Here are some random thoughts of my continued play-through of the Shadowlands story in World of Warcraft. Minor spoilers may be found in the text or the screenshots!
I’m now maybe a sixth of the way through Maldraxxus, not much done yet but enough to get a flavour for the zone. It’s quite the contrast with glowing Bastion that came before. I personally really enjoyed Bastion and can see myself wanting to spend more time there, it is so beautiful.
Maldraxxus in constrast is kind of Icecrown 0.5, with more fire. It’s all bones, barren flats and tall sepulchral buildings. It’s unlikely to be my favourite zone to spend a longer time in, but it does have some very impressive designs of its own.
But something that has immediately hit me is the power of having a recognisable ‘anchor’ character to follow as the story unfolds: Draka is a great character as the lynchpin for this zone’s story. The main characters in Bastion were likeable enough, but lacking something compared with Draka’s presence. Maybe it was a problem of having a few too many characters to remember in Bastion? So far Maldraxxus seems easier to follow…
The arena brawl start to the zone was also fun, if chaotic. If we hadn’t seen the zone-specific cinematic trailer released prior to the expansion I suspect we’d be scratching our heads as to what some of the important NPC dialogue was about at this point. Also, I can’t help but wonder if this will become painful a year from now when the bulk of the playerbase are locked into vertical progression and not playing alts through the levelling zones.
For now I’m happy to be progressing through the overall story for the expansion, onwards for the House of the Chosen!