Tuesday, November 18, 2008

WotLK expansion is finally upon us

It's been five days since the expansion went live, and by now I think we've all had a chance to form some opinions about the expansion. First and foremost in my mind is how virbrant and beautiful the artwork is. Blizzard has surpassed everything they've done previous to this and I applaud them for it. I love the varied environments in the different zones, and the immersive feel of it all. Blizzard continued their previous policy of providing ample quests to level everyone from 70 to 80, seemingly without ever stepping into an instance. Though I do not suggest that. The rewards available in the early instances are very nice and should be upgrades for everyone except the best geared. My shaman is geared in a few Kara epics, but the majority are badge or ZA gear and I was able to replace the gloves I was wearing from early Kara in Utgard Keep. I was even able to put a +28 spell power enchant on them immediatly because the required materials are much cheaper and easier to obtain that the +20 spell power enchant from the Outlands.

All that being said, it's been somewhat frustrating in that even with two starter zones it has been at times very difficult to complete quests with all the players roaming around. I had intended to get in early and blow through the first several quest hubs in hope of staying ahead of most of the player base. That didn't happen and I was left struggling through the first quest hub along with what seemed like the rest of the server. And that problem compounded itself over the next couple of days. I applaud Blizzard for seeking to break up the players into two starter zones, but at least in the Fjord, the inital quest are is too small to support any more than a moderate amount of people at one time. I'm running a second character through the Borean Tundra right now and those quests seem simpler to complete, even with the same amount of people there for some reason.

Of course the problem will moderate once the majority of people spread out, but I was thinking in the future Blizzard might consider the use of their new "phasing" technology for the immediate quest hubs like they did with the Death Knight quest chain. That could prove to be a boon that enables players to quest unmolested and allow a natural spreading of players.

I started a Death Knight immediatly Wednesday night at midnight and found very quickly that the class is everything I had hoped and expected it to be. And as of last night I entered the Borean Tundra with him, having taken a rather leisurly pace through the Outlands. I had started as Unholy with remaining points in Blood, but yesterday switched to Blood with a few points in Unholy and some in Frost. I really have to say that Blood specced Death Knights are as close to god mode in WoW as you can get (along with Ret Paladin). I absolutely love the staying power of that spec and don't plan on switching again any time soon. I literally quested and grinded for 8 hours yesterday, going from 65 to 68 and never had to stop or eat or heal once. You can walk around with literal impunity, and can take on elites of same level or higher without having to worry whether you will survive. It's just not a concern.

Obviously I will record more of my thoughts on things as I get further into WotLK with both of my characters. But my inital thoughts are that Blizzard created a masterpiece, and I think them for it.