WoW – 30 Levels

I did resub to WoW, have played about 16-17 hours, and now have a level 30 Dranei Monk. So far I am mostly enjoying it.

Some Impressions

I was curious about new cinematics and new starter zones, so I created a throwaway char of each race and watched. For the Pandaren and Worgen, I played through the whole zone – I am in the midst of the same for the Goblin. I’m sure I’m the last person playing WoW to note the Pandaren and Worgen starter zones are abbreviated and meant to funnel you through and into the rest of the world quickly; both didn’t take much time to zip through, and left you at level 11-13 or so with some nice gear upgrades and extra bag space. I’m working through the Goblin area as well, but haven’t finished, and I’m sure it will be the same.

Quest flow is vastly improved. I subbed to WoW in 2007, and then in 2010, and I remember being stuck figuring out what to do next.There was no backstory to follow (as in LoTRO or GW) which helps guide you to the next area, and since the zones are a little randomized (two factions with their respective starter areas mixed in with higher level zones) it sometimes meant crossing to the other continent, running long distances to get a flight path, etc.

But now, the capital cities have an announcement banner that gives a “Hero’s Call” quest. So after wrapping up all the quests in the Dranei area, the banner told me to report to someone in Ashenvale, skipping me over Darkshore which I out leveled). Once there and starting on the west side of the zone, I received a few area quests and then some that took me eastward across the whole zone. And when I got into the upper 20’s, another quest from the announcement banner in the capital gave me a quest to report to Stonetalon Mountains and also Desolace.

Of course, making it to Ashenvale for the first time meant hoofing along the road.

Elekk across Darkshore
Elekk across Darkshore

What I do miss from GW/GW2 and even LoTRO is real fast travel – the kind that takes seconds to complete. On the other hand, unlike EVE, at least I don’t have to worry about getting attacked while traveling.

Another thing that is annoying after playing GW2 is the shared resource/quest mechanism. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been cut off trying to get to a quest objective by another player using a ranged attack to tag a mob before I can get there. Or resource node. Blizzard, play some GW2 and advance your quest design by 10 years. And that’s now, when the initial rush of players through the new zones has subsided. I can’t imaging how absolutely crappy things were when those new races were added, players must have spent hours trying to jump on spawned mobs to complete their own “kill X mobs” quests.

Borked Economy

My only real complaint about WoW this 3rd time around is the same one from my previous 2 subs: the economy is 100% totally borked. It is skewed/inflated towards end-game players and basically assumes any lower level char is an alt of a wealthy max level main.

Here’s a representative pic of looking for gear at the auction hall:

Auction Hall
Auction Hall

My character has been wearing that pumpkin helm for about 25 levels, because I haven’t gotten something better via questing, and all the helms (for that matter, all gear I’ve looked for, weapons and armor) is ridiculously priced. That pumpkin helm is probably some Halloween special I received, and if it weren’t the Halloween season, I might not have a helm at all.

In this case, searching for a helm, the options shown are either ~90 gold or ~450+ gold. What is missing are the typical 1 to 5 gold offerings – a basic item likely made by someone merely leveling their crafting skills. Those type of items aren’t upgrades at all and have worst stats than quest reward gear.

So the auction hall’s “affordable” items are terrible and kinda pricey as well, and actual gear improvements are insanely expensive. It is as if everything in the auction hall is made by rich characters crafting items for other rich characters seeking to twink their alts.

I’ll probably just skip checking anymore, it is clear to me the crafting economy is screwed and always will be. I guess I’ll survive off quest gear.

Open-World PvP

One other thing I hate, but have to deal with because my friends are on a PvP realm, is open-world PvP.

IMHO, Open-world PvP is complete garbage. Nobody is interested in a fair or even fight, so the entire premise is crap. The only PvP going on in quest zones is ganking:

One-shot killed
One-shot killed

The enemy player did more damage in one spell than my entire health. There’s no actual combat on either side. For them, it’s a single keypress. For me, I’m suddenly dead and have to retrieve my body. I’ve come to loathe druids, since they’ve been responsible for all ganks so far – druids have the stealth so they can sneak up on you and spells for a ranged kill.

It’s just crap – I hate open-world PvP so much I can’t describe it adequately. Across various characters I’ve leveled in PvP realms in WoW, I can think of 2 times out of ~50 fights where I had a relatively even fight in open-world PvP. The rest have been near-max level chars one-shotting me.

I’ve come to view the inevitable ganking as a 5% chance per hour of dying for no reason I can control… a environment effect of sorts that just kills randomly as an annoyance. That is pretty much what it is like.

I vastly prefer “battleground” style PvP (which WoW does have). PvP like it is in GW/GW2, where you travel to a specific zone for PvP and fight a somewhat reasonably balanced (in numbers and level) group – that’s the way to do it. Then when I’m in the mood to PvP, travel to those zones and indulge. Even LoTRO’s PvP is instanced away to a separate zone (on the other hand I’m not sure levels or numbers are balanced in any way).

I wracked my brains to think of something good to say about open-world PvP and all I can come up with is this: at least it is better than it is EVE where there is also item loss. 😉

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