A Canadian Werewolf In Gilneas

December 9, 2010

There are so many things to do in World of Warcraft right now, but on Tuesday night I decided to plow on ahead with my Worgen priest and finish up the area.

Yes, I'm aware I look completely ridiculous. And no, I don't care.

I’m impressed. I really am. And it’s not just my excitement over a new race and a new zone talking. While the novelty of that is there, I suppose, I’m mostly just amazed by how well the entire Worgen starting experience is put together, like a storybook unfolding in front of your eyes. Compared to it, the Night Elf starting area I did last week on my mage was a snoozefest.

For one, I think Blizzard has certainly raised the bar on their starting zone quests. You see these types of changes applied to other lowbie zones like Darkshore and Westfall as well, but even then you wouldn’t normally hit these areas until you’re about level 10-12 or so. Hence to be experiencing these new quests mechanics — stuff like aerial bombing and vehicular warfare —  as low as a puny level 5 in the Worgen starting area came as a bit of a pleasant surprise. It all felt so grand.

That said, there are still quests there to teach you all the basics (my priest had to use her healing ability this many times on an injured ally and yadda yadda yadda) but for the most part even all the dry tutorial aspects are incorporated into the overarching story. Contrast that to an NPC just telling you to hit that target dummy over there a few times. Most kill quests were also implemented in creative ways (like having to launch yourself onto a ship with a catapult), are so visually compelling (like being thrust into a chaotic warzone), or are just so humorous (like blowing up abominations and splattering their guts) that I’m willing to overlook the otherwise mundane nature of the task.

And here’s where I’m really impressed — that even at a time when everyone and their grandmas are rolling Worgens, not once did I encounter any problems having to do with overcrowding. Some of the measures put in place to accommodate the initial onslaught were pretty obvious — like increased spawn rates — but there were also plenty of the type of quests that didn’t encourage much mob camping — like tasks that involve being able to spawn your own targets, or looting from stationary objects, etc. Phasing probably helped a lot too in separating the influx of players into more manageable-sized groups (though it was also the cause of several hilarious glitches). Subtle factors, but appreciated by me nonetheless.

Now I can’t wait to try out the Goblin area. If the fun factor is anything like the Worgens, I’m sure it’s going to be a blast. Plus I don’t know if I can bring myself to go back to the starting zones of the any of the original races again.


  1. I’ve done most of both the goblin and the wargen zones, and while I LOVE the wargen as a race – the goblin starter just took the cake. It was so incredibly hilarious (where as the wargen one I felt was much more serious). Be sure to post your thoughts when you’ve done the other one too!

    • Yeah, I loved the Victorian feel of the Worgen area…but that’s also where the seriousness of it came in. It’s also so gloomy and gray. I’m looking forward to some vibrancy over by the Goblins 🙂

  2. It’s fun but I have to say I liked the Goblin experience far more. While it wasn’t over crowded in the Worgen area I saw a lot of people die lol. It was good fun though!

    • I was originally going to wait to do the goblin area, maybe when I’m done getting 85 on my main…but now I just might have to push that up on my to-do list…hmm.

  3. I haven’t done those but I did do the new Gnome and Troll starter areas. The gnome one really impressed me, although it’s a bit of a let down to go from their into DM and back to very typical quests. The latter zone doesn’t pick up again until you get near the end of it, defending the farm is really fun and the new airport was a blast.

    I’m about half way through the troll starter area, and honestly not digging it as much so far. I’m hoping it will pick up.

    I’m really looking forward to the Wargen area from what you have posted.

    • I still have to do the troll and gnome starting areas. Interesting how the latter reverted back to “typical quests” after you left Gnomeregan. It was like the same deal with me on my NE mage. Seems like the old world is still “old world”, at least when it comes the starting area quests.

  4. your american werewolf in london reference is a bit of a stretch.

    i was disappointed in you and laughed at the same time.

    • As long as you laughed.

      That title was actually courtesy of my husband, who suggested “An American Werewolf…” and I had to remind him that I wasn’t actually American.

  5. The goblin starting zone is a blast. I play horde mostly so I went to the goblin first but I did run through the worgen starting zone as well. They are much better than the original races.

    I also thought the same as you I was surprised at the smoothness of the starting areas. They did not seem cluttered or leggy at all. Aside from it taking almost two hours to log in to my server it was a clean experience.

    • Agreed. Starting up was quick and painless, we’ve definitely come a long way from the chaos of the Burning Crusade starting days. I still remember the craziness that was the Draenei area.

  6. Goblin area is just like GTA Vice City. Running people over with your and such.

    • Wow, that sounds awesome when you put it that way 😀

  7. I haven’t tried either of the new starting zones, though I intend to soon. There is so much to do!

    • I know! I’m trying to bounce around a little to try a bit of everything…but not too much, otherwise I’ll never get anything done 😛

  8. I have gotten past the first two Forsaken leveling zones, and almost done with the Worgen zone. My issue with both Silverpine and 1-10 Worgen (might carry on higher but that’s as far as I got) is that I dislike the pointlessness of the quest chains. I know some are complaining that questing has been made linear, but I think what is worse is being stuck on a rail that always ends in failure. Both areas break down to this:

    Do stuff. Then something happens. Kill stuff. Then you lose anyway. Collect stuff that doesn’t help in the end.

    Maybe Worgen get better after 10, but getting there has been dreary at best for me. (The first few quests in Hillsbrad certainly did wonders to make up for the botched ending half of Silverpine, so there is still hope for the furries.)

    From what I’ve played as a gnome priest, their starting zone is far more polished and entertaining (though they do have a ‘beat up a target dummy x times with y ability’ quest that you mentioned :D). While the Worgen are currently in the dumps in my book, I’m at least looking forward to leveling up my Gobby.

    • Part of the element of surprise is gone, I agree, since you know what will happen already. I know I’m already familiar with the story, so I guess I approach it another way. I see it as a chance to get all the smaller details, and experience and be part of the big events I know that will shape a class. WoW isn’t a game that gives you much choice, I’m afraid, so a long time ago I’ve already made myself prepare for the storylines to go where I might not necessarily want them to.

      • Just got to the part where we can swap to human mode and back. The quests have noticeably been bumped up a bit in terms of enjoyment, which is nice. There was a heck of a lull there from looting the knife out of the poor dude’s back to this spot, though. Saving granny got old a little quickly, and I’m still not sure if seeing her turn worgen as I saved her cat is amusing or frustrating haha The Misses was ok with it all, at least until we got the spiffy hat. She’s all offended her female toon did not get an option to get the same hat the female mayor is sportin’.

      • Hey, I’m with her. Tell her I wanted that hat the moment I saw it!

  9. She looks crazy! I need to add your new character to my friends list so when I play my worgen I can say hi 🙂

  10. Hahaha, that is one of the funniest screenshots I have seen come out of Cata yet! You should put her in the farmer outfit!

    • Oh I actually do have a farmer’s outfit somewhere on one of my characters. Complete with pitchfork too! But I’ll have to get her a prairie chicken pet to go with it. 😉

  11. Probably the most impressive thing I saw with the Worgen starting area was the subtle use of phasing. Like how one of the area becomes completed flooded after a big earthquake and changes dramatically. I was totally blown away when I emerged from the building to find the whole area totally different with new quests waiting for me!

    • Oh I know exactly what you mean. That was a shock to me too!

      The first time a phase change happened to me I was surprised as well. That happened right at the beginning, not 2 minutes into the game, as soon as I turned the corner again and I was like, Wha–?! When did things go to hell? 😛

  12. I started with a Goblin and after finishing that zone went and did the Worgen. Personally i have to say the Goblin experience was the best, way more fun & humor, while the Worgen had more of a darker feel to it. But i guess that kinda fits the races and their storylines 🙂

    • Yeah that’s what I hear. Seems like the goblin humor is a big hit!

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