Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Shattering Month 1.5

It's been about a month since my last update on my post-Shattering army of WoW alts.  What has my $15 contribution to the Blizzard world domination fund accomplished this month?

  • Greenwiz, my Gnome Mage and nominal main, hit level 84, having cleared out Vashj'ir and done various other things that were neither questing nor extensive dungeon running.
  • Greenraven, my Tauren Warrior, hit level 82 after doing about half of the quests in Mount Hyjal and five Blackrock Caverns runs in pursuit of a hat for the Winter's Veil achievement.  
  • Tangleroot, previously level 9 Druid, advanced to level 16 (Balance), clearing out the remainder of Durotar and the pre-Crossroads portion of The Barrens.  Unlocked turquoise cat form and green bear form.  The enchanted heirloom staff is really killing the enjoyment of this character, as I routinely one-shot mobs with eclipsed Starsurge. 
  • Sorrowdusk, a new Undead Warlock, hit level 12 (Destruction) clearing out the revised Tirisfal (probably my favorite revamp of a pre-Cata newbie zone so far).
  • Seloxia, a new Blood Elf Priest, hit 11 (Discipline) with a number of quests yet to go in the zone.  In search of a way to challenge myself, my plan is for this character to actually wear the cosmetic holiday armor outfits.  This means I'm statistically (and cosmetically until the Lunar festival hits, since the Christmas outfit is underwear on females) naked, and actually finding a fair degree of challenge as a result.  Possibly the most fun I've had on any alt so far, even though the disorganized quests of Eversong appear to be all but unaltered.
  • Blackwold, a new Worgen Hunter, hit level 13 (Survival) while clearing out Gilneas. The scripted storyline is impressive, like most of the new Cataclysm content.
As it now stands, I still have three newbie zones left to go on my survey project (Goblin, Human, and Draenei).  I also have yet to see the majority of the new level 80+ solo content, even though I have one character most of the way to the cap.  Overall, I suppose the content is probably about where it should be; I've still got more stuff left to do in Cataclysm (albeit in part because I'm now running a second max level character) than I did a month into Wrath, and way more stuff to do if I actually continue to work on the new low level stuff.

I will note that I have long since given up on using heirlooms for my budding alt army because they break the difficulty curve.  That aside, I find it slightly mind-boggling that Blizzard designed the new content as a linear quest "theme park" but then set things so that the exp curve breaks if you ever log off (thereby earning rested exp).  Isn't the whole point of a theme park that you arrive at new quests at the appropriate level, rather than after you've greened them out?  I guess the current system is fine if you're just in it for the next level up message, but it's a bit disappointing if you're actually hoping to see the new content at an appropriate level.

(P.S. If anyone who plays Alliance on a US server wants a visit from yours truly, I'm out of slots for the Human and Draenei characters on Hyjal.)


Anonymous said...

continue with the undead story line, it's greatly scripted and awesome lorewise, especially in silverpine and hillsbrad.

muthax said...

Wot?? No enhancement shaman!? Worth checking out. Used to be very bored by shamans, rolled a troll shaman to check the new area (btw quite disappointing) and made it enhancement at lvl 10 and having a blast. Very funny, a true killing machine with a mix of melee and ranged.

Inquisitor said...

Balance druids in full heirlooms are one-to-two shotting normal mobs all the way to 80, with eclipsed starsurge.

Frankly, levelling is a lot more interesting once you get more of the DoT talents and glyphs (Lunar Shower at 67 is the final piece, but it was working well for me from 50, and arguably 30) because you can see how many mobs you can kill at once with a multi-DoT circle kite.

Vash'jir as a green geared balance druid was tremendous fun. Got so watch raid geared toons with 30k hp take on the same 40k mobs as yours truely (15k, NR green gear) - except I was kiting and killing four at once, while they were struggling with singles.

Steven said...

I hear Medivh is lovely this time of year...

If you drop by give Skarlarth a shout ;)

Yeebo said...

My projects so far are a Warg rogue I took to 20, a balance Druid I have at 16 (started her on Silvermoon just to say hello to some fellow bloggers), and a Gnome mage I started from scratch and have up to 70.

Low point of all of it so far was definitely Burning Crusade areas. Got up to 68, dumped all my current quests and went straight to Northrend. Couldn't wait to get out of there. High point has been zone capstone quests in the old world, those are generally really well done.

Green Armadillo said...

@Anon: Yeah, the undead story really seems to have gotten a boost, and will definitely be a priority when I finish my lowbie marathon.

@Muthax: Dwarf enhancement shaman was just about the first alt I made when the Shattering hit. He's been sitting at level 13 waiting til I get around to Loch Modan. He's got full heirlooms, so killing machine is definitely one way to describe him.

@Inquis: I hadn't realized that Druids get to do AOE DOT farming these days (I've definitely been dabbling in that area on my Lock and Priest). I guess that's the other way to create challenge for yourself if you want to hold onto your hard-earned heirlooms. :)

@Steven: Likely will do.

@Yeebo: Though repeating TBC definitely is not a high priority for me right now with so much new content elsewhere, I can't say I fully grasp the general unpopularity of the expansion. There is a bit of blasted rock fatigue if you don't choose your zones carefully, and you don't have vehicle quests, but it doesn't feel that much worse than Wrath to me.

The Gnome of Zurich said...

The on rails element to the new zones is very annoying if you run dungeons or get rested bonus. Not only do you go past the level of the quests in the area you are working in, you can't get the new appropriate level questss, because they are all gated by quests that are now grey to you and involve killing mobs you one shot easily even without heirlooms or any good gear.

I'm not using heirlooms, but I easily derailed my worgen's leveling experience. First, he got to level 13 in Gilneas, while darkshore starts out at level 10-11. Then at 15, I tanked 3-4 dungeon runs, which got me to level 18 already before questing again. Suddenly after turning in my quests, I didn't have any more. Oh wait -- turn on "low level quests". Now I see them. But of course, that means they are all grey to me. Can't go to ashenvale because all the quests there require level 20, and even though there are level 16-18 quests in darkshore, I can't get them, because I would have to do all these level 12, then level 14 quests before they will give them to me.

Feh. I ran some more dungeons and headed off to ashenvale at level 20. Same thing will surely happen there. I'll do 25% of the area, then my dungeon running will grey out everything I have access to, and I'll have to skip the rest, unless I'm interested just for the storyline.

Old wow, was less convenient to powerlevel, but you could pick up the story at a lot of different points, and only a few epic questlines spanned enough levels with prerequisites that the early quests would be grey by the time you could do/get the end quests. Tower of Althalaxx was the big one I remember.

Now it seems that each zone is essentially one big long prerequisite questline/questweb. Ugh. That is *definitely* not what I was expecting when they said they would improve the leveling experience.

Yeebo said...

@GreenArmadillo: it's a subtle thing, but I think it has something to do with the pacing and flow of the quests. By the time you get through a given zone, you've been there so long you're sick to death of it. There is also a lot more backtracking than I've had to do in other areas of the game. Sometimes you'll be sent to kill the same guys by three different quest givers that you are highly unlikely to encounter within the same hour or so of play. Worse, some quest givers will send you to the same spot over and over again for different items. It kind of reminds me of the Lone Lands in LoTRO before they revamped it (that zone was a sub-killer for many from what I recall).

It wasn't all bad, I enjoyed Nagrand and the visual design of Zangermarsh is engagingly outlandish. However, the last zone I decided to quest in, Blade's Edge mountains, really bored me to tears. It was a zone I skipped on my first trek to 70, and I decided to check it out. Quests ranged from grindy (kill 30 ogres...now go back and kill 30 of the other kind of ogre) to simply frustrating (attempts to get clever with quest mechanics that simply didn't work out very well). I was more than relieved to be able to leave at 68.