Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Beginning Firelands/Patch 4.2

Well, 4.2 is out. I've played a bit -- all on the MacBook -- and it's, well, interesting. It's not so much PvE end game for soloers as much as a minimally interactive movie so far. Sure, I've gotten lazy and dropped two healing pots, but there's really zero strategy and lots of mob clean up stuck between cut scenes. Even though the cut scenes, like the one where Thrall is taken away, are meant to pull you out of the millions of PCs running around HyJal right now and thrust you into what briefly looks like a position of singular fame and power, the facade drops away so quickly once the cutscenes are done that Blizzard'd be better off leaving them out entirely. It'd be better to treat you as what you are -- one of thousands attempting to fight the same thing.

The touch-and-tally quests (instead of "Kill X of Y" we have "Damage X of Y before someone else is done with them") really undercut their difficulty and feeling of accomplishment. I feel like I'm marking time.

Anyhow, the best source I've seen so far in the blogroll for figuring out the big picture for the questline is at Shifting Perspectives in the post "Faction rewards for balance in 4.2". Right now we're all here:

In order to begin your new adventure, simply pick up the starter quest from any of the new adventure boards located in a major city. This will send you out to Sanctuary of Malorne in Hyjal where the druids are under attack. After the initial quest chain, you'll gain access to three daily quests. It takes 20 Marks of the World Tree to open the next stage, which requires three days' worth of questing to get.

After those minimum three days, you've got "at least 10 days" before you can move from the first group of Firelands dailies to "unlock either the Druids of the Talon or the Shadow Warden" who offer you yet more quests that apparently take at least seven days to complete. After that, "you will open up three new quests that will finally net you the rewards that you've been after. Each of these quests require 125 Marks in order to open, which will take you 6 days or so in order to reach."

So, to sum, "From start to finish, it will take you around 36 days, 35 at a minimum, in order to unlock everything." Wow, indeed. If the quests don't get a heck of a lot more enjoyable, and soon, this will redefine the meaning of "grind". If Blizzard loses many more subscribers in a month than they gained from folks coming back, I wouldn't be surprised in the least.

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