon instances that are currently open for testing. This is just a teleport, not a match-making service, so I hope you have a party ready to tackle the challenges waiting inside.  If not, you might want to check out our new Group Finder feature to find some allies.

This made me hesitate.  I’ve never raided before – ever.  I wouldn’t have any idea what I was doing if I got into a raid in WoD.  My concern was that my lack of experience would immediately become obvious to the unfortunate players I ended up with via Group Finder.

Visions of angry, frustrated, players – texting irate things at me – didn’t sound fun.  I also didn’t feel I could adequately beta test an aspect of the game that I didn’t have at least a basic familiarity with in WoW.  It seems that Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade was not the one I should start with.

What about a dungeon?  I wasn’t quite prepared for that, either.  The same problem could happen – lack of experience causing other players to get all mean and nasty.  Time to see what the third giant NPC has to offer.

Archmage Khadgar – Sons of Lothar – gave me something to do that sounded interesting and that I thought might be a good fit for me.

Do I want to go on a “suicide mission” to save Azeroth?  Let’s see… I’m a newly created Level 90 Draenei Shaman. I’ve no clue what many of my spells are or what they do, and I haven’t used the spells that once were familiar to me in a long, long, time.  I’ve got absolutely zero experience in what it is like to play my class past Level … I dunno, 65 or so.

Yep, a suicide mission sounds about right.  Pretty much anything I tried to do would likely result in my death.  Ok, Khadgar, sign me up!  I mean… “The word.”

Off I go!

Where am I?  I’ve “Discovered: The Dark Portal”.  In front of me is a Pandaran who is riding a pink rocket.  At first glance, things look both familiar and alien.  I’ve been through the Dark Portal in the current WoW, so some of the structure here is recognizable.  But, it also feels very new and different.

The tutorial said: That is another real person playing a character.  You can tell by the blue name above their head.  Looks like Boomshockaz is <Away>.  He made it to the Dark Portal and then…. what? Fell asleep at the keyboard?  Went for a “bio break”?  The world may never know!

Hey, look!  It’s Archmage Khadgar again – and he is normal sized now!  There is a very familiar looking Orc standing next to him.

Azeroth’s Last Stand – Countless times you have battled against impossible odds and unspeakable evil – and returned the victor.  Now, once more, you have answered the call of duty, prepared to risk your life to save the world that you love – our world.

You are Azeroth’s hope, Naelli.

While the challenges that stand before us are daunting, there is no other that I would trust to lead this mission.

The enemy at the front may have the information we need to win this war.  Seek and destroy!  Go now, Naelli!  For Azeroth!

That’s rather dramatic!  I like that it makes this part of the game seem like a really important mission.  The quest objective is: Collect the Iron Horde Missive from one of the Iron Horde at the base of the Dark Portal.   There are so many of them!  Where to begin?

This battle was really chaotic!  It was not immediately obvious to me who I was supposed to shoot lightning bolts at, and who I should be assisting.  This is not a complaint.  Mass chaos makes the game fun.

Before me are tons of NPCs who are fighting – and killing – each other.  After they die, they immediately respawn.  (The Iron Horde NPCs seemed to respawn especially quickly).  It’s the WoW version of the Morlu from the Diablo “universe”!

More souls for the taking!

More souls for the taking?  Hmm.. as a Diablo III player, this is starting to remind me of parts of the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion.  Here, we have some NPC enemies who are talking about taking souls.  Would the WoW version of Malthael show up soon?

Keep killing NPCs until one of them drops an Iron Horde Missive.   I helped a friendly NPC kill off a group of Iron Horde NPCs.  When I looted them, three Iron Horde Missives dropped (but I could only pick up one of them).

I’m going to leave out what the letter says, and the text for the next quest – so as to avoid some potential “spoilers”.  My understanding of the next quest was that I was supposed to go destroy some spires.  The map showed me where they were located, but I could not manage to figure out how to get there.  I headed in the right direction, but there wasn’t an obvious way to get where I thought I needed to go.

I wasn’t quite prepared to take on this Warsong Commander all by myself!

Somehow, I managed to kill this one and survive.  But, I wasn’t healing as quickly as I would have liked, and had to try and dodge around (and run away from) him when he respawned.  Maybe I would have understood that if I had played a Level 90 character before today.

My experience in the WoD beta has taught me that I paying to “zoom” one of my characters to Level 90 is not for me.  It just makes me really confused about everything and very unsure of my abilities.  Good to know.

There’s some serious weirdness going on down there, below where I’m standing with Hansel Heavyhands.  What you see is not a glitch or a “bug”.  It is one of the Iron Horde respawning after he got killed.  At least, I think that is what’s going on.

I found this mist filled pool that NPCs were jumping into.  There’s one on the tower above the pool in this screenshot.  He jumped in, and then others followed, all waiting their turn very patiently.  I have absolutely no idea what this means.

Next, I “Discovered: The Soul Engine”.  Floating in the air is an Orc that has somehow gained wings that look a lot like the wings of the angels in Diablo III.  (Not exactly the same, but similar).  There are tiny little translucent figures floating in circles around him.  This is the “Soul Engine”, so I presume those are souls.

I’ve cropped this screenshot to remove the name of that NPC – in order to avoid “spoilers”.  My understanding of WoW lore is nowhere near as good as my understanding of Diablo lore, but even I can tell that this Orc might be a significant one.  The way I see things: I just found the “Malthael” of the Warlords of Draenor expansion!

…And then I got disconnected….

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