So we've had some time to let the expansion sink in. I really love it. Blizzard has gone above and beyond with regards to making your character feel like a hero and a major part of the machinations that are moving this war with the Lich King. They've also kept their typical humor and light heartedness that makes the game a lot of fun. Read on for some impressions of the zones, the story, and the leveling process. There will be spoilers for those of you who have not seen some of the content yet, so be aware.
Salthier and Lal started their journey in Northrend at Valliance Keep in the Borean Tundra. My main reason for this was because Salthier is somewhat a part of the politics in Stormwind and it made sense for him to take the boat from there. Lal came along because she wasn't too concerned where to go, and we did want to level together. The questing started in earnest as we began fighting back undead, right outside the front walls of the first city. One of Lal's first objectives was to start leveling her professions. She was particularly happy with the ability to gather more cloth than others thanks to being a tailor and getting a special skill. Salthier started learning new enchanting and alchemy recipes, but the levelign of the professions is going somewhat slowly.
We finished out the Tundra quests over the weekend. I really liked the quests on the farm, where you rally all of the farmers to take up weapons and fight the scourge. It's one of those "feel like you're making a difference" moments. We did all of the D.E.H.T.A. (Druids for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals) quests. It was obviously meant in fun, but I can't help but feel a little upset about it, being a druid in the game. The Cenarion Expedition members of the DEHTA are a bunch of bloodthirsty hate mongering animal lovers. Granted they were after some pretty bad dudes who were trapping baby mammoths and transporting animal parts. But at the same time, I had never thought of Nesingwary as a bloodthirsty animal parts trafficer. More of just an old dwarf who like the thrill of the hunt.(Or perhaps the thrill of making other people hunt for him...)
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the quests involving the Blue Dragonflight in Coldarra, and how again you feel like a major player in the Nexus war. And the way they are intigrating the Death Knight lore is pretty cool as well, as they do in the area called Death's Hand. It only gets better as you move on to Dragonblight.
Lore explodes all over the place in this next zone. You've got the Alliance and Bolvar fighting the Scourge on one front, the dragon aspects fighting their own war, and you even get to witness past events through a scrying orb with Arthas. It's a rush. One thing Lal and I have noticed are the shear amount of quests there are to do. We pick up several from one area, and while going to complete them, find another small hub. Then just when we think we've completed all the quests in an area, we get a new chain that sends us to a new place with quests along the way. Sometimes you have to be a bit patient and realize that all of the quests are helping you advance, and some of the rewards are really nice. Salthier is continually changing his gear, and Lal has replaced quite a few of her Tier 4 and badge items already. We're currently 74 and on one of the last chians in the Dragonblight that takes us through Wyrmrest Temple. It will culminate in the Wrathgate Cinematic which I haven't watched and know minimal details about. I can't wait to see it.
As for dungeons, we have done all of them at our level, starting in Utgarde Keep, moving to The Nexus, then Azjol-Nerub, and just last night we did Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom. Each one has been a lot of fun, and somehow seems to top the previous one. Utgarde was huge, with a lot of new lore and exciting imagery that made it seem more epic than just a regular 5 person dungeon. And the exit from the Keep where you jump down into the water was a blast. The Nexus had some really cool boss fights, and the story line with the red dragon is sad, but still epic. Azjol-Nerub was a very quick three boss instance with hardly any trash, but the boss fights were intense. I do wish that Anu'burak had a little more presence in the game though. I seem to recall he had a bigger role in Warcraft III. The Old Kingdom was fascinating. Anoter visual achievement for dungeons. And the last boss fight in there is quite different from anything I've ever done before. A lot of people say it's the best boss fight they've ever done. There are several screen shots below from The Old Kingdom.
Elionene has taken some time off and is sitting in the Howling Fjord still. I'll be able to spend more time on her after Thanksgiving, hopefully having Salthier at 80 by then. Then I'll have two level 80 raiding toons. I haven't yet played through the Death Knight Experience, but that will be one of my goals for the coming weeks as well, and I might even do up a little story for my knight, to try and differentiate him from all of the other stories of DK redemption out there.
Here are some shots of our recent activities. Enjoy!
Elionene met Mr. Lich King himself while searching the spirit realm for information on the history of the Vry-kul.
Salthier and Lal learned a little more about what really happened when Arthas took up the cursed blade, Frostmourne.
We ascend the Nexus to try and lure Malygos out. Not all went according to plan however.
One of the famed turtle ferries that take people between starter zones.
Lal showed off her cooking abilities by making a feast that the whole party could enjoy. Not only did we get to sit around and have a good meal, we got a well fed buff to go with it. +60 AP, +35 Spell Power, and +30 STA. Mmm Mmm Good.
One of the areas under The Old Kingdom.
Another shot of the Old Kingdom, one of the more visually stunning dungeons. They're all unique and interesting in their own right.