Friday, April 04, 2008

Byte: We are 50% towards achieving our goal

One of the more interesting things about the Shattered Sun Offensive that was introduced by the 2.4 Sunwell patch is that the new map area, the Sunwell Isle, is gradually changing over time. That is, as the offensive progresses, enemy mobs are actually being pushed out of some areas of the map. I'm not sure how far Blizzard are going to go with this (as the island would be pretty uninteresting if there was no-one left to fight), but it is different in that you're actually getting a sense of progression in terms of actually affecting the game world, which makes a change from the normal "kill 10 of these, 5 of these and 5 of these" quests and it doesn't make the blindest bit of difference from one day to the next.

There would definitely seem to be several stages that the Offensive has been planned in, as some of the daily quest givers update you with a reported progress (as per the post title) whenever you retake a quest from one day to the next. It might just be my imagination, but as you retake the quests more and more, some of them definitely seem harder; though this might be a symptom of more people being aware that the quests are there, and there are simply more people competing for the same number of mobs. Most of them, however, are still doable in under 15 minutes, so I'm still making plenty of gold - in fact, I'm now halfway to getting the magic 5000g I need to afford my Artisan Riding training, (just a dozen gold shy of 2500) which probably represents the most gold I've ever had. So it's a bit of a shame that I'm going to spend all of it in one go, but it will be worth it. I reckon another two or three weeks, and I should finally be riding my Swift Purple Gryphon, which has been waiting patiently in the bank now since I turned level 70.

I'm supplementing my daily quest income by making a rather nice leatherworking bag, the Bag of Many Hides, and flogging them in the auction house along with any excess Green items. So depending on how things sell, I'm making well over 100g a day, which is a pretty good return for an hour or two's play. It's being back in a friendly guild, however, that's really making the game more pleasurable for me right now. I'm still soloing most of the time, but having the guild chat in the background, and doing the odd instance makes the whole experience much more convivial and less of an escape mechanism. I'm playing to be with people, not because I want to hide from the real world. Sure, there's still the sense of escapism - at least until I master being able to polymorph into a Dire Bear or Shadowcat in the real world - but that's less important than being around a group of people who like doing the same things as you do. It's even better that we've got a good mix in our group: Brits, Belgians, Dutch, and a few other nationalities, besides. Though I still find it amusing that you can always tell which people are the Brits from the mainland Europeans, because the Brits have the worst English...

Hopefully, as more people in the Guild push up towards level 70, we'll do a few more of the high level instances, such as Tempest Keep, because I've not really touched any of that stuff yet. It's quite amazing to think that I've put over a month in real-time into the game, yet I've not experienced barely half of the game's content yet. Not that I expect that I'll ever play through it all (I certainly have no ambitions of ever taking a Horde character all the way up to the level cap), and in all honesty, I'm not that fussed about all that high-end raiding, where it takes you 100 hours to get all the reputation attunements before you can even start, but it is pretty staggering just the sheer volume of STUFF that there is to do. I'm not sure what I'll do once I do finally get my epic flying mount - reputation grinding and instances, I suppose (I can't be arsed with battlegrounds or arena PvP) - or maybe I'll put more time into my alts. Yonn hit level 56 last night, so he's just two levels from Outland - roughly ten hours play, assuming a fully rested state. I know it won't be quite the same as the first time around, but I am really looking forward to taking a new character to Outland. So, suffice to say, it's hard for me to see where another game is going to get a look-in at the moment. Even if Mario Kart on Wii is due out in the next couple of weeks...
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