After yesterday’s news this almost feels awkward writing about something I did in game. Yesterday was the first real day of Land of the Dead. Feels like I’ve said that three times now… no really, this was the first real day that this place is open for business for both realms and the system of flipping it back and forth is in operation. When I logged on after doing my morning routine I was shocked to see that we (Destruction) owned the place and had in fact just taken control. This was early in the morning, perhaps 9am PST, and not many people were even online. This is when I found out that only two zone flips are necessary to earn the expedition resources to flip the place – Design flaw. Anyway, I entered LotD and was able to get into the warband participating in the purge (pushing order out). We stomped them back to their camp and made quick work of them. I was a healing machine and rightfully earned the very first gold bag on our server for a Land of the Dead purge. Inside the bag I could take some various crafting mats, or a gold scarab cluster, or a piece of Conqueror gear (my shoulders were inside). This gave me 4/5 Greater Wards!
After poking around every one of the PQ’s (all very well done) and obtaining all of my glyphs (these are used up when you enter a dungeon – sorta like access quests) I decided to take a break for a few hours because Order was 10 minutes from getting control of the place. We had owned it for perhaps 1.5-2 hours. When I logged back in after the break we had just taken control of the place again – what luck! I was then able to immediately answer the call in my Alliance for a warded Healer to do Tomb of the Vulture Lord which is a dungeon equivalent to Lost Vale; in other words it’s relatively the hardest dungeon in the game. It took us a while to get access even though we had the glyphs. Order was really putting up a fight by hiding entire warbands in little corners of the zone and popping out to gank people. Although terrible for us because we were already well on our way to losing the zone again, it’s a nice mechanic that reminds me of DAOC.
We eventually gained access by completing the PQ to open the door. It required us to stand on tiles that matched ones lighting up on the wall of pyramid type temple thingy. Order messed with us a couple times but we eventually were able to enter and begin our own instance (we opted out of purging Order from theirs because we had limited time). The first obstacle we reached in this dungeon was a trap with swinging pendulum axes. Three of our guys worked their way through the trap and stood on tiles to disable them. In the next big room we were able to throw a switch that closed the door and (I believe) reactivated that trap in case Order decided to come in. Statues filled this big room and a PQ began where we brought the statues to life and had to kill them. We nearly completed this PQ when the call came out over alliance chat to rush to the fort for defense. UGH! Just as we had finally found our rhythm!
The fortress defense lasted an hour and I was able to complete a Sigil which awarded me my 5th GW (5/5 now!) so it wasn’t a total loss. Order promptly seized control of LotD while we defended the fortress against a huge zerg, but we had played the game how it is supposed to be played. Land of the Dead isn’t going to shine if players gain access and refuse to defend the mechanics which grant the other team access. It will only feel like ‘right’ if each realm treasures the zone and wants to come out and defend. Having to defend your city works in this mechanic’s favor because defending forts will help you two-fold.
Overall I’m still impressed with the new content. I was able to collect 15 gold scarabs, 10 silver scarabs, some ankh thing, a purple staff with 43 wounds and 3 sockets, a talisman with a neat proc, and complete all of my greater wards. Not bad for a day’s work. I’m about to hop on and try my luck at pugging some of the new lairs or dungeon and I hope to report back that I completed them and found some phat loot.