Slowly leveling, very impressed

I’m about 5% away from level 93 now, and still loving Shadowmoon Valley. As a zone it is well put together. The rares spawn often, they drop interesting and sometimes useful things, the monsters are squishy enough (especially if you overgear the zone), and the travel time between hubs and quest locations is enough to get you “into” the zone and exploring without being tedious. There are the odd special things found along the way, like the quest to kill animals for steaks, or the special events for the garrison.

It is also a little morbid to look at this zone and think about what we know of the alternative from our character’s own timeline. I can see parallels in the geography and that helps make the story’s impact stronger. I wish I was able to level faster, but not at the cost of missing the experience.

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More WoW Round-up

  • Subscriber news – Polygon is reporting that WoW is back over 10 million paying players at the moment. That means Warlords of Draenor has returned WoW back to The Burning Crusade subscriber numbers. Fantastic. More players means more diversity and options. 3.3 million sales at launch.
  • Observation – Local Australian severs have made a huge difference in the game to me in terms of latency. No longer to monsters infrequently “stagger-jump” or rever to a place slightly when they are fighting. I love it.
  • Observation – It appears that the massive login queues are (mostly) gone too.
  • WoW’s 10th Anniversary event starts soon in Molten Core – see rant below… It contains foul language, so you’ve been warned in advance.

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Thoughts on the pre-WoD events

An hour in the Blasted Lands of questing to kill a few generals, gather some (un)important items, and harassing the new (old) baddies didn’t feel especially profound. I kept wanting to understand why what we were doing would actually help in the long term. Sure, a strike at a few generals and supply lines will hurt the Iron Horde in the short term, but not stem the flow of the attack; or will it? Did it?

Were the quests enough to push them back through the portal, and then take the fight to them on the other (new?) Draenor? I know that is what we are doing, but the landscape didn’t change after the quests were done. A switch might happen when the expansion is released, but it would have been great to see a phased approach to the area akin to the Death Knight starting area which used phases to change over time as the quests were completed.

If we can shove them back through the portal, or control at least this side of the portal, then why not just destroy the damn portal? Or bury it, or nuke it with a manna bomb. I’m sure more will come from the release to help answer these questions.

So effort wise the quests were a little short. Great for people with multiple alts though.

The rewards were good – a boost for new level 90s, but nothing to make the current end gear redundant, which is good. In a few days there will be “green” gear to replace most of the high level items anyway so its really zero impact in the long term. I’m doubly thankful to have an heirloom weapon to carry through the expansion leveling. I just need to decide when to buy Warlords. At the moment I’m looking forward to it, but not in a mad rush kind of way. I know its (soon to be) there to be experienced, and I get to pick when I eat the cake.

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