Happy Holidays one and all. I’m very happy to be home for at least the next couple of weeks. We’re having nice weather here in Georgia. It’s just cold enough to feel like Christmas without the bitterness that makes going outside unpleasant. I haven’t clocked too many gaming hours yet but I’ve been in and out of a couple of games you know, World of Warcraft and EVE Online.
With WOW players hitting level 85 so fast, I realized it must not be a huge grind. Everywhere I turn, I see level 85s. That said, I decided to take my time and grab the character I really wanted to play, which is my Paladin and take her to 80 and then into Cataclysm. I’ve heard that they increased the XP by 20% pre-Cata so hopefully I can hit 80 sometime in January.
I transferred servers and faction to hang out with a gaming buddy. I don’t know about Alliance side but Orgrimmar is packed every minute of every day. Regardless of when I log into the game, I see an ocean of players hanging out.
I started my Paladin’s leveling adventure in Howling Fjord. I WISH that I had done Wrath when it first released. I love this zone so much. It contains all the things that made me adore the Alliance run from Northshire to Southshore. Each area is populated with NPC villages, encampments, small bases, etc. Sure, we still fight some mobs out in the woods per the normal MMO quest experience but there are WAY MORE encounters in settlements, something I’ve always favored! The whole vibe reminded me of Allods because of the variety of encounter locations and all the structures we can run in and out of just ‘cuz. I might be crazy but I really enjoy going into all of the buildings just to look around at the styling. Being in these fantastical settings is why I play MMOs. I wish they’d add interactive elements like books or Easter Eggs.
Flying mounts are better than PIE
Flying everywhere is amazing and I hope they give up on the practice of blocking players from flying across new zones. OMG I explored more extensively than I ever would have on a ground mount. For the first time in a long time, the explorer in me was awakened! This place must have felt so alive when it was overflowing with other players.
During one session, I wanted to get a bite to eat and decided to park myself on an unmanned zeppelin that was flying around near the shore. I landed and positioned myself at the front and just watched the scenery for a few minutes. It was like taking the Circle Line Tour around Manhattan, NYC. Feeling safe from attack – NPC or opposing faction player, I went to make something to eat.
When I came back with my salad, I was surprised to find the zeppelin had actually landed on an upper ledge. Curious, I got off my mount to see what was happening. When neared the gang-plank, I saw a NPC yelling that he was the conductor but was being held prisoner. I was all “WTF is going on here?” I was tickled inside to have stumbled upon this little sideshow.
In my curiosity, I guess I inched a little too close because the guards holding him opened fire on me. I ran backward on to the zeppelin, trying to evade the bullets but one hit me and launched me HIGH into the air AND OVER THE SIDE OF THE BOAT AND OFF THE CLIFF. OH NOES!! I was plummeting to my death when I realized, “Hmm, I’m a Paladin.” I popped every protective cool down talent I could think of to buffer myself.
When I hit bottom, I saw my health bar plummet down to a sliver. *Whew* I survived and to my surprise, DING - an achievement called “Going Down” was triggered. I smiled from ear to ear and danced around – all alone. LOL
I’m only one zone into Wrath but the beauty of the zones and unrestricted flight are simply amazing. The animation and transition of going from trotting to gliding to full flight absolutely spot-on. If your air mount doesn't have wings, you don't know what you're missing. I never get tired of watching it.
I see why so many players are still drinking WOW Kool-Aid. I’m sure I’ll need a break before I hit 85 since leveling is pretty much all there is for me to do in WOW. It's not the crafting I really enjoy but I'll level my professions anyway. Exciting PVP seems to be hit-n-miss and I never liked the static group requirements of Arena. There's no player housing when I just want to putz around. But damn, they have leveling down to a beautiful science.