Monday, February 26, 2007

Level 69

Well, I guess I'm completely under the spell now. Probably a good amount from 70 but I'll hit it this week whether I want to or not. I've seen about half of the 5 man instances so far and I've had some fun in each of them. Soon enough I'll have a flying mount (but not the epic one yet, I'm a bit from that joy).

My friend and I went a bit out of order on how we hit some of the zones. We went from Zangermarsh to Terrokar and ignored Blade's End even though Zangermarsh tried to send us to both Blade's End and Terrokar. From Terrokar we went to Nagrand, which was a little too high for us at the time but as we were duo-ing all the quests we more than held our own. Now both of us have only the last Wanted: quest left in Nagrand with no other quests to find, so I made my way to Shadowmoon Valley to pick up quests (figuring that would be the next zone we duo) and then ran up to Blade's End to start soloing those quests.

My general impression of the zones so far? Well, Hellfire Peninsula where you start is okay, but nothing mind blowing. It gets extra points for being the first zone and doing a good job of making you feel under siege when you first zone in. For the most part it's nothing amazingly different than the "old world" but I guess that's fine as there was nothing wrong with the old world. They took some time to make a few unique quests, but a lot of the quests were similar to things we've seen before.

Zangermarsh...hate. The thing is, the zone starts out so well. The landscape is amazing, you quickly gain rep with Cenarion Expedition and find some cool rewards, the Sporeggar are kind of cool. Then the quests really start to tax your patience. So many quests that involve going from one end of the zone to the other, so many quests that involve horrible drop rates, so many quests that just aren't in the same area and make quest stacking next to impossible. I have spent significantly more time in this zone than any of the others, and about 1/2 way through questing there I couldn't stand it any more.

Terrokar Forest is again okay. I really like the Bone Wastes area and the feel as you go into Auchindoin, but the rest of the zone feels like "generic forest area #3" with the added annoyance of those warp stalkers who seems to follow you on your mount forever. The druid place where the mana bomb had been set off is kind of a weird waste (fight a giant moth! Tell your friends!) but it led to a couple cool quests. The main thing Terrokar has going for it? It's laid out fantasically, quests stacked on top of each other if you take the time to find them all before starting out, it's your first experience with the Ethereals (who I dig) and it feels like you finish up there long before you hate the place.

Nagrand is really good. I like the alien feel of the zone, I found myself staring at the floating islands in the air and just admiring the look. Tons of ogres, and the ogres are always fun. The quest where you are creating war between two factions is at it's best when the two dumb ogres show up to help you plant the bodies at another ogre camp. That was a quest I would have found insanely annoying if not for the top notch work on the ogres talking to each other. The Ring of Blood was there, which is one of my favorite bits in the game so far. Also the Jump-O-Matic quest which is a fun diversion.

I won't make a final judgement on Shadowmoon Valley. I will say that entering through the demon army was very cool, and the "siege" feel of the zone is well done. Unfortunately, my general impression so far is that it's Blasted Lands 2.0. Hopefully that ends up not being the case.

Blade's I'm not done with the zone yet, but everything about this zone I love so far. I love entering through the cave, with a "kill spiders" quest on the way in to keep you from mounting up and ignoring the cave altogether. I love that all the quests in the first town send you to 1 of 2 areas, and the follow up quests all seem to go to the same place as well. I liked growing the elemental guardians (although I wanted to see them go rip some wolves up or something). I got to Toshley's Station and loved everything about that place. The inside jokes, the gnomes on fire, the fact that you can pick up 4-5 quests and then go talk to the clone guy who will slingshot you right over to wherever you need to be. The idea of being dropped into an area, questing and then riding back (1 way travel ftw) kept me from ever getting annoyed with travel, the quests were mostly unique, the gnomes were funny. What's not to like? Cap it off with the fantastic final quest of spinning the weather vane during your slingshot to the next quest area which I actually laughed out loud at, and so far everything has been peaches here.

I haven't even mentioned the landscape which is my favorite landscape in the game. It actually feels foreboding, it feels epic. I'm at my 3rd flight point so far in the zone and have had nothing but fun exploring and questing. This zone is exactly what they should be striving for.

No comments: