I’m not sorry that I missed the Burning Crusade

As I write this post I am currently enroute to Shadowmoon Valley to finish up the last half of a level before I leave Burning Crusade behind forever.  Experiencing the Burning Crusade for the first time these past few days, the first few days of my return to WoW, have been interesting.  Looking back at the various zones, quests, and the overall feel of the expansion leaves me with this incredibly strong feeling: I’m not at all sorry that I missed the Burning Crusade.

I’m not sure what it is… no, wait, I am sure.  It’s the bizarreness of the zones and the incredibly mundane questing.   Hellfire Peninsula was a lot of fun.  I really enjoyed the sense of storyline that came through the questing as the orcs set up their outposts just inside the Dark Portal.  The questing was not entirely “kill 10 rats” and the zone was laid out to be friendly to questing.  There seemed to be a lot of ad hoc pvp going on.  Moving to Zangarmarsh the sense of atmosphere was really strong.  I enjoyed the overall theme there because it kept a strong sense of purpose and the questing wasn’t entirely mundane, although it was moving that way rather quickly.

Where the content took a turn for the worse was in Nagrand.  Although the scenery and lore here is very well done,  the questing in Nagrand destroyed the experience and seemed to set a precedence for the following zones that I just couldn’t shake.  The “kill 10 30 rats” method of questing seemed really rushed and thrown together here.  It became tedious and almost too much to bare.  Thankfully the exp curve allowed us to be picky about which ones we finished.

Blades Edge Mountains and Netherstorm…. 1 sec, feeling nauseas.  Okay, sorry about that.  Even the thought of those two places makes me sick.  I’ll skip over my hatred for Blades Edge and go straight to planet bizarre, aka Netherstorm.  Words do not do it justice; perhaps only these three letters: WTF?

I walked away from this blog entry after arriving in Shadowmoon Valley to finish up my exp for 68.   I’ve just finished going through the first two waves of quests from the first outpost and so far so good.  I’m liking this area a lot because of how tightly packed the quest mobs area and how simple the objectives.  The only downer so far has been getting stuck in combat – i think it has to do with these infernals raining from the sky.  Overall I’m glad it’s ending on a good note here in Shadowmoon.

Maybe the mindset of just getting through BC hurt some of the enjoyment that could have been had, but the fact remains here that the leveling content is what it is – thrown together.

Tonight I’ll be stepping foot into Howling Fjord and beginning my adventures in Northrend.

  • I had the same feeling in Nagrand and Blade’s Edge Mountains. I got used to Netherstorm, however, but never to Shadowmoon Valley. Too dark, even for my Warlock…^^

    FLYING MOUNTS was the theme of TBC, after all. A pity that you do not really have the time to grind for a Netherdrake, but well, you already have your DK special mounts.

    You will enjoy Northrend, it rocks. Maybe more than me in full T5/T6 Badge mix gear. It was stunning, but as a seasoned MMO player you will notice early on that both dungeons are extremely easy and short and … heroics and raids are about the same. Dunno why, but I do not feel the need to play on WOTLK after doing all instances and most raids.

    As Death Knight you will probably have it even easier – they go through Northrend easily, even if it is not as nerfed as TBC.

    I wonder how you will judge the lasting value after a while from the perspective of a returning WoW player. Me and some of my friends somehow feel burned out despite the many improvements in WOTLK.

  • Original WOW has a great storyline being told as you progressed through the zones. However, the later level zones like WPL, EPL. etc. seemed just thrown together and it truly became grinding just to level past the crap.

    TBC started out the same way with a nicely woven storyline and meaningful progression through the zones until you hit the ones you described which became the, “Oh gawd let me just grind past these and get to max level.” And that’s on top of the drastic changes between each zone. I liked the variety in atmosphere but it looked and felt like X different designers did X zones and everyone did their own thing, and the only thing stringing them together is the fact that it’s WOW.

    Depending on your crafting, you’ll also be spared having to grind those zones for motes. Based on your reaction to BEdge and Shadowmoon, can you imagine having to farm those zones for months to get your crafted gear!!!???!!! *Shudder*

    WOW is great leveling but sometimes they just miss the mark on the zones. Silithus, Desolace and Azhara come to mind from the vanilla WOW.

  • I was “fast tracked” in our guild, as we were in desperate need of tanks for raiding (i.e. Kara). Therefore my experiences sound pretty close to yours. I thoroughly enjoyed Hellfire Peninsula and Zangarmarsh but after that we shifted our focus from questing to raiding. I did venture into Nagrand and Shadowmoon Valley somewhat to do quest chains which were often more enjoyable and offered better gear rewards. As for Blade Edge and Netherstorm, barely did much there other than a little bit of herb collecting and raiding.

    Northrend is amazing and so expansive. It also can be explored mostly by foot as well, you don’t need a flying mount but just a fast ground mount to outrun mobs. For example, at 72nd level I’ve got an achievement reward for exploring all of Icecrown already (i.e 80th lvl mobs) and just need a couple last places to get the exploration achievement for Storm Peaks.

    “…but I do not feel the need to play on WOTLK after doing all instances and most raids.”
    “Me and some of my friends somehow feel burned out despite the many improvements in WOTLK.”

    @Longasc: Geez, no wonder! 🙂 I probably wouldn’t want to touch the game either if I grinded through all of the instances and raids in the WOTLK already, yet the games not even been out a month. As I mentioned before, our guild is pretty casual, so we’re taking our time. I mean I could have probably been at least 77th level by now but I’m just having too much fun exploring and working on my professions (since I can now grab mats from mostly anywhere in Northrend now).

  • If you’re a Death Knight I recommend going to Borean Tundra first, since you can get the mightstone plate set from the initial Warsong Hold quests, as well as grab a really sweet blue axe (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=38237) that’ll take you to 75, where you’ll do a ring-of-blood-esque quest chain in Zul’Drak and replace it with an even better blue.

    At the very least, do the intial mightstone quests in Warsong and get the blue axe, and then head over to the fjord, you’ll be in such a better position to, uh, kill things. 🙂

  • Till this day people talk with hushed tones about the pain that was the Nagrand Nesingwary “kill x animals” quest line… good for leatherworkers though, I had a blast killing all those animals with my hunter 🙂

    You probably missed some of the better group quests but yeah the quality of quests in LK is generally 2 notches above most TBC ones.

    About Netherstorm… sorry I have to disagree, the first time I saw the ethereals I was “wow those are cool” and I never lost that feeling since. The entire zone just hits the right buttons on my sci-fi loving soul. High fantasy is great but Netherstorm was a welcome change. Plus there are some amusing/fun quests from e.g. Area 52 (at least as Alliance). I got a kick every time I left/entered Area52 via the gates and got “flashed by the MIB”, lol 🙂

  • personaly so far (coming back to wow to) I cant stand northrend lol it seems that they made it so the only way you can level fast is by questing , dont get me wrong questing = ok. but I get my excitement out of the dungeons. But the exp I get in say the nexus or utguarde it hardly worth the gear.

    I am acually so upset with it I started a new character on burning blade a druid named blud. well an old fellow from pre tbc. Started at 19 hes now 31 , Hopefully by the time i reach northrend with him im more willing to quest!

    Howevere I love the new pvp area! makes it feel like classic wow again(no where near the real thing but a touch of it). New battleground is just completely DIFFERENT! Anyways have fun there.

    Tell me how you like it


  • i really am not sure WoW will ever be for you, while the new xpack is much better then BC its still more of the same.

    me i know i enjoy the shiny new feel to any game, i just had to buy AoC, loved it for the first couple of months, same for War the more i read about it i just had to get it and play it. fact is only 3 games have every really hooked me AC 1 AC 2 and WoW.

    think about it how many games have hooked you over the years ? and what do you look for in a mmorpg ?

  • I wouldnt advise going to Northrend at 68. You will get to 70 quick but by then youll see a lot of quest givers in Howling Fjord that requires you to be 71.

    To time it right, id say wait till you are 69. By the time you get to wintercamp outpost we will be 71 and every single quest in the zone will be open. I hear you face the same problem in dragonblight if you go too early.

    Most people dont notice since they all went in straight at 70, but i went at 68 with my DK and had to comeback to outlands to do my 69. By then i had already replaced my gear so outland questin went ridiculously fast.



  • believe it or not, there are people, myself included, that are thankful for mindless grind quests. i’m a big lore kinda guy so my favorite quest lines are the ones such as the thrall coming to nagrand one, but there are also times where i’m tired and don’t want to do a lot of thinking, and that’s when the nesingwary line comes in very conveniently and very handy.

    I think wow’s done a good balance of variety of quests especially since you do have a selection of zones to go through once you make it past the initial one (northrend you can choose from 2 starting zones even)

    also, as you’ve pointed out in the past i think, you really can’t judge BC by the levelling content. the expansion really was based at the things you could be doing at 70, the levelling process being simply a hopefully enjoyable side experience.

  • Your enjoyment of those massive kill quest may also have to do with what class you are. I leveled as Protection Warrior, so they were just brutal for me and I didn’t finish them.

  • […] expansion has delivered and reignited my interest in WoW.  I note that Keen recently resubbed and this post pretty much sums up my experience with TBC.  As a matter of fact, having Outland to slog through is the reason I’m not playing a Death […]

  • As horde that whole quest chain with Thrall’s grandmother is very cool in Nagrand. That whole chain is one thing you have to do in Nagrand, the rest of the quests there don’t really matter. It starts with “The Agitated Ancestors.”

    I agree that TBC starts out very well but tends to fade, IMO they put more zones in then were really required as you wind up skipping over most of the content. They have really up’d the experience so it is even more evident now.

    I did TBC as horde about a month or two after it launched. It took a bit to get to 70 but by the end there were still many quests I hadn’t done.

    Now I’m doing TBC again as alliance this time, I’ve gotten a level 60 priest to 68, and I still haven’t even stepped foot in Shadowmoon or Netherstorm, haven’t done any questing in Nagrand or Blade’s Edge either. So it is even worse for new players who didn’t see TBC the first time around.

    I would say slow it down a little bit. I’m not planning to go to Northrend until I hit 70.

  • I would actually recommend you start your Northrend adventures in Borean Tundra. There are a lot of interesting quests there that involve vehicles and such. Howling Fjord, on the other hand, wasn’t as fun. There are some little spots where they have you take control of an abomination but other than that it’s pretty bland. The questing as a whole is very by the book so far. Apparently there are some cool cutscenes later on but I’ve yet to see them.

    As a side note, I would also recommend that you go to Northrend at 70. There are a few spots that the respawn rate is ludicrously high and you will die MANY times unless you have those few extra spells and health at your disposal. But if you have a constant partner then I’d say you could dive right in at 68.

  • @Werit: I concur. If the Prot Warriors back then played like they do now, grinding through those hunting quests wouldn’t have been so bad. Still any quest that makes you collect more than 10 items needs to be different in some way (other than killing a different type of beast), so it’s not the same old thing over and over again.

  • Lots of people swear by Nagrand, I’m guessing due to the rapid rate of progress. If you combine rested exp with 30 kills per quest, decent quest turnin bonuses, and the easier exp curve, several levels will literally blur by in almost no time. Personally, though, I’m not very fond of it for precisely the reason you mention – so much mindless killing, even on a DPS class, gets old.

    I think you’ll like Northrend better. Even the updated Nestwaringway questline is careful to stop at 15 kills per type of mob.

  • A little update for you guys. We went to Northrend at 68 because we honestly couldn’t take BC one more minute. We started out in Howling Fjord because we had originally heard that most people like questing there. We did all the quests at the first area (Vengeance Landing?) then probably a little under half the quests from the second area (New Agamond?) and the little area between these two points. That was more than enough to get us to level 69. We then decided to stop here and move to Borean Tundra because we heard there was not only a great axe quest but more “fun” quests.

    Stepping off the Zepplin into Borean Tundra = WOAH! The orcs have outdone themselves with that huge fortress. Seeing all the familiar orcs makes it extra special. So far the first few quests have been really neat. Breaking open webs to expose NPCs that join up with you and help you kill nerubians – AWESOME nerubians – is great.

    We’ll be 70+ today for sure.

  • “WOAH! The orcs have outdone themselves with that huge fortress”

    @Keen: Ya, I was pretty blown away by the size of it as well! I was like “Where’s the flight master?” Kept running around in circles until I looked waaaay up. “Oooh”

  • There’s never been any doubt for me, Burning Crusade didn’t even come close to the original WoW 2004 release content.

  • BC questing isn’t even close to WotLK questing. I hope you can handle the drastic change. Even though I’m not a fan of solo quest grinding WotLK totally reinvented the experience with alot of fun quests. I swear every 5-10 quests I was doing something crazy and epic like riding on a huge giants shoulders to kill bosses and masses of mobs while I controlled the giant around. Quests like that make the leveling fly by and quite entertaining.

  • “That orc fortress is nothing compared to other things in northrend.”

    @Drezzah: Yes and no. I mean to me Icecrown is incredibly amazing, reminds me kind of Mordor in LOTRs. Still for a “simple outpost”, you have to admit that Warsong Hold is one of the most impressive I’ve seen to date.

  • @sicc YES! The quests are absolutely amazing. Oh and Keen you HAVE to level in Dragonblight so you can get the Battle for Undercity quest at the very end!

  • Nagrand was my favorite zone by FAR. I think it might be my favorite zone in the entire game. Packed with quests, lush, interesting, pretty scenery.

    As usual K&G miss the point and try to *grind* the nesingary quests… big mistake – they are supposed to be quests you do while doing OTHER quests. Grind them? Are you nuts?

    I didn’t care too much for BEM, the “dustbelch” landscape was dull, AND that was back in the days where you had a 15 minute corpse run to the latter half of your quest areas.

    Just as someone mentioned, my reaction to Netherstorm was “wowz!”.. entering across the bridge and looking at the mana forges was just an awesome sight. One complaint though, was that Shadowmoon should have been easier, leaving Netherstorm for last! so that you can get your flying mount there, and spend the rest of netherstorm’s quests flying — which is extremely helpful there.

    keep up the WOW ing though, keen. i wanna know if it’s worth spending cash on Wrath.

  • I did the Nesingwary quests while doing other quests. In fact, I had a quest log full of quests that were all accomplished around the same time. Each and every one of them was “kill 30 of this” or “Find 10 of these uncommon drops from quest mobs that are scattered throughout the region”. The quests took me on a tour of the entire zone (which I have said already is beautiful and has good lore). I don’t see how I missed the point “as usual” here Pierre. Please, try to rationalize it for me. I’m interested in how the logic will be spun to turn an annoying quest into anything but an annoying quest. You can dress it up all you want but in the end it is what it is – if you like what it is then it doesn’t bother you – I don’t.

  • I’m not sure I follow. Burning Crusade took the bad of Vanilla and just amplified it, making faster, more grindy. Once you got to the end of the grind, it became fun, there was at least something to work for (loltreadmill). It wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t any different from before. There was some lore, even if IMO it wasn’t quite what you got from Vanilla.

    Sometimes you just have to accept the grind.

  • Oh my lord, I finally got 80 questing in Northred and…