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Posts with tag starting-areas

Cataclysm: Guards in starting zones buffed to level 90

Planning on kicking off Cataclysm by killing all the quest givers in newbie zones? Think again: Blizzard has increased the level of starting zone guards in areas like Coldridge Pass and Deathknell to 90. These guards are currently level 65 on the live servers.

The change, which guarantees you'll be at least five levels lower than the guards, takes advantage of existing game mechanics to protect lower-level players from mischief. NPCs that are five levels higher than you are exceedingly difficult to hit (spell casters will suffer a 39 percent chance to miss) and frequently wallop you for higher-damage-causing crushing blows far more often. The guards will also have higher health pools as well. This contrasts vividly with guards on the live server, who are prone to dying if a level 80 character accidentally sneezes on them.

Level 90 guards are better suited to protecting newbie players from max-level griefers. Note that only starting areas will see these high-level guards. The guards in major cities are now level 85 -- dangerous, but soloable.

Players who are upset by this change are encouraged to stop being jerks who grief newbies.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

The Daily Quest: Hello, goodbye, we'll miss you


WoW Insider's on a Daily Quest (which we try to do every day, honest) to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

One of the most hotly debated topics regarding Cataclysm has surrounded the soon-to-be former Warchief Thrall and his replacement Garrosh. One of the most anticipated things about Cataclysm is the upcoming revamp of the old starting zones. Luckily, the blogosphere seems to be discussing each of these things! Convenient, eh?

Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we should be following? Just leave us a comment, and you may see it here tomorrow! Be sure to check out our WoW Resources Guide for more WoW-related sites.

Filed under: The Daily Quest

Gnome and troll starting zones to be revamped

After five years of squatting in other races' capital cities, gnomes and trolls will have their starting zones revamped, developers confirmed through the recently concluded chat over Twitter. It probably isn't much of a spoiler now after the developers talked about it, but discovered among the files in Patch 3.3.3 were quests and Achievements related to the retaking of Gnomeregan and Echo Isles.

It's been a long time coming for two of the game's original races who got the shaft when Burning Crusade introduced two new races with their own capital cities while gnomes and trolls continued to squat in Ironforge and Orgrimmar, respectively. Over the chat, developers mentioned that they were looking at revamping all the original starting zones, with particular focus on the two races. Now that Cataclysm is on the horizon and Blizzard plans to introduce two more races with the worgens and goblins, it only seemed fitting that gnomes and trolls get their due.

However, the developers were quick to point out that the zones won't get as "epic" a feel as the two new races in Cataclysm. They did reveal that they have "big plans" for the two races, hinting at the events set to come in a future patch, if not Patch 3.3.3. Blizzard also reminded everyone that they planned to overhaul all the starting zones with Cataclysm, which improves gameplay, quest flow, and overall experience. Now that these squatter races are finally getting equal status with the others, maybe Blizzard will finally let us see a gnome in the Cataclysm cinematic?

Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Blizzard at PAX 2009 wrapup


PAX wrapped up over the weekend in Seattle, and from what we've heard of our friends' experiences over at Joystiq, it was a wild, wild time. Blizzard was there as expected, and it sounds like the setup was pretty awesome. They had all three playable demos up from BlizzCon, including the Starcraft II singleplayer game, the Diablo III monk class, and of course the Cataclysm Worgen and Goblin race starting areas. We hear that Blizzard had their GMs in attendance as well, and reader Aveiceae (whose pictures you can see in the gallery below) reports that she saw both Drysc and Bornakk there. She also says that Blizzard gave away some of their famous hand sanitizer throughout the show -- very important, especially at a gaming convention during swine flu season.

Tisoi also has a report over on WoW LJ, including a few pictures of the setup on the convention floor, as well as a few (sneaky) screenshots of the Worgen and Goblin areas. He also got to meet Jeff "Vork" Lewis and Sandeep "Zaboo" Parikh of The Guild. Felicia Day wasn't there (she spent the weekend at Dragon*Con, where there was other WoW-related shenanigans going on), but as Sandeep reported on his Twitter, she wasn't needed, thanks to cosplayers. Sounds like a great time was had by all. Next year, PAX is headed out east -- we'll have to keep an eye out and see if Blizzard is going there as well.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

Breakfast Topic: Is WoW too complex?

As I said the other day, we've talked about the dumbed-down argument quite a few times before, but I think this is the first time I've ever heard the opposite argument put forth so succinctly: Tadaa asks, over on the forums, "Is WoW getting too complex?" Longtime players will probably say no at first glance -- the game has been streamlined a lot since it first game out, and things that took up much of your time previously (tracking quests, looking up quest targets, dealing with respecs, and finding groups) now have systems built into the game that let you get past them easily. But think of what it would be like to step into Azeroth nowadays -- instead of just a chat channel where you can find groups, there's a whole system with terms like "damage" and "tank" in there. On first glance, it might be tough to figure out. And then there's things like resilience and Replenishment (which some experienced players don't even fully understand), and even things we think of as helpful features (getting pets and currency out of our inventory) can be super confusing for new players: where did that pet go that I just clicked on, or that badge that I just saw looted to me in the combat window?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

Best starting race


I've been leveling a few Draenei alts off and on and finally figured out just why it is that I keep rolling the damn things in addition to my beloved Tauren; their starting quests rock. You wake from stasis, meet the locals, save a princess, make early ties to the Alliance and find out why there's a good reason the some of 'em won't trust you right off the bat, discover nefarious deeds afoot, fight a dragon, and then save your people and get a cool tabard. "Find your way back to the Outland, Hero of Argus," Exarch Admetius tells you, in a nice preview of things to come, and Velen has a good lore moment with you shortly afterwards.

Having leveled a toon out of every starting area to at least 20, it's hard not to notice that some areas make it a lot easier than others. I don't mean the general ease of leveling per se, but just how fast the time seems to fly by. For all that a certain percentage of the playerbase frowns on RP on non-RP servers, most peoples' favorite quests do have an element of RP to them, or at least the RP sense of being fully engaged with the world. And in that respect the Draenei starting zones are, in my opinion, unparalleled. If I had to rank them --

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Quests, Draenei, Blood Elves, Lore, Leveling, Factions, RP, Alts

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