Friday, December 17, 2010

Adventures in the new Badlands (not to be confused with the Blasted Lands)

My gnome mage is up to the ripe old age of 51 now, and starting on his final days in the 1-60 zones. I ran out and bought the gnome epic land mount the second he turned 40. It's not the big deal it used to be back when epic land mounts cost 1000 gold, but I'm still pretty happy with it.

I did almost all the quests in the Eastern Plague lands, but couldn't for the life of me find the last two NPCs I needed to kill to finish out the zone and put the keep in the southeastern part of it in it's final phase. One of them even appeared on my mini-map, but I couldn't find him in the keep he's supposed to be in. I searched it long enough to kill all three of the other bosses twice, but never laid eyes on him. I imagine he hid under a bed or jumped in a closet whenever he heard me coming (a sensible course of action, really).

After spending a good hour looking for the guy, I gave up. A friend of mine had recently started questing in the Badlands and was raving about it, so I decided to head there and check it out for myself. Only I didn't go there I went to the Blasted Lands (doh!). Undeterred by the fact that the mobs were all Red to "??" level hostiles, I cleared out the map looking for the quest hub I presumed my friend was working from. "He's questing out here, really?!" I thought to myself more than once.

After at least two deaths, and with everything from Netherguard Keep to the Dark Portal on my map, I finally realized I had to be in the wrong zone.

Yes, I really did go to all those places when I was 46.

I eventually made it to the the Badlands, and I was really impressed. The quests have been cleaned up a lot, a zone I used to dread is now among my favorites. The new goblin area is delightful.

Follow the tacky signs ...

... to a brand new quest hub.

There is a quest there that involves launching sheep at high velocity off of mountaintops that had me giggling like a six year old. I managed to hit an ogre with one of them and it murdered the ogre (cool!). There is also a quest that involves mowing down waves of troggs with a cannon that I got a big kick out of. It played somewhat like asteroids.

Later in the zone there is one of the most gonzo awesome quest chain's I've ever done in an MMO. I will provide but one hint as to the content:

Godzilla Gnome!

The capstone quest in the zone is a boss fight that is genuinely challenging. I and my friend two manned it, and even with his help I had to use all my cooldowns and got beat within an inch of my life. It's one of the first quests (outside of an instance) I've encountered in revamped WoW that I really don't think could be soloed by most classes on level. The reward was a really nice blue item.

I've since moved on to the Burning Steppes. The progression there is certainly a lot smoother than it used to be. However, so far nothing has excited me enough to want to blog about it.


  1. That certainly sounds awesome. I've back out of the game for the last couple days to avoid the inevitable burnout, but I'm looking forward to seeing all of these zones.

  2. @Anjin: I really enjoyed the zone a ton. The quest chain where you play a giant gnome suggested a method of storytelling that I have very rarely seen used in games generally, much less in MMOs. It's too bad that you have to get 20 hours into the game to see it.

  3. Haha, I always used to skip the Badlands while leveling up, because I never figured there was anything there. And it's true, the place is pretty sad for Alliance in terms of content. Guess that's all going to change now, I'll hit that place up for sure now next time I'm around that level!

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed the content in that zone. Quite an improvement over "the old days".

    If I had anything negative to say it would be "it's still a very very orange monotone"

  5. Wow, that zone map makes the Badlands look so different. I was never a fan of that place so I tried to avoid it as much as possible.

  6. @MMogamerchick: it was desolate for alliance, maybe 4 quests there that I can remember. It's now a really fun zone.

    @Jomar: heh, yeah it is still a bit monotonous visually. In fact the whole run we have been on from there to 60 is a lot of boring deserty looking stuff, apart from the Swamp of Sorrows. And no-where we've been looks like place I'd want to vacation.

    @jaydub:that would be because the map is of the Blasted Lands, not the Badlands :-) But the Badlands have indeed change a ton, both in terms of quests and geography.