Sunday, March 15, 2009

Played Lately: World of Warcraft

  • After a couple of months of WoW boredom, I have returned to Azeroth to continue my trek through Northrend. Not that I've gotten bored with my other games, but it's hard to give up on World of Warcraft permanently.

  • When I logged in after my recent hiatus, I found my recent level-capped mage on the doorstep of Zul'Drak, this expansion's troll kingdom. WoW loves its trolls, and this time they give them an undead flavor. When I initially left, I couldn't stomach another zone full of trolls. This time I could appreciate the stark desolate version of architecture that's usually surrounded by jungle vegetation. I also got into the very enjoyable quests helping the various fallen troll gods.

  • When I finally cleared the Zul'Drak quest achievement, I was happy to move on to Shalozar Basin. In comparison to the bleak, gray troll lands, Shalozar is lush and full of life. The first place I ended up was the Nesingwary Base Camp after being shot down by the Venture Company. As one would expect, I got a bunch of quests to depopulate the local wildlife. This time, though, the kill quests led to quests to track down the more dangerous prey. Overall, I think this is my favorite implementation of the Nesingwary hunting quests yet. It only took a couple days, but I was able to finish up in the basin and move on to the Storm Peaks.

  • Beyond questing, I've also spent a lot of time in Lake Wintergrasp. The most recent tweaks have changed the flow of the battle, leading the defenders to actually sally out of the fortress to make a counterattack on the southern towers. This is probably the most fun I've had in PvP outside of the occasionally good round of Alterac Valley.

  • This has also led to the only raiding I've done since Wrath of the Lich King launched, in the Vault of Archavon. Archavon the Stone Watcher is a PuGable (i.e. just about any group can do it) raid boss that can drop the tier 7 raid PvE or PvP set pieces. That's the actual gear, not the tokens. What that means it the odds of any one item appearing are crazy small. But getting a piece of gear here is like hitting a jackpot. On one lucky 10-man run where I was the only mage, both the Heroes' Frostfire Robe and the Heroes' Frostfire Leggings. Considering that I am not likely to every find my way into Naxxramus, I couldn't be happier.

  • With patch 3.1 on the horizon, I'm hoping to have cleared all the quests in Northrend so that I can be ready for the new content. Here's hoping Blizzard will actually have some worthy solo content in the patch to make all the effort worth the trouble.

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