Land of the Dead is available on Mythic’s Public Test Server now and players are being allowed to enter for the first time.Â I had the opportunity to play yesterday and enter these new and foreign lands for the first time.Â I want to share with you my first impressions of the zone and then go into a little depth as I analyze a few specifics.Â But before I do all of that, I want to share a quick teaser of Lands of the Dead taken yesterday on my Shaman.
This zone is absolutely beautiful.Â From the landscape, to the environment, to the monsters, to the new effects, to the architecture, it’s all well beyond what I could have wanted from the Mythic team.Â When I zoned in for the first time after being flown in by airship, I really felt that that sense of mystery, intrigue, and excitement that builds up inside when you enter a foreign and new area in a game for the first time that you just know has significance in the game.Â My eyes were immediately drawn to the distance where I saw environmental effects, pyramids, tombs, and Egyptian-like skeletal monsters.
Exploring just beyond the gate I noticed that the monsters quickly jumped in levels, but there were PQs and groups of mobs for players of levels ~30-35 to level on.Â I didn’t see any level 25 monsters, but they may have been deeper down one of the side paths.Â The PQs for level 40’s start within a minute’s run of the spawn area.Â I’m very critical of PQs because I’ve never felt that their over abundance was justified.Â Well, in LotD they are justified.Â Completing each PQ unlocks a glyph which grants you access to lairs and dungeons.Â When you complete the lair/dungeon then your glyphs are wiped and you have to complete the public quests again.Â From what I saw, the PQ’s were quick and fun encounters were scripted events similar to what you would see in a WoW raid. If the PQ’s are this great, then I can’t imagine what Mythic has in store for those daring enough to adventure into the depths of the dungeons.
Loot in Land of the Dead is really efficient and friendly to the player.Â Silver Scarabs were dropping consistently and PQ bags, as well as some players I think, dropped Gold Scarabs.Â There were also special LotD talismans that were dropping from mobs semi-regularly in the hour or so that I PvE’d and their stats were impressive.Â On average they were +30’ish to a stat and lasted about 8 hours.Â These were dropping off the easiest and most farmable level 40 mobs in the PQ’s, so I’m sure even better talismans are available inside of the lairs and dungeon. These types of talismans can be purchased from the NPCs in your realm’s outpost too.
Speaking of vendors, there are several positioned right at the outpost who offer armor, trinkets, and all sorts of goodies if you have the scarabs to buy them. I was only able to see gloves and a few other items (even when sorting to see unusable) so perhaps Mythic is keeping them a secret or I just failed to find them. The stuff looks like it’s going to be on par with stat-wise with the Invader and Warlord stuff in terms of stats. The set bonuses on my Shaman gear were godlike.Â [Here are some pictures of stats.]Â All the loot that I saw looked the part of LotD with Egyptian influence.
The Purge was alive and well in LotD.Â The Purge is essentially what happens when one side loses control and the enemy enters.Â A huge battle always ensues and 99% of the time the side entering sweeps through, in time, and wipes out the previous occupants (because they can’t respawn in the zone anymore).Â This process can result in huge zergs battling it out on both sides or swift surgical strikes into the hidden recesses of the zone.Â Â In the purge that I participated in the Order forces were already waiting for us right outside our landing area.Â They had killed the guards (who are not one shotters) and prepared for us to exit.Â We fought hard and for a while it appeared as though we were never going to get out, but we eventually pushed them back and chased them through the zone back to their outpost.
The difference between Darkness Falls and LotD is that each side has an actual outpost with a gate.Â In many ways it’s similar to a Keep since it has a door and cliffsides to defend from.Â The attackers have to (they don’t have to, but they always will) break down the gate and push into the outpost.Â Once inside there are named NPCs and players to slaughter which are all part of a PQ.Â This PQ requires the named leader to be killed and the airship destroyed.Â Once done, players are rewarded with bags, lots of scarabs from the guards, and a good deal of fun.
I want nothing more than to log back onto the PTS and keep playing in the Land of the Dead, but I have to hold back and savor these first impressions so that when it actually launches I will still have 90% of the place to explore and enjoy.Â Â From these first impressions it looks like LotD is well on its way to being what I had hoped for – different than I expected – but what I had hoped for nonetheless.