Holy Quests Batman

I’ve been on a roll today. I’ve been working toward my goal of completing the EK & Kalimdor zone quest achievements before Cataclysm. I’m really making a lot of progress and some zones have been easier than other. I just thought I’d share some of my overall observations as well as impressions of individual zones.

First, yes, almost all of the old quests I did before the Shattering were reset. I had Loremaster and I had Seeker. The zone that appears to have the most quests complete NOW is Silithus with 18/19 quests completed on log-in on patch day. That’s okay though because while there is some overlap and redoing quests, they link together to flow through the zone. I really don’t mind.

Next, I’m finding that I’m a little annoyed by the flight paths. There’s tons of flight paths everywhere which is amazing, but the old world flight path placement is a little inconvenient. I almost wish the assignment board in Org would let us go to any zone and start there. But I know that’s asking a little much. I’ll be happy to use it come release day, though. (If you weren’t aware, there is a Command Board in Orgrimmar. As you level, you can visit it and it will port you to the zones appropriate to your level.)

Finally, my last overall concern is that the zone achievements do not necessarily require you to complete the entire zone. Northern Barrens seemed like just about every quest. Ashenvale doesn’t have enough quests to complete it at this time. Azshara, Desolace, and Northern Barrens I had at least an entire quest hub left when I got the achievement. While it’s nice to not have to scour the zone for the leftover quests, I also would like the achievement to be nearly the entire zone. I want to experience the new zones, but I also don’t want to “waste” time by doing quests that really won’t get me anything. There’s no experience, no rewards other than a tiny amount of gold, and there’s no achievement.

My approach was to start on Kalimdor and work through the zones as you’d hit them levelling. So far I’ve done Northern Barrens, Ashenvale, Stonetalon Mountains, Azshara, Desolace, Southern Barrens, and now I’m working on Dustwallow Marsh. So here’s some comments on each of those…

Northern Barrens: Make sure you start out at the beginning, at the bridge coming in from Durotar. I’m confident that if you do that you can progress through the zone easily. I didn’t do that. I started at Crossroads and then had to backtrack when I was almost done with the zone. It was annoying. The zones are designed to let you flow through and will send you to the next hub–often with a ride there so you don’t have to run on foot. Start at the beginning and you’re golden.

Ashenvale: This zone was really annoying to me because I had about 20 quests completed on patch day and now I can’t finish it. It’s really frustrating to not be able to finish the zone. I haven’t been able to find any blue posts about it, but there are plenty of threads in both the Achievement forum and the Bug Report forums. Hopefully this will be fixed soon.

Stonetalon Mountains: I was really entertained by the overall “plot” of the zone. Essentially you’re working your way up the military ranks as you go. You have a buff on you to show your rank. You end by earning General. The last quest I did in the zone was the one after I got the achievement in which you “learn what it means to be horde.” At that point, Garrosh comes out and tells you, “Psh the army you’re a general for doesn’t exist anymore. Go try to be of use in the next zones.” That being said, you keep the General rank buff every time you enter the zone from then on. There were a number of individual quests that were a lot of fun.

Azshara: At first I was intimidated by the number of quests required to complete the zone. I worried that I would end up looking everywhere for the last few quests. Never fear, there is an abundance of quests. And in doing a number of the quests, you get achievements in addition! Joy Ride you get by riding the transportation system in the zone between the northern & southern ends. You easily get the Glutton for Shadowy, Fiery, and Icy Punishment doing the quests, but that was a lot of fun. The ONE criticism I have for the Glutton achievements is that you really get it by doing the quest properly. I wish you didn’t automatically get the quest. That being said, the Icy one was the hardest in my opinion. Body and Soul really helped me dodge the frost twirls.

Desolace: Again, this zone had more quests than required by the achievement. I really liked that the zone looks a lot less depressing/monochrome than it used to. I particularly enjoyed the Cenarion Wildlands hub. I didn’t actually have to do anything south or west of that. I entered the zone north of Thunder Axe Fortress and worked my way through. I really enjoyed the quest line in Sargeron, but was frustrated that the in-game quest helper does not track the reagents you have to collect to perform the rituals. Also, I had trouble when I did the Naga quest chain starting at Ethel Rethor. At one point you get transformed into a naga and get to do a variety of quests that utilize the various abilities it has. The last quest is to go dig up mounds of dirt to find ancient tablets. The quest helper put the zone for the quest in the wrong place and the mounds of dirt were particularly difficult for me to find. Somebody else might have been in the zone, but after the first two I found, it took me about 20 minutes to complete the quest.

Southern Barrens: Yet again there are faaaar more quests than you need to finish the achievement. I was really disappointed that the last quest I turned in for the achievement was to talk to Mankrik who wants us to avenge his wife’s death. I’m pleased that the parts of the Barrens that we all know and love have remained and been built upon. Southern Barrens was exceptionally quick and interesting. The Overgrowth supplied a ton of quests in a very concentrated area. The only quest that I found in the least bit annoying was to find Energized Adders. I didn’t realize that I was looking for little critter snakes on the ground. I don’t have nameplates on critters, so it took me a while to notice.

Dustwallow Marsh: I JUST started DWM, but I was taken aback by how many quests you pick up immediately. I did have a few quests (8) completed at patch, but I can’t imagine that I’d be able to pick up literally a dozen quests in Brackenwall Village just because of those eight. It’s looking like it will be a speedy zone. Many of the old quests seem to be here such as Swamp Eye, Onyxia-based quests, and the Black Shield chain.

Overall, I think I’ve made a good bit of progress since this afternoon and am optimistic for the rest of the zones. The storylines are obvious (I don’t read much quest text!) so you get a taste of lore without wasting time. The quests are quick and self-explanatory. And most importantly, the new layout of quest hubs to progress you through the zone make questing a lot less time-consuming. I’m surprised at how happy I am with these changes.

Update: Dustwallow Marsh is officially stupid. It’s bad. Don’t go there if you have a choice. It has none of the new features that zones are supposed to have. None of the conveniences, no new quest hubs. And most annoyingly, if the quests got reset merely so I could go kill a big spider queen, that’s ridiculous. Now I’m frustrated.

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~ by pocketpriest on November 27, 2010.

2 Responses to “Holy Quests Batman”

  1. I’ve been holding off looking at the new content as much as I can before xpacday, it just feels like opening your Xmas presents too early!

    • I want to be able to open all the new presents that are applicable at 80 at launch and not feel like I missed out or forgot something. I don’t plan to roll another alt because I really neglect them anyway. So I might as well get my achievement points and have a goal before Cata launch. But to each their own! If you’re planning to roll a goblin or worgen with xpac, you’re definitely going to enjoy it. The only problem is you really need to roll about 4 different characters to get the total effect. You no longer need to quest in nearly every zone to get to 60.

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