Training wings and learning to fly

In one fell swoop I gained mount number 190 and the ability to fly in the Broken Isles.

Flying almost seemed like an anti-climax. I couldn’t think of areas that I immediately wanted to explore, whose unreachable heights had me hankering to suddenly search them out. I even found myself still riding along the ground, having forgotten I could take to the skies almost as quickly as I’d earned the right.

Then I remembered, that area of Suramar which had long tempted me. I assume it’s part of the Nighthold raid but I still wanted to have a proper look at it because it’s on the map.

It’s definitely pretty and I love the fountain with it’s two modes of display but I’m still searching for that special spot. What has inspired me though is the rest of the Suramar quest chain, the idea of Elves putting aside petty quarrels even for a short while to work together against a common foe appeals to me as does sneaking around like a sparkling guerrilla. There is no denying that there is something very rotten at the heart of Suramar.

I might even make myself run the Nighthold when I reach the end of the chain, just to complete the zone of course.

The Owl and Pussycat

The Owl and pussycat suffered some sort of transformation malfunction apparently and we Priests have adopted the unfortunate result. Oddly enough I have yet to see another Priest riding one.

What is Priestly about this I really don’t know. The glitter trail combines well with the one from my legendary and the one from my staff though. Having tried all three flavours, I think the Holy one is my preferred choice but it’s just a bit too big and unwieldy.

If you haven’t finished the 100 Demon killing quest on the Broken shore, the baby spiders in the Creeping Grotto count and can be aoe’d down really quickly.

Squatters Rights

As part of my Class Hall chain, I was invited to Light’s Hope Chapel. The “Class Hall” envy set in approximately three seconds after arrival.


It seems that Priests are just like vampires, once across the threshold, we’re virtually impossible to get rid of.


Snow and her Moonkin/Feral Druid experiment pet creature are staying put and from my Underbelly experiences, it’s going to take a lot of Paladins to evict her.

On a Quest for the Best Quests : Dustwallow Marsh Alliance

Edit: Thanks to @spacebard for pointing out my Freudian slip with the name of the zone, as I prefer the place at twilight or dusk I have a terrible habit of calling it Duskwallow plus I suspect the correct name annoys me on some basic level because it’s not dusty in the slightest.

Leveling my Warlock has made me realise one fairly important fact, well two if you count that it highlights just how much I’m a creature of habit. Each zone seems to have at least two or three attractions within it, things which even if I’m just passing through I tend to be lured towards. Obviously this comes down to personal opinion and preferences but now I find myself wondering if this is true of every zone in game. Is there something  whether it’s because of the lore, the rewards or just the quirkiness which makes each individual zone interesting and worth repeating?

Well there is only one way to find out!

Today I want to look at Dustwallow Marsh, a zone I’ve always loved even back in the days when the Alliance barely had any quests here apart from the wonderfully convoluted “The Missing Diplomat” which had you running around Azeroth in search of the missing King. I know we could hardly be hunting Varian when he’s standing brooding in the Keep, but I wish when they redesigned the zone, they had left in the bit where Jaina and the Archmage port in to capture the bad guys.


The one quest chain I always complete when I wander through the Marsh is that tragic tale of Smiling Jim and his unlucky family. There is something about Jim with his broken mind, perhaps the one person in the walled city for whom the destruction of Theramore was a blessing which always inspires me onwards to track down those responsible and of course to lay a wreath on the grave of his wife and son.

Flicking through my archives, I wrote about this chain way back in 2010 before Cataclysm ripped everything asunder and it’s interesting that unlike most quests in Azeroth it hasn’t actually changed much between now and then. The bread crumb from the Wetlands is gone but the essence of the chain remains the same.


The second quest I tend to make a bee-line for is that terrible tale of a sea monster  named Tethyr. The chain begins with a quest to help a curious Gnome restart the Theramore Lighthouse and then once  you’ve got it going again, you learn from Nat Pagle that not only are legends of a sea monster off Theramore real but that Tethyr was the real reason they closed the lighthouse in the first place.

Yes, Tethyr is certainly real, and he lives in the waters off Theramore.

Has a thing for bright lights. He’s the reason they shut down the lighthouse in the first place, you know…

And if you light it up again, he’ll come right back. But no one in their right mind would do that.

Everyone’s favourite in-game fisherman and of course giant monsters with huge teeth are always going to be a winning combination.

The Marsh is also the location of my favourite escort quest in the whole of Azeroth although to be fair that’s not particularly hard since I hate the rest of them with a passion.  Escorting Stinky through the marshlands as he pauses searching for what you assume the first time around is some tiny little flower hidden in the long grasses and swamp waters and saving him from angry crocodiles is fun enough by itself but that moment when you realise that plant which has taken him five minutes to find is actually the giant root you can see for miles…

The last thing I always do is pay Oxynia a visit in her lair and ponder the issue which has bothered me since the first time I killed her way back when, exactly who is the father of all those whelps? Our Priest chat* at the time decided it was either Bolvar or Marshal Windsor (well he knew she was Dragon…) although there are exceedingly dodgy theories out there on the internet if you are feeling brave enough to search for them.

*No one actually talked about Priesting, unless you count loot.

Afraid of the Dark

Like Webster, I’m rather obsessed with death. I love the dark and all that crawls in it, am drawn to Halloween and overly fond of skeletons. Thus is probably comes as no surprise that all my Alliance characters level through Duskwood, the closest the Alliance comes to a properly creepy zone.


Not only does Duskwood have some of the best rare spawns, it also has some of the most engaging and interesting quest chains.


Whenever I’m passing through, I pop up to Beggar’s Haunt to see if the Unknown Soldier is meditating on his own tomb. Despite the eyes gleaming from the undergrowth, I can find peace in amongst the trees and shadowy nooks.


Over all though, it’s the flow of the quests and the little details which draw me back time and time again. From everyone’s favourite sneaky Undead pausing by his own tombstone to the way in which the quest chains play out, Duskwood has it all. Sadness, spookiness, Worgen quest givers in a setting which makes sense, revenge and murder… who could ask for more.


If I had to live anywhere in WoW, taking rooms at the Scarlet Raven would be a distinct possibility. After all, I doubt it would ever be boring.

If Haribo made Dragons..

They’d look like this:

So I’ve finally got around to finishing up my Netherwing reputation, it’s only taken me the better part of three expansions but I got there in the end. Pre-account wide mounts I wasn’t particularly interested in the jelly dragons because I didn’t see any of my characters ever using them. The idea of everything being shared changed my mind slightly because I can see my little Gnomish warrior flying about on one.

Despite doing it very slowly, I think the Netherwing grind is the perfect example of how non dungeon related reputation should work.

You start with a quest chain which introduces you to the faction and sets the scene. We learn about these poor mistreated dragons who are falling from the sky exhausted and progress from there. The chain then cumulates in what was a fairly tough group encounter, the demise of  Zuluhed the Whacked. I seem to remember helping an awful lot of people kill him in one of those little rooms off his courtyard.

Once you hit neutral, you have dailies to contend with but with each new level of reputation reached, you get more dailies to complete. There is also a good mix of quests from the Booterang which always makes me smile to the Deadliest Trap ever laid as well as one off quests mixed in. For example you have to make your own booterang before you can start throwing it at lazy peons which is a wonderful touch. Most importantly though I love the fact that you can supplement your daily rep gain by farming eggs as well as doing dailies. I wish all reputations followed the same pattern, offering you a choice of dailies or the ability to farm a specific item or a combination of both.

You also get disguises, okay it only works in a couple of specific zones in Shadowmoon Valley but disguises are always good. Then there are the trinkets which summon a whelping to fight with you, despite their bag space consumption, things like this are always useful to have.

Finally, hitting exalted isn’t the end. You get to have a meeting with the big bad guy, in this particular case Illidan who of course sees straight through our Orc disguise and is less than impressed. (Fascinating how when these bad guys project themselves places, they are always bigger than when you meet them face to face).

Although he does a great line in name calling,

This might become my go to response next time someone tries to explain away the fact that they ignored the healer/flag or anything else of crucial importance in PvP.

You get rescued by a Dragon pretending to be  Goblin which wraps up his “interest” in any Netherwing eggs you happen to find lying around nicely and flown off to bond with a sweetie coloured drake. The fact that you can then buy the other five drakes you didn’t pick is just icing on the lollipop.

It might be a reputation grind but it’s well paced enough to distract you with it’s various quests, items and rewards.

To Bias or not to Bias, that is the question

Whilst flicking through the search engine terms which lure unsuspecting people to my blog, I noticed this:

blizzard horde bias is getting worse

The more I thought about it, I realised I’d seen lots of similar comments littering the forums. So is it true? Do the developers favour one side over the other? I admit I’m not particularly happy about the forthcoming destruction of Theramore but that’s simply because I happen to like the place not because I believe that the developers are out to get “us”. It’s got beautiful sunsets, a handy beach and a lot of memories for me.

The first pawn on the chess board of what is to be the story for Mists of Pandaria is being moved, and you’re angry at whose turn is first? I only offer that maybe there’s a little more to the Horde and Alliance story lines in Mists than an Alliance town being leveled… like the entire expansion story you don’t know about yet. 😉

Quote from here. However you can’t just look at this in vacuum, you have to consider what’s come before. Let’s start by looking at the conflicts/territory the Alliance have already lost. Now I realise that all these losses aren’t just to the Horde but bear with me.

The ruins of Southshore and an absence of closure.

Let’s take Southshore as a starting point. Yes, it had great significance to me because as a vanilla Pvper, I have lots and lots of happy memories of pvping between Southshore and Tarren Mill but I accept that the Alliance having more zones than the Horde for questing purposes was unfair. I also accept that it was a logical territory to lose. Where I start to get annoyed is with the lack of storytelling. What happened to all the townsfolk of Southshore… as Alliance you don’t get any answers what so ever. All those people just wiped out or forced to choose between being turned into a Worgen or a Forsaken and we don’t give a damn. I know that if you play Horde through Silverpine Forest you do get answers (and if you haven’t done that.. then go now and do it!) but that’s not good enough.

Arathi Highlands is still completely underdeveloped and would have been the perfect place to tell Southshore’s story from the Alliance perspective. After all, if Southshore was helpless against Sylvannas’s war machine what chance does the Refuge Camp have. There should be more refugees, proper fortifications and quests to spy on the Forsaken camp in Arathi. Perhaps quests even to fly gryphons into Hillsbrad itself to see the damage for ourselves. It’s touched on briefly with the Quae and Kinelory chain but there should be more. Perhaps a continuation of the Quae/Kinelory chain which has you gathering ingredients for a Mage, get X herbs from the Trolls, Y crystals from the Ogres and some imbued water from Stromgarde crypt. Once you have everything, you get to stare into a crystal ball and view the same cutscene that Horde see, showing you the fate of the Hillsbrad villagers. From there, you could be sent to Stormwind to make sure the proper authorities know what happened.

Then in Stormwind, the NPCs should have dialogue about  the Forsaken attack, perhaps someone bemoaning the loss of a family member or complaining about Varian’s inaction. What about some angry Southshore Worgen, railroaded into a terrible choice, why aren’t they howling from the rooftops. We all know this tentative peace won’t last, the hatred goes too deep and that’s what I find so frustrating. Blizzard have already painted in the background but are holding off on the detail work.

Next up Gilneas.

Now I’ve played through it on three characters now and each time when it’s over I think to myself “that’s it?”. I had to escape MY home town through a tunnel filled with vermin. I had to watch as the Forsaken invaded, used my friends as slave labour and slaughtered people with their plague yet I seem fairly happy on escaping to start running errands for the Night Elves. Why aren’t the inhabitants of that tree in Darnassus demanding justice and revenge? Why aren’t we at least talking of war on the Horde, instead of standing around making polite conversation and no doubt sipping cups of tea. That chapter shouldn’t just end with the Worgen arrival in Teldrassil. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there should be a full out assault on Gilneas or any of the Horde lands. Just that the occasional quests and the random NPC dialogues should mention what the Worgen have lost. Greymane lost his son yet he stands in Stormwind Keep handing out platitudes, “Gilneas will rise again”… “Not if you just stand here it won’t”. Adding a dialogue option in which he says something about his desire for revenge wouldn’t hurt. He and Varian could be warmongering quite happily with Anduin trying to convince them that killing isn’t the answer as an occasional dialogue.

Where is Lorna Crowley and why don’t the Alliance have any quests relating to the Gilneas Liberation Front?

Yes, playing through content on both sides is great but you shouldn’t have to play the opposing faction to find out what happened to characters you spent the first 12-14 levels fighting side by side with. Due to phasing, as Alliance we can’t even go and look for them. Their story just comes to an abrupt end once you destroy the Horde airship, at least as far as we get to see.

The neutering of Night Elves.

Then we come to the Night Elves. Their forests are being systematically destroyed and Elves are being tortured in their own heartlands. The Goblins vandalised Azshara when no one was looking, even though it was ancestral Elven land and that’s before we even touch on the “BOMB”. How patient are these people? Why aren’t there Night Elves coming to Darnassus/Stormwind talking of war, or at least registering their displeasure at what the Horde are doing. Why is the bulk of Sentinel Army parked in Feralas rather than actually fighting something? When you speak to Tyrande all she has to say is “May Elune light your path”, very useful in a time of war that so perhaps Fandral had a point about her ability to lead her people. There are so many opportunities to move the struggle between the factions forward and yet they are the road currently not taken.

The damp squib which was the Battle for Andorhal.

Oh, well, we lost. I’m off to rescue my boyfriend from the clutches of the Banshee Queen, don’t bother telling anyone too important because they won’t do anything and besides it hardly matters because the Forsaken aren’t harassing our farmers thirty feet away from the town they just won. Oh, here have a cool-looking staff as compensation.

Notice  that Sylvanas is hands on, overseeing her battle plans even if it is in disguise yet despite Andorhal surely being a key battle, especially with Southshore lost, we don’t send anyone more senior than Thassarian to co-ordinate the attack. On that note, both Sylvanas and Garrosh show up during a variety of questlines as Horde. The Alliance on the other hand, well Tyrande and Malfurion are clearly making up for lost time. Varian is too busy commissioning statues of himself and the three Dwarves are babysitting or arguing.

On a unrelated note, can we please find out if Thassarian succeeded in rescuing Koltira sometime soon.

Even the Weather and Deathwing play Horde!

I included the lands ravaged by the weather/an angry Dragon as well because I want to highlight the inconsistencies. Auberdine and Feathermoon Stronghold took the brunt of the bad weather yet the the Horde bases on the same coastline were fine. Although Shadowprey Village looks like it would blow away in a strong breeze, it managed to withstand the Cataclysm without the dock breaking up or any of the houses falling down. A whole district in Stormwind was destroyed, killing surprise surprise a bunch of Night Elves and yet no one says anything or has made any move to rebuild it.

The Thousand Needles was flooded yes but other than that what Horde lands suffered due to the Cataclysm? I’d argue that Durotar was improved by the addition of water, after all, now it’s impossible to get stuck down in Thunder Ridge. Whilst Stormwind was being knocked down, Orgrimmar was being built up although we still have an awesome dock and they’ve got a Goblin slum.. so, that’s pretty much equal really I’d say.

A Slaughter of Taurens.

Finally I want to look at the most significant Horde loss of Cataclysm, Camp Taurajo. Like Southshore it was presented as a fait accompli, yet as Horde you have the opportunity to get a kind of closure. It’s the emotive, gut wrenching story-line that Southshore could have been. It gives even the most mild-mannered characters a reason for wanting to fight the Alliance. Like Silverpine Forest, it’s a must play through for all my Horde characters because not only does it re-enforce the bloody pointlessness of war, Camp T makes you want to seek revenge and more importantly the story allows you to do so. Something the Alliance have been denied on front after front but wait a minute, the Taurens lost their faction leader, Cairne Bloodhoof. The flooding of the Thousand Needles hit them the hardest and their mortal enemies the Grimtotem are up to all sorts of mischief both in the Thousand Needles and in Stonetalon (not to mention being armed by the Alliance). Then of course there was the Grimtotem attempt to seize  power in Thunder Bluff, a plan which almost worked and resulted in the deaths of many more Taurens. Yet no one is accusing Blizzard of being anti-Tauren, well not yet anyway.

A conclusion of sorts.

I know they say “Revenge is dish best served cold” but it just feels as Blizzard have ignored so many opportunities to push for conflict in Cataclysm. Compare the way they handled the destruction of Auberdine with the way we lost Southshore. One is brilliant storytelling which jerks at your heartstrings. The other doesn’t exist, at least for the Alliance. So that’s why I’m angry at the thought of losing Theramore. I see a string of missed opportunities to move both sides towards the inevitable and on the Alliance side at least, great gaps in the storytelling. The former I can live with, the latter I find inexcusable. The Destruction of Theramore is not the the “first pawn” on the chessboard, it’s more akin to the last one. Already we have skirmishes going badly across Azeroth, the Horde using “illegal” weapons (the Bomb in Stonetalon/the Plague in Gilneas/Hillsbrad), torture (Ashenvale/Darkshore) and yet we still need more reasons to go to war… really?

Certainly I think Varian Wrynn for the Alliance really needs to be the kind of character that players really look up to and see as a major world figure. And I think if you ask players right now, they don’t quite see him that way yet.

Dave Kosak on Varian Wrynn. This quote from Blizzard’s lead quest designer does suggest that both Jaina and her city are sacrificial pawns in the game of “make Varian more awesome”. I  just wish they weren’t pushing the most “vanilla” of all the faction leaders on us. He’s male, white, heterosexual and bad tempered, how exciting. I just need to go out on a Saturday night and I’ll encounter plenty of men who are exactly the same (only most of them have better hair).

That said, do I cry bias? no I don’t. There will be always be points in the story that people don’t like, perhaps the zones being destroyed had a lot of personal memories, perhaps they don’t like the direction a  particular character is being moved in or perhaps they’re just looking for something to complain about on the forums.  For each piece of personal knee jerk reacting, there is a logical explanation out there. I remember playing one of the Civ games where the further from your capital the harder it was to keep order, now that makes sense so if we apply to that WoW, Azshara is right on the Horde’s doorstep but a long way from Darnasssus. You could also argue that due to the weather/angry Dragon that the Alliance actually got some of the best storytelling in Cataclysm, Darkshore is heartrending for example, especially if you played a Night Elf through the zone as it was before. As for the battle for Andorhal, perhaps we’re looking at wrong. Maybe it’s not purely about the Horde versus the Alliance, perhaps it’s about showing the Alliance that Sylvanas has the Val’kyr under her control or about advancing the relationship between Thassarian and Koltira or a mixture of both. I didn’t like Cairne dying which is strange because I used to participate in his death on a regular basis. I don’t like the fact that Sylvanas attempted suicide but I’m going to wait to pass judgement. Each expansion is merely a chapter and until the last one is written we don’t know who is going to end up on top and more importantly we don’t know the events which bring that victory to pass. Our own history should have taught us that the victors of the first few battles often lose the war.


Here are some of  the previous inhabitants of Southshore, the ones I’ve managed to track down.

  • Henry Maleb, Magistrate: Worgen and imprisoned in Shadowfang Keep. There is no quest line or dialogue options for him.
  • Darla Harris: Ex-Gryphon Master, now Bat-Handler and Forsaken. Not surprisingly doesn’t talk to the Alliance.
  • Caretaker Smithers: Now Worgen, living in Silverpine Forest and as the Horde you get a quest to kill him. As Alliance he has nothing to say to you.
  • Loremaster Dibbs: Makes a brief appearance as a Worgen during the Horde quest chain in Silverpine Forest.
  • Phin Odelic: Fights and dies alongside Loremaster Dibbs during the Horde quest chains in Silverpine Forest.

The Levelling Game

Up until Cataclysm hit I was a complete quest junkie. I earned my Loremaster colours with pride and loved hunting down obscure and hidden quests. Since then, however, I’ve undergone a change of heart. Part of what made questing amazing for me, was the fact that you wandered into a town, a bit like a gunslinger in the Old West (or at least how I imagine it) and had your pick of dubious jobs needing doing. Kill some bad guys, fetch some bits of bear, find a lost child/pet/turtle, your quest log would fill up nicely and then you could run around doing bits and pieces as you chose.

The emphasis there should be on “chose”. Each zone always had it’s horrible quests, in my case usually the pick ups with low drop rates. However by alt number 3 you knew which ones to avoid in any given zone. Then came along Cataclysm and it’s revamped zones, where there is no avoiding that horrible quest you hate because it leads onto four or five awesome ones. Quest lines which have no relation to each other are linked in such a way to cause maximum pain.

Take for example Un’Goro Crater which was one of my favourite zones for much of the game. You arrived at Marshal’s Refuge and then you loaded up on quests. You could get a good one and half levels rambling around, collecting bones, killing dinosaurs and saving A-Me. Now though, oh how things have changed. Before you can rescue Ringo, you have to climb about taking hot spot temperatures. Two things which are completely unrelated, especially since the quest text when you return from dropping thermometers  into lava pools specifically says:

My good friend Spraggle has been fretting about something for some time now. I’d help her, but as you can see, I’m pretty comfortable right now.

Could you check in with her and see what she needs?

Oh she’s been fretting for some time you say? About the same amount of time I spent climbing the same mountain Ringo happens to be unconscious up? Perhaps even longer. It wouldn’t have hurt the flow of the zone to allow you access to both quests at once. What ever happened to offering us choice? Was having a full quest log deemed too complex for the average WoW player?

For the first time, in my six years of playing WoW, I found myself looking for other methods of levelling when it came to my latest alt.

Which brings me to my other issue with questing at the moment.  The quest rewards are paltry compared to the other aspects of the game. Dungeon blues are way ahead as are the items you can obtain through PvP (particularly below lv 60). This discrepancy isn’t just one or two levels below the PvP/Dungeon blues, its a good five to ten. Mr Harpy was still wearing his Stockades quest reward hat a good fifteen levels later because no quest had offered a replacement. So not only do you have to wade through tedious quests to get to the interesting ones, there are barely any items to look forward to either.

Levelling through PvP and dungeons on the other hand, not only allows you to garner a better understanding of your new class as you go (assuming you can stay alive) but offers proper rewards, both in terms of levelling items but also honor and then justice points which can be used to gear yourself at 85. It’s a win win situation but no matter how much I love PvP (and I do), I can’t help but feel sad every time I go out to quest with my pathetically empty quest log. I usually last until the first pick up quest before I hit the battleground queue.

Taking time to smell the flowers

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.


Walking in the Air

This is Kimimela, druid number 4.

She’s shown here kidnapping a Murloc which might sound like a horribly undruidic thing to do but said murloc will be far happier being looked after by a nice Undead than shivering on a nasty diseased beach. Honest.

I knew even before 4.03 hit that I wanted my first run through the new quests to be on levelling characters rather than breezing through one shotting everything on my main. The problem therefore lay in what variety of alt to roll. My original plan was to transfer one of my three existing druids (two of which have been around since Vanilla) but then I decided I’d just start from scratch. Picking a race proved slightly tricky as I dislike both Tauren hands and Troll feet but since Kimi will be primarily a caster, berserking and huge feet won out.

She is now lv 44 and working her way through the Eastern Plaguelands, pocket healer in tow as Mr Harpy is levelling a Holy Priest. Although his idea of healing seems to be popping down Lightwell and smiting stuff.

I started by doing the Echo Isles, which left me slightly traumatised but the baby raptors and of course riding a runaway raptor were great fun. All in all, the first five levels which used to be the most painful of all 80 went by nice and fast and more importantly interestingly.

From there we went to Tirisfal Glades to do a spot of Murlocnapping and then into Silverpine. Without wanting to spoil it for anyone, I would definitely recommend doing the whole of Silverpine. The storyline is gripping, it feels as if you are actually playing an important part in moving the events along and most importantly you get re-enact a scene from the Snowman.

Walking in the Air

I also had a quick peek into the Ruins of Gilneas. The buildings and the scenery are fabulous, I could have spent hours wandering around taking screenshots. It definitely cemented my desire to make a Worgen once they are available even though I’m not too sure about the look of them. Basically I’m blown away, I was worried about the removal of certain quest chains but so far everything I’ve seen (apart from Arathi Highlands) has been ten times better. The use of cut scenes, the humour and sometimes sadness in the quest text, the reappearance of familiar quest givers and the fact that you don’t always have to hike five miles for each quest has made levelling a far more pleasurable experience than previously.

There are however a couple of things bugging me. First of all the number of people doing these quests on their mains. It is rather hard to compete with 80s who can one shot everything, especially in pick up quests. Then of course there are the ones who repeatedly kill you over and over again. In those 44 levels, we’ve only been attacked by once by people of our own level and technically they thought they were going two v one because I was stealthed at the time. The other 10 plus times it’s been 80s and not being able to even land a spell on them is annoying. I realise why people are doing it, after all half my guild are doing the quests on their mains for achievement points and I’m a Loremaster myself so it might seem a bit hypocritical to complain. However I’m actively avoiding doing the quests on a high level character right now, it’s something I intend filling in whilst waiting for battlegrounds and levelling archaeology at some point after 85. I’ve always felt that experiencing the quests at the level they are intended for is so much better than running through them at the level cap. It’s like running the Stockades at level 80, there is no challenge, no risk and no real worthwhile reward.

Also if you are going to kill my alt and then spam spit on my corpse, please have the courtesy to hang around so my main can return the favour.

The other issue is one of respawn timers. There we were in the Hinterlands, me, Mr Harpy and a 80 mage. The only three Horde in the zone and we just so happened to all be at exactly the same point in the chain. Mr Harpy loots the box and we wait and we wait and we wait and we wait. Four minutes goes by, five and no box. By this time, we’re starting to second guess ourselves thinking maybe it spawns in different locations. The Mage starts to run around a bit and by the six minute mark, I’m starting to wonder if it’s bugged. Then, suddenly with a twinkling of sparkles, the box reappears. Me and the Mage rush for it both frantically clicking, luckily I won and we rode off leaving the Mage to wait another 6 to 7 minutes. Imagine doing that quest chain in a party of five….

So go do Silverpine, make a Horde alt if you’re Alliance as it’s well worth it,  it’s my favourite zone so far. The other thing which has to be a contender for the best thing I’ve found so far is the rollercoaster ride in Azshara.


I could ride this back and forth all day.