Friday, May 21, 2010

Re-departing Outland

My long-neglected Tauren warrior finally hit level 68 this week, making him eligible to depart Outland for Northrend. I did all of the "Horde-specific" quests in Nagrand and Blade's Edge between levels 65-68, though the quotes are necessary because many of those quests were identical to their Alliance counterparts other than the questgiver saying "For the Horde" when you talk to them. I was very disappointed because I had always figured that my fourth trip through Outland (twice on retail, one in the Wrath beta) would feature new and different material, but instead I was simply killing the same mobs for different questgivers more often than not.

I did cheat a little bit in obtaining my Northrend alchemy perks early, but, even so, I was a bit surprised at how easy the content was. I had My Fury spec was less than ideal, but I suppose that the option of swinging a pair of two-handers and glyphing Bloodthirst for double healing didn't even exist back in 2007. I would have expected a cake walk on my home server with a full set of heirlooms across the board. Cut off from all those resources, and left with only the stuff I could pay for with gold from that particular character, the content was still a cake walk. If I want a challenge, I need to aim for mobs 2-3 levels higher than I am, so that the reduced hit rates can kick in and slow my swinging flurry of death down a notch.

In one final note, as nearly as I can tell, Netherstorm and Shadowmoon are both completely obsolete. I had just barely replaced my last pre-Outland item when I hit 68, and I didn't have any trouble jumping into Northrend (where I promptly upgraded those items even further). I remember this jump being tougher during the Wrath beta (I haven't tried it with a level 68 on the live servers), even with the then massively-overpowered Death Knight. Under the circumstances, there's no reason whatsoever to stick around in TBC content, gaining less exp and worse rewards.

Given how slowly Blizzard adds content, it will never fully make sense to me why they make such a point of aiming whole zones in each expansion at players who aren't already at the previous cap. Are there really players who gave up at level 68 and weren't willing to pay for Wrath until they heard that they could skip those last two zones? In Cataclysm in particular, with a relatively smaller amount of the new content allocated for max level characters to begin with, I'm concerned that this will leave not all that much content to go around for the leveling path to 85.


Klepsacovic said...

I do wonder why they have such jumps in the XP curves, basically pushing people two levels ahead. Why not make the old zones and new zones about the same for XP/hour and let people freely pick whichever they enjoy?

Yeebo said...

I agree 100%. It doesn't make the first bit of sense for entire zones stuffed with content to be utterly obsolete. For that matter, there is a ton of 70 and 60 group content that may as well not even be in the game at this point.

Hopefully Cataclysm will iron out some of those kinks. I like Klep's idea.

Hagu said...

You do realize that content in Cataclysm is for alts?

My understanding is you will level your main by using LFD. The first few days until people are 85, you will be repeatedly grouping with strangers running the same few instances. You will be with the most driven, elitist, judgmental players, playing a new spec in content that will be new and buggy, with the few addons available also being buggy. All this while under extreme time pressure. Leisurely getting a Goblin to 85 may be fun, but initially Cataclysm will not be.

Anonymous said...

leveling using LFD is such a waste. it takes at least 2x as long as questing does.