In the week or so following the launch of Cataclysm I ended up playing a lot more EverQuest II Extended than I did WoW.
But the tide is turning. Slowly my interest is transferring to the new expansion. So only a couple of weeks after the expansion released, I actually had a character hit level 81.
I was only about 16 days, 17 hours, 40 minutes behind the first person to hit level 81, assuming that they took at least 20 minutes for them to do so. It might have been less.
I like a lot of the things Blizzard has done with Cataclysm that aren’t necessarily “content,” like the level up message you can see above. It not only tells you that you have leveled, but also shows you what new skills you can get at your trainer and reminds you that you have a talent point to spend.
As usual, I have tended to focus on a more lateral experience rather than racing to the level cap. For example I had one character that I wanted to get closer to exalted status with Darnassus, which gave me a reason to run through the new version of Darkshore.
I recall Darkshore being something of a travel grind, lots of running up and down a fairly lengthy zone, something that drove people with alts to make that long run through the Wetlands in order to run through the much more popular Westfall experience.
The new version is quite an improvement. The quests are well done and, as with the new Westfall, demonstrate a wide variety of ways to make “kill 10 rats” m0re engaging. Plus, there is a quest early on in the Darkshore line where the reward is a companion pet. Why is this such a rare thing? The only other quest I can recall that offers up a companion pet is the Westfall chicken quests, and that is a hidden quests. You have to know it is there to find it.
I am still digesting the challenges and implications of the whole new guild level-up system. The levels and character reputation and the like are going to change how people view guilds and changing guilds, but I am not sure the changes will be all good.
I like the mini-cut scene thing they have going on in a lot of the zones,something that has come along with the new content. There are some epic views to be seen.
I appreciate that they couldn’t do special videos for each and every cut scene event. That would take a lot of time and a lot of drive space. So I am okay with them using current game assets and just panning the camera around in a wide screen window to give you a special view of the world. I just wish they would at least turn off some of the in-game indicators, which sort of break the magic.
I don’t really want to see the quest giver icons floating above NPC heads in cut scenes.
And while I am complaining about minor things, what happened to flying in the Dranei zones? I ran a character over there, but no flying was allowed. Is it the same for the Blood Elf zones?
Ah well, I was only there for reputation. I am not sure how many people will notice you cannot fly there… or that blizz updated some quests there as well.
So I like what I have seen so far. WoW play time is ramping up and other games are falling by the wayside… for now.