As a follow up to last week's article on the WoW Patch 4.0.3, I wanted to write about my experiences in the new starting area of Warcraft. I made two new characters, a Tauren Paladin and an Orc Mage. The Mage won out and I started playing in the old zone of Durator once again. Only this time there were some serious changes. Are they changes for the better? I think so.
Many MMO companies will tell you that the game is about the journey, that each zone is crafted to give the player an adventurous experience as they rise in power. MMO players have a different philosophy; they want to level and gain in power as well. Some may stop and smell the roses, but in a game like WoW with six years under its belt, most players have gone through the opening zones several times. I wanted to check out the changes made to the Valley of Trials, but at the same time I wanted to get out of there and explore the world.
The largest change has come from the Troll areas and the new starting zone for Trolls. The village by the sea holds only a few short quests, and while I can remember killing about twenty five crawlers for mucus, I now have to only kill a few to get my quest done and move on. Not much time is spent in Sen'jin Village anymore. You quickly move to Razor Hill to continue your journey. It is this journey that was the best change in the game. Often there were two Orc Raiders that rode back and forth from Razor Hill to Sen'jin Village. They would ride by on wolves and you'd be like cool, look at them. That was it, well now they actually give you a ride from one town to the next. The number of times I made this walk, killing scorpions on the way, and now here I am riding a wolf at level seven to get to Razor Hill.
I got through a bunch of quests in Razor Hill and again find the pace of the game has drastically changed. There is no more of an old style MMO feel where you are just dropped in the world. This is much more linear and gives the player direction. It is like a streamlined game now that moves at a faster pace. I don't think this is a bad thing. If anything it bugs me, it's that they did not do this in the first place, but that was six years ago.
In terms of the Mage, now that Arcane Missles are a proc spell it definitely changes some things. I will say that even with my basic fire balls they missless procced a lot and were not an issue. I only reached level seven this weekend due to holiday events, but so far the mage remains an easy class to play and is fun to blow things up from afar. I like the idea of an Orc Mage even though I have always felt that Horde should have had Warlocks and Alliance should have had Mages from the beginning, the combination is fun to play and the new Mage Armor looks awesome with the skull hood, so I am excited to see it on my Orc.
Overall, WoW has definitely changed for the better. I think the stream-lined questing and advancement will give new players a much easier time. In many ways the changes come at the right time in MMOs as games become faster and more action based. Sure there will always be the old schoolers who say things like, back in my day, we grinded things out. Well I did play back in those days, and I hated the grind of every MMO. If you have not tried a new character in WoW for a while, I definitely recommend it. With the new class and race combinations there are a lot of options to create something fun. Now is the time to play as next week everyone will be questing to 85 or starting a Goblin or Worgen. See you in Azeroth.