Returning to Azeroth: The End of Things…For Now

Once again, my game time has ended. And because of a certain major life event waiting for me just around the corner, I have decided to hold off from re-upping my subscription to World of Warcraft until after I spend quality time with my future wife.

With only hours left to my account, I achieved a significant milestone: Kelidri, my Blood Elf hunter, reached level 70! Much of the work was done in the ruins of Dreanor (aka “Outland”), which serves as the centerpiece for The Burning Crusade expansion. While visually interesting and different from Azeroth, the expansion content held my attention for a few zones before I started getting bored. Granted, I am still mostly soloing the game instead of raid dungeons, so that may be a significant factor to my waning interest. The indidivual zones in Outland are much larger than those int he main game and while Blizzard filled them with enough quests to keep players busy, none of them are particularly interesting or compelling. After completing all the quests for Hellfire Peninsula, Zangermarsh, and Nagrand, my attention began to drift in Terokkar Forest and Shadowmoon Valley. The zone that I really enjoyed, both from a visual and a questing standpoint, was Nagrand. Until I have the opportunity to explore Northrend and Pandaria, I believe Nagrand to be the most gorgeous area in all of World of Warcraft. Hours within the blistering, barren wasteland of the hell. After spending hours within the bleached, blistering Hellfire Peninsula and the blue-hued Avatar-like realm of Zangermarsh, seeing the green, earthy hills and beautifully cloudy skies of Nagrand took my breath away. The entire zone is the closest thing to “normal” in Outland and, apart from a few floating rocks, is highly reminiscent of Azeroth’s Arathi Highlands (another favorite zone of mine).

Back “home,” I spent some time boosting my profession skills. I find that it is so easy to get wrapped up in questing that building up crafting skills often falls to the wayside. My fishing skill level, for example, was stuck at 55 because I was more interested in collecting quest items and earning coin. I forced myself to “stop and smell the roses”, as it were, and focused on boosting my Mining, Engineering and Fishing professions. The only downside to farming materials to craft items is that I continue to run low on storage space. I really need larger bags. I don’t want to have to purchase them from the Auction House because the prices are ridiculous (if I haven’t ranted about the AH in my last Warcraft post, I’ll say it here: the prices fucking suck) and I haven’t run into any NPCs that offer bags as a quest rewards. Looking ahead, the Warlods of Draenor expansion sounds like it will offer some nifty storage solutions, such as increased material stacks and crafting directly from banks. I eventually increased my Engineering skill high enough to where I was given the option of two secondary engineering styles. I went with Goblin Engineering, only because I want to work towards getting an awesome looking flying mount (a dangerous, rickety plane with two large propeller engines).

With only an hour left, I made my way to the Horde base in Northrend, accepting a few quests from Garrosh Hellscream and the local walrus population. I didn’t get to see much before my time ran out, but I was left intrigued by what Wrath of the Lich King has in store for me. I see myself getting back into Warcraft next month, but I won’t pick up the Warlords of Draenor expansion until after the holidays. Speaking to the expansion, I did get a chance to participate in the beta though my experience was short lived (the product seemed so unstable at the time). Though I couldn’t play through many missions, I enjoyed the much discussed Garrison feature, which allows you to set up camp on Draenor. I’m bummed that both factions are limited to only two architectural styles, Human Alliance and Orcish Horde. Playing as a Blood Elf for so long has led me to appreciate the elegance and grace of Sin’dorei design. If given the choice, I’d much prefer to use Human architecture because Orc design is ugly and unrefined.

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