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That Time of Year Again (and beta stuff)

Very busy and stressed lately. Summer is winding down and classes start in a few weeks; looking for a new apartment and a job to afford it. It has left me with little time to go spelunking in the beta, but I did get a start in Vashj’ir and I did finish up the worgen starting zone.

Earlier in the month the worgen starting quest line was bugged at the point where you must enter Gilneas city and reclaim it from Sylvanas and her legions of forsaken. The final battle with Sylvanas wouldn’t trigger, so many were left idling about until a hotfix was implemented a little while ago. I logged in just as she was “defeated” and got the quest completed, but I didn’t get to see the entire battle that supposedly takes place through out the entire city. I read it was supposed to lead you through the different districts and have you encounter and defeat other enemies before you finally face Sylvanas herself. It is likely the bug prevented me from experiencing the entire battle, and I may reroll and try it again. I’m sure it is still in need of some fine tuning as well.

The rest of the worgen zone is super moody fun. Very dark and Victorian with definite undertones of the traditional werewolf. I truly enjoyed the atmosphere, but I felt the quests were lacking something that the goblin quests had nailed down. Explosions don’t really fit with the worgen genre, but I will admit they are fun. Overall the worgen quests lacked a little something special, a little bit of oomph I felt they needed. I understand that these quests are less finished than the goblin ones. It remains to be seen what kind of polish will be placed on them in further builds.

Vashj’ir is pretty trippy. Underwater things always annoyed me before, but I think the “Sea Legs” blessing you get really changes that. You can walk along the sea floor just as you would dry land, and it increases your run speed while doing so significantly. It also allows you to breathe underwater, which is kind of essential considering the entire zone is…underwater. You get this buff after a short quest right after you arrive in the zone (the means by which you do so are freakin’ cool) and it lasts…probably until you leave, I would guess.

The zone its self is beautiful. Gone are the triangle-fish that inhabit old Azeroth’s pools. Say hello to a vast and wondrous variety of fish from groupers to thresher sharks to massive eels. There are orcas and crabs and makrura (bleh) and seahorses and giant clams and all kinds of colorful non-targetable fish swimming in shimmering schools. I am impressed. The kelp forest feels alive. Really alive. Not just pretty plants, but an ecosystem. The 360-degree feel of the zone is refreshing, and quests require you to swim between all different levels of the ocean to kill various creatures. It feels very open and I felt immersed (or submersed…) in the environment. Fantastic stuff.

I will find time soon to dive in to the level 80ish dungeons and test them out.