The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet

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Hyjal

So finally my fancy-pants rogue has finished level 80, and I’ve decided to drag her ass into the brand-new Cataclysm content. Now I’m going to bitch about it. This post should be considered one giant fat spoiler, so if, just to take a random example, your priest is level 75, and you haven’t done any of this stuff yet, because, as I say, your priest — say, just for the sake of argument, your gnome priest — is still only level 75, you might want to put off reading this post until you’ve gotten your gnome priest called Allegretta to level 80 and actually done this content. But all of that is purely hypothetical.

So the first thing I did was head back to Ironforge to pick up the breadcrumb for Hyjal from the big goofy breadcrumb board they added to get around actually having to make proper linking quests between the zones. Actually, that’s a lie; the first thing I did was decide that I was going to Hyjal and not Vashj’ir. Those of you who are Hamirack might be of the opinion that something you said once or twice may have impacted this decision; I say not so! It certainly reinforced my decision, but this decision was made in the first place because the name "Vashj" is a name that is known to me. Naga put me to sleep, and zones full of nothing but naga have the curious effect of putting me to sleep and simultaneously instilling a murderous rage into me, such that I might kill some people while I’m sleeping and be totally unaware that I did it. So, just like Ken Parks did, I’ll save Vashj’ir for when my in-laws are in town.

So I pick up the breadcrumb off the breadboard, and it tells me to talk to Cenarion Emissary Jademoon and she’ll nelf me to Hyjal. Sweet! She’s right down the hall — she’s the old Silithus breadcrumb mob they added in 1.12, right by the flight master. Only, since Blizzard hates all things that are good and decent, they decided to randomly relocate her. All the way to goddamn Stormwind.

Which I guess was okay, since I had to go there anyhow to train Master Riding so I can go faster than a speeding bullet. I fly in there, and the instant I cross the zone border, one of those OMG A MOB HAS BEAMED YOU A QUEST FROM MAGIC popups happens. Turns out there’s this broken over in the weird new lake who has a quest he wants me to do! Sure thing, man, I can get over to you really fast now! So I get here and he’s like, whoa, wait, talk to this orb. It’s sweet. So I talk to the orb, and a big dumb cutscene starts playing!

But not right away. First — for some reason, and hell if I know why — it has to teleport me to the Maelstrom. So I have to wait through a zone loading screen, and then I see me standing on a featureless purple plane for just a second — which is probably a normally-inaccessible location they added specifically to teleport people to while they watch this cutscene, and it wasn’t actually supposed to be visible to the end-user. But I vis-ed it nonetheless. Then the cutscene starts up, and some dude is ranting at me in a macho voice about some shit; I think he was talking about shutting down the Mako reactors before Weapon comes to kill us. All I know for sure is that he mentioned a bigger threat even than Deathwing on the horizon; how much you want to bet it’s retuned level 85 C’Thun?

Eventually, while I was listening to this talky man, I realised that he was Thrall in what appeared to be a goofy burlap sack with a hood. What gives with that terrible getup, Thrall? And why won’t the camera stop spinning around? If it would sit still, it wouldn’t have taken me six minutes to nail your nameplate and figure out who you are. But anyhow, I guess it was a hokay hook as these things go, and I was kind of interested in heading down to back Thrall up. Then the cutscene ends and I turn in the intro and the broken is like "oh we need a hero just like you thank god you’re here you’re so famous and perfect and exactly what we need" and then he puts up a goddamn silver exclamation mark. So, hey, they were hoping I would get there soon, because I’m the only one who can help them! But I’m not high enough level. Great. That’s inspirational. Dear Blizz: maybe raise the level on the goofy cutscene quest too, because that’s kind of a huge ripoff the way you have it now.

So fine. I go find Jademoon — who is in some goofy open-topped room in the castle, which I guess is designed to facilitate flying mounts and too bad for you if it ever rains, Jademoon — and she nelfs me to Moonglade, where they tell me to jump on this green dragon who will fly me up to Hyjal. But what really happens is I jump on the green dragon, he starts flying for a few seconds, and then he kind of stops, and — poof! Suddenly we’re in Hyjal! Returning to the tournament grounds after doing Edge of Winter really really makes me wish my mount could do that. So we fly into Hyjal and he starts ranting about how he can’t believe the camp they built right on the edge of a giant lake of lava got destroyed by the evil lava elementals, which makes me think right off the bat that maybe my allies ain’t the very sharpest cheese on the block. Then we fly over to the evil lava fort, which looks as much like Barad-dûr as to make no difference, complete with giant goofy flaming eye on top. Then suddenly Ragnaros busts out of the lava and yells "BY FIRE BE PURGED!," which made me spit cognac out my nose. So here’s me, on a tiny little green drake, sitting right in front of Ragnaros, and then Deathwing pops in to say hi too. And so we start flapping away — I guess the dragon’s magic teleport button is on cooldown — and I’m thinking, hey stupid, if we get out of melee range of Ragnaros he’ll start spamming Magma Blast on us, and I ain’t wearing my FR gear! But I guess the two giant raid bosses were just dicking with us, since neither of them lifted a finger to stop us from getting away.

So we fly across the whole zone to Nordrassil, which looks really different from how it did before. Also, I’ve been all around the Nordrassil area, and I don’t see the old Onyxia’s Lair copy that used to be right there. Bummer!

Apparently Nordrassil’s a druid-y quest hub now, and contains Ysera. This seems very odd to me, since, last I checked, Ysera was trapped in the Emerald Dream. When did she get out? To be fair, I missed the entire 3.3.x cycle — did it happen then? Or in a damn comic book, maybe? Other big changes that happened since I left: St. Faghelm became a bad guy. Well, I mean, he was always a complete prick, but I guess sometime in between Wrath and Cataclysm he became an actual villain. This relatively major plot point did happen entirely in a comic book. Am I the only one who thinks it would be nice if things like this were handled — or at least, like, cursorily alluded to — in-game for the benefit of those of us who primarily play the game via playing the damn game? For those keeping score: no, I am not as upset about this as I am about HEY THE KING’S BACK.

So about how the zone actually plays. First off: it’s way, way fucking hard. I mean, sure, for a character who’d actually played the full Lich King cycle and had like ilvl 250 gear or whatever, probably not that big a jump. But for somebody leveling from scratch, it’s rough. The two initial quests — to kill dang-blasted rock elementals and also some invisible mans — kicked my ass quite handily. But I toughed through them, and now I’m starting to accumulate actual gear, and the curve is leveling off. The actual structure of the zone so far I don’t care for; not only is it super-crowded because everybody’s stupid worgen and goblin goth knights have just gotten there (seriously, I think I was the only player in the zone who wasn’t a goth knight), it’s also jam-packed with friendly mobs interfering with my questing too. I miss the days when the mobs I had to kill were just, like, out in the field, not being attacked by ten thousand good-guy mobs.

So of course Nelfurion Stormrage is here. I cannot stand when this guy lectures me about the importance of preserving balance in nature and saving the whales and where he scored some really great weed the other day; dude, you are the only person I can think of offhand who has blown up the world not once but twice. Not to mention you are also responsible for the destruction of the World Tree, the end of your race’s blessing of immortality, and basically everything the scourge has ever done, since, if you’ll recall, you’re the guy who stopped Illidan from destroying the Lich King and then went to take a big damn nap. So maybe don’t get your sanctimonious ass up in my face about how I need to do what’s best for the world.

Baron Geddon’s here, too! Sweet! It’s been a long damn time since I’ve been killed by that guy. Back in the day, I always got killed by Baron Geddon because somebody in the raid was nub and staring at his damage meters instead of paying any attention, and blew us all up. These days, apparently I get killed by Baron Geddon because I’m nub and landed right next to him to use the quest gizmo, but flew in just too late to catch the bit where the mouthy mob standing near him announced that everybody should get away, and ended up eating the thick end of a 5000 DPS Hellfire.

It’s good to see that they’ve added garbage voice acting to the quest text. I don’t think the game experience is complete without some terrible ham enunciating every word meticulously and something like one-ninth as quickly as I could just read it. Also amusing is that you can tell which quests are "important" and which quests are "padding," because only the important quests get garbage voice-overs.

So there you are: a Large Blue Sack of old moaning. Don’t say I never did anything for you.


January 15th, 2011 Posted by | World of Warcraft | one comment

1 Comment »

  1. Lucky for me my gnome priest named Allegretta is level 76, not 75!

    Comment by Ama | 16 January 2011

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