Mark of the Wild

First, the Gnomeling has re-enabled WoW. It turns out he couldn’t stand watching me PvP alone any longer, which is rather sweet. Especially since the final straw was when my priest got smothered by 90 percent of the opposing team in Arathi Basin and died rather fast. I’m really not sure what difference his presence would have made.

So we have finally got around to making our two little druids (his 4th and my 3rd). Which brings me to the rant bit. So you make your brand new character and start running around whatever flavour start zone goes with your race but nothing attacks you unless you smack it first. Perhaps fair enough for the first few quests, break new players in gently, but quest after quest, still facing yellow mobs seems a little unfair. I remember the days (you know the ones, when warlocks had to climb mountains barefoot in search of elusive soulshards and ret paladins were rare and fabled beasties that everyone had a story about, but no one had actually seen one) when that spider cave on Teldrassil was a dark and dangerous place. Each and every step inside had to be tentative, drop your guard once and flock of spiders would leap on your face. Now you can saunter through the place, hands in pockets whistling and they don’t even stop and look at you.

Having battled your way through a horde of green hairy limbs, you came to face with Mummy Spider. Big teeth, bad attitude… not any more. Now she’s more than happy to stand by whilst evil little elves make off with her eggs.

A candidate for Azeroth's most careless Mother award?

A candidate for Azeroth's worst Mother competition?

Now I don’t particularly like whining about how much harder the game used to be or how Blizzard have sold out to Casuals (a favourite refrain of some of my ex-guildmates) but I do think this creates a bit of a false impression. When the majority of mobs make a beeline for you, all teeth and claws, having this sense of kindergarten til lv 5 seems a bit too much. Githylss should be vile and nasty and fond of biting your face off, after all she’s a mother being robbed of her children, not to mention a rather large spider and the first challenge nightelves  face. Once you leave the safety of whichever start zone your new character calls home, the world becomes a much scarier place. Maybe our training leads should come off a little sooner.

TLDR version of above: Make Githylss vile again. Mobs with names should make you tremble as you sneak closer, not giggle as you waltz past.

The second thing which has been annoying me recently is heirlooms. Now I somewhat naively assumed that everyone would have heirlooms (well not everyone but certainly the majority) and that idea has swiftly been proved false. We entered WSG at lv 16 for some fun and much to our surprise discovered we had by far the most health. In some cases twice as much and that was without needing to go bear. Now, I’m against a two tier system. It hardly seems fair that just because this isn’t my first character, I can have far better second hand gear in a competitive PvP environment. After all, its not like I farmed the gear on the character who is wearing it, a la lv 80s. If Blizzard had wanted to give an experience boost to people rolling through content on alts, they could have just made that aspect of the heirloom gear into something like an armour patch which you could buff onto a character. So yes you would  level faster but the playing field isn’t so screwed in other ways.

Leading on from that is my third annoyance of the week. People who enter battlegrounds at lv 10, particularly those with sub 250 health. Apart from getting in the way, they don’t usually bring anything to the battle. Well, apart from being cannon fodder of course. I wish Blizzard had increased the number of battleground brackets, so that it went 10-14 and 15-19, 20-24, 25-29 etc. The difference between a lv 10 and a lv 19, especially when the latter is wearing heirloom gear and the former isn’t, is just too big.

Butter wouldn't melt in our mouths

My heirloom gear looks better than his, although I have to admit I don’t look particularly druidic or at one with nature.

4 Responses

  1. Your druid looks sweet in the heirloom gear. Makes me miss the days of leveling mine.

    I also noticed the changes in the starting areas, it felt odd having nothing attack.

  2. I know what you mean about the starting areas – I suppose they were trying to make it easier so that it was less frustrating for people levelling alts (I mean, the first time you sneak through a scary cave it’s tense, the 5th time you’re a bit bored…) BUT now it just feels like a pointless hoop jumping exercise. They might as well just automatically start you at level 5, as do that.

    Part of me wonders if it was a response to the whole x % of people stop playing WoW before they hit level 10 but, again, making the starting areas simpler strikes me as beating the wrong mole. I reckon most of the people who stop playing WoW before level 10 stop playing because they’ve seen what the game is going to be like for the next 80 levels and decided it isn’t for them.

  3. I’m really enjoying the leveling, always loved running around the low level areas because I think they are some of the prettiest in-game. I’d also forgotten how much fun low level druids are, Warsong Gulch is awesome with two druids double teaming the flag.

  4. Gah! Druids flag running in WSG was the bane of my PvP-slash-banking alt’s life for a good ten levels.

    I know what you mean about heirlooms. I would say “I don’t think they were designed with PvP in mind” but since you can get some of them *specifically* for PvP that’s probably not true. But only probably…

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