Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Played Lately: World of Warcraft

  • There is so much great stuff in this expansion, it's hard for me figure out what to write about. So if this post seems a little random, well, you've been warned.
  • I have to carry on a little about the two starting zones here. Howling Fjord is an amazing starting zone. From my first landing and through all my explorations, I was completely immersed in the placiness of it all. A lot of love and care went into making the entire zone a beautiful, but lived-in world. Throw in a lot of fun quests and I haven't enjoyed the environment in the game since Zangarmarsh. As other people have mentioned, Borean Tundra is not so much. It feels like a conglomeration of minizones, each with its own identity, but seperate from those around it. There is still a lot to enjoy about it, but it definitely comes in second place.
  • There are two quest areas in Howling Fjord that stand out, though: Gjalerbron and Scalawag Point. Gjalerbron is a large vrykul fortress of slavers, liches, necromancers, and a frostwyrm. There is so much to do here, I got the feeling that I was infiltrating and sabotaging their operations. Plus killing a frostwyrm was very cool. Scalawag Point, on the other hand, is a crazy mix of quests to ingratiate myself with the pirates, both to recover some vrykul artifacts and to stop pirating activities. Any quest that has you boarding a ghost ship to help bombard a giant elemental has to go down as a highlight in anyone's book. Killing the pirate captain by chasing him into the waiting maw of his pet grizzly bear was hilarious as well.
  • On Tuesday night, I was able to cajole a few of my guild mates to run Azjol-Nerub with me. I have heard that the instance is not that hard for the level, so bringing a couple level 71's did not seem unfeasible. We ended up finding a healer and a tank, so the three of us just brought the pain. At least, that's what we tried to do. The tank could not hold aggro to save his or our lives. We made some lame excuses and left the party. I was bummed out that I had put together such a lame group, but my guild leader rallied me to try again.
  • This time around, we had much better results. Although we lost our warlock, the guild leader switched to healing, a guild paladin came to tank, and a PUG shaman and hunter came along. This was what A-N was supposed to be like. While The Nexus and Utgarde Keep were more traditional dungeons, Azjol-Nerub felt like a 5-man raid. There was very little trash to clear, but that made the trash more interesting to fight. Both of the first two bosses start with multi-pull gauntlet and are fun fights to learn. I don't remember how many times we wiped on the second boss, but we knew we could figure it out. Then we took two tries on the last boss because we didn't know there was a gate that closes after he aggros. So far, Blizzard is three for three on the instance. I'm excited to see what's next.
  • Beyond all this, I've absolutely fallen in love with the new capital city, Dalaran. But that's a post for another day.

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