Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Howling Fjord Complete

The Howling Fjord is finished.

Well, maybe not entirely finished. There might be a thing or two that needs work, like this dude's hair, or the vehicle quest that was too buggy for me to complete. But, those issues aside, I've finally cleared what appears to be all the quests in the zone (including the outdoor small group quests, thanks to the overpowered Death Knight).

What has Cheerydeth done?

Well, my previous comments that I was just about done with the zone appear to have been slightly premature. The remaining quests all turned out to have followups, and sometimes those had followups as well. Throw in the group quests and I managed to hit level 72 before wrapping up. In the process, I maxxed my herbalism skill (which was, in fairness, at 410 when I left Outland), hit revered with Valiance Expedition (I did complete the daily quest five times to unlock a pair of achievements), and honored with the Kalu'ak (the neutral Tuskarr faction). Overall, levels 68, 69, 70, and 71 took me about 22 hours in Northrend. I did have the benefit of rested exp from time to time, since I was careful to log off in places where I could rest, but it certainly wasn't 100% of the time. Perhaps with full rested Exp I wouldn't have needed to do any Borean Tundra quests to get from 68-72 (again, remember, levels 68 and 69 combined add up to about as much as level 70, level 71 doesn't boast nearly so wide a jump).

How is the zone?

It often seems that the most recent zone Blizzard has worked on is the best, and this one was no exception. As my screenshots may show, there are a lot of fun things that happen on quests, in addition to the usual kill/loot variants. Actually, I'm not sure if I've seen a single escort quest yet, which may be a good thing since the difficulty there usually comes from the stupidity of the NPC's. There is also a major story arc going on, complete with a cameo by Arthas himself (who shows no signs of remembering a Death Knight he personally welcomed to the World (of Warcraft); if only I could do 139 million DPS...). There is some snow, especially towards the north of the zone and along the coast, but the place is far from a frozen wasteland.

What's next?
I decided to leave behind the rest of Borean Tundra (I completed most of the quests in Valiance Keep, and some Tuskarr quests later in the zone) in favor of pushing the envelope towards tougher content, as I've outleveled most of what I would face in the rest of that zone. It appears that the next zone on the agenda is the Dragonblight, a snowy, dark place and home to the re-located Naxx. I might cut my stay there short and move on to the Grizzly Hills (rated for levels 73-75) if I get bored due to Cheery's insane solo capabilities. After all, it's not every day you get to gank the wandering elite mobs that you're supposed to run from, and smite the frost wrym solo.

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