D(ragon) Day

So, the release of dracthyr evokers in the run-up to Dragonflight has been... interesting. I was honestly pretty hyped about it. It's been a long time since I was part of this kind of event in retail WoW, and I had pretty fond memories of the community buzz in the days immediately after the Shattering for example. Things didn't entirely turn out the way I'd hoped though.

First there was the confusion about when exactly the unlock would happen. Blizzard had been advertising the 15th for ages, and I already had the day off work for unrelated reasons, so it didn't even occur to me that this might not be one of those world-wide launches - as it turned out, there were no dragons yet for EU players on the 15th, and of course the next day was an office day for me, which left me with minimal time to spend on anything other than commuting and work.

Still, I managed to at least log into the game early in the morning to create my evoker. I had actually done some preparation for this, as I found a tool on Wowhead that simulated the dracthyr character creator. I know that I can get pretty caught up in character customisation, and with the dracthyr having more customisation options than any previous race, I wanted to familiarise myself with all the different options in advance. I was just confused because when I tried to use the option to save my creation, Wowhead kept telling me that my dragon needed more clothes, which made me wonder whether it was mandatory to equip a minimum number of the cosmetic armour pieces that are available for the class (it was not). In the end I just took a reference screenshot manually.

Anyway, thanks to this I had a picture to speed up my decision-making on Wednesday morning, though since I hadn't yet looked at the visage form options at all, the process still took me more than twenty minutes. Still, I managed to at least finish my character before having to dash off to work. Thus, "Shindragosa" was born.

The husband and I then sat down to play together late in the evening, but again things were not off to a good start as I was greeted by the error message "cinematic not available" upon logging in, so I had to immediately set off to YouTube on my second monitor to figure out what the hell my character was supposed to have seen before even starting. While I was doing that, the husband was struggling with a different dilemma - for him the cinematic had played - at least partially - but then he got stuck in the room you spawn in and found himself unable to get out. I googled that issue as well, and the common advice seemed to be to "restart your game five or six times". This did work eventually, but basically, just getting both of our characters out of the very first room took us something like ten to fifteen minutes.

After that, things continued somewhat more smoothly, though the area felt very quiet. I'm guessing this was done intentionally via phasing, as we did see more players once we got out of the first building, but if there had been a big rush earlier in the day, we had clearly missed it.

The Forbidden Reaches were fun enough as a starter zone - mostly WoW standard questing fare interspersed with a few (working) cut scenes, but our real focus was on our soar ability and using it to fly around a bit whenever it was off cooldown. There's a quest at the very start where you can practice soaring with no cooldown and I would have liked to spend some more time on that, but the husband just wanted to move on so I did too, without ever really getting the hang of it. The two times or so when I got it to work properly after that it felt great, however most of the time I just lost momentum way too quickly and dropped like a rock. Needs more practice.

Towards the end of the area quest line there was another "cut scene not available" failure, this time affecting both of us, and we were very confused as a battle we'd been fighting just phased around us and things had clearly gone to shit in some way but we didn't know how or why. Again I looked it up on YouTube and that one was definitely a very important cut scene!

Eventually we made it to Stormwind and did the intro there (I thought Wrathion's introduction was laugh-out-loud funny, not gonna lie), but we felt it was too late to look at the elemental invasion event or do the dungeon quest we'd been given. Guess that one's for another day.

In terms of play style I don't know yet whether evoker will be for me or not. The pacing of skills in the starting zone felt very good, but then you come out of there and the game's like: "Here, have fifty talent points or so and another ten abilites to place on your action bars! Hope you enjoy reading tooltips!" and I really can't judge that without actually trying some of those new skills properly first.

D(ragon) Day