Friday, February 25, 2011

Level 14, Thursday, February 17, 2011

Located almost directly halfway between the tauren and orc (and troll) capital cities of Thunder Bluff and Orgrimmar, the Barrens is the major questing zone for a majority of Horde players between levels 10 and 20.

The chat channel in the Barrens has become internet famous for its tendency to degenerate into Chuck Norris jokes, mom jokes, and other recycled memes.

Most of the aptly-named Barrens is made up of open savanna.

However, the settlements peppered throughout the zone either reflect the architecture of the Native American-inspired Tauren

or war-happy orcs.

There are a few oases throughout the zone to break it up.

The seaside village of Ratchet is home to some lovable Goblins.

But the environmentally unfriendly Venture Company is here, polluting and strip-mining.

Deathwing made his mark in this zone also, burning a gigantic hole right through the middle of it.

Level 13, Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Back on track.

Night elves and draenei both get dumped out of their starting experience in the Northern part of Darkshore, via a boat from each of their capital cities. Before Cataclysm, they'd come down the dock from the boat and immediately find themselves in the main quest hub of the zone, Auberdine.

However, as shown in the cinematic introduction for Cataclysm, Deathwing did a flyby and completely torched the place.

Now, the old quest hub is in ruins, and the survivors have relocated further north. Where the old version of the zone had you dealing with encroaching naga (villainous fish people) and furbolgs (bear-like creatures), now there are trolls feeling encouraged by the elves' setback who are making their way up the coast. It's your job to rescue survivors, find supplies, and fight off the trolls, among other things.

Level 12, Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The shame. The last day of vacation, and an afternoon flight home meant that I didn't get enough walking done during the morning to offset the breakfast sandwich at the Polynesian and the panini I got at the airport.

Level 13, Monday, February 14, 2011

I'll get to the other half of the World Map in my next post, but since it was Valentine's Day, I figured I would discuss WoW's Love is in the Air event.

One of the cooler things that the game adds throughout the year are special seasonal events, usually tied to major holidays. For two weeks in February, every player, regardless of level, gets to participate in events that begin in any of the major cities. There are a number of special quests to perform, which range from creating charms to present to the city leaders as presents, to investigating the strange perfume that seems to be everywhere at this time. A short quest chain reveals that the perfume, being sold by Goblins calling themselves the Crown Chemical Company, is actually masking an attempt by some Forsaken to introduce a new plague. Max level players can enter a short dungeon that takes about five minutes to complete, and kill those responsible. Some prizes from this fight can even include a special Love Rocket mount.

There are a number of special prizes available, including a miniature summonable vanity pet version of WoW's version of Cupid, the goblin Peddlefeet.

Level 13, Sunday, February 13, 2011

You are here.

At this point, I thought it would be helpful to put up a map of both continents, so that you can get a general idea of how each race begins their journey separated from everyone else, and eventually finds their way to a common point. On the map above are all of the locations on the Eastern Continent that I've covered so far. Each time I begin talking about a new zone, I'll place it onto the map, so that you can follow along.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Level 13: Saturday, February 12, 2011

After setting things right in Elwynn Forest, human characters move onto the barren fields of Westfall.

Pre-Cataclysm, the first people you met in the zone were the Furlbrows, who requested that you do some tasks for them before you ventured further into Westfall. During the quests, it became evident that the zone was under Defias control, as they had forced all of the farmers out of their homes, causing the land to grow barren. After the Cataclysm, when you first go into Westfall, you discover that the Furlbrows are dead, and the plot of the entire zone becomes a CSI episode...literally.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Level 13: Friday, February 11, 2011

Fair warning: I have never so much as created a Blood Elf, but in the interest of showing each race's capital city, here we go with Silvermoon:

The Blood Elves are the Horde race added to the game in its first expansion, The Burning Crusade. Their city features all of the touches that a race addicted to magic might feature, including magically enchanted perpetually sweeping brooms. However, the statue that greets you as you enter is a little suspect.

The statue is that of Kael'thas Sunstrider, a one-time ruler of the Blood Elves, who was present when Arthas destroyed his city to get access to the Sunwell, a source of the magical power that the Blood Elves love so much. The attack left part of the city in ruins.

All of the survivors of the attack renamed themselves Blood Elves, and with Kael'thas as their leader, sought a new source of never-ending magical crack. One of their bright ideas was to kidnap a naaru, (one of those pure light beings) M'uru, and drain his power from him. (This was also the Poochie reasoning behind the blood elves' ability to be paladins, which gave the Horde the class for the first time.)

With logic like "Kidnapping this godlike being will solve my problem," it's not surprising to hear that Kael'thas eventually backs the wrong horse and throws in his lot with Illidan Stormrage (the big bad behind the Burning Crusade) and eventually betrays the Blood Elves by going off to become a boss whom the players have to kill at level 70...twice!

More on Illidan later. Meanwhile, with Kael'thas gone, Lor'themar Theron is in charge of the Blood Elves, and still hasn't taken down his predecessor's statue, which is akin to entering Berlin and being greeted by a 30-foot Hitler monument.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Level 13: Thursday, February 10, 2011

The next five updates reflect my long weekend trip to Disney World. While a pedometer said that I walked between 8 and 10 miles each day, I allowed myself some kind of culinary treat every day, since I was on vacation. However, I noticed that I wasn't craving soda as I usually do when I fiddle with the diet, and I also wasn't using the trip as an excuse to eat my face off. It was an ice cream bar or something similar at night, and I remained pretty good through the rest of the day. I think the balance I was able to find was well reflected in the fact that I actually managed to lose weight while on the trip. Nevertheless, I wasn't able to award myself levels due to the rules of the blog.

The ruined city of Lordaeron is where Arthas killed his own father, pretty much giving up all hope for redemption on his way to becoming the evil Lich King. If you stand in the throne room, you can hear the ghostly sounds of the betrayal and murder as echoes.

The ruins are completely deserted, but if you follow a series of sewers and tunnels, you will eventually find your way to the Forsaken capital deep underground, named, appropriately enough, The Undercity.

The Forsaken Ruler, Sylvanas Windrunner makes her home in the heart of the city.

Level 13, Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Tauren capital of Thunder Bluff is built above a series of valleys, with massive rope bridges connecting various 'rises'.

On the highest rise is the seat of power, where Cairne Bloodhoof used to rule from.

However, Cairne was inadvertently killed by Garrosh Hellscream, in what was supposed to be a nonfatal duel for control of the Horde. Unknown to either of them, Garrosh's weapon had been poisoned by the treacherous Magatha Grimtotem in a coup d'etat. Once Cairne fell, she immediately ordered her tribe to take over the city, but they were beaten back by forces rallied by Cairne's son, Baine. He is the current Tauren leader.

Level 12: Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

The city of Orgrimmar, home to orcs and trolls, and the main hub for Horde players post-Cataclysm is a sprawling place. Like Stormwind, it has undergone a few changes since Deathwing emerged from the earth.

The Orgrimmar gates were the canon location for the head of Nefarian, another one of Deathwing's children, and brother of Onyxia. Like in Stormwind, Deathwing didn't take kindly to his son's head being used as a trophy, so he torched the city and took it back.

The old ruler of Orgrimmar was Thrall, the Horde Warchief, and main lore character for the Horde.
He went from a slave at an orc internment camp to ruler of the Horde. After the Cataclysm, he rushes off to protect the world from being ripped apart by the damage, and he leaves the brash young Garrosh Hellscream, who jogs with a fridge on his back, in charge.