Last week I ended up getting access to the Shadowlands beta and while I haven’t done much testing so far what little I have done has been interesting. The first thing I noticed has been the reintroduction of several spells, known beforehand of course but still interesting especially since I now get to consider where in my toolkit those spells fit in and more importantly where I get to bind them—for this it will actually be rather nice to have the beta so I have all of that figure out before I have to stumble around with it on live.

With this introduction of several new spells looking for keybinds, I ended up rather sorely missing Clique since it meant that several keybindings I was used to being able to access were no longer accessible to me leading to something of a dearth of available binds; drawbacks of beta-testing I suppose.

Finally, actually getting into the content and playing it, once more the lack of haste hit me though for some reason not quite as badly as in the transition between Legion and Battle for Azeroth (except when I played Shadow for a short while, there it felt really painful to have almost no haste).

What I have done on the beta so far is the second evening of raid-testing the past week as well as a couple of introductory quest runs into Torghast, and so far it all seems rather promising if a bit disorienting with the aforementoned lack of certain keybindings leading to rather more relearning than usual. Of course, the content is all new and I haven’t really had to bother with the daily grind aspects of it so I guess there is a certain tendency towards optimism in it all, but it does somehow seem surprisingly nice even if I am still not quite sold on having to give up on transmogs I could be interested in, in order to enable me to actually get the abilities that I feel benefit me the most which is a situation having to choose a covenant still puts me in.

Also, there is a smaller irritation I have with the covenants, namely the flight between their base of operations and what seems to be the central hub of the expansions, I’m not sure the extra travel between these two places which will both be visited rather frequently by players is completely justified.

Beyond that, it’s a bit too early for me to give any more concrete feelings on the new expansion and it is all still a work in progress I endeavor to help make better where I can find the time so I’ll reserve final judgement for the release version but I do have a hint of more optimism in me towards the new expansion than I had previously, we will see how long that lasts.