Sometimes, a little break is all you need to see things more clearly.
While questing toward the Loremaster title, you all may remember I had encountered some serious trouble with completing Kalimdor. I ran into quest lines that were no longer available, other quest lines that had many diverted paths into Eastern Kingdoms, and a bunch of seemingly unconnected prerequisites that for some reason were unavailable to me.
I decided that a change of plans was in order: I went ahead to the other continent and had a fun time finishing up Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms. Several hundred quests went by in a snap, (even a few that counted toward the other continent) and it was time to transition back to Kalimdor with only about 20 quests remaining to complete questing in the old world.
Refreshed and confident that I would find my missing quests, I started out by re-checking off zones for quests that I could have missed, especially ones that start from an item drop. Zone after zone, I scanned for anything that could up my quest count, and zone after zone I grew more and more worried by my lack of findings. I still needed about 12 quests when I finally looked at Azshara.
What’s that? An entire zone I had somehow skipped over in my initial attempt?! It seemed too good to be true.
After several weeks of questing in Kalimdor and finally reaching a point of pause, I decided it was time for a change of pace. I was questioning whether to continue onward in Kalimdor or switch it up. I chose the latter. And it’s a good thing I did.
In Kalimdor, I had been desperate for even a single quest that wasn’t tied to the Scepter of the Shifting Sands lines, which require some heavy Brood of Nozdormu reputation grinding, at least initially (which I’ll save for another time, hoping I can get to it before the Cataclysm). Eastern Kingdoms was the opposite — A questing motherload.
I was trucking away at my questing in Kalimdor and making great progress toward the Loremaster title. Moving from zone to zone, from dungeon to dungeon, The number of quests I had remaining for the continent slowly shrank from 300 to 200 to 100 to 50. I was getting SO close, and really, really hoping that I could finish up Kalimdor and get a shiny achievement for that continent as motivation to move on to the Eastern Kingdoms.
Then I hit the dreaded point that I knew was coming, but I still hoped against.
At 41 quests remaining for Kalimdor, I hit the wall. Everywhere I look, there are no quests to be found. The ones that remain in my EveryQuest log as incomplete have either been removed from the game, are impossible to complete without some help from dedicated guildies, or are part of a chain that starts in Eastern Kingdoms.
Well, no one said it would be easy.
So I took some time debating how to proceed, and came up with a couple of options.
ArenaNet has made some lofty claims with Guild Wars 2. The sequel to one of the best selling no-subscription games is supposed to reconnect us with our character, remove the grind, advance storytelling, have intriguing combat and cure cancer. Okay, that last one is a lie, but the others are true. Despite repeated failed attempts by others, ArenaNet believes it can successfully tackle not just one, but multiple MMORPG cliches in a single game.
We’ve discussed our doubts in the MMOcast, with everyone maintaining a cautious “wait and see” attitude. Well, it’s time to see.
Take a gander and let us know what you think. And stay tuned for the next MMOcast, as it’ll let you in on our thoughts.
It’s no wonder that, up until I really needed to, I tended to stay the hell away from Desolace. The name alone makes me not want to go there.
But — either fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how I look at things — this also meant I had a plethora of Desolace-focused questing to do and bring up my quest count in Kalimdor by nearly 50 for the ongoing Loremaster attempt.
The grind started easily enough upon entry to the, umm, desolate region. A stop at Shadowprey Village to load up on quests, and I was on my way. I don’t mind rounding up old kodo or killing of Burning Legion baddies in Mannoroc Coven (that place once frightened me!). I even got through the maze of a dungeon that is Maraudon (with trusty wowhead maps at my side).
I suppose what has been making this zone stand out in my mind is the distinct lack of all those grindy, go kill x of that, go collect y of these type quests. Sure, they’re there. But seemingly in a lot less supply than many other areas.
There’s also some great lore to be had in the zone.
Anyone who’s followed the Lore Hound crew for some time probably is familiar with my long-standing fascination with all things murloc. My first experience with creating an army of murloc babies while questing in Borean Tundra nearly gave me cute overload. IF that is even possible!
But that was quite a while ago, and since then I’ve had a distinct lack of murloc kind in my Warcraft experience. I knew something was missing while I’ve been questing toward Loremaster — but I couldn’t quite place my finger on it until a jaunt through the Wailing Caverns to finish up some stray questing.
That’s when I came across him. Mutanus the Devourer. Hunched over, blood-red spikey appendages cascading down his back, pointed teeth gleaming, larger-than-normal muscles glistening through that slimy skin — I knew he was hungry for my death. And I for his.
The level 21 elite may have given me trouble as a fledgling warlock, but not as a level-capped rogue. He charged toward me, a throaty Ggrrrllljsggll escaping that giant, gaping mouth before a single weapon FoKed him up.
And, that was that. An anti-climactic death. But it did serve a purpose — it made me realize how much I’ve missed murlocs and their awesomely crazy, gurgling warscreams. Since the release of ICC and before I started this game of questing, I could probably count the number of murlocs I’ve encountered on one hand. And that’s a shame.
I’m not sure what it is about these little monsters that makes us all love/hate them so. Surely they have a story not as grand as the main playable races of the world. And yet, they’re also one of the most beloved (to kill ravenously, perhaps, but still beloved) of all creations upon Azeroth.
As I shared last week, my quest to earn the Loremaster title before the release of Cataclysm is now underway. I opted to start off my journey in Kalimdor. First, I wound my way through Durotar, then moved on to the Barrens, hopped over to Mulgore, and now am working my way through Stonetalon Mountains. And as I’m sure you can imagine, this has involved a lot of running — A. Lot.
I’m not complaining — in fact, I knew this would be the case. And I think, in some ways, all the running of obscenely long distances may be one of the largest detractors for others who decide to make an attempt for Loremaster. It also makes the earning of the title all the more admirable for those who stick through the journey.
Despite the amount of time that it takes to run across some zones, however, this process has been making me more and more conflicted on the coming change in Cataclysm that will allow players to fly throughout the Old World.
On the one hand, it certainly will make things SO much more convenient. Not to mention fast. Why run all sorts of weird paths this way and that way at a measly 100% ground speed when you can make a bee-line route straight to your destination at 280 or 310% speed, and probably with a lot less interference from enemies? Put in those terms, supporting the change is an obvious choice. We’ll spend less time traveling and more time enjoying the other gameplay aspects that we’re really here for.
That’s what seems like the right way to feel about it. But this nagging voice inside keeps telling me that I’ll soon be yearning for the nostalgic days of running everywhere with my trusty hoard of ground mounts.