So hubby and I finished Val’Sharah last night. We completed the main questline, collected all the treasures, and farmed up all the rares. What did we think?
We were impressed!
Both of us have been playing since Vanilla, on and off. We’ve quested our way to max on multiple characters, and have even done the raiding scene. I think by far this is the most fun I’ve had leveling characters – and maybe even more fun than a lot of end game stuff. This is high praise as I really enjoyed Cataclysm and had no huge qualms with the next two expansions (except for Panda-land lurking like a bad rash, good gods above).
I will full acknowledge, we were also super hyped up about. The pre-expansion events, the story that we got before the expansion even hit (R.I.P to those who deserve it), that all did it’s job. It got us hooked. They took from us, in various ways, people we’d known and loved throughout 10-12 years of a game. If you were at all invested in those characters, then well, you felt the pain.
The invasions too, also brought back memories of the pre-Lich King events, something I’ve always looked back on with fond memories. Overall, I’m really happy we got to take part in those (and really happy they helped me get my last toon to 100)
But what about the first zone of quests? I’m going to skip the artifact and hall reviews – I plan on doing those when I finished all the weapons for each class (and Hubby will help with those he finishes first). We hit Val’Sharah first as we always level my Druid (see above) and his Paladin together. I got to pick so naturally I went with the most Druidic zone I could find.
I’m going to break it down for you:
- It was too short – BUT HOLY SHIT THEY PACKED SOME STUFF IN THERE
- It was beautiful – But the holes are real and you’re going to get stuck, like physically unable to get out of a hole.
- Did I mention the story was amazing – But they did utilize a trope I’m beginning to hate and really see a pattern of in Warcraft.
So look. I’m going to address bullets 1 and 3. The zone felt very short. Though Hubby and I did it in three days there didn’t feel like there was a lot of quests there. We spent a HUGE amount of time exploring, collecting treasures, and killing rares. The actual questing? Not a lot. However the quests themselves, the stories were fantastic. One of the final cut scenes, fully animated, left me with tears on my face. Genuinely crying – full out sobs. Now. I’m a dedicated lore nerd, I love these characters. People have fictional boyfriends and girlfriends from books – mine are from WoW (looking at you Khadgar and Tyrande), so the normal person may not react so much. But my other guild-mates and my husband agree – that scene. It was powerful. It hit like a punch in the throat.
The build up to that culmination was clean as well. They didn’t mess around too much, it all related to the Nightmare encroaching on the world through the world tree located there. Wonderfully done! The one flaw is that trope, that device they’ve used time and time again. The Unwilling Corruption. Someone is controlled or corrupted and we have to kill them/save them. I just. I’m still collecting my thoughts on this but I find it manipulative and upsetting. Just be aware, it’s back.
Finally bullet 2. Blizzard did not recycle here. I felt like the zone and interactions with the zone was new and fresh. I could run under roots, through brand new caves – and get lost. I couldn’t use my Blizzard-fu to find my way out. And it was gorgeous all around, beautiful colors and well built textures.
And guys. There were unicorns just frolicking about. UNICORNS.
Again, My biggest gripe about this portion? The holes. I have fallen in more inescapable holes in the past week than I have in almost three years. Not in this zone but in Stormheim I FELL IN A HOLE THAT SET ME BACK 20 MINUTES ON MY WAY TO A TAME. 20 MINUTES.
Overall. This zone and initial impressions – amazing. I would say this is a good zone to start out in, but I’ll give you more details as we complete more. We’re off to High Mountain next so stay tuned!