I’ve now started the Sharandar Campaign (wiki link with spoilers), the level 60 PVE content pack that came with the Fury of the Feywild expansion. From what I have seen so far the campaign consists of a tree of different quests and quest mini-hubs, gated by completing certain dailies and obtaining campaign-specific tokens.
Progressions is split into three branches of the campaign diagram ‘tree’. The central line represents the tasks that you complete by doing the various dailies. On the left is a dungeon unlock and higher up on the left are the campaign-specific gear rewards. On the right are minor bonuses to your character’s power (called Boons) which you can also unlock progressively.
The campaign has a new hub with some NPCs that tell the main plot of the campaign and offer the usual services (vendor, token barter). There are also magical gateways that provide access to the three different areas for daily quests and at least one story dungeon.
The campaign involves, as the title suggests, defending an elven settlement in the Feywild from attacks by the wilder creatures of the fey realm. The artwork and some of the creatures are rather reminiscent of the Kingdoms of Amalur PC/console game, which heavily featured a rather dark and hostile vision of a fairy realm.
I’m only still at the early stages but I find the pacing of the dailies good, I’m not feeling overloaded with things to do. It is very reminiscent of the staged content of the Firelands update to World of Warcraft. However I think the campaign system takes that game’s attempts at staged content and injects some improvements. Firstly players can choose what to unlock in what order (prefer dungeons then go straight for Malabog’s Castle; rather focus on character development then buy the boons ASAP). Secondly the campaign features overland zones interspersed with story dungeons, this is nice for a bit of variation – it’s not just killing one set of creatures in one zone followed by another set in a second etc.
It’ll be interesting to see whether these initial impressions hold up for the whole campaign and whether they also apply to the second campaign of Dread Ring…