As you may remember I was a couple weeks late experiencing World of Warcraft’s most recent patch. I haven’t had much time to test all it has to offer (like the raid or proving grounds), but I have been able to screw around on the Timeless Isle and my thoughts are a bit…mixed. I keep going from “This is awesome!” to “Damn, this is way too OP!” I honestly can’t decide how I feel about it, but I’m leaning towards “great concept, but ultimately falls short.”
We’ll start with the positives, shall we? Easy enough since there are quite a lot of things that I love about the Isle. For one it encourages exploration more than any other area I’ve been to. For a person like me, it’s basically heaven in WoW. I don’t care about grinding kills, I care about discovering neat places and things. I have always wished that WoW had random chests in it like a Zelda game. But, alas, there aren’t really any.
The Isle changes this. Now there are chests all over and the trick is figuring out how to get to them. Granted, many of the easier to reach chests involve timing (something I have NEVER been good at). The one on the three pillars? Yeah, the first time I tried I made it easily. The second time I just could not get it! It reminded me of Mario, a game I have never been good at.
I absolutely LOVE the Timewalkers. It’s so nice to put all that lore knowledge to good use! (Though to be honest, I’ve failed almost every question I’ve received…)
The firework vendors are a delight. I know this is sort of a silly thing to get excited about, but there’s nothing I enjoy more in a game than things that don’t really matter. I kid you not, my entire bank and part of a second guild bank are full of cosmetic clothes, toys, and fireworks. Yeah, I might have a problem…
The ghost ship is fantastic. And the music from the Rime of the Time-Lost Mariner is so beautiful. The music on the Isle is already brilliant, but that item is goes beyond that. Also, it is a play on the Rime of the Ancient Mariner which is one of my all time favorite poems, so that makes it twice as awesome!
I enjoy the world bosses. There’s just something about world bosses that gets me mildly giddy. World bosses (assuming they are awesome) gets me way more pumped than any dungeon or raid. They make the world feel a little bit more dynamic, even if you can predict when and where they’ll spawn.
Lastly, I love how many corpses I see in my travels. The more corpses, the more people are dying, and the more difficult things are. Sure, a lot of them have to do with falling deaths, but that still is good in my mind as it means people aren’t succeeding in everything they do the first time they try.
Despite all of these positives, I definitely have some gripes. For one, why must it always be sunset?!? The community is begging for the night to be brought back, so instead they give us a zone that is dusk. /Facepalm. I guess it makes sense as it allows people who play at night to have a chance at daytime, but ugh.
But I can move past the perma-sunset. What I can’t seem to get past is the gear. In less than two hours on the Timeless Isle I had upgraded everything but my shoulders, wrists, and trinkets. Two hours!
Now I can see how this would be handy for people with lots of alts. Having already geared on your first 90 you don’t really want to have to go through it all again. So I get that it would be handy to be able to hop on your fresh 90 alt, fly to the Isle, and get geared in no time. And I’m totally fine with that. But what about people who are leveling for the first time? Mhorgain is only 67 or so and has yet to have a max level character. For her this means she’ll be able to go to the Isle at 90 and skip all of the gearing that everyone else had to go through.
I suppose it’s because we’re at the end of the expansion. The final raid has been released and (hopefully!) the next expansion will be announced in a few weeks at BlizzCon. Before too long 90 gear will be irrelevant so they might as well make it easy mode to get.
But it feels too soon.
Lastly, the extreme buffs that you can get all over the island felt cheap to me. Instead of just making the mobs hard so that you have to work to down them, they decided to give you buffs for every little thing you do. The buffs negate the difficulty. They always feel like smoke screens to me. Oh hey! These guys are super tough! But don’t worry, we have an island full of steroids that you can use!
Overall I think the idea behind the Isle was great. I mean, for once I felt like the game was featuring my kind of play style—the explore and be rewarded type. But in other regards it just felt too strong, and in some ways too easy.
Perhaps I’m not ready yet for this. Maybe it feels too soon for me, and that’s where my frustration is coming from. What are your thoughts? Do you think the Isle should only be for people’s alts? Or do you feel the time has come to allow players the chance to play catch up?