The Burning Crusade / Outland – first impressions
I haven’t written much lately as I’ve been playing, and enjoying, The Burning Crusade expansion. I’d like to echo the sentiments I see all over the web that Blizzard has done a fantastic job of delivering a fun, exciting expansion with minimal technical issues. When you consider there are now 8 million players across the globe, the content and technical challenges must be immense. It is to Blizzard’s credit that the “buzz” is not only positive, but in some instances glowing.
In my first few days of playing I have dinged 61 and am 1/2 way to 62. My observations:
- Quests for the most part, are not hard to complete. Quests objectives usually are fairly close to the quest giver, most mobs go down easy, and the item drop rates seem fairly high.
- Respawn rates seem faster than normal which is good as most of the early quest locations can be fairly crowded. I only just last night encountered a quest where the respawn on one of the objectives was longer than normal (even then it was only about a minute).
- There is a new quest type – the Bombing Run. I’ve been on two and they are immensely enjoyable. You are given bombs and mount an armored griffon. Once you’re over your objective, click the bomb to get a targeting circle. Click again and away she goes. Easy to accomplish with no risk and a lot of fun.
- The great gear just keeps coming. I kind of expected it to slow down after the first few quests, but quest rewards and drops have continued to be very good. It’s forcing a lot of hard decision as to what to equip. (I did finally get rid of those stupid looking Blademaster Leggings thought. Yay.)
- AH prices have been great for selling, expensive for buying. This is good as with all the new gear, I’ve been selling a lot. Without even trying, I’ve been getting between 10-20 gold on most level 60-61 items I’ve posted for auction (and I usually post on the low end of the scale to get things sold quickly).
- I don’t have a crafting profession, but from what I’ve seen there are lots of good, useful recipies to be had.
- The first instance you can go through, Hellfire Ramparts, is immediately accessible and do-able in 60 minutes or so. For a good group that can pull the only real challenge is the final boss (be sure to bring your fire resist gear). I’ve heard many of the other initial instances follow the same model.
The only downsides I’ve encountered so far:
- With the new areas being so crowded, you’ll not find a huge amount of resources to gather if you’re a herbalist or a miner. I’m a herbalist and the pickings have been slim.
- Professions seem to be leveling more slowly than before. I skinned around 5-6 corpses at the orange level before I got my first increase. I don’t remember it being that slow. This rate seems to be consistent with my herbalism and First Aid leveling also.
- The respawn rates are quick, but it is crowded in most quest areas. This can definitely increase your time to finish quests. However, in many locations it seems there is a spirit of cooperation and ad-hoc party invitations are being sent out to all players in the area, which helps everyone finish quicker.
- No Auction House in Outland, although there are banks.
- FEL REAVERS – two stomps and you’re dead! I already hate that noise…
So there’s my mini-review. If you’ve not been in Outland yet – go. If you haven’t received your expansion yet – rest assured the wait will be worth it. I’ve been having a lot of fun.