A view from the North

So I’ve finally been able to sink my teeth into the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King beta beyond just the deathknight starting area and I have to say that after initial disappointment that I have come away pretty impressed.   This expansion certainly doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it feels like a natural evolution of a game that is already pretty damn good.

I started by using my Gnome Warlock and headed to the Stormwind Harbor, which is amazing (haha, FU HORDE!) and headed up to the Borean Tundra, which has been dubbed by many as the Boring Tundra.    While that isn’t a completely fair assessment, I do have to say that when I first entered the dark portal and came out in Hellfire that my jaw dropped.   When I first got off the boat in the Borean Tundra I did not get that same sort of amazement.   I mean, it is a tundra after all…

The quests start slow, much like in The Burning Crusade in Hellfire, but open up as you get a few under your belt.   The questing is easy if you have any decent level of gear, the mobs are all 68-70 and don’t pose much of a threat.   Once you open up a few quest chains though you find a land filled with interesting stories and NPCs.   Storytelling seems to have taken a nice step forward with WOLK.

My main problem with this beta is that it doesn’t count.   My girlfriend described it as “playing the Sims 2 all night, making an awesome house and then not saving.”   That pretty much wraps up my issue with the beta, which isn’t the beta’s fault at all…  but what I find addicting about WoW is moving my character forward.  Doing that on a beta server that is going to be wiped kinda kills that aspect of the game for me.

So instead I decided to make some premade level 80s and check out the lay of the land.   Jaw dropping doesn’t even begin to describe what we are in store for with this expansion.   Take a look at this shot…

wowzers

wowzers

Yeah, we’ve seen the Aboms since the Plaguelands in Vanilla WoW, but look at that architecture!  Plus Aboms are still cool as shit, and the undead a major player in the lore of Northrend (being part of Arthas’ army and all).

Also in my random flying around I found this completely bizarre and awesome tree…

What the heck is going on here?

What the heck is going on here?

There are tons of things like this strewn about Northrend, stuff that will just make your jaw drop.    The lay of the land is definitely awesome, and the small amount of questing I’ve done seems to be on par if not better than the quests they added to TBC. Now the questions remain about whether Lake Wintergrasp will work or not (I tried it once and was utterly confused) and how class balance will play out.   I will say that the jump in damage is not all that huge.  On my level 70 lock I was incinerating mobs for about 2k.  At level 80 in full PVP gear I was hitting for 2.4k.   So there isn’t a huge jump in damage.   But that’s without raid buffs/synergy/etc.

If you have any questions about the beta or anything you want me to go in and check out, feel free to drop me a comment.

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2 thoughts on “A view from the North

  1. Are you going to commit to leveling your warlock to 80 first? How as the experience gain from mob kills and quest completion at 70 when you were in borean tundra? How far/accessible are the first 5 man instances when you got to northrend?

  2. I actually just made the decision this morning as I screwed around on a dwarf deathknight that I’m gonna level one of those first. The clincher for me was trying a premade level 80 one and having no idea what to do. After 4 years of WoW, that was a refreshing feeling. I will probably change my mind like 10 more times before nov 13th though. Im also in the process of leveling a rogue, which was my favorite class for a long, long time on my old account. So who knows…

    As for exp and from mobs and quests, it’s a spike up from Netherstorm/SMV. I’m not entirely sure if thats not from them buffing exp in the beta to get people to content faster though. But I would assume it will play out the same as going from vanilla to TBC where the second you can get to the new lands you should because the quest xp, kill xp and rewards are just much better.

    As for the dungeons I haven’t run them yet, but you can pretty much the second you step into either starting zone. Both are a bit of a run from your starting town… but nothing in those zones are terribly hard to kill. In fact the majority of the mobs in the Tundra were level 68-70. I don’t think I saw anything over 70, so far.

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