Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Firelands and 4.2

After a couple of days on the 4.2 patch, I have some thoughts to share. I won't call them "impressions" cos everyone is doing that. This post contains spoilers.

Thrall Quests
Man the new Thrall quest lines are cool. Now I am Horde through and through, I ran missions for Thrall back in Vanilla, so it's awesome to see him move from the Maelstrom and try to fix the world tree. The presence of the dragon aspects and Malfurion is cool, and helping to save Thrall, him calling you friend, is really epic lore stuff. The reveal of Staghelm being a fire Druid is also cool - it gives some introduction for the raid.

Now you Alliance may complain this stuff is too Horde-centric, but let's not forget you have Malfurion Stormrage doing his stuff for all Druids, yet he is Alliance.

Just watch out for asshats who are flagged for PVP. I carefully used single-target spells and checked my target before attacking. It's not a race, even a small amount of damage on a mob moves your progress bar when it dies.

Finally the Thrall quests award a nice 365 cloak, helpful because I needed to replace my Guardians of Hyjal strength cloak after Blizzard buggered strength for Druids. Maybe they knew the problems Feral Druids would face, and helpfully provided a new cloak for us?

Daily Quests
You know, the thing I liked about the Isle of Quel'danas dailies was that the new areas got unlocked thanks to the efforts of dailies maniacs on my server, without me having to log in every day and do the dailies.

Sadly that is not the case in the new Molten Front dailies. Still, the initial quests are an awesome Druid-tastic experience. Malfurion, Hamuul Runetotem and various ancients turn up, Runetotem gets pwned by Fire-druid woman, then spends the rest of phase 2 recovering in a tent.

I am in phase 2, in the Molten Front, where the rest of the quests look to have some variety, but are mostly grind on this, kill that, plant the other. Hopefully when I recruit a faction (Druids of the Talon ftw) the extra quests will make things more interesting.

A good tip is to unlock phase 2 where you enter the portal to the Molten Front, because there is a vendor called Zen'Vorka who sells item level 365 epics in the Molten Front and you don't need marks or any reputation to buy from him. I snagged a Matoclaw's Band myself.

Overall these dailies are enjoyable and quite fast in phase 2, but when a faction is unlocked and there are a lot more of them to complete, their appeal may wane.

Firelands Raid
My guild braved the Firelands raid on Thursday, killed trash and had a few attempts at Shannox. What a lot of trash there is, other bloggers have already commented on this, but it bears repeating. Lots of trash. In fact, we spent the first hour just clearing trash before Shannox appeared.

At the moment I gain reputation for trash kills, so I am working toward the cloak at friendly, so I am all for trash killing. I can see this getting quite annoying when trash no longer award reputation, and it is just standing in the way of getting some time in on bosses. There is loads more than in Blackwing Descent, for instance.

Shannox himself was interesting, I was tanking Shannox so I just stood around, dodging fire traps and trying to get the hound into the traps. The guild itself seemed to be having trouble with Rageface randomly attacking people (as he is meant to), and players getting stuck in traps, running away from Rageface like headless chickens, etc. Hopefully errors that with practice we can eliminate.

However I read that Beth'tilac or Lord Rhyolith are also likely targets, and may place different requirements on our raiders, so ultimately may be easier for us. So hopefully we will have a crack at them soon.

Overall the raiding looks good, I do have doubts that 7 bosses in the same instance won't get boring (BWD certainly did) and that trash is going to get annoying sooner or later.

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