Breathing free and easy in Stranglethorn Vale

As the wife and I played WoW this weekend it occured to us that the old places continue to be fairly populated areas.

Over on Steamwheedle Cartle, my wife’s Priest and my Warlock knocked out a few quests, killing bad undead for our side’s undead, and we weren’t alone. We were doing quests that we might have done 4-5 years ago, back in “Vanilla” WoW, and others were too. Not everyone it seems needs to roll a Deathknight to get their “noob fix” in. Or, by now folks have had their chance at leveling multiple Blood Elves and/or Draenei to level 80. It’s kind of like “Old School” now. The equivalent of a beer on the back porch. Just hanging out and leveling up.

I’m curious, but how many truly new players are joining our ranks? Folks who see the Mt. Dew commercials and think to themselves: “Hey, that’s cool. Convenience Store Wars! With swords!” And go pick up a copy at Best Buy or something. When these young ones advertise paying 1g to be boosted through an instance, you know that’s not the deal, that those aren’t real beginners.

Back on Kirin Tor our Draeneis were working their way up and down Stranglethorn Vale. (And the Vale was busy too. Are folks now setting their sights on level 40 for the new epic rides?) The old “repair my crockery” quest was made a thousand times easier by 1) My level 72 Pally, out farming for mithril, picked up the necessary bloodstone ore in the Arathi Highlands, 2) We both have mounts, and we could ride the distance that previously one had to hoof, and 3) There’s a flight point in the Rebel Camp. You just fly down to Booty Bay, get the ore out of the mailbox, go see the goblin, surprise him that you’ve planned ahead, get the repaired pot and fly back up to the camp. Job done. So we both dinged level 40 there in the Vale.

Later, trying to prepare some for an Uldaman run, I happened to be in the Badlands. I got a quest to return with a Black Drake Heart for a weapon enchant item. I figured since the wife didn’t need such an enchant, she very rarely needs to melee, and would much less want an aoe proc, I’d just do that on my own. Oh, it was a lot of whelps. But my level 40 Warrior, in that fantabulous new version of the old “Steel Helm” (+24 Strength. Blue now, not white. Say what???) cooked through them with nearly no downtime, a few bandaids and a couple pots when I managed to aggro more than a couple at once, and still wielding the level 30 Warrior quest whirlwind weapon. Arms is handy. By the time the drake heart dropped, I’d made a ton of progress towards level 41. And when I went to collect the power stones, I found what was once a rare drop is now actually a double drop off each and every dwarf. They each carried one of each of the two power stones you need. So I got all the stones and turned them in. Argh. 99%. So I went back, kicked a few more dwarf butts and dinged 41. That said, it took absolutely no time to knock out a couple quests, and grind on a few mobs, to get an entire level.

I’m also wondering, have they nerfed the very first quests? If I create a new Night Elf Hunter, and start at Aldrassil, I have absolutely nothing to worry about. I can’t die. I barely sustain scratches. But I believe that wasn’t the case more than 4 years ago when I did if for the the first time. That spider cave was absolutely frightening. Those level 4 spiders were tough. I ran a few times. Did I get better at playing this game, or have they nerfed the beginning content to make it easy for the playskool set?


About Kinless

Gamer. Engineer. Lived lots of places.
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6 Responses to Breathing free and easy in Stranglethorn Vale

  1. Grimmtooth says:

    I can’t remember the exact version where this all kicked in, and I don’t think they clearly documented it in all respects, but something in the back of my head tells me that the nerfing didn’t really start until around the point that you see your very first mailbox (in the normal progression of things).

    That said, then I think it’s reasonable to suggest that you’ve gotten better in years time and know how to handle a toon a bit better now 🙂 I’ve run maybe 4-5 Night Elves through the starter areas since 05 or so, and that cave with the spiders does seem to be just as deadly – but I’m less likely to make classic noob mistakes now. Everything from armor and weapons to spells and abilities are no longer unfamiliar.

    It is kinda a shame about the later stuff, though. I mean, there were quests that I totally would not do in STV, such as that guy in the cave with the gorillas. The newbs don’t know proper fear now until they hit the endgame, it seems. Are Fel Reavers even that hard now?

  2. Drazmor says:

    Ah, the spider cave…

    Bad, bad, memories…

    I remember all the times I got lost in that cave. (Yes, I was a total noob back then.)

    Hell, when I think about it, I remember gettin lost trying to hand in the 1st quest you do as a Night Elf. iWandered around for 30min before I finally gave up and hearthed. I was probably like 10feet away from it at the time, too. I think thats what strted my utter hatred of Night Elf zones…

  3. Grimmtooth says:

    @Drazmor – Thank goodness for the minimap icons showing where the turnins were to be had. 🙂

    OK, that part got made easier, for sure.

  4. Kenn says:

    I was such a noob back then in the cave, I got stuck in a corner because I didn’t know how to jump.

  5. Kinless says:

    And the next two caves in Teldrassil only got worse.

    For being inside a giant tree trunk, what’s up with all the caves?

    You had the one with all the spell casting Grelliks, and the boss Satyr. And that involved multiple levels, and you had to approach the right way (typically sticking to the right as the path loops around the back of the complex) or you’d never reach the goal.

    And then the one with the bridges and areas looping deeper and deeper (you’re finding 3 things and dealing with a spirit or something) and the Furbolgs never end. To this day I still get lost in there.

    It’s kind of funny. You’ve also got caves outside Goldshire, in Dun Morogh, Durotar, Deathknell even. … But the Draenei don’t have caves…wait, they’ve got the cave with the Furbolgs being raided by the Owlkin. *And* the cave with the Naga.

    The Blood Elves don’t have caves. … I’m pretty sure they don’t. No, they’ve got the Troll crypts.

    All starter zones include plenty of caves! As if everyone’s first experience had to include cave delving.

    I wonder if they were following the Dungeons and Dragons model. 🙂

  6. Grimmtooth says:

    Well, yes, I think caves fits well with the motif, if you’re used to FRPGs they all pretty much send you into caves after stuff. So it’s a comfortable idiom to get people started off on.

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