Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another blogger alt post

Apparently, 'every Wow blogger on the planet has an alt post' (see comments) so I wouldn't want to disappoint! :)

With my guild taking a break from raiding the last couple weeks, there hasn't been a lot going on from an organizational standpoint.

So, what does one do?

Of course, I have spent a little time familiarizing myself with my leveling (frost) spec and am fairly comfortable with it, so I feel reasonably ready to run with it in less than a week. :) I have some 23 quests ready to turn in the moment we log in with the new level cap. I have my mats, my gold, my mounts, and my mojo.

So, what to do for the next week(s)?

A number of my guildies are running their mains through the lowbie zones doing loremaster-type quests, which are fairly easy to do at this point.

That sounded pretty boring to me. On the other hand, leveling or running lower-level characters through Azeroth wasn't all that appealing either.

I'll admit, I still wasn't sold on the idea of 'merely' changing old Azeroth and making it 'new.' Adding a few zones, letting us level to 85 instead of 90, along with new raids, still seems/seemed like an expansion-lite.

I was pleasantly surprised then, when I decided to do a little questing on my slowly-leveling level 40ish mage. As apparently everyone already knows, a few things have changed! LOLAS (as in, laugh out loud at self). My little mage had been spending time in the lush Stranglethorn vale merrily frostbolting stray gorillas. I logged in (finally) to discover that most of her quests were gone, and the few that remained were gray. She had a new quest to report to Western Plaguelands. WPL! You know, that place you never really had to go any more, because more accessible zones were more than adequate to allow you to level to 58 and on to Outlands? Hmm, after a little hemming and hawing, Hinetapeka got on Filly, her newly-epic mount, made her way to Chillwind Camp, and it was ON!

Yes, as has been oft-repeated, the questing is quite linear. In WPL alone, each hub has only a few quests, with maybe 3-4 quests and 2-3 follow up quests, then it's off to another hub nearby. There is often a flight path available, or even a 'free' horse or carriage to take you to your next hub. And in many of these places, your actions seem to change things (yay for phasing, something I lauded way back at LK release, and which Blizzard is understandably making more use of). The quests, while linear, facilitate storytelling in a much more cogent manner, and it at least gives the feel of accomplishing something (as opposed to those level 40 skellies simply respawning 60 seconds after you 'cleared the road' by killing 12 of them). At least for me, for now, what it lacks in 'freedom,' it makes up for in clarity, simplicity, and quality.

During the Thanksgiving weekend, my 10 year old son complained that he wanted a flying mount. To which I replied that he'd never leveled a character high enough to do so (except starting DKs on my account). So, I issued him a challenge. If he leveled an Alliance character on my main server past 10, I'd help him with leveling, and if/when he got to 60, I'd buy any and all mounts he wanted. So, he started a hunter and quickly exclaimed how the human starting area was so different. Inspired by Tamarind and Oddly's posts about priests, I finally caved and started my very first priest ever. I quickly leveled to 10 - the Draenei area appeares completely unchanged to me - and travelled to Stormwind. From there on, I had the opportunity to see not only the 'new' Azeroth, but this 'new' Azeroth, through 'new' eyes; my son's. We quested together and did his very first 5-man instances together. It was a blast to have him exclaim every few seconds at how fun it was. He aquitted himself reasonably well, too, finishing higher than at least one other dps in every run we did. Sure, he needed to be informed that one does NOT need on spirit cloth as a hunter, and that he had to target the mob that the tank was hitting, but he picked it up quickly! ;) I had chosen the holy tree for starters and so enjoyed the oom-ness that is lowbie healing. We even had a boss fight that we barely survived when the tank pulled extra mobs, died, then the other two dps died, but my son finished off the boss and the final add with 10% health while I squeaked out the last few bubbles and renews to keep us alive. Wow! That was, indeed, fun! And while I'm sure Cataclysm will put somewhat of a damper on our tandem leveling, he's parading proudly around Stormwind on his proud level 20 steeds. I look forward to seeing him soar in Outlands and Northrend as well. :)

While Azeroth is still Azeroth, the sundering changed things for us. Cosmetically yes, but more fundamentally in how we interact with the world, quest, tell/receive stories, and progress through content. And while I'm still a little concerned about the feeling of not 'getting enough new content,' I'm entirely on board with how it's being delivered to us!

Cataclysm is almost here!!!

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