With the fourth season of Shadowlands, Blizzard begins an experiment in World of Warcraft. The old raids and dungeons are back in a stronger form and still provide more powerful loot. Not everyone is okay with this, and bugs in particular bother many players. But MeinMMO editor Benedict Grothaus really finds the motivation to play again through innovation.
I have been playing World of Warcraft for almost 18 years and have never stopped or voluntarily placed my raid group in an expansion like Shadowlands.
Although I was really excited about the expansion at first, all the responsibilities eventually became too much for me. I barely had time to play and that didn’t change much until last patch.
But now Season 4 is here and I’m enjoying WoW again. I like logging in, exploring the dungeons on a grand scale, and I also enjoy taking part in rallies. Strictly speaking, there is nothing new or little.
Season 4 is generally in a bad light for players as many of them don’t work as they should. And yes, even if I understand the frustration as a progressive player, the new season does many things well that I would have dreamed of from WoW for a long time.
You can watch the season 4 trailer here:
The “Fateful” affixes are what raids need
For me, the new… or the old raids are the highlight of Season 4. I know a lot of people complain about the Mythic + dungeons and there is hardly any talk about raids, but they are really successful.
Castle Nathria is arguably the best raid World of Warcraft has ever had, after Karazhan, and Count Denathrius is by far one of the greatest villains of all time. Rarely have I felt so invited and presented at the same time.
Both the Sanctum of Dominion and the Mausoleum of the Firsts were just boring by comparison. It’s a great feeling to be able to return to Nathria with season 4 and be shown arrogant count of the door. And the new raid affixes only make it all better.
Rather than simply hinder the raid, the new affixes introduce additional mechanics to the game. Suddenly it becomes important to draw Heroism / Rage elsewhere or prioritize goals differently so that once-smiled classes are now more useful. As a fighter, I enjoy the myriad goals of Chaotic Essence these days.
Admittedly, it’s less fun, especially with later bosses like Blacksmith Raznal, depending on the affix. Sanctum feels a little harder anyway. Nevertheless, the idea of mechanics shows simple means by which added value can be created.
A small bonus: the soul of the old warrior Sylvanas was one of the best items for many classes, despite the low level of the item, even at the next raid tier. Having such items as the absolute end equipment for all raids tickles the character’s full potential.
Twitch streamer Asmongold explains why he thinks WoW raids are bad and what new MMOs are better
Nothing is new, but still challenging
On the other hand, the new affix with dread lords in Mythic + is nothing special, it hardly changes routes and just provides a buff that you can choose yourself. Okay, nothing to complain about or praise here.
But what makes the season particularly good is the instance selection. The “new” mythical dungeons are really well done. As a reminder, WoW has brought back 6 old dungeons and Tazavesh in Mythic Rotation. Optional:
- Karazhan (up and down)
- Tazavesh (chess move and streets)
- Mechagon (junkyard and city)
- iron docks
- Grimrail depot
Since Karazhan is my favorite instance and has already been to TBC, I still know this world very well. I have walked the Mechagon so often that I could probably wake up at night and still know the routes.
What I want to say: I still know the dungeons, they haven’t really changed. And yet, it is currently difficult to complete the higher keys within the time frame.
I would count my guild among the “better” players, even if we are still far from the top in Europe and even in Germany. And even we have trouble getting some keys above level 15 working in time.
But honestly … so what? Then I just have to try harder to get the loot. It’s absolutely fine because I also want to get my new gun, ring or jewelry. This is what I’m playing for.
Yes, problems like Grimmgleisdepot with incorrect scaling are stupid, no doubt. However, many dungeons are weakened and in a few weeks the equipment will again be strong enough to be able to bake bread at +15 for a while without wiping.
I am ashamed to admit that I praised Grimgleisdepot as the best dungeon in WoD and I still stand by it. I love this instance, only modern bugs maybe shouldn’t be now. It breaks my point of view a bit:
Well thanks, thanks to you one of the worst dungeons from WoW will be back soon
Like the “Best Of” from the extension
Overall, Season 4 seems to be praising the expansion for re-emphasizing the good times, rather than ending in the wrong tone. It is not a criticized story or a recent raid that seems out of place that are the culprits, but the “Best Of”.
As far as I am concerned, any extension could end this way. At least we know from the upcoming Dragonflight expansion that a rotation with the old dungeons is planned from the start.
You can see the first 2 new dungeons I was able to check in the alpha here:
Time will tell if this is the right thing to do – but at least for the moment, I think recycling old content is a good idea. Many still travel through the old dungeons, be it for transmog, mounts, or just out of nostalgia.
For me, it has never been worth the time, even if I like to mention it. But now I really like having the motivation that makes me happy. Even if season 4 covers up a bit of Shadowlands’ flaws, I’m having a good time again. And now I’m looking forward to Dragonflight:
Dragonflight is already showing me in the alpha version exactly what I have loved about WoW for 18 years