What a time to be discovering all the things that one can do in the Old World of Azeroth these days, just as most people teeter on the very doorstep of Mr L. King BSc. MSc. RAth, ready to ring his frost-covered door bell and slip-slide their way down his icy garden path, giggling with glee to themselves as they wait in the hedgerow with a forty man raid of other children, all set to bombard him with snowballs when he answers the door in his dressing gown, slippers and pipe.
My question is thus: am I going to be the only one playing in the narrow reaches of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms come WotLK’s release date? I honestly can’t see myself charging headlong into the new expansion when it arrives, there’s still so much for me to see and do. Having said that my Shaman was the only character for me, I specialised my dwarf paladin into the Retribution talent tree and took him for a spin over the weekend, and I have to say that it was a revelation: sure my Shaman can output even more damage when specialised in the Enhancement talent tree, but for sheer audacious survivability, the paladin is still hard to beat.
Zoso will roll his eyes to the heavens and ‘tsk’ quietly to himself with respect to me switching character focus, in three… two… one…
Although it probably won’t distress him too much because he’s still hammering away at WAR, I feel an apology is still warranted, so: sorry!
Anyway, I had another couple of runs around Azeroth with Elf, where we blasted through some of the low level dungeons that we needed for achievements; a particularly enjoyable speed run through Shadowfang Keep, and a slightly hairy moment in Zul’Farak whilst we were undertaking the ‘assault on the steps’ stage of the instance. Instead of waiting for the mobs to run up the stairs to us in dribs and drabs as is the usual custom, we charged down and took the fight to them. The funny thing was, it wasn’t hairy because of the fight, it was hairy because we destroyed the first wave of enemies so quickly that the event froze and we thought we’d broken the instance. After a minute or so of standing around holding our weapons limply and looking slightly sheepish, the second wave of trolls was clearly pushed out of their hiding place, scrabbling at door frames and dragging fingernails on walls in a vain attempt to stay inside where it was safe and warm and free from the two crazy plate-wearing nutters with big bladed weapons and a glint in their eyes. Whence the fun continued, for us at least. I also took to soloing for a while, running a large part of Stratholme on my own, getting the key to the city and a few of the bosses before stray runners in the Scarlet side repeatedly brought half the instance down onto my head, at which point I decided I needed more practise with the class before I was ready to master soloing instances, and I headed off to explore some more of the Scourge event that is still ongoing instead.
With all the new (to me) content that is available in the Old World I have no intention of heading into Northrend the very moment the boats set sail from Stormwind harbour, if nothing other than because the first boat will have the entire Alliance population on its decks, and I need to be standing on the docks with my camera for when the server gives-up under the load, the boat disappears, and several thousand of Azeroth’s finest warriors are dunked into the ocean and drown before they can reach safe waters.
It’s a Kodak moment.
It’ll be interesting to see how the launch of Wrath of the Lich King develops, but I imagine that I’ll be one of only a few people still to be taking advantage of the new ‘old’ content before heading into the new ‘new’ content. I’ve prepared my character as best I can, mainly by filling his backpack with tissues which I can then hand to the dungeon bosses of yore, whose names once struck fear into groups of forty adventurers, but who are now mainly forgotten, and when they do finally do get a visitor, it is a lone paladin who hands them a tissue before bending their once iron resolve to his will with little more effort than that required to perform a Wuxi Finger Hold.