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The Fields of Farahlon September 15, 2011

Posted by Ben in Uncategorized.

Since Arthas reared his head into our airspace (*wink*), my characters have reached 68 long before getting to that rocky purple zone and rushed off to greener pastures. In general, my least favorite part of leveling a character is the stretch from 60 to 68. I can’t get to Northrend fast enough. Part of it is that I’ve done the run of Hellfire->Zangarmarsh->Terrokar->Nagrand so many times that it’s practically mindless. I’ve despised Blade’s Edge since the first time I ran through it back in the first months of Burning Crusade. But then there’s Netherstorm.

As my crop of Cataclysm alts have crossed through the Dark Portal, I’ve tried to select different paths for each of them. My shaman leveled exclusively through dungeons, not a single quest from Outland found home in here quest log. My paladin is following a similar path, although I may not be as stringent. Thanks to heirlooms, guild xp boost and reduced xp needed in the 60s, my hunter needed only two and a half zones to get to 68. (Hellfire until 62 -> Zangarmarsh -> Nagrand). My mage has followed a different path (Hellfire until 62 -> Terrokar except the Bone Wastes -> Blade’s Edge Mountains until 67 -> Netherstorm), and I’ve forgotten how much I’d enjoyed that northern zone of the first expansion.

Ambience -> I remember my first hour in Hellfire Peninsula after the opening of the Dark Portal. The zone was immense and it seemed like the Burning Legion was attacking from all sides. But when you crossed to the west end of the zone beyond Hellfire Citadel, that sense of danger fades somewhat. It’s not until you reach Netherstorm or Shadowmoon Valley that you’re presented with that clear and present danger once again. That sense that you are on the front lines of the struggle, and that every quest is the difference between victory and defeat.

And the zone is just hauntingly beautiful.



1. Stormy - September 15, 2011

I have a love-hate relationship with Netherstorm. The first time I played through it on my hunter it was my favorite of the Outland zones. There’s something hauntingly creepy about it, and I love the goblin town of Area 52. Looking back, though, it’s the zone that makes me want to argue for the normalization of XP from level to level (which is an argument for another day). I feel like I spent about a half hour in, for example, Un’goro Crater, and about a week in Netherstorm. I went back to Netherstorm a little bit farming Cenarion Expedition rep on my druid and I’ll have to force myself to play the whole zone on my priest for Loremaster, but beyond that the whole idea of spending another week there makes my skin crawl.

Rush - September 15, 2011

I was noticing that as I was questing there this morning. It was definitely conceived as a max-level zone rather than a leveling zone (in the same vein as Shadowmoon Valley and Icecrown), and thus is intended to me more of a long-term project.
It’s also interesting to do with the totally readjusted damage numbers since it was bleeding-edge content. I remember my Gnome mage going through the zone at level 70 and feeling like the npcs and I were evenly matched, but now at level 67-68, I’m soloing the elite quests that I never completed back in the day.

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