The Lich King made me do it…

On Friday I expressed my curiosity about World of Warcraft now that Wrath of the Lich King has been out for over a week.  Many of you were kind enough to take some time to answer my questions.  I took that information and did further investigation on other websites, forums, and blogs as well as grilling my friends for all the information possible.  They’ll attest, I’m sure, to my non-stop barrage of questions “what’s this like? how’s this now? Can this be done? What about this?”.. I’m sure they hated me by the end. :P  It was all for a good reason though.  If I was going to subscribe to WoW again after being disgusted with the direction the game took two years ago then I needed sufficient info to sway me otherwise.  My ultimate decision this past weekend was to resubscribe to WoW and give it a try.

I came to this conclusion based on three key factors:  1) I have 3-5 friends playing, one of those being a questing partner and someone I’ll play almost exclusively with; 2) I have not seen ANY of the Burning Crusade, so my experience would be all of BC and WotLK combined; 3) What do I have to lose?  It’s just a little money and the result would be that I either feel it’s the same and quit or I actually have fun like my friends think I will.  The last one is very important.  I’ve never had a problem giving a MMORPG a second chance if I think it deserves it – rarely does one deserve it mind you.  I’ve tried EQ2 TWICE after quitting the first time and went back and forth between EQ and DAOC for a while.  Given the information on how WoW has changed since I last played it only made sense to give it a try.

So I took the plunge.  I created an Undead Death Knight on Dark Iron Server named Morkeen.  I guess this is the 4th reason here.  I wanted to play this new class and more than likely would not have resubscribed if not for the added benefit of playing a class that I have never played before.  After all, in my 2 years of old school WoW I took pretty much every class to 60 or close to it.

I won’t give a full account of my newbie experience but a few details stood out to me when beginning the Death Knight (level 55) newbie experience.  First off, the atmosphere when I logged in gave me that ‘kid in a candy store’ feeling.  I was standing next to the Lich King!  I’ve been following the story line of the Warcraft series since the first RTS games and to see the guy who I watched ascend to the throne of the Lich King in WC3 standing in front of me was a surreal experience.

The Death Knight class is really an interesting mixed bag.  They’re a bit more complicated than a normal WoW class; I always felt the other classes were straight forward.  This class has a system of runes that you have to have up to use abilities.  Through talents and playstyle you can turn your DK into a Rogue-like DPS, a Tank/dps hybrid, an AoE casting DPS machine, and probably a lot more.  Right now I’ve decided to play myself as a mix of rogue-like DPS (Blood) and some Unholy casting.  There is a lot of room for experimentation with this class and I probably won’t decide on a final spec until later in my 70’s.  Overall, the class is fun and entertaining.  I never feel like I’m using too many of the same abilities over and over because I have been given so many abilities so quickly.  That will change eventually when I work out a rotation but until then I enjoy trying to figure out what works.

The questing in the DK Newb area is a lot of fun.  There are a few standard “kill x of this” quests but they’re mixed into the middle of gimmicky quests.  Some of the quests are so ridiculously silly that they’re fun (spamming cannon balls down on an infinite wave of soldiers doing bazillions of damage), others are hillarious (hiding in a mine cart while a peasant pulls it), and some are so epic it makes you question why all quests aren’t so cool (flying on a Frost Wyrm and destroying an army).  Not only did the questing hardly feel like normal questing, but it actually sucked me in with a storyline.  Albeit I’m slightly biased here because of my favorable disposition toward true Warcraft Lore (not this Draenei bs); it’s still well done and I actually read all of my quests.  The best part of the entire experience though was at the end.  [SPOILERS: The family Mograine plays a huge part in the DK storyline.  This quest-line gave me chills back in the day and to see it return and fulfill itself once again was spectacular.  The use of an in-game cinematic was superb.]

I was out of the newbie area at level 58 and plunged back into the oldschool WoW world.  I won’t lie… I felt sick.  I had this rush of “been there, hated that” and moved as quickly as possible to get to the Blasted Lands.  The flight from Undercity to Blasted Lands reminded me of how much I hate the long flight paths.  I made it to the portal and went through, stepping into Outlands for the first time ever.  First impression: WOAH! Look at the sky!  It’s so cool!  Second Impression: Woah!  Big daemons!  Third Impression: That’s a lot of barren wasteland and orange.  Needless to say, because you’ve all experienced it, the questing and storyline in BC so far in Hellfire are nothing to get ‘too’ excited about.  There’s not much storyline other than “we’re here setting up out outlands outpost, help us by killing those boars!”.   I will admit though that some of the quests are still interesting when they break away from the mold.  Flying around on a wyvern dropping bombs was cool.

Morkeen in Hellfire Peninsula
Morkeen in Hellfire Peninsula

Somewhere in the mix of questing in Hellfire and leaving the Dk newb area I gave the battlegrounds a try.  This is something that has not changed one bit – in fact it’s gotten worse than I remember.  I did a game of Arathi Basin and really hated it.  Spaztactics at their best here folks.  People were running around, jumping, and it was just a clusterfart of nonsense as people killed each other in a few swings of their weapons.  This is what I remember though and why I still feel that Warhammer Online has the superior PvP.  This one game of Arathi Basin made Tor Anroc and Serpent’s Passage look like the holy grail.  I won’t be requeueing for a scenario for a very, very, very (read: never) long time.  I’m hoping that Wintergrasp pulls through for me.

Oh, it’s worth mentioning that since we’re on a PvP server we’ve seen a TON of ad hoc pvp.  Players will just randomly come out of no where and pick a fight.   That’s something that I sorely missed when I played on Wolfenburg in WAR.  I didn’t get nearly enough random PvP.  Here in the land of 11-million served there’s never a shortage of people in sight and finding someone to fight, gank, or be ganked by is easy.  It adds that “I gotta watch my back” element.

When I logged off last I was level 59, almost 60 (leveling is sooooo easy), and working on Spinebreaker post (I think that’s the area after Thrallmar…) questing for some silly Goblins who crashed their zeppelin.  The one goblin wanted me to get him some eggs and the other wanted me to collect 30 pieces of his broken zeppelin… we’ll see how that goes.

Bottom Line, I’m liking the PvE of WoW better than the PvE of WAR right now.  I think that if all goes according to plan then I’ll be able to enjoy WoW casually as a game that I log in to quest and do 5-10man dungeons with at my leisure.  I’m looking forward to enjoying Wintergrasp, if it turns out to live up to the hype, but so far I think the PvP (aside from random skirmishes) in WAR is vastly superior to WoW’s.  My plan right now is to play WAR for the PvP(RvR) and WoW for the PvE.  I think this healthy mix will satisfy my needs in both areas.  That feeling of exploration is there in WoW for me because everything is so new.  The world seems wide-open.  In the screenshot above you can see that forest in the background – when I first saw that I’m like “Wow, I want to go there!”  Turns out that I can and I will… that feeling isn’t found in WAR right now.  I like that sense of unknown.

I’ll keep you guys updated on my adventurs through Outlands and then through the Northrend WotLK content.  I hope that this will be educational for not only myself but for any of you who are interested in whether or not WoW has actually changed or if it’s just a fresh coat of paint.

Note: I have taken a lot of videos (some with major spoilers) that I’ll edit in time and get up.  I also have a lot of screenshots that I’ll add to a gallery.  Depending on my free time I may or may not have those up by tomorrow.  I’m in the middle of finishing my research paper and grinding out the final weeks of this semester.

  • To be fair, you gotta go where your friends are. Not many people like playing an MMORPG solo and it seems that was the direction WAR was heading for you.

    It’s nice to hear you’re still giving WAR a chance to pull up its socks. I’m personally looking for a distraction from WAR to make it through until 1.1. The expectations for this patch are pretty huge imho. I believe many people’s decisions on whether or not to keep paying for a sub will be made due to 1.1’s success or failure.

    I’m just logging in for very short burts to get my Heavy Metal dailies in and spending the rest of my hobby time on other things like L4D, reading, and guitar. No sense playing something that frustrates you more than it makes you feel good.

  • @Snafzg: I’m still playing WAR and have friends playing WAR. I’m just splitting my time between the two and using WAR for my PvP and WoW for my PvE. I get different things out of both games because they are so different. I’m also mixing in L4D for that incredible pickup and play ease. WAR’s 1.1 patch will be the deciding factor for me though as to whether I resubscribe or not. It comes out sometime near the end of December or beginning of January.

    @Werit: I was reading your blog about how you’re making WAR your “prime time” game. I think that’s a really good idea and I’ll probably end up doing the same. WAR, as we all know by now, isn’t fun without a lot of people online.

  • @keen: I think it will work out well. I have no raiding desires in WoW and some of my guild are online in the afternoons too. So I will not miss much in WoW playing it in the off-hours.

  • /shun

    No really…I agree with Snafzg. Freinds make an MMO awesome. I get to go back to EQ2 when I get back. I will still be trying WAR since I haven’t played yet. Maybe I’ll be lucky and the 1.1 patch will fix a lot and I’ll never be dissapointed.

  • It’s no coincidence that most of us, regardless of which game we end up spending the most of our time in, agree that WoW has superior PVE and Warhammer has superior PVP/RVR. WoW was designed and launched as a PVE game without even a PVP scoring system in place, while Warhammer was designed as an RVR game and the PVE content was balanced around the RVR characters. I personally prefer to focus on finishing one project at a time, but otherwise I might have tried to keep juggling the two myself.

    I will say that it’s a bit of a travesty how the DK questline dumps you off in 2-year old content without a word of explanation of why your new DK, whose unlife is now devoted to revenge on Arthas, should take a sightseeing detour to Outland. I recognize why they wanted to create a buffer between the Death Knight re-rolls and content existing level 70 characters were charging into (a buffer that is a lot shorter than you might expect, given how they shortened the Outland exp curve – in Beta, I literally skipped two entire zones out of seven in Outland to go to Northrend at 68), I’m just saying, it’s a bit unfortunate to put some of the game’s best content in the opener and then make players wait 10 levels to get back to the good stuff. Ah well, the quests of Outland are good, they’re just not as good as the new material.

  • @Green Armadillo: I think that sums up my feelings as well. I think they should have, somehow, found a way to extend the DK content another 10 levels to 68. Having to go to Outland just happens to work well for me though since I’ve never done the content.

  • I played WotLK and I still couldn’t take it. I have 6x70s and over 200 days /played time on that game. I am so sick of WoW and its player base. It would be such a better game if it was more like pre-BC. They keep trying to add PvP but Blizzard just doesn’t understand (and apparently a lot of companies don’t) that you need to just remove battleground/scenarios/arena and make it WORLD ONLY. In pre-BC world PvP was so much fun. I like small battles where I can prove my skill with just a few friends. In battlegrounds and arena, it all depends on your class and gear. It was just a depressing game, I was never allowed to play how I wanted, instead I had to play what was best at the time if I wanted to be able to compete.

    I am looking forward to Darkfall. I am currently in the beta and it is so unbelievably good. I can’t even express how great that game is. I fell like I am fighting players when I am fighting mobs… The stealth/cue system makes me think. Best of all, I SEE other people since there is only open world. The graphics are not that great, but if the game becomes popular I will be glad that they are low graphics. Because some of the staging areas for battles would be too immense for great graphics.

  • “My plan right now is to play WAR for the PvP(RvR) and WoW for the PvE.”

    I’d like to do that as well but being in Canada, a $15 US subscription is like $20, so that’s like $40/month for two MMO’s subscriptions which is too much unless I’m absolutely loving both games. As it stands now though, while I’m having ton of fun in WOW, WAR’s RVR has fizzled out for me because they still haven’t improved the Open RVR and I’m worried we might not even see improvements to it in the 1.1 patch.

    So as it stands, I’m letting my WAR account expire and I’ll watch closely to see what happens with patch 1.1. If they make dramatic Open RVR and I’ll give it a go again. If they don’t, I won’t.

  • Actually I’ve been peeking at the features of Darkfall as well and they “sound” pretty damn good (i.e. a lot of the features I’d include in my own dream MMO), so I’m keeping my eye on it as well. Problem is that I’ve seen this sort of thing a million times before. A feature list doesn’t make a game. How they are implemented (usability / functionality) are what make it or break it. Still I’m hoping they can pull a rabbit out of hat because it’s nice to see a developer going out on a limb like that and taking those sort of risks.

  • I’m doing much the same, save that it’s LoTRO for PvE and WAR for PvP. Actually, since MoM launched it’s been pure LoTRO for me. But I’m keeping my WAR sub going for now.

  • @Photonic

    Darkfall has recently caught my interest. I must admit that the concept is very appealing to me. No grinding levels and no instanced pvp. Sign me up. I don’t mind sacrificing graphics for a compelling game experience.

    I am currently playing WAR and WoW. And both of these games are still lacking in some major areas imho. WAR’s pvp is a blast. WoW’s pve is cool, but the challenge factor is non-existent.

    Is there a Holy Grail mmo out there? I doubt it. So I am going to surround myself with some very good friends and focus on the positive aspects of the games that I play. After all, The relationships that I have established, in these mmos, are the most rewarding part of the game anyway.

    Oh, Photonic, please keep us posted on your Darkfall experience. I am very interested in hearing about how the development progresses.

  • Well I have no intentions of doing any formal type of “review” since I will, undoubtedly, end up skipping a great deal of the BC content and just focus on leveling through it casually to see the sights and quest. I’ll definitely give impressions on the content that I see though.

    Btw, to update on my current adventures… those goblins can find their own dang zeppelin pieces… Abandoned that after 15 min of searching and only finding one!

  • I’m not interested in QuestHelper actually. I think it would totally destroy my “want to explore” experience. I’m actually feeling MUCH more involved by not having big red circles or even the temptation of big red circles telling me where to go.

  • @keen: “I will, undoubtedly, end up skipping a great deal of the BC content and just focus on leveling through it casually to see the sights and quest.”

    That sounds like a great use for QuestHelper, just turn it off when you get to Northrend 🙂

  • @Nollind Whachell
    Just an fyi, the exchange rate isn’t near that high anymore. It’s about 1.29 although it has been rising during the fall after this summer it was nearly 1 to 1. I do miss when the shoe was on the other foot and I could drive up to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and get stuff cheap (was about 1 to .80 than).

  • i agree with werit, from what i have read here and i could be wrong but you did not get to 70 in TBC ? as to have been a reason for that. i liked that xpack at the time and did it many times but does not sound like you did. quest helper might just make that part of the game faster to you.

    you liked the DK starter area, and you have much more of that to come in northrend, zones there will blow you away most prob better then any game you have played. the world in WoW is just better then anything out there.

    if you dont find yourself enjoying TBC content get out of it as fast as you can get quest helper, then drop it like werit said.

  • “I think it would totally destroy my “want to explore” experience.”

    Actually that’s one thing I’m enjoying about WoW again. I mean flying between flight points, you actually get to see what’s happening between places or see a place you might have missed. Definitely adds the immersion and the sense of place you get from the entire continent of Northrend.

    @Bubba: May not be $20 exactly but close enough. 30 Oct WAR 15.74 USD @ 1.2528 = $19.72 / 7 Nov WOW 14.99 USD @ 1.2294 = $18.43

  • As. Far as I know there is an NDA. However u don’t believe it’s super strict. I will look into it.

    Still, there are huge posts on the forums of feedback and the gamepkay trailer is pretty acurrate. The game requires thinking. If you run up to a mob and just start swinging your going to lose. It took me forever to figure out that you can mindlessly grind. The freaking goblin mobs kite you with a stamina drain. You have to sneak up by moving slow and in the shadows. They can even smell you… You have to watch how the wind is blowing.

    What I love the most is that because the Ui is so minimal I feel like I am my character. I feel like I am createing my own story and not being forced into one.

    I would suggest if you have not, sign up for the beta, download the gameplay trailer and read the feedback. I rarely have time to play and when I do I spend a lot of it providing feedback to the devs. If you can get past the 1996 graphics (which as a graphics designer and 3d animator is hard for me), it’s a great game.

    Anyways I should be listening to my professor and not typing on my iPod, so I will get back to you later.

  • That’s can’t mindlessly grind. Stupid iPod autocorrect gets that but let’s me misspell gameplay? Lame apple, lame

  • @Keen: I feel the same way about the WoW PVE > WAR PvE. I totally stalled out just starting Tier 3 on my Chosen. I was going here, killing xyz and it felt even worse than WoW because they boiled all the fun out of it. I’ll agree that the WAR organized PvP is better, I try and stay away from the WoW battlegrounds. I’m not high enough level to try Wintergrasp yet but it sounds pretty fun. You should also queue for Strand of the Ancients when you’re in the right level range, it’s a battleground but it incorporates the same siege warfare as Wintergrasp.

  • i have heaps of mates who are still playing WoW, i cant understand why though…

    seriously you really must have enjoyed leveling 1 thru 70 and grinding PVP just to find out you gotta do it all over again.

    Theres nothing that blizzard could do to get me playing again, they would haveta pay me to play.

  • Keen, do yourself a favor and skip the collect 30 zepplin pieces quest and in fact any quest which seems too hard/boring. But especially that quest, between dodging the giant wandering robot and getting attacked by a buzzard in the middle of picking up a piece from the ground can get very annoying.

    Leveling 60-70 has been speeded up which means you can pick and choose which quests to do and which to drop and to concentrate on the more interesting ones. You’ll still get more than enough XP per level and you might actually get to see Netherstorm and Shadowmoon Valley which IMO are 2 of the best Outland zones, however being high-level most people now will probably not even see them but skip at 68 directly to Northrend.

    Regarding QuestHelper, I admit using it is a bit of a cheat but it’s such a useful one and makes questing so much easier that most people can’t resist. If you want just a little help but don’t want a map icon pointing you exactly where to go, I can recommend LightHeaded. It’s an addon which integrates wowhead comments into your quest log, so that for every quest you can, if you chose to, open the LH window and read the wowhead comments which will usually explain what to do and where to go. In great detail 🙂 The advantage is it’s not quite “in your face, holding your hand” as QH is.

  • hey keen, just been back to your site after a while and read through the post, which i was enjoying very much. funniest thing in times, because me and a friend came back to wotlk just saturday aswell, to play with some more friends and mainly all your reasons. i havn’t seen bc content before, i wanted to test the DK class (which i really love atm), to enjoy some more pve-content that doesn’t yell DKP-40-man-be-on-evey-night into your face. so far i am enjoying it – i am looking forward to hearing more of your experiences.

    and yes, the get 30 pieces quest sucked. but shortly after that i came a across a named mob that gave me a nice achievement, dropped a wonderfull plate helmet and left me giggling with “this actually is FUUUN!”

    enjoy your wow-time.

  • I’d have to agree with a bit of what Solidstate says. I’d advise that you cherrypick your quests. Grab the ones that sound fun and avoid the unfun ones. It’ll make the experience a lot better and with Outland being faster, it won’t harm you.

    I would also advise trying to see Netherstorm and Shadowmoon. Though a lot of people don’t do this, I would suggest leveling all the way to 70 in Outland instead of just 68 like a lot of people are doing. It’ll just make Northrend easier for you.

    There are 7 zones so you only need to get 1.5 levels per zone to be able to see them all and hit 70. And with the new XP changes, it’s very easy to get 2.5-3 levels per zone and if you do ALL the quests. So you could probably skip almost half the quests in each zone and still level fine to 70.

    As for questhelper and related mods RESIST THE URGE! 🙁 The game is much more fun when you don’t cheat at quests.

  • @Borr: “seriously you really must have enjoyed leveling 1 thru 70 and…” For the most part, I had a helluva lot of fun going from 1st to 70th because it was 1) a completely new experience the first time around and 2) I did it with a group of friends who leveled together (no one raced ahead). So from that perspective, we enjoyed it immensely. It’s when you have to repeat existing content (i.e. Outlands for DKs) that things can get boring and tedious.

  • “Still, there are huge posts on the (Darkfall) forums of feedback…” Here’s some of the notable quotes from the Darkfall beta testers that stood out for me.

    Overall Impression: “I love the sandbox feel of the game. I can chop a tree for wood, skin a tombstone (doesn’t feel right), mine a rock, and whack some weeds for herbs and feel like I’m in constant danger running around in the countryside doing so.” “This game is extremely solid, and just needs polish.”

    Graphics: “The meticulously detailed world map is as huge as promised and feels so much more 3-dimensional than past MMORPG’s that relied on height mapping.” “The graphics are strange in some places and absolutely superb in others.” “The shadows drew closer to me from a tower up on a hillside and I was looking at how the shadow changed as the sun moved.”

    AI: “One guy trying to take on 4 goblins is not simple – the goblins will melee you and then sprint away to kite you around while the other ones shoot you, and the second you go for them instead, the one that was running will pull out its own bow…” “I was sure a dev had jumped into the body of the Ork and was playing a joke.” “The work you have to do in Darkfall is killing the newbie mobs in order to get resources to start off your in-game career, however, unlike other MMos these mobs aren’t a joke.”

    Controls: “One problem for example is that you must manually unsheath your weapon before attacking, but if you press the attack key, it does not automatically unsheath your weapon, even though the user would expect that to happen.” “For the love of God, get people to go through a mock-up of the equip/sheathe/load/fire etc. etc. when they first start, when the game goes live.” “I do understand some concerns people have with the UI and the whole “equip and then use” system instead of just click to use but since it’s an fps style game I don’t see any alternative”

    PVP: “Crouching behind an abandoned cart alongside a large road, waiting for your target to pass by and quietly landing a few arrows in their back was a very gratifying experience.” “PvP combat in this game reminds me so much of watching a sword fight in a movie where the fighters almost dance around each other looking for a weakness to strike at.” “It’s already dangerous going 3v1 because the ‘3’ side will constantly hit eachother in melee or with spells accidentally. A skilled solo player can definitely pull off some cool stuff there.” “What I liked with the PVP, was that you never know what the other player might have as skills or equipment.”

    Crafting: “Crafting so far seems fairly simple but very robust; there’s nothing really new or groundbreaking here but it works and it covers a ridiculous amount of stuff.” “I think it’s easier and faster to just farm goblin scouts for their arrows then the time and money it would cost to make arrows.”

  • You will be quite disappointed in Outlands after epic DK starting zone. Thankfully when you reach Northrend it will get much better again.

    The amount of XP from 60-70 got lowered by 30% and DK is LEVELING GOD class so you will get there fast.

    Oh and go research about Unholy DK – best leveling and beyond spec ever but you need to know how to use it – it is like blood but you can take ~5 mobs at once and end up with full HP :p

  • Yeah, Outland was / is rather dull.. Not just the quests, but the entire environment never did it for me, my favourite zone in outland has to be Nagrad, and that’s the only zone not having that much “sci-fi” feeling.. So I guess the entire Outland theme just didn’t do it for me..

    The Death Knight starting zone on the other hand is awesome!
    And the death knight itself it darn overpowered! At level 58 I could grind level 60-63 boars without getting beneath 95% HP when the combat was done, when I hit level 67 I was taking down level 70-71’s in Borean Tundra barley loosing HP at all? And that’s with all the same blue items I received from the quests in the Death Knights starting zone?!

    What’s up with Death Knight having good DPS, standing much damage and have auto-healing? Feels like it’s not possible for me to die at all!

    Have to admit I love all about Northrend, the dungeons are awesome, the environments are STUNNING! and most of the quests are actually fun to do! Wintergrasp is somewhat still deserted on my server because we are too few higher levels, but when the action starts there it’s fun like hell!

    Keen you should rush through Outland as fast as possible (that’s if you don’t find outland that amusing) and as soon as you hit 67-68 go go Northrend! I really love Borean Tundra, and both The Nexus and Utgarde Keep are two really awesome dungeons!

    What made me leave WAR for Wotlk?
    First of all Blizzard is a great developer, delivering bigger and better updates faster than what EA Mythic does in my honest opinion, at the same time as WoW is incredibly polished! WAR is just not there yet.. The AH system and professions actually somewhat plays a roll and work in WoW, in WAR they don’t at all.. The dungeons in World of Warcraft, especially those in Northrend are WAY better than any I’ve seen in WAR! The entire PvE part of WoW is smashing the PvE in WAR into pieces..

    The downside is the PvP that works better in WAR, but if your in a guild and do premades PvP in World of Warcraft is on pair with WAR. And the arena matches is something I miss in WAR, along with the entire combat feeling much more smooth and balanced in WoW compared to WAR.

    And now that the Northrend visuals and environment is so stunning as they actually are, I find the graphics of WoW to be better than WAR too.. So there wasn’t really anything keeping me in the world of WAR beside somewhat better PvP, but when I looked at all the benefits WoW actually have over WAR it became a rather easy choice for me.

  • My pally and priest are incapable of dying in Northrend, with no gear on. WotLK is the easiest mmo experience I have ever had. Seriously; my pally , at level 70 having only a shield and mace equipped (naked), soloed a 71 elite and 3 adds with ease.

    I am not so sure that the DK is overpowered, I actually think that all of the npc mobs in the game are very underpowered.

  • Maybe the part of the leveling in the Outlands will be boring as it’s more of the same ‘kill 10 boars’ or ‘get 20 ears’ (off mobs that don’t seem to have ears at all), but then Northrend, at least what I’ve seen so far – I’m level 73 – is a refreshing change to what used to be.

    I’m taking my time leveling this time around so I enjoy the quests and the whole context. Something I ended up not doing too much of in TBC because, truth be told, there were not many interesting things happening in the Outland.

    I’m not sure if the end game will also be new and improved, or just ‘kinda new’, but I’m liking the concept of the 10 man versions of the 25 man raids. Because maybe this time around, I won’t be so sick of the content due to having to raid with over 20 complete morons, that I won’t quit the game 1 year before the new expansion half way through what used to be the final TBC dungeon (BT). Maybe.

  • Good writeup. As a WoW player for almost 2 years who tried out WAR when it came out, I’m in a similar camp, I find the PvP in WoW to be utterly lacking.

    I canceled my WAR account for now to focus on leveling and early raids in Lich King, but I’m going to resub to War as soon as the exp pack starts to lose its luster.

  • I’ve been playing WoW for a very long time and have recently decided to switch to a DK (my experiences are documented at I must say that even though this is the 3rd toon I’m taking through Outlands, it’s still plenty of fun. I think the reason is that I have been using Jame’s leveling guide ( What this guide does is save a lot of time wasting and makes sure all you do is the ‘fun’ stuff. What I used to really hate while leveling was searching for stuff, not knowing exactly where named things were, etc. Jame’s guide is a must IMO.

  • Hello Keen, i finish right now reading your opinion, and i have to say that your right in almost everything, but you miss lot of things very important, like sieges in war, they practically suck, defenses of the castles are a shit, the people destroy the doors with their own fists and sieges weapons are useless for anything.
    Rvr i dont like it, i thought it will be something great and is just zerg vs zerg, etc

    The problem with wow now, is that almost any class dps can kill you in maybe two or tree hits, yes i know, nobody like feel like a shit. But i hope when i reach lvl 80 things will change a little bit.

    Im not a fanboy of nothing, but i quit from war and come back to wow, i have more friends, i like more the pvp and pve.

  • WotLK will be a disappointment once you’ve hit max level, I believe. The game has barely changed at all. You either mindlessly raid a dungeon, or you spend all evening standing around battlemasters waiting to get into a queue. People on the official forums are complaining about Wintergrasp and its long timer and bugs (the Horde couldn’t click the orb, so the Alliance kept gaining control of Wintergrasp for free).

    Worst of all, PvP is wildly imbalanced. Classes like paladins who can kill you in the duration of a single stun move. As a death knight, it gets repetitive using the same rotation of moves over and over–as runes refresh, abilities light up in certain patterns that you’ll end up memorizing very quickly.

    I like the music and the visuals, but I’m starting to get disillusioned with the gameplay again. It’s still WoW. I’m getting the feeling of sameness that I got toward the end of Burning Crusade when I left the game, sick of doing the same quests and PvP every night. When the new Arena season starts, everyone will fill into the major cities again and stand around the goblin in the tuxedo while the world gets empty. All that will be left to do is raids and battlegrounds. Yuck. It’s probably going to drive me away again.

  • Preston, I share your sentiments and it has driven me away, too. I decided to cancel my account for a while.

    I hit max level and did all the dungeons and what now? Faction grind, repeat the dungeon over and over and do some of the achievements that are basically doing the same thing in a more artificial and difficult way.

    Already been there, did that – time to do something else.
    There is no endgame content, and the even more hardcore raiders have done it all already.

    But I do not exactly belong to this group… I guess we will have people crying about the longevity and endgame content of WOTLK around or after christmas holidays!