Achievement Earned: Level 80

My 79th Ding

It’s finally done.  My poor World of Warcraft character had been neglected, sitting just a fraction of the way into level 79 for weeks now.  My interest in WoW has been non-existent the past while and I had to more or less force myself to log in this past weekend and push my way through to level 80.

At this point, I’m unsure if I’ll continue playing.  Part of me would like to see through the rest of the quests in Icecrown, but another, increasingly more vocal part of me wants to quit the game already so I can enjoy the growing stack of games I haven’t played yet.

There’s still a lot of content in Northrend I have yet to see, some zones I’ve never even been in.  I also haven’t rolled a Death Knight, which I’m told is a must-do before quitting, so I’ll try that out in the coming days.  Beyond that, and finishing Icecrown, there’s just not much left in the game to keep me playing.  I don’t raid due to time constraints, and I have zero interest in arenas or battlegrounds, so what’s left for me to do?

Fo’ Grizzle My Shizzle

Grizzly Hills

Wrath of the Lich King continues to impress me.  It seems that each zone I’ve quested in has been better than the last.  I started the expansion in Borean Tundra and thought it was amazing.  The expansion was freshly released at the time of course, and it was an exciting time in general.  The Howling Fjord was my next stop and it didn’t take long for me to conclude it was a much more interesting zone than Borean Tundra.  It did start to drag on however and I stayed there a little longer than I should have (curse you achievements!), but in the end, I much preferred my time there.

Next up for me was Dragonblight, and this zone blew me away as I talked about in an earlier post.  The quests in that zone pertaining to the Wrath Gate were very well done and kept me engaged throughout my entire stay there.

My next destination was Grizzly Hills, which I just finished the other night.  I wasn’t expecting much from this zone, for whatever reason, and prepared myself for a let-down after Dragonblight.  I was more than pleasantly surprised however.  From a questing standpoint, there’s not a whole lot new, and in fact, most of the quests are the standard fetch/kill x number of foozles.  What I loved about the zone was its look and atmosphere and in that regard, it has become my favourite zone in Wrath of the Lich King.  I love forest zones and this is one of the best I’ve seen in any MMO.  The music is fantastic as well and helps set the mood perfectly.

I’m now just a sliver into level 78 and will be heading to Sholozar Basin next.  There’s still quite a lot of content left to explore in this expansion and if it keeps getting better like it has been, perhaps I won’t be cancelling my account as soon as I thought I would be.

Stalking My Prey

Stalking My Prey

I play on a PvP server because there’s just something that I find exhilarating about walking along, minding my own business, and suddenly stumbling upon an enemy player.  I like the immediate moment of uncertainty that sinks in, wondering whether they’ll attack me or leave me be.  Most of the time I pass the other by because I understand the frustration of just wanting to finish whatever quest you’re working on, but sometimes I get in a mood where I engage every Horde that I come across.

 

Lately, I’ve been in that mood.

 

Blame it on hitting level 77 and getting my Northrend flight training.  It didn’t take me long to discover just how fun it is to fly high above the ground, swooping down on unsuspecting Horde below.  I get such a rush from taking them by surprise and executing that perfect kill.  Unfortunately, I’m really quite horrible at PvP and often get my butt handed to me despite my element of surprise.  Even more frustrating than that though is when the other guy runs away; Rogues are the worst for that.

 

I’m no expert on all the different classes, but based on my limited PvP experience, here are my top three most hated PvP foes:

 

3. Druids – it seems that whenever I fight a Druid, I get off to a great start and it looks as though I’m kicking the crap out of him.  Then I’ll blink and the next thing I know I’m dead.  This class has so many tricks it’s just stupid.

 

2. Prot Warriors – it’s like trying to knock down a brick wall by slapping it with a feather.

 

1. Death Knights – I thought Druids had a lot of tricks.  This class is just ridiculous.  I normally won’t go near them. 

 

Dragonblight

Frostmourne

It turns out that I didn’t enjoy questing in Howling Fjord as much as I thought I did.  I certainly enjoyed it more than Borean Tundra, but it seemed to drag on a bit too long for my tastes and I eventually grew bored of the content.  Given that I was level 74 while questing there, I could have easily moved on and left it behind, but I just needed to get that quest achievement.  Once that was out of the way, I moved on to Dragonblight and experienced some of the best questing I’ve ever done in any MMO.  Ever.

Wrath Gate

For the first time in months now, I found myself drawn fully back into World of Warcraft, especially once I had started down the Wrath Gate chain of quests.  The lore that this line of quests, and the zone in general has, is insane.  On top of re-living a few moments from Warcraft III, which was totally cool, I got to wage war against the Scourge, fly with dragons, and hang out with some of the biggest characters in Warcraft lore.  More importantly, there were a few instances where the phasing technology kicked in and I made actual changes to the game world.

At no point during my time in Dragonblight did I feel like the quests were a chore.  I was so captivated by the over-arching storyline going on that the time flew by, and without realizing it, I discovered I was only one quest shy of the achievement for the zone.  When’s the last time that 115 quests just flew by?  The bad thing now of course, is that my expectations have been heightened, and I’m anticipating a letdown in my upcoming questing experience.  I’m going to be heading to Grizzly Hills next and I’ve heard some unfavourable reviews of that zone.  But hey, I want that achievement.

Borean Tundra, All Done-dra

I am confident in saying that I have now seen all of the content that Borean Tundra has to offer.  I believe that I have now completed every single quest available there, as there isn’t an exclamation point to be seen.  That includes all the quests in Coldarra as well as the ones which took me into The Nexus, which I was fortunate enough to run through this past weekend.  When all was said and done, I had gained roughly two and a half levels worth of experience.

My impressions of the zone are generally quite favourable.  While not the prettiest zone in the game (it is tundra, after all) it’s varied enough to be interesting.  It almost feels too varied however, like a hodge-podge of differently themed areas stitched together.  Of all those areas, I found three that stood out: Riplash Strand, Temple City of En’Kilah, and Coldarra.

The quests are fairly standard, and most were just variations on things we’ve all done before.  A few that stood out for me though were the DEHTA series of quests, the Murloc quests at Winterfin Retreat, and the quest line that culminates with Last Rites in the Temple City of En’Kilah.  It’s a rare occurrence for me to actually laugh out loud as a result of something I see in a game, but the quest that had me wear a Murloc disguise definitely elicited a chuckle.

I’ve now moved on to Howling Fjord, the other starting zone in Northrend, and I love what I’ve seen so far.  It’s look is more consistent than that of Borean Tundra, and even though I’ve just started the quests there, I’ve already come across several that had a “cool factor” that just isn’t present in Borean Tundra.

I’d be willing to bet that Borean Tundra was one of the first zones Blizzard worked on while making the expansion, while Howling Fjord wasn’t completed until later.  When compared to the rest of the game, Borean Tundra has a “more of the same” feel to it, whereas Howling Fjord feels more unique.  Actually, if I were to describe it, I would say the zone’s atmosphere is akin to that of a traditional fantasy role playing game.  I get more of a dungeons and dragons vibe from it, which for me, is a good thing.

I certainly enjoyed my time in Borean Tundra but to this point, I’m enjoying Howling Fjord a lot more, and looking forward to spending some more time there.