I didn’t get a lot of time to play on Thanksgiving day, but on Black Friday, I was questing as much as I could. My monk is now level 26 – I did purchase the starter pack while it was on sale. I’m happy to finally have my first mount, and to be able to claim my little flame corgi pet!
The end of the questline through the starting area in Pandaria was very impressive. It was interesting how they introduced the Horde and the Alliance to the player, and then provided a choice of which side to help out. I’ve never been big on playing the Horde, but they were the first I met, and were shown in a very honorable light (gotta love Taurens). In the end, though, I chose Alliance, simply because that’s what I remembered playing before.
So, I arrived in Stormwind, bested their king, and got lost in the huge city. My first annoyance with the game (I only have a few) is that I can’t find anything in the cities or towns. The NPCs aren’t marked on the map, and you have to do it oldskool – ask a guard where things are. I’ve ended up turning to Curse for add-ons to fix this, and though I downloaded Atlas and the Atlas town pack,
it’s not working for me (noob mistakes, I’m sure). Not knowing where NPCs are is a major frustration and time-loss for me, so any help anyone can provide will be great! Update: Nevermind. Figured it out.
I picked up my first professions, too. I read that with the first character, going mining and herbalism was a good foundation. I also unlocked fishing and cooking, though I’m staying away from those as I know the moment I get into it, I’ll be dragged away from quests forever.
I felt a little lost once I was plopped down in the middle of Stormwind. My companions mysteriously vanished (I found them again later on a small island off to themselves), and all I had to guide me was this “Call to Heroes” from the message board in the middle of the city. I followed that and ended up in the zone of Westfall.
I later discovered that every so often, once your character clears a certain level, you’ll get a new Call to Hero quest that leads you to the next level-appropriate zone. Once I figured that out, it was pretty clear what to do. I just had to reach that realization first.
I remember Westfall from back when I played in vanilla WoW. I remember trying to level through it and that it was pretty tough. I also remember that was the last zone I actually saw before I left the game. None of my characters made it past Westfall, so it was ironic that coming back to the game, that was the first place I picked up my journey with the Alliance.
Though the landscape and creatures are the same as I remember, they’ve definitely overhauled the questing in this area. It played out like a murder mystery where I had to assist Lieutenant Horatio Laine in discovering who killed a local farmer. The questlines became even more amusing when Laine started throwing out punch lines and putting on sunglasses like the CSI Miami “YEEEEEAH” memes. Completely unexpected, but set the stage for the kind of questing I’d be doing in this game. 🙂
So, I worked through all the Westfall quests and was pleased to see that while it led me up to a dungeon, it didn’t cut my quest line short with a forced group instance. Instead, it let me discover the place, which was a gentle prod to try it out if I wanted to. But the solo quest lines had a tidy ending, finishing up the story for the zone before I followed the hero’s call to the next zone.
Enter Redridge Mountains
My next call led me to the Redridge Mountains where I assisted the locals with a variety of issues. Like in the previous zone, the folks of Lakeshire are in over their heads… and what do they need? A band of heroes to save the day!
This zone threw me directly into an action hero movie, I swear. I became part of the Bravo team, who often accompanied me through missions, covert and not so covert. There were a lot of explosives, a quest where I killed over 200 orcs in a huge war tank in less than three minutes, and a dragon battle at the end. I mean… you can’t beat a quest named. “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
It was quirky, it was fun, it was totally unexpected. And I even felt something for my NPC companions as the story for this zone ended. Sacrifices were sadly made, but I still wear the bandanna of the Bravo team as I make my way on through the world.
My next hero’s call lead me to the dark forest of Duskwood. I vaguely remember this area from long ago – I might have passed through here as a terrified low level noob for some reason or another. I have a history of running through zones as a low level and somehow coming out alive. 🙂
The quests here are interesting, and I like the undead-spooky vibe from the area. However, so far, it doesn’t seem quite as cohesive as the previous areas. Maybe I just haven’t hit the point where they all jell yet. It’s fine, though, as I’m still having fun exploring and checking out the new area.
I can see that the art style in the older zones aren’t the same quality as the newer zones, but it hasn’t been a huge issue for me. I think the updated character models probably do a lot to help the situation – even if the landscape isn’t so new looking, character models can help you brush over this as long as they look fairly modern.
While I was in Duskwood, I saw a Worgen druid in cat form. This prompted me to check out the druid forms of the different races. I was really interested by the colors that the Troll animal forms have, so I decided to roll a Troll for that reason alone. I’ve never had much interest in playing on the Horde side, but from the few quests I did complete with the Trolls, they aren’t what I expected (in a good way). While I want to concentrate on my Panda first (I’d like to unlock Death Knight at 55, if I can make it there), I’m interested in exploring my Troll Druid eventually!