I’m a returning player after almost 10 years, with my last expansion played being Wrath of the Lich King.
And to be honest I quite like the dramatic updates they have made to all the races and animation. Whereas there are still parts that still show their age.
The new systems are a little daunting and I don’t know where to start. I have a Shaman lvl 35 and another Paladin at similar lvl, and I have no idea where to start as I want to catch up on what I’ve missed.
Should I just create a new character rather than start in the middle?
If you played for the last time in wrath you might as well create a new character. Cataclysm revamped old azeroth so that will be all new for you. And classes also had some heavy changes. So you might as well start anew if you are not too attached to your current characters. The only bad thing is if you want to play the allied races you will have to unlock them in bfa first.
I see you’re on Defias Brotherhood. That’s still a perfectly decent realm for both Alliance and Horde. Good! If you are inclined to roll a new character on a differnt realm, I would check out the health and faction ratio carefully first. Some of the current realm health and faction balance measures aren’t a lot of fun if you are on the wrong side.
Now, should you start a new character? I would suggest yes, especially since you are asking. You certainly don’t have to, but if you are asking, you have forgotten a lot, and are not in touch with now the game is now, so starting from 1 will give you some time to re-adjust. Your existing characters aren’t going anywhere, and you can switch to them later, if you feel the urge.
Levelling is MUCH MUCH MUCH faster than you remember. The current world record time for levelling from 1 to 50 in Shadowlands is just over 4 hours. You won’t do anything like that, of course, and it wouldn’t be much fun to speed-run it like that anyway, but that might give you a sense of how much faster levelling is now. I imagine you will be 20 in 2-3 hours of exploring gameplay. So starting from scratch on a new character isn’t losing as much progress as you might think.
This is a huge tutorial video, suitable for beginners and returners. It’s broken into short chapters, though, so you can just watch what you need. A New Players Introduction video
Unfortunately, it was made just beforethe start of Shadowlands, and Shadowlands introduced Chromie Time, so it doesn’t cover that. And Chromie Time is relevant to you.
Outside Orgrimmar Embassy and Stormwind Embassy (you will see them on your map) stands Chromie, and once you hit level 10, Chromie is ready to time-travel you to any expansion you like, and questing in that expansion will take you neatly to level 50, at which stage you will be ready to enter Shadowlands.
I suggest you use that at level 10, pick an expansion, and level in it. You could chose Wrath or Buring Crusade if you want to relive your original levelling, or you could choose one of the later expansions. Either way, with the new scaling systems, this is probablythe smoothest way to level these days.
i would like to add on top of this, if you do wish to see the entire expansion instead of not being able to finish it, you also got the option to lock your experience. There is a stealthed npc in the rooms where battleground masters used to be back in the days. If you talk to those you can lock your xp. If you just want to rush to the max level then you won’t really need this
What I did when I returned after 6 years was leave my DK (old main) alone for a few weeks and leveled something else first instead to get used to the UI again, set up some keybinds etc and then I switched back to my DK and leveled up the few expansions that I missed. I found that to be an easier return. At first I wanted to just play my DK but mainly I was overwhelmed by buttons / spells / talents being totally different from what I remembered… so I just started something from level 1 instead.
Depends on what you mean by ‘fun’. I personally think the leveling is at it’s absolute best spot right now. It gives 2 options, if you’ve seen everything, you can go slowly, but if you’re good and cba, you can roflstomp 10-50 in maybe 6 hours, so 1 good weekend afternoon
If it wasn’t for the prepatch leveling overhaul, I would never have all classes at 50
The funnest way to do that is by leveling alts, Idk if this restriction applies if you are a returning player but if you have another character that is above lvl 50 you can go to the green hourglass icon marked on your map, there you can talk to Chromie to select an expansion to level in, and I repeat this works only for leveling once you hit level 50 you will get kicked out (yes i know its stupid). The other way is just get to max level and just do the quests on easy mode by one shoting everything.
Artefacts no longer work as a system but you can still unlock them for transmogs, most of the appearances are still earnable with the exception of the mage tower one that was exclusive to Legion only. Legendaries still drop but their effects are disabled, SL has new ones though which are craftable but you will need gold and grinding the new feature called Torghast (a roguelike dungeon but it gets very repetative).
Shadowlands systems are
Covenants- you join something like a faction and you get 2 new abilities (1 class specific 1 covenant specific). The covenants are unlocked after you complete the SL main story at max level. After you join a covenant they will also provide you with an additional story campaign. You will have to earn something called renown which atm is earnable from pretty much everything. At level 80 renown you can switch your covenant freely.
Soulbinds- Each covenant has 3 soulbinds which are essentially a talent tree.
Conduits- Each Soulbind has conduit slots. Conduits drop from doing all sorts of max level content and are essentially small upgrades for your character abilities.
Legendaries- Already explained. Craftable but you will need gold and grinding the new feature called Torghast (a roguelike dungeon but it gets very repetative). You will also need to find the lendary powers in order to craft them, the dungeon journal will show you all the available legendary powers and where to find them.
For a new players I think it’s good. They can experience several expansions with alts, I think it’s nice.
Only downside is scaling is a bit wacky, since after ~lvl15 more levels you get - weaker you become (you do more dps, but mobs takes much longer to kill, since mobs hp scale faster than player damage) until you hit SL, then once again you feel getting stronger.