Monday, January 22, 2007

The Burning Crusade: One Week Later

Well, nearly a week - lets not quibble.

I spent most of the weekend pounding into the content of The Burning Crusade and I have to say that in the most part I am mightily impressed. Theres obviously been some lessons learned regarding the way the game is played and the good and bad points of the previous content.

Presentation and graphics have really been improved. The game simply looks better and that feeds into the weird feeling of Outland. There are some simple tricks being used - like not making all of the terrain flat - that add to the weirdness factor. The re-skinned mobs look great, especially the voidwalkers and ogres. There's also quite a lot of good lore within the massive (and I mean MASSIVE) number of quests that can be had, which makes the progression that little bit more immersive. I'm still not quite sure why we are throwing our bodies against Hellfire Citadel, but it's fun anyway. As I travelled from Hellfire Peninsula to Zangermarsh, the scene changed again and we enter more story-quest based stuff. I am actually intrigued to find out why the lakes are being drained by the naga of all people and what it has to do with the Sprogshroomthingy people.

There are some subtle changes within the quests. There are still the standard four types of quest: kill X mobs, goto X NPC, collect X items and explore X areas. However, in Zangermarsh you have a guided 'Explore X areas' quest where you are turned into the druid stormcrow form. AWESOME stuff. There are some 'hidden' rep collection things going on as well, which make some of those random pieces of chaff that you gather more useful. Oh, and an escort quest that runs. Yeah, just read that one again! Brilliant.

There are some downsides. The decision not to put any class trainers in Outland was a clever one - if only to make a reason for the mains to travel back to Azeroth. However it is a pain in the arse, making a well-stocked bank alt almost essential to act as an agent for the main character. The auction house has gone mental, as predicted. However this is partially fuelled by the vendor inflation in Outland. When leather scraps can sell for over 1g a stack, the normal price is going to well exceed that expected of such menial crap.

The worst downside is camping. Oh boy, the boss mobs are camped to fuck. There are a load of boss kill quests in Zangermarsh and you have to queue to kill these guys. However, not everyone has the same morals regarding this. There are queue jumpers. There are AOE spammers - including the infurirating paladin consecrate tagging method. It's just maddening. The respawn times really need to change on these mobs.

So, how's Gorthaal doing? He dinged 63 last night with maxed out First Aid and Skinning. Leatherworking is at 326 and he has a whole new set of feral gear with an AP of just under 1300. He still has a shedload of quests to do in Zangermarsh and one of two bits and bobs to do in Hellfire Citadel. I think when he finished Zangermarsh, I'll bring Kylea in and run her through as well. Hell, I'm even tempted to give Gortessa a run out!

All in all, I approve wholeheartedly of The Burning Crusade. It's revitalised the game for me in the short term at least. Whether the new endgame has any longevity is another matter altogether.

Neil

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Neil finds the "anyone can comment" button finally... Oh, how he will wish he'd never :-P

Burning Crusade has been a joy to play the past week. New Dungeons, new quests, and lots of new experiences. Definately worth the 25 quid for the expansion and the 10 quid subscription fee.

As you said, hellfire was packed with quests, as is Zangermarsh. However, I'm not so sure that doing them all a 2nd time with another character is going to be as much fun. Easier yes, but more of a chore than a fun experience.

Anyway, my Blood Elf Paladin hasn't seen much play, Outland is far too much fun to be doing old content right now. Might ding my Druid and then return to my pally.

David

Anonymous said...

I too am loving the outlands, so much to do and explore and see. I am definately loving questung and struggle to understand those people who have already grinded to 70 (this from someone who ground 50-60 on turtles!).

I read one comment on the US forums about a group who ground to 69 on the Ramparts. They would go in, clear, leave the last two bosses and reset. Over and over again until 69 when they stopped getting xp.

Tonight I hit 63 and will decamp to Zangramarsh.

At this rate I dont see either alt getting much playtime until I am mid to high 60's.

Andrew

Anonymous said...

Outlands is proving to be fantastic, though I still don't understand how people are levelling so fast. I'm 60-70% of the way through level 62 and I'm sure I've either missed quests or the quests got people further than they've got me :)

The main problem is there is too much to do, plus the fantastic nature of it preys on the imagination in other areas.

Very good all round.

Ian.

Robert Gardner said...

So...I can comment now. Awesome.

I have to admit to much the same as Dave. Loving Outlands, which is unfortunate really, because I've started a Draenie Paladin and he's just not seeing much play, Outlands is just too fresh to be playing old content. The boss camping is annoying, but I can deal with it without much problem.

... and my main will likely ding 62 tonight (After what I did to my health levelling to 60, I'm not rushing to 70).

I've not even left Hellfire Peninsula yet.

Biggest problem I'm having at the moment though is getting my mining and herbalism up, but thats tonights job.

Vodkashok said...

Gah! The masses have descended!

I will say one thing about playing the same content again with an alt... playing a druid and playing a mage is quite possibly the most diverse difference between two characters you can get.

Neil

Anonymous said...

I am loving the new content in BC, I was clearing off those last few quests in Hellfire Peninsular and am now ready to venture to Zangramarsh which I have just made a start on.

One positive that has came from the expansion is the amout of cross guild PUG's happening, it's been great to to instances with you lot again.

As ever if you ever need a rogue feel free to give me a shout.

Mark (AKA Gumbert)

Anonymous said...

I'm currently running my Hunter through, having finally finished the PCT to Wildhammer to rejoin my old guild that moved server wholesale from Dragonblight before I had my break from WoW. Jut dinged 62, and am pretty much done with Hellfire Peninsula now, just got the instance to do, but so far, I've only got the one quest, and I'm not sure how many I'm meant to have.

Anyway, its all fun.

Anonymous said...

That was Bob by the way.