I haven’t really had time to write about my journey to 85. The last ten days has been a hectic swirl of quest, quest, quest, dungeon, dungeon, raid, raid, raid. However, we’re now at 8 out 12 bosses killed and things are starting to calm down a bit.
First of all, I play on a PvP server (EU Auchindoun) and we (the Horde) are heavily outnumbered. World PvP otherwise known as ganking can usually be found all over the place so I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the questing part of our levelling plan. We ran guild Blackrock Caverns until 82 but that still brought us out into Deepholm surrounded by Alliance. However much to my amazement, we weren’t attacked at all all the way to 85. We killed mobs side by side with plenty of Alliance groups but no one threw as much as a white hit our way.
As for the questing, I have one issue with it. Why oh why is it so linear. Arrive somewhere, pick one or two quests which usually involve pickups and then be unable to move forward with the storyline until you’ve completed those one or two objectives. I much preferred the old model of arriving into a hub and being able to collect 10 or so quests. Wandering around doing multiple things always feels far more “real” than one guy sending you off to pick up crocolisk eyes and coming back to find the person standing next to him has just decided he wants a herb from the very same swamp said crocolisks were swimming in. I ended up feeling slightly foolish as I ran backwards and forwards running several errands which I felt I should have been able to complete at the same time. The funnelled feeling also makes spawn camping a nightmare as fifty people are all trying to kill the same ten mobs to progress. Yet instead of being able to go off and do the quests in a different order, we had to stand there, in my case spamming holy nova ready to tag the next one.
Visually, I’ve been blown away.
From Hyjal through Deepholm to Twilight Highlands there is so much stunning scenery. My new favourite NPC has to be Therazane, with her passing resemblance to the Venus of Willendorf.
My least favourite is quite possibly Harrison Jones. By the time I finished Uldum it felt as we were replaying Lego Indiana Jones rather than World of Warcraft. There is such a thing as too many cutscenes, especially when they are prone to bugging out when done in a party. Watching your character run over sand dunes for a good three minutes is not fun. Neither is skipping them and missing out on part of the story. Where is the sense of feeling that you are at least in semi control of your destiny, rather than falling into one scripted disaster after another. I’m a hero with two dead Old Gods on my CV yet a bunch of pygmies with hyenas and pointy sticks was enough to bring me to my knees. Rather than lining up his resurrected children (who have already been found wanting), Deathwing should be hiring pygmies to defend his sanctum.
The camels and the view made it all worthwhile though.
As for the dungeon and raid content, I’m fairly impressed. I wouldn’t say any of the raid fights on normal have been hugely hard but I’ve definitely enjoyed several of the encounters a lot more than I did most fights in Wrath. Magmaw, Atramedes and the Twilight Council spring to mind as my favourites so far.
The added icing on the cake was tonight my Lightwell provided over 2 million healing. Now that’s something I never expected to see.