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World of Warcraft – Part 25 – Level 100 and WoD So Far…

It hasn’t even been a month and I’ve already made it to level 100 on my Hunter, RamenJunkie.  I’m certainly nowhere near the first, it just feels like it was a pretty quick trip compared to going to 90.  i imagine this was intentional in Blizzard’s part actually.  Most of the “real game” happens at Max Level anyway.  I’m somewhere around 92 or 93 on Ramchan, still in the initial Garrison area.  I think part of why this felt so much faster than in MOP is that unlike MOP I wasn’t starting at level 1, fresh and new to the entire game.  I didn’t feel the need to get distracted for hours earning the Explorer achievement.  I didn’t spend forever doing low level Undead quests so I could get a ghostly undead horse.  I wasn’t playing catch up on 8 years of content.  I started out Warlords of Draenor on the same page as everyone else who has been around a while, Level 90, a stable of mounts and achievements, professions at decent levels, etc.

Ironically I made it to level 100 on the character I didn’t do all those other distractions with.  When I first started the game with the “free to level 20” starter edition, my first character was RamenJunkie, Orc Hunter.  I got bored playing Hunter pretty quickly and later started playing Ramchan, Blood Elf Warrior.  Warrior is a lot of fun to play but it does get tedious over time.  With Warrior, you’re always on the front line standing in the poop and taking damage.  Hunter is way more relaxed and simple, especially after the WoD skill pruning.  People make fun of Hunters, calling them Huntards and lazy and whatnot, and I am still among those folks.  I fully admit that there have been times in dungeons where I was simply standing in the back doing nothing but auto fire and letting my Pet do the work.  I also admit to accidentally pulling mobs, though i blame that on my habit of tabbing through targets as they die.  With Warrior if I accidentally target a distant enemy it’s no big deal because I can’t aggro anything not in Melee range.  Hunters can pull from across the room with a few accidental arrows.

Anyway, I’m really enjoying Warlords.  Blizzard did a ton of streamlining and it shows and really helps.  Everything old is new again as they say.  Just one example, almost all professions can be leveled entirely with WoD mats.  The ability pruning helps make all classes more intuitive.  Then there is the Garrisons, your own little base.  It’s like the old MoP Farm, only a zillion times better.  You have a hearth that takes you back anytime, you can earn TONS of useful materials and items instead of barely any garbage materials.

The Garrison is essentially the central hub for your entire Warlords experience.  Unlike the farm, which was this time consuming time sink that you picked up halfway in and felt obligated to return to daily for a while.

There are downsides to this.  To make the Garrison effective you need to recruit followers and upgrade buildings.  This means doing the questing in a lot of cases.  As much as I am enjoying WoD, I am not looking forward to doing it all again a second or third time with alts.

Warlords itself is decent plot wise, but it’s also not without it’s faults.  I’m really starting to feel reminded of Pandaria’s quests and zones.  The initial entry into the brave new world is intense and well scripted.  For the first zone everything feels solid and well tied together, this extends a bit into the second zone (Gorgrond/Valley of the Four Winds).  Afterwards it starts to feel a bit disjointed and unrelated in each zone.  This gets worse once reaching Max Level and you start running Dungeons out of context.  Why did I go fight a bunch of bird men in a sky castle?  I’m sure it will make more sense once I actually do the Spires of Arak quest lines but it doesn’t help break up the coherent flow that I was getting in the early zones.  I’ve also been pretty meticulous about running through each zone, I wanted to experience the entire package before moving on.  I have essentially 100% completed Frostfire Ridge, Gorgrond, and Talador.  I’m working my way through Nagrand.  Spires essentially comes before Nagrand but I had already leveled out of Spires by the time I got there, plus I needed the skinning from Nagrand to keep my Skinning skill going.

I still have my Level 90 Boost from buying Warlords as well.  I’m so torn on where to use it.  I’ve narrowed it down to either an Alliance character or a PVP Realm character.  I really could use an Alliance character, it would break up some of the repetition on Alt leveling and getting to max level in a PVP Realm is tedious but I want to get into that whole angle.  Anyway, that’s what’s up for this week.

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