Saturday, November 27, 2010

I dig the new Azeroth

There are many things to like about the new, revamped Azeroth. While it will never be the same as before, this is but a good thing. I really, really enjoy the way they've changed the old continents. Here are some of the things that I particularly like.

Revamped areas
There's no question in my mind that some of the old areas are now much more exciting due to being ravaged by Deathwing. Loch Modan and Stranglethorn come to mind. I love how all the water in the Loch has drained and the dam has broken. I love the maelstrom in the middle of Stranglethorn and they new crevasses in the earth.

Streamlined quests
Quests are more to the point now and a lot of those annoying chains that would have you travel to several continents for some stupid reward are now gone.

More quests
There seem to be a lot of new quests and they are quite intelligently designed in that very often they lead you seamlessly to the next area.

Better quest rewards
Generally I've noticed that quests, especially the brand new ones, give better rewards. That's always a good thing.

More flight points and extra quest hubs
Much more flight points. This is literally a magnificent boon that Blizzard is conferring upon its players. I am so grateful that zones now have new quest hubs and mini-hubs with their own flight masters. Truth be told, this should have been done from the beginning but better late than never.

Flight masters shown on map
I also like the fact that the flight masters are now shown on the big map with their own icon. Easier to spot them.

Dungeon maps!
This is something that I've been dreaming about since vanilla WoW. Finally we won't be lost in those low level dungeons anymore.

Quests inside dungeons
I love how all the dungeon-related quests are now located inside the dungeon itself. Not only that but they give solid XP and some of them also give nice blue rewards.

New Deadmines and other dungeons
The new Deadmines was a blast and so are other revamped low level dungeons. Unfortunately I leveled so fast that I skipped right past Shadowfang Keep.

"Pick-up" quests
The way new quests are triggered just by entering a new zone or a dungeon is just neat. Some chain quests like the Nesingwary kill quests are triggered just by completing a step of the chain.

Nice XP for mining/herbing
It seems to me that previous to The Shattering there wasn't such great XP from mining and herbing. Now I'm getting more XP than killing a mob in the same area. Very cool. What's more, gray nodes still give XP, although to a lesser extent.

Multi-tracking on mini-map
The multi-tracking feature is awesome. My new miner/herbalist dwarf shaman is going nuts in Stranglethorn. I couldn't complete a lot of quests for hours on end because new nodes kept popping up on the mini-map and I was pulled in all directions to get this node and that.

Quests mobs marked on mob portrait and mini-map
This is one of those small-but-nice touches that Blizzard has added in this expansion. Quest mobs have the exclamation mark next to their portrait and they are also marked on the mini-map with a skull once you're close to them.

Dual-spec at level 30??
I was shocked to find out that at level 32 dual-spec was available from the trainer. I seem to recall that they said they would lower the level requirement from 40 to... something but I've been oblivious to this. So is it 30 or actually 20? In any case, it's a good thing.

These are all great new additions but granted, some of them should have probably been in the game from the beginning. One thing that kinda bugs me is that I seem to be leveling too quickly but I hope this will be my only problem.

Oh and two things still suck: Outland and Northrend. I cringe at the thought of leveling through them yet again.


Anonymous said...

"Finally we won't be lost in those low level dungeons"

Hmmm. Scholomance (now a level 40+ dungeon) would like a word!

But yeah, you're pretty much spot on about everything else, I am loving it too!

I just dinged 42 on my mage alt from lvl 30 in about 2 days, and now I can make/sell portals! Cha-ching, as the (very cool looking) goblins say;)

Darth Solo said...

I've just hit 40 on my dwarf shaman.

How much are you charging for those portals?

Unknown said...

I love all the extra mailboxes!

Darth Solo said...

That too :)

Echo said...

Redridge Mountains = it looks like a whole new game, with a super-epic questline (Bravo company). I must say I was impressed: phasing, bosses, party with npc, ...

One note: be wartned that if you play full-Heirloom you will find it a bit too easy. My hunter is chopping the mobs like butter. Even elites with +3 levels go down quite easy

Darth Solo said...

@Echo sadly I've had to skip a few zones, Redridge included because my shaman is too strong and levels too quickly. He's also wearing full heirlooms. I like to queue him for dungeons while leveling and depending whether there are quests inside the dungeon, he can gain 1-2 levels in there easily. By the time he gets out, he's out-leveling the zone he was in.

Hopefully I can try Redridge with my future worgen druid or worgen warrior.

Anonymous said...

I actually removed my heirlooms because I was leveling too fast and missing out on things. Never thought I would do that, lol. Oh, and I agree with you about Outland and Northrend. Screw them! Level in bgs the rest of the way. Or if you're like me, I've got my designated "new old world" toon that I will stop around 60 just because I only created him for the new old stuff.

Gyldenfeax said...

Don't waste that xp. Just reroll a new toon and do the quests you missed first time round. Or send your spare xp to me. A long time level 60 rogue would very much appreciate it.

Darth Solo said...

@Anonymous removing heirlooms is certainly an option but I've worked so hard for them that I don't want to do that. PvP is out for me. I almost completely dislike it. If WoW had been a predominantly PvP game I wouldn't have joined.

@Gyldenfeax would be nice to be able to transfer XP like that. I will definitely try to do some new zones with my future warrior and druid.

Echo said...

@ Darth

Heirlooms become a real "problem" if you run some dungeons while leveling. The whole point of the world shattering should be "reroll and enjoy the revamped old-world zones".

Unless you reroll to hit 85 asap, why reroll and skip the zones? Heirlooms + dungeons/BG's mean you will be skipping and/or outleveling stuff all the time.

I am considering to drop the +20% experience (chest and shoulders) and keep the heirloom bow only. Leveling can be fun... outleveling and going "uber mode" tends to annoy me :-(

Darth Solo said...

@Echo I'm considering dropping the 20% heirlooms but on the other hand I still want to level quickly. Well, it's not like this is the last character I'm going to level. As I've said, there will be 2 more: a druid and a warrior and I'll take them to different zones.

Personally I'm not much of a role player or a lore nerd so I don't care a lot for the actual quest content. I like the new zones for how they look rather than the story that goes on in them.

I'm pretty sure I'll get the chance to see all these new zones over and over again until I'm sick of them :)

If, on the other hand, you only have 1 character that you will level, then it's probably a good idea to take things slowly.

Jerry said...

I took off my heirlooms to go 1-60, and will put them back on once I hit Outlands. For once, I will not try to skip to Outlands at level 58! Even without heirlooms, I've found that the dungeon leveling makes the levels go fast. I ran Deadmines, RFC, and Wailing Caverns in one day and outleveled my zone when I was done. That's because all the high XP rewards from the quests that were available at the instance entrance. When I get my Worgen, I'll have to remember to take that into account. No I'm in the strange place of wanting 1-60 to go slower rather than faster!

Tesh said...

Speaking of flight paths, *finally* the first flight path node that you locate connects to something. No more "oh, neat, a flight master... so what's the point" effect. I love the little thoughtful changes like that.

(Cat form at 8, Bear form at 15 and Hunter pets at creation are other favorites.)

Darth Solo said...

@Jerry for some reason Outland doesn't seem as bad as Northrend to me these days. Northrend has become a drag and I don't know why because it is designed better than Outland.

@Tesh the new flight paths are sweeeet. Me likes them :)

Tox said...

Dual spec at Level 30 and costs only 10g!!!

Darth Solo said...

@Tox so it's 30 then. 10G FTW!