Saturday, December 18, 2010

A New Stab at the Future--A Darkspear's Beginning

With the Shattering of Azeroth, much was destroyed on the Kalimidorian continent; Barrens torn asunder, Thousand Needles flooded, Darkshore devastated, the list goes on and on. Even among all this devastation, the Horde has carried the momentum forward following the fall of Zalzane on the Echo Isles, and built a Darkspear Troll presence in the southern portion of Durotaur, building a new permanent settlement there. Now, when a Troll decides to cash in his chips and begin the life of a stalwart adventurer, no longer will he begin his journey in the Valley of Trials, but in the Echo Isles, among his own kind.

Now, normally when I run through these starting areas, I roll a Warrior. That was i run across the same class quests at level 3, and minimize errors in what i find. However, when it came to the Trolls, I decided to roll a Druid. Why you may ask?? Well, everyone else is rolling a Troll Druid (I think i counted about 50 of them when i ran through the starter areas myself) so I decided to go ahead and give it a whirl. Besides that, this discussion isn't a walkthrough, so it really shouldn't matter which class i roll, and 10 Warriors--one after another--could get a drab dull. So, I threw a Druid into the mix just to keep it lively.

But enough of my mindless prattle........on to what I found.........

My first impression of this new starter zone is that it is cramped. There are a lot of Tikki Targets and trolls everywhere (NPC Trolls, not just other players). At first glance it is a lot to take in, and if you do not have your view zoomed out, it is very easy to not know just where you are headed. But, like any other starting area, you don't need to go to far to get your first quest...the guy is standing right there in front of you. Another difference between this and the other new zones is the location of the mailbox. Unlike all the others where the mailbox is within a few yards of where you start, the mailbox in the Echo Isles is in front of Vol'jin's hut, which you won't get to until you are about six quests into the story.

As with the Forsaken and the Gnome, one thing i greatly enjoy about this starting area is that it tells a story. Interlaced in the quests through the zone you will have contact with Vol'jin, the leader of the Darkspear Tribe. He will show you a vision before you accept the quest Moraya which shows Vol'jin tell Warchief Hellscream just exactly what the Troll thinks of the Orc. This quest chain has you attacking Naga throughout a cave on one of the Echo Isles. This quests answers many complaints by gamers to Blizzard, and re-introduces "red mobs" back into the starting areas. Watch out--all the naga want nothing more then to kill young Trolls on sight. This quest chain culminates with you attacking a Naga witch, Zar'jira in the quest An Ancient Enemy. (As a side note, this bittersweet quest ends with a young NPC Troll, Zuni, being killed in combat against the witch, and you being teleported back after Vol'jin's hasety retreat following his victory.)

All in all, this zone seemed a little hastily constructed and crowded. Yes, after the initial few quests in the zone it spreads out a little, but it is these first few quests that make the whole zone seem small and lackluster considering the majesty of the other areas in the world that Blizzard is so very proud of.

A Darkspear's Beginning | An Orcs Beginning | The New-New Trisfal Glades | Battlefield Silverpine

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