As someone who used to roll new World Of Warcraft characters a hell of a lot – and probably never getting them past level 20 – the starting zones were the bane of my life. Tedious, boring, and designed to introduce new players to certain mechanics, they bored the living shit out of me after seeing them so many times.

As I logged into Grumpybear for the first time, I honestly did not hold out much hope for the new Pandarian starting area, The Wandering Isle.

HOLY TERRY PRATCHETT! The starting isle is on the back of a bloody  great turtle, swimming through the sea! Ahem. Forgive my outburst, but as a huge fan of the Pratchett books, to see a blatant reference to the Great A’Turin is just a little bit awesome.

Aside from the turtle of awesomeness, the new Pandarian starting area is very, very pretty. Obviously taking a lot of inspiration from  the Far East, everything looks suitably…well…Far Eastern.

One thing which I found rather jarring was the lack of fellow players running around levelling their own cute and cuddly death machines. I was expecting a veritable sea of them, but no. Nothing. No-one. I was completely alone.

A bit of research told me that this was because the Wandering Isle was considered to be in ‘Instance’. For the non World Of Warcraft player, this basically means that it was created just for me, and other players were unable to enter it, instead being confined to their own ‘instanced’ starting area. So, it was to be just me, levelling all alone.

It’s not all bad though. Compared to the levelling that I was used too, and fully expected, getting the starting area done was an absolute joy. The quests are varied, the pace is fast and overall it was an extremely enjoyable experience.

However, after completing one of the final chain quests (which sees you blowing a huge hole into the side of the turtle that you live on, in order for it to survive, of course) you have to make a choice. You see, Pandas do not start off aligned to the Horde or the Alliance. You have to make that choice yourself.

So, would I become a stalwart defender of Stormwind, or a member of the brash and bold Horde? Well, there is only one realistic choice, isn’t there?

And so, with my decision made, it was time to head to Ogrimmar and check out everything that I had missed. Ahh, it was going to be good to visit Thrall again, do some dancing on the bank roof, head down to the Crossroads in the Barrens and watch the constant PVP between the Horde and Alliance…

Wait.

Where the hell is Thrall? What happened to Ogrimmar?!…

WHY ARE THERE PEOPLE FLYING AROUND THE PLACE ON THE BACK OF BLOODY CHINESE DRAGONS?! BLOODY TAUREN PALADINS?!?!

It would seem I have a lot to catch up on.

WoW Relapser Summary: Week 2
  • Current Enjoyment Level: 9/10
  • Addiction Level: 7/10

Check out RPGlapse: My World Of Warcraft Relapse – Week 3 by clicking here.

Stay tuned for weekly updates of RPGlapse as Al documents an ex-World of Warcraft addicts return to the game. You can catch up from the very beginning by clicking here.

Categories: Features, RPGlapse
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