The Face of Azeroth: A Brave New World

By Chad Awkerman

November 30, 2010

[The Face of Azeroth is a weekly column of varying lengths detailing interesting news, happenings and other tidbits about World of Warcraft in general and, more specifically, my adventures in the world of Azeroth and beyond.]

I hate to get things started on the wrong foot, but I’ll come clean – I had expected the first edition of this to go up on the site last weekend. It was delayed due to a myriad of reasons, the biggest of which was the holiday and surrounding events. The goal here for this column is to stay current with each week’s news and happenings with my characters, however, we’ll make an exception here, and cover two weeks, in two parts.

For the first part, we’ll take a look at what I wrote last week just after The Shattering, and some things that I did when my characters woke up in a new world.

The Shattering
Yes, during maintenance last week, Deathwing took a big, flaming, fiery leak on lower Azeroth (yet somehow left Northrend untouched). As you’ve undoubtedly noticed by now, this has brought about massive changes to the world that we’ve known and loved for the last six years.

Coming from a predominantly horde-side main character, I’ve checked a few things out here and there. Doing my Venomhide Raptor daily, I spent a bit of time in Un’Goro and Tanaris over the last few days. Tanaris has seen the bulk of the changes down south, along with its northern neighbor Thousand Needles. Un’Goro is mostly unchanged, although Marshall’s Refuge is no longer there, but now the settlement resides in a larger camp toward the middle of the crater.

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Orgrimmar and Stormwind has seen the bulk of the changes as far as major cities go. Orgrimmar in particular seems to have been designed with flying in mind, because it is time-consuming and tedious to get around if you’re confined to the ground. I also hopped on my hunter to try to catch an awesome new pet (more on this later) and witnessed the new and improved Wetlands (by flying over) and the drained Loch Modan.

Overall, though, I think I will save the bulk of old-world surveying until I can fly around to my heart’s content, because that seems to be the much better way to explore the changes on a large scale. I am quite interested in seeing the Plaguelands, as well as the changes to places like Blasted Lands, Westfall, Stranglethorn Vale, Ashenvale and Darkshore.

Oh Noes, My Portals are Gone!!!111!one
Yes, your portals are gone, it isn’t the end of the world. You now have class trainers in Dalaran and Shattrath where the portals to major cities used to be. There are also auction houses available, so stop your whining.

It’ll really only be difficult for those with flying mounts until Cataclysm hits next week, because once you’re able to fly around Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, you’ll forget all about those portals. Besides, the mages holding those things up are overworked and underpaid, they probably would have gone on strike had the portal system not been shut down, anyway.

Hunting the Hunted
One of my 80s, an alliance hunter, spent some time looking around, too. The new textures in Stormwind are swanky. I was interested in the new pet families that have been included in this patch, so I high-tailed it over to Petopia and found that the foxes are pretty cool. Also, as is probably the case with every other hunter on the planet, I went out to try to find a rare, cool-looking fox in Loch Modan.

Naturally, it was camped to high heaven, but since I’m not going to be playing my hunter a whole lot, and she just hit 80, I logged her out there, with the hopes that I can check back occasionally and eventually find this foxy fox to tame. This seemed to work, because, after only a couple days of logging on there occasionally, I finally popped in when no one was around. So I sat…and waited…like a hunter. Or a deadly assassin. Wait, no, wrong class…like a hunter.

After about half an hour, Ashtail, the awesome-looking grayish-blue/purple fox spawned and I hopped in for the k…er, tame. It was mine, and it is awesome! Not since many years previous when I tamed Humar on this very same character had I felt this excited about a new pet. That’s saying something!

The other new pet families available in this pre-Cataclysm update are beetles, monkeys and dogs. Regardless of having 20 slots to keep pets, and having the ability to have any five on-call at any given time, I only use two pets – Humar, who might still be lurking around in Northern Barrens, and a generic bear from Grizzly Hills that I picked up when I decided I wanted a more tank-centric pet. Although, I will likely replace this generic bear with a cooler model if I find one.

The Show Must Go On
So, apparently we can keep giving thanks and making useless food for NPCs even after the world shatters into a bazillion pieces, because the Pilgrim’s Bounty event continued on uninterrupted through this entire week.

I soloed most of the achievements for this one, but it was, oddly enough, a more solo-centric achievement that I needed help with. I was having a hell of a time killing 40 turkeys in a row for The Turkinator, which was of course, required to get the Plump Turkey vanity pet. So, my bestest mage friend (who knows who she is) helped me out while we were in Elwynn Forest looking for unsuspecting human and gnome rogues to blast with our turkey shooters. Yes, I realize taken out of context that sounds dirty, but only if your mind is in the gutter!

[Yes, I realize this event is now over, however, if I could direct your attention back to the beginning of the article, I mentioned this was written last week.]

Future Plans
While I may still dabble in Argent Tournament dailies, I’m pretty much done with Northrend. I will likely spend the next week until Cataclysm launches phasing myself through some lower-level zones that I likely won’t touch with new characters, like Durotar, Mulgore and Tirisfal Glades. I’ll also be looking into picking up the three new vanity pets that are available now from new NPCs and quests, because I’m crazy like that.

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Chad Awkerman

Chad joined the DualShockers staff in mid 2009 and since then has put much of his time into covering RPGs, with a focus on the Japanese side of the genre, from the obscure to the mainstream. He's a huge fan of iconic games like Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy VI and Persona 4 yet enjoys the smaller niche titles, as well. In his spare time he enjoys experiencing new beer, new foods and keeping up with just about every sci-fi show on television. He's married to an intelligent, beautiful Southern Belle who keeps his life interesting with witty banter and spicy Cajun cooking.

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