FEEDBACK: New Starting Experience

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands features a new starting experience, available to all new characters.

https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/news/23380363

Please post feedback on the new starting experience as a reply to this thread.

Thank you!

It was great! And it was solid… not a single serious bug in my experience. I made a bunch of notes in the quest feedback fields, but I wanted to say a bit more about my experience in it as a warrior.
I think you could do more to teach new players about some of the basic skills. You have the one fight against Captain Wossname, but all she teaches is Charge and Slam, and SlamI learned about on the boat. We learn about Execute from a quest that teaches it, and that kind of thing is always best.
I had Hamstring by the time I got the quest to hunt animals… maybe the goats could run away at half health, encouraging me to slow them down. Something could have a big, charged melee attack to use Shield Block against. Something else could have an annoying stun attack with a cast time that I can interrupt with Pummel. Interrupts and mitigators are basic ability types and it would be good to teach those at the beginning.
Also there should be fire. There should be fire for people to stand in so that the tutorial can yell at them to not stand in the fire.
Please give the warrior a two-handed weapon before the dungeon, since you go in there with an NPC protection warrior who is tanking everything, leaving you struggling to generate any rage and making you largely unable to use most of your abilities.

Since newly-learned abilities are put in the toolbar automatically, don’t also have a tutorial that tries to walk someone through opening the spellbook and dragging the new ability to the action bar, especially since it doesn’t stop nagging you until you drag it to a different location than it’s already at, and now you have it on your action bar twice.

The 5-man bear quest was a 2-man. It should be at least a 3-man. Make it meaner.

Please add a cloak to the quest rewards. We finish up with this nice set of armor and a ghastly cloak that only provides 1 armor. Sure, I could just take it off, but it would be nicer to have it be worth keeping and looking like it matches.

I assume you’re going to add more voices, but in case you aren’t, please add more voices. No conversation should have only one character speaking aloud.

But again, all those are minor details. I think overall it’s a really great job.

6 Likes

I just wanted to put my two cents here!

The starting experience is amazing and I enjoyed it thoroughly. That said, it’s a little jarring to finally open up the Eastern Kingdoms/Kalimdor then immediately get shipped off to a completely new continent (Zandalar/Kul Tiras).

I understand that long-term players will have a choice, but for a completely new player it feels a bit weird to be shipped away from a world you barely explored, much less a city you just arrived in.

I get the story beats that started in BFA are important to understand Shadowlands, and understand the desire to push a player to more recent content that shows WoW’s best but it does feel a bit off. Perhaps just giving new players the option like long-term players would help prevent this feeling of: “Welcome to your homeland! Off to another continent you go!”

10 Likes

I really liked the dungeon at the end that teaches you how to queue and lets you see some mechanics without needing to run as healer or tank (Although the NPCs bugged for us and my group had to treat the start like a real dungeon).

I do have one complaint.
As a rogue I got pick pocket at level 3 but nothing in the entire starting area had pockets to pick. This was somewhat frustrating as it felt like I was wasting time trying and like i shouldn’t have the ability until I actually can use it. Possibly using it in the rogue quest would be cool.

7 Likes

I have to agree that it’s very jarring and I think it might be a better idea for the next quests after exile’s reach to be the battle for the Lordaeron which would cement the idea of the factions and the faction war also why were going to Kul Tiras/Zandalar.

1 Like

Aye. Maybe the guy we have to kill for the quest could have an antidote or something we have to steal so he doesn’t just cleanse our poison.

And on the subject of rogues, action bar paging seems to confuse the last “sparring” quest before you head into quillboar area. I sent a bug report in-game, but to follow up here, I’m thinking the script which checks if you have ability X on your bar should be a suggestion instead of a requirement.

1 Like

I liked the experience overall.

One thing I wish it did differently was the ordering of the end. At about level 9, you were told to queue for a dungeon. As far as I could tell, the player could only select play as a Damage role. (My party was a shaman and warrior, we queued as both roles, but only got DPS). After the dungeon, you went to the capital to select a specialization.

I would’ve like the ordering here to be reversed, where the player can select a specialization before the first dungeon. Then the dungeon is a tutorial on how to play their role in a group composition, where the NPC Tank and Healer act more like training wheels for the players in those roles.

8 Likes

Speaking of the mini-dungeon, it could probably use a quick tutorial or dialog about loot specs.

I’ve done it on a rogue and hunter so far without checking loot spec, and got a sword and polearm from first boss. If someone was planning to use Sub or Beastmaster, getting the wrong weapon would feel bad.

Or if a tutorial is overkill, it may be worth prodding the loot table for the “Initial” specs a bit. I’d imagine daggers and bows are the most common first pick for new rogues and hunters.

1 Like

Enjoyable experience overall, seems like it would be good for a new player. On that note…

Perhaps there should be some explanation of cooldowns at the start. You are told to hit the target dummy on your first quest, and the box pops up above your first ability and just stays there (at least as a pally). Might be helpful to either explain you can’t hit while it’s on cooldown, or have the direction to hit only pop up when it’s off cooldown.

Completely agree with the above posters that the “drag and drop” spell tutorial needs to go when the ability is auto slotted. Or… have a popup that shows it’s been auto slotted (you have a new ability- here it is!) and then do an “alternatively, you can open the spellbook and… etc…”)

Pally specific- You get Shield of the Righteous at level two, which uses Holy Power now. However, when you hit level seven and get Word of Glory, that’s when you get the popup saying “you can now use Holy Power!”. Except… you have to use SoR and Holy Power in the dual with the Captain to finish that quest, so that definitely needs to be reworked.

Druid specific- at level four you get a popup to add Shred to your action bar- but you don’t get that ability until level five.

On the early quests that require you to target NPC’s to heal them, might want to throw the targeting tutorial in the mix. As it stands, IF you target them it tells you to use your movement keys to navigate to the NPC, then points to the quest item to use. A brand new player might not know to click the NPC to start with.

Could possibly use a brief mention of how to board a vehicle for the spy-bot quest like “approach until the arrow is green and click” or something. Also, maybe a vehicle action bar mention. I remember it saying to use the “Trample” ability while I was on the boar, but a quick overview of vehicle mechanics might be useful.

Pally mini class quest to learn bubble was a nice touch.

I’d also add the pacing of ability gains was nice, and overall each level felt like I was progressing- which is a huge plus.

3 Likes

I don’t know about those group quests in there.

If I start a new game and I feel like I am going to be forced into group play I just quit it. If I started WoW with that questing area and found out I couldn’t do the Killclaw the Terrible quest without finding 4 other people, I would probably quit playing right there.

Then you have that dungeon at the end, if I got past the Killclaw quest that forcing into a group setting would send me looking for another game.

Maybe that is what you want, I don’t know, but a lot of people like being able to play games solo and for group content to be optional. You are sending a message in that area that it isn’t in this game.

Also, I am not sure why but all the rewards (or most) when they appeared on the NPC showed a low ilvl and stats but different when you picked them up, eg showed lvl 10 and you got a lvl 20 with 3 agility/stamina instead of the 2 originally shown.

I was playing a druid if that makes any difference to any of this.

Oh yes another thing, I opened up the spellbook at lvl 7 or so and it showed I should drag barkskin to my toolbar but barkskin didn’t exist to do so, spellbook says available at 23.

I played through the entire experience on a hunter, and I must say I was very impressed. The zone looks relatively good, at least compared to the Cata starting zones for most races. The whole thing felt very cohesive, and flowed well, building some attachment to the character. I’ve never leveled a hunter past 15 or 20 in retail, all the abilities were explained well and by the time it was over there weren’t any abilities I didn’t understand (albeit quite a few I wasn’t using). I might suggest buffing the mobs just a little bit potentially, as a hunter I was almost oneshotting some of them. Overall, looks like a much better experience for new players!

Were you getting lvl 20 gear as quest rewards for your lvl 7? If you were oneshotting the mobs, then it is hunters that need adjustment not the mobs.

The combat experience for druids was mostly 4-6 hits with a combination of feral and balance action because 2 hits ran the feral out of energy. Which btw I wasn’t a fan of but I don’t know what blizzard is aiming for.

I played through the starting zone as a warrior.
No issues. Some minor UI issues like quest windows not closing, but overall all went well.

I’m not sure about the group quests and the mandatory dungeon either.

  • Killclaw was doable with two players, but I suspect the other one wasn’t playing hunter for the first time in his life, because he kited the bear nicely.
    I don’t know if the quest is optional but you’d be missing out on a shoulder armor piece, you’ll probably need later.
    However, my real issue with this is: I fully expect starting zones to be empty after the first rush on my low pop rp realm (the EU one, not WRA). Finding a group will be a challenge in the long term.

  • The dungeon… I waited five minutes for a group to form. Again, once people stop making new characters frequently - and they will - it’ll be a pain in the lower backside to find a group. It looks like the dungeon is repeatable, but if you don’t know anyone to beg or bribe, you’ll be stuck on that quest for some time.

And: Both bosses dropped items for both of the other players (including a weapon) but I got nothing. While it’s a fair representation of real life dungeons, it is slightly disappointing.

Apart from that: Henry Garrick looks far older than his mother.

(English isn’t my first language. If you don’t understand me, please ask)

Yea, I think this is more of a hunter thing than a mob issue. The group quest mob can be solo’d on hunter, and this is without pet tanking since they have no growl yet.

Yeah you’re probably right, it was most likely a hunter tuning issue more than anything else.

This actually won’t be an issue. I did this again on a hunter (and yes hunters up to the citadel part anyway do oneshot a lot) and you end up getting put into that dungeon with 2 npcs if you are solo and no one else is queueing. This morning I grouped up with a rogue and we waited a bit in the queue and again got 2 npcs ( originally thought they were actually players since I didn’t notice the names).

So not only is this dungeon scaleable from 3 to 5 in the party, it gives you NPCs as part of your group if there is no one else queueing. I got a tank and healer.

I was again getting lvl gear almost double my level though from my quests, even though the reward didn’t indicate that high of a level.

I suspect that tank and healer always are npcs, that way you can be sure that the dungeon ends within a reasonable time frame. And it’s obviously part of the storyline.

So, basically you are waiting for two other dps to join. If those get replaced by npcs too if there’s absolutely no one else available, it may be okay.

But I’m still not convinced that queueing for a dungeon is a good idea at this point. You’ve just gotten into things, are eager to slay more murlocs in other parts of the world and then - the dungeon finder totally kills the momentum.

When I did it on my hunter, it was just me and the 2 npcs - 3.

I don’t think it is a good idea because I am sure I am not the only one who judges a game based on the first hour of play. People have nothing invested at that point so if it is annoying in any way, i.e. having to find ppl to do a group quest, it is very easy to just go find another game.

The new starting experience is fun overall - visually it is great, the storyline is memorable, and the pacing is just right.

I just wish there was an option to go into the dungeon at the end solo, with an npc group and without having to wait in queue.

Another thing to add is that the starting zone could be used as an opportunity to teach players the basics of how to tank/heal, with a dungeon at the end as a way to test those skills, but maybe that’s a bit too much for new players.