On Friday I expressed my curiosity about World of Warcraft now that Wrath of the Lich King has been out for over a week.Â Many of you were kind enough to take some time to answer my questions.Â 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.Â 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. :PÂ It was all for a good reason though.Â 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.Â 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:Â 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?Â 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.Â The last one is very important.Â 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.Â I’ve tried EQ2 TWICE after quitting the first time and went back and forth between EQ and DAOC for a while.Â 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.Â I created an Undead Death Knight on Dark Iron Server named Morkeen.Â I guess this is the 4th reason here.Â 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.Â 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.Â First off, the atmosphere when I logged in gave me that ‘kid in a candy store’ feeling.Â I was standing next to the Lich King!Â 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.Â They’re a bit more complicated than a normal WoW class; I always felt the other classes were straight forward.Â This class has a system of runes that you have to have up to use abilities.Â 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.Â Right now I’ve decided to play myself as a mix of rogue-like DPS (Blood) and some Unholy casting.Â 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.Â Overall, the class is fun and entertaining.Â 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.Â 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.Â There are a few standard “kill x of this” quests but they’re mixed into the middle of gimmicky quests.Â 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).Â Not only did the questing hardly feel like normal questing, but it actually sucked me in with a storyline.Â 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.Â The best part of the entire experience though was at the end.Â [SPOILERS: The family Mograine plays a huge part in the DK storyline.Â This quest-line gave me chills back in the day and to see it return and fulfill itself once again was spectacular.Â 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.Â I won’t lie… I felt sick.Â I had this rush of “been there, hated that” and moved as quickly as possible to get to the Blasted Lands.Â The flight from Undercity to Blasted Lands reminded me of how much I hate the long flight paths.Â I made it to the portal and went through, stepping into Outlands for the first time ever.Â First impression: WOAH! Look at the sky!Â It’s so cool!Â Second Impression: Woah!Â Big daemons!Â Third Impression: That’s a lot of barren wasteland and orange.Â 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.Â There’s not much storyline other than “we’re here setting up out outlands outpost, help us by killing those boars!”.Â Â I will admit though that some of the quests are still interesting when they break away from the mold.Â Flying around on a wyvern dropping bombs was cool.
Somewhere in the mix of questing in Hellfire and leaving the Dk newb area I gave the battlegrounds a try.Â This is something that has not changed one bit – in fact it’s gotten worse than I remember.Â I did a game of Arathi Basin and really hated it.Â Spaztactics at their best here folks.Â 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.Â This is what I remember though and why I still feel that Warhammer Online has the superior PvP.Â This one game of Arathi Basin made Tor Anroc and Serpent’s Passage look like the holy grail.Â I won’t be requeueing for a scenario for a very, very, very (read: never) long time.Â 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.Â Players will just randomly come out of no where and pick a fight.Â Â That’s something that I sorely missed when I played on Wolfenburg in WAR.Â I didn’t get nearly enough random PvP.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â My plan right now is to play WAR for the PvP(RvR) and WoW for the PvE.Â I think this healthy mix will satisfy my needs in both areas.Â That feeling of exploration is there in WoW for me because everything is so new.Â The world seems wide-open.Â 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!”Â Turns out that I can and I will… that feeling isn’t found in WAR right now.Â I like that sense of unknown.
I’ll keep you guys updated on my adventurs through Outlands and then through the Northrend WotLK content.Â 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.Â I also have a lot of screenshots that I’ll add to a gallery.Â Depending on my free time I may or may not have those up by tomorrow.Â I’m in the middle of finishing my research paper and grinding out the final weeks of this semester.