Of course, we had to get into the game and take a peek at the new expansion.
There were the usual first night queues.
741 people ahead of me ended up being less than a 20 minute wait.
Once in, Skronk, Ula, Bung, and myself headed out to Northrend to scout and run a few quests.
Northrend looks like… well… it looks like Azeroth. There is a warm familiarity to it. There are new models for buildings and creatures and the like, so it isn’t just a rehash, but there are cues throughout that remind you that you are no longer on the other side of the dark portal. There are sections of land right off the dock that feel a bit like Westfall or Tanaris or stretched of Darkshore.
This is a good thing. Running around an area that has a flavor of Westfall, for example, has a really positive mental association for me. Westfall was good times.
We ran through quite a few quests, starting the process of equipment upgrades. Our progress was only really hindered by the occasional quest that required us to slay a named mob. The location of the named mobs were easy to spot. They were the points that were being camped by a dozen or so players.
Politeness and waiting your turn quickly went out the door and it became a matter of who could tag the mob first. We did invite solo players to fill out the empty spot in our group when they were available to try and help out, but having been shoved aside by “Ownage!” shouting reprobates, we were not keen to let others go first.
After over a dozen quests and almost a quarter of a level before we decided to give the questing a rest. The equipment upgrades were, as expected, significant for non-raiders like ourselves. Blue socketed Outlands gear was quickly replaced by green quest rewards.
Bung, Skronk, and I decided to quickly roll up Death Knights just to see what that starting area looked like.
Name selection was probably the biggest chore, though I actually got my first choice. Varsoon, which I felt was totally in character for a Death Knight was available on our server.
We did the first couple of quests then took a screenshot of ourselves with the Lich King.
It is like getting your picture taken with Mickey Mouse when you visit Disneyland; you just have to do it.
So far the expansion looks good. It is, of course, crowded like crazy and I suspect it will only get more so come the weekend. A look around the rest of the game showed Shattrath to be a ghost town but the main cities like Stormwind looked to have a reasonable number of players still hanging out. The Auction House looked to be quite active, though with the in-game mail system woes, I’m not sure who in their right mind is listing or bidding.
We still have to decided what we’ll do on Saturday night, but I imagine it will involve some time in Northrend.