Enjoying the Shadowlands Pre-Patch

Welp, I did it! I started over, and I am loving it. The “new” account was created in 2014 for Refer-a-Friend (my Vanilla account was the friend). It had zero heirlooms, zero collected gear, zero allied races, a handful of pets, about 500 achievement points, and a naked level 92 undead hunter with zero gold.

Starting over has freed my mind from the self-applied pressure of so many incomplete achievements and unrealized ideas… the burdensome weight of a bloated 15-year old account. I couldn’t do it before because I was mentally tied to the “investment” of all that time I spent playing. Starting over felt like throwing it away as if it never happened.

But I can do it now, and it feels good.

I’m playing a Night Elf druid and so happy to have Shadowmeld again. It’s such an excellent racial for druids.

When character models were upgraded in 2014, my original Night Elf druid was no longer my original Night Elf druid. I tried very hard to connect with one of the redesigned faces and just couldn’t. Eventually, I race and faction changed her to a Tauren.

Now, with enhanced character customization in Shadowlands, I can once again create a Night Elf druid that I love! I used beta for the sole purpose of playing with the new character creation tool.


That’s a before and after of my girl, Joralda. The etymology of her name is:


  • Hebrew name that means “autumn rain”


  • Quenya word that means “tree”
  • the first two initials of my first (al) and middle name (da)

Jora + alda means “autumn rain tree,” and I love her! Autumn is my favorite season, and Joralda wears it well. She is currently leveling in the druidy Val’ sharah, one of my favorite zones. She’s level 38 and I’m sure she’ll reach level 50 in time for Shadowlands.


I played beast mode feral for many years and am now playing balance and happily experiencing the celestial in-tune with nature side of my favorite class. I was puzzled by the flowers blooming at Joralda’s feet when she stood still. I tried to find the cause in her spell book or on her gear and had to look it up—it was because I transmogged G’Hanir as my weapon! I had no idea. This might be my permanent weapon transmog. 🍃🏵🌿

I’m making a significant effort to focus on Joralda and setting aside distracting thoughts. I don’t need to create a character for each armor class or buy all the gear or all the pets from a vendor—for the collection tab; not because I like the class, or the gear, or the pets. I feel like I’m retraining myself to play more mindfully.

This perspective is refreshing.

I am very much enjoying how the level squish makes Azeroth feel so much bigger! I haven’t been excited by WoW in a long time. Perhaps some of that excitement comes from the “new” feeling of starting over. And I do think this reset reignites a sense of discovery at what has changed.

Messing around with Chromie time, I discovered that Legacy Justice Quartermasters sell item-level 41 blue heroic gear for level 30s. It’s better than the purple epic gear—item level 37 and requires level 32—sold by the same vendor and others nearby. The blue gear has sockets, better stats, and is much more affordable. My druid is still wearing most of it at level 38.

For Alliance, you can buy the gear from Toren Landow in the Old Town part of Stormwind. He is upstairs in the same building as the PvP vendors. Rugok is the Horde vendor located on the platform above Grommash Hold in Orgrimmar.

These vendors are a must-stop shop for brand new level 30s!

Have you come across something new or surprising?

2 thoughts on “Enjoying the Shadowlands Pre-Patch

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