I’ve started a new Horde character on some pretty much random realm – this time an undead Mage, Celreth. I was never able to level a mage high enough, and I always disliked the old Forsaken questlines, especially the ones in Tarren Mill – I remember them as being full of unnecessary violence, poisoning people for no gain and other annoying stuff. I tried to level there a few times before, but always ended up disgusted and flying back to Kalimdor.
With the new questlines we got in Cataclysm the old world got revamped and I wanted to see if anything changed. I already saw the damage to Southshore and Hillsbrad on my warrior, but was there any story behind it?
Tirisfal Glades is mostly unchanged for the later part of the zone (at least if you disregard the plague spreaders in every city), but the first few levels are quite enjoyable. Being raised as a new Forsaken by one of the Val’kyr was definitely a surprise.
But even bigger surprises awaited me in Silverpine forest – seeing the place full of Forsaken fortifications and constant fighting with the worgen, witnessing the conversation between Sylvanas and Garrosh, assaulting Gilneas and finally learning who are the new inhabitants of Shadowfang Keep and why would we want to kill them. I don’t want to spoil too many things (thought it probably wouldn’t be a spoiler for too many people anyway), but as a Forsaken my mage has a very good reason to dispose of the three undeads.
And finally, Hillsbrad. After trying out how it is to be a cog in the Forsaken war machine and handing down few quests to idiots, I followed to the places I’ve just sent them. The first area – the Azurelode Mine – was quite boring, killing murlocs and capturing humans, but after going to the second quest hub it suddenly changed a bit – and for the weird. I landed in Hillsbrad in the middle of a quite strange conflict between a Forsaken Master Apothecary and another undead mad sciencist of sorts. It was even more weird that after cleaning one place of awful experiments and destruction of human life I was sent to Soutshore, which was also bombed with the plague – to continue experiments on the plague used by the Forsaken. Maybe the Apothecaries are just afraid that one mad scientist would become the next Putress.
While doing stuff in Southshore I’ve again encountered the last of the “idiots” I’ve gave out quests to at the start of the zone. I was expecting it at this point, seeing that I had to rescue the other two as well, but after finishing the first “idiot” quest I totally didn’t expect the quest chain that followed. The orc introduced as an idiot turned out to be more of a hero than my mage was. Again, not going to spoil it – just go and start Welcome to the Machine and continue the questline. You won’t be disappointed.
Oh, and by the way – it’s totally untrue that there are no reasons to group anymore. Near the yeti cave I’ve encountered a huge elite yeti with more than 5 times my health that’s an objective of a 3-man group quest. Of course I’ve tried soloing it, but that didn’t go very well – my frost nova was on a too long cooldown to reliably CC the yeti, and after I’ve finally got knocked back into some trees I died very quickly to its melee hits.
None of the quests or mobs were terribly hard, but I’m outleveling the zone a bit since I did a few dungeons earlier. I still managed to die a few times though if I wasn’t careful with pulling mobs.
Overall – as surprising and unexpected it is – for the first time I’m enjoying taking my new Forsaken mageling through her storylines. I think I’m gonna make more alts soon to see the rest of the new stuff. But for now, I’ll stick to this one and I hope to see more new stuff on the way. Hopefully it will be as enjoyable as the Kingslayer Orkus’ story.
Vrethir is finally 85 as of yesterday. I’ve done it by fully finishing quests in just three of the five new zones (Hyjal, Deepholm and Uldum) and doing a few of the dungeons plus some quests in Twilight Highlands. I thought it would take more time to get there, but somehow even the last level went quite fast.
Now to find some decent guild – I already have one in my sights, they even have some of my old guildies which is definitely a plus.
The road so far
After finishing the Mount Hyjal zone I was thinking that the quests and all the cutscenes there were epic. Now I have to admit that I was kind of wrong – Uldum is even better. From the starting cutscene with the caravan right to the ending with Brann Bronzebeard, it was just like being in a Warcraft version of Indiana Jones movie, with all kinds of stuff included – explosions, rope slinging, even a fricking cool plane chase.
A plane chase, in my World of Warcraft?!
I love it. It’s my new favourite zone to quest in. And I don’t really care that all the cutscenes and phasing is making it more of a singleplayer game than a MMO, not when the result is something that awesome. And questing was always mostly a singleplayer thing anyway – now it’s even more like that as they’ve done away with all the group quests.
One thing that annoys me though is that all the phasing sometimes likes to mess with spawning of ore nodes – quite too often I’d see some elementium vein and fly over just to change into another subzone and phase the vein out. Annoying.
Another thing I’m a bit disappointed about is fishing. I still remember blue posters on forums going “ooh we’re making fishing fun” and what do we get? Skillups from the fishing daily and a new cursor… and I’m not sure if the cursor wasn’t added in Wrath at some point. Not really what I was expecting… At least the Archeology is somewhat fun.
I will have to level Vaeria, my tauren kitty, or else my friends are going to seriously harm me if I don’t. Fortunately that’s going to be another week or so once I’ll finally get her out of Northrend. Then there are all kinds of random alts here and there…
Also I’ve logged onto Misaka a few days ago just to see a frozen guild with a motd saying something like “we be doing undergeared stuff in The Pug, come join there”. Too bad, as I don’t really like the idea of The Pug and having to do AH to get gold to pay for gear. I have no problems playing the AH game and getting money out of it, but it’s not what I’m after. I have no doubt that it’s good for the goblin-minded individuals and it definitely works, but still it’s just a bit annoying.
I was thinking about making a worgen priest there only for doing the Undergeared stuff and PvP. Getting some blue gear shouldn’t be that much of a problem. Or maybe I’ll make that priest there and just level it when I’m bored and we’ll see what happens when I’m 85. Definitely not going to transfer Misaka there, though. For now I think I’ll leave her with her Wrath blues and achievements as I’m having enough fun on my warrior.
Done all the quests in Mount Hyjal yesterday, something like 1/4th of Deepholme and Vrethir is at 70% of level 83. So far it’s going much faster than I’ve expected – and it’s even more amusing when you think about the fact that I’m leveling him in protection spec. I do have Arms for my secondary one, but I haven’t really used it yet.
Haven’t tried tanking anything either, at least not yet. Maybe I should check out the Blackrock instance soon, from the videos it sounds like it could be fun. And I’m kind of missing groups and tanking in general. I’m still running without a guild, though, as I haven’t found anything interesting yet – there were two of them recruiting in trade chat, but I couldn’t find anything on the internet about them, and didn’t find any familiar names in the guild’s rosters on armory, so I’ve skipped them for now.
Oh, and Mount Hyjal was an awesome zone to level in. Quite epic and all the transition and ingame cutscenes were really adding to the experience. Not to mention the final battle, which felt like good old times with Sartharion.