Monday, November 17, 2008

Words, for a Change

First off, despite the lack of posts, I did ding both 73 and 74.

And now, impressions.

Northrend is awesome.

I started off in Howling Fjord, since it seemed the less populated of the two. And I'm really glad I did, since it felt epic, and and all brand new. The whole Vrykul questline(s), starting in the first area, and going into the icy fortress in the NW corner, blew me away. The attention to detail is fantastic, and I notice little things constantly that I think add huge amounts of flavor.

Utguard Keep was fun, if not a little worrying. I like the new models, and the overall design was good (I'm not bothered by linear design, as long as it seems reasonable). The length left something to be desired, and the difficulty was non-existant. Difficulty I assume will increase as I stop outgearing content (somewhere around heroics?). Length - I can't even imaging the heroic taking long. I understand that PUG'ers don't want a two-hour commitment to an instance; but on the otherhand, the length of time it takes to form a group / travel / summon may easily eclipse the amount of time actually spent playing.

Anyway, with a few runs of UK woven in, Aertimus and I finished (presumablly) all the non-bugged quests, got our 130 quest achievement, and headed to Borean Tundra.

I'm very glad I didn't start in Borean Tundra. It generally feels like various bits of Westfall, Sithilus, and  Shimmering Flats stuck together, and the overarching plot felt far less cohesive then in Howling Fjord. Nonetheless, we ran Nexus a few times and did our 130 quests there.

Nexus was interesting. The first time in, we went counterclockwise, and ended up doubling back on ourselves (making it take far longer). When we did it again, we turned it around, and had a far smoother trip. I like Nexus for the varity, and the length is more appropriate. 

I also got the chance to run Azjol-Nerub, Ahn'kahet, and Drak'Theron Keep (at level 72).

AN was even more supershort. I spent more time running then fighting. Boss one just felt like trash on a timer, two was intimidating (but not hard), and three was intereresting, but fail-proof. (Our healer got locked out the last time we were doing him, and I just rode out the encounter bandaging inbetween phase changes). I predict this will be the new supershort Slave Pens Equiv.

Ahn'kahet may be my favorite so far. Big, full of mobs, and cool bosses. Not to mention the XP is great, and most all pulls can be doubled/trippled up. Hopefully this one will be a popular heroic as well, since its right next to AN.

Drak'Theron was also pretty cool, with a ZA feel to it. The final boss's skeleton phase was a faceroll, which was disapointing.

The one thing that drives me crazy about virtually every boss, though, is the unnecessary and prolonged phase changes. I spend 3.4 seconds attacking the boss, before it does a 10-30 second float away / immunity shield / burrow, while adds spawn that you kill in 8.2 seconds, which brings you back to the begining (after another 10-30 seconds). If phases were changed after so much time, rather then by % health, that would at least give insentive for groups to DPS hard. As it stands, I spend more time in phase transitions then in phases - which is boring. 

Oh, and I started on Dragonblight questing. Aert and I are going to try finishing up one zone completely (Instance Quests, Quest Achievement, Exploration) before moving on. We figure this way, we'll leave higher level zones to come back to at 80, for more gold. 


Isisxotic said...

I think it's going so quick and easy for you largely because of your gear and skill. Keep in mind that when someone is a truly fresh 80, they'll likely have not done too many instance runs. Without the benefit of experience in TBC instances, whether Kara or Sunwell, it's these dungeons that people will be learning how to play their class in.

7echno7im said...

I am enjoying all the Wrath has to offer as well. I do agree on the easiness of everything there. I really feel like they started developing this right after BC was released and not taking the 2.4 Sunwell patch in to consideration. That patch added major gear upgrades, Badge Loot, Epics gems, new patterns, etc... I think if the Sunwell never happened, this may be a little more difficult.

Regardless, with the addition of achievements, I find myself spending more time in areas where I wouldn't normally. You as well. You stayed in both Borean and Fjord until 130 quests. How long did you stay in Hellfire P.? Probably long enough to realize that "I can get a lot more XP in Zangarmarsh." or "I don't see any more yellow !'s" I found myself almost saying "Well this quest is taking me to a new area let's go!" Then just to realize that I wanted my 130 quests in my current questing area to get the achievement and hear the "waaaaassshiiing!" . Oh well enough of that.

The dungeons are EZ mode too. I remember going to wowhead and copying and pasting the strat to everyone when going in to some of TBC instances for the first time. With these bosses, I have winged it every time and come out on top.

I am truly enjoying the game, every aspect of it. I hope other are as well.

Kadomi said...

When my co-worker told me that A-N takes only 20 minutes to complete, I was a bit concerned. I have only run two of the new instances so far. UK I found a bore, The Nexus I love! So A-N better be 20 cool minutes of my life at least.

As I am leveling several alts, I am not going to Borean Tundra with Kadomi. I did all Fjord quests, and have done some questing in the Tundra with my shaman. The atmosphere difference is huge, but I like the gritty war-torn atmosphere that you feel around Warsong Hold. It feels very horde-like, as opposed to those sly Forsaken in the Fjord.

Anonymous said...

Many people seem to forget the starter instances in wotlk are geared to be able to be completed by lvl68's fresh out of outland wearing greens and blues - in a PuG.

Compare that to an organized group in purples =) - and FAST make sense.

Arideni said...

While I understand the design concepts behind these dungeons, and as well-intentioned as they may be, I feel Blizzard has taken a direction away from what the game actually needed. More difficulty.

It should be hard to complete dungeons. They can always nerf them later, or make up for it in itemization from questing, etc. However, simply making content which can be absorbed by as many as 3 million players in a matter of minutes is ridiculous, and a drastic change from their previous 5-man philosophy.

I would rather have had a rough, learn to play style experience such as that from classic dungeons such as Lower Blackrock Spire or Blackrock Depths compared to Hellfire Ramparts than more of the same—or worse, phase 3 of the same.