Every now and then the WoW blogosphere is good for some in-game laughs. First there was Single Abstract Noun, the bloggers' guild (is that still going?), then there were the Real ID heroics (which I didn't write a separate post about, but I did participate), and now the latest craze are gnome clones, originally inspired by a nostalgic post by Alas.
Since I had yet to try out the new gnome starter area anyway, I decided to join in the fun as a gnome clone "impostor" (copying the look but rolling up a warrior, so I won't be able to be a fully armoured clone). While I've been playing a lot of alts this expansion, I mostly used already existing characters that had simply been sitting around at level twenty or so pre-Cataclysm; I haven't actually done a lot of levelling from one to ten. But holy crap, Nils wasn't kidding when he said that those first ten levels were hardcore!
I started off being confused by what was only the second or third quest in the gnome starter area. After I'd just made my way out of a gnome refugee camp, I was told to save some more survivors that couldn't make it on their own. "Okay, that makes sense!" I thought and went back to save all those injured gnomes that were lying on the floor. Nope, couldn't target them or they came up as "invalid target". Turns out that I was supposed to "save" some perfectly healthy and only slightly scared gnomes that were standing around outside. O-kay?
Not much later I was told to ask for a teleport to the surface. Why teleport when there's a perfectly serviceable elevator right next to me? Fortunately a vague memory reasserted itself to tell me that taking the lift would not be a good idea before I could do anything foolish.
At level three a warrior quest rewarded me with a Very Light Sabre. Yes, I know... cheap joke. But I really loved it!
In a cave full of troggs I had my first death as early as level... was it four or five? A rogue in full heirlooms had just mowed everything down in front of me, and then all the mobs respawned at once and I was buried under a pile of troggs. It's as if the game wanted to teach me early on that the presence of other players was only going to cause me headaches.
Getting Victory Rush at level five increased my survivability a lot, though I learned quickly that its use is limited when it comes to casters. Nothing like dying at the feet of the second Frostmane Seer that's attacking you a mere second before you manage to run over and hit it. That was death number two. On a side note, I'm impressed that the Frostmane trolls have survived as long as they have, considering that they appear to live on nothing but weed and fight by throwing snowballs at you.
Then there was the cave with the wendigos. I managed to overlook one of the quest NPCs near the entrance and (unnecessarily) went all the way to the back of the cave in search of him. However, I found something else there, a rare! Acutely aware of my vulnerability, I made sure to clear the mobs around him before attacking, but once I charged him I found to my dismay that he still had quite a lot of health relative to my puny damage output. So I died, again.
Since it had been quite a close affair, I immediately ran back in to try again, and this time managed to get him down with literally one hitpoint left on my own character. More exciting than any raid boss kill these days if you ask me!
I had one more death when I was asked to kill a yeti called Vagash. Non-elite, no adds... no biggie, right? Well, maybe if you have heirlooms, but as a warrior in whites he kicked my arse, and in a very thorough fashion. I went back to my trainer to pick up Thunder Clap, which I hadn't done yet, in hopes that this would help - though I'm not sure it would have, considering how I hadn't even come close to killing him before. Fortunately I was saved from any further embarrassment as I ran into a random gnome priest upon my return to the cave, who tentatively threw a heal on me and looked at me in what I interpreted as a hopeful manner. We grouped up and it was easy peasy. I couldn't help but wonder whether he hadn't got his arse kicked before as well.
Then I hit level ten, picked up prot spec, and the next cave I went into seemed to hold no threat to me at all. I also dinged eleven before I even knew it. I guess the really exciting levels are over. Still, I'm looking forward to seeing where the project as a whole goes.
On the whole, this starter zone was amazingly fun! The only thing that marred the experience ever so slightly for me was the how-to-use-the-flight-master quest line, which still told me that I couldn't fly anywhere where I hadn't been before (flat out not true anymore), and the quest text couldn't seem to decide on what exactly it was that I was transporting for the dwarves, as it alternated between cleavers and mining picks every other sentence. Okay, it's kind of fun to joke about dwarves cooking with mining picks, but really? That's one of those things that I would have expected them to have fixed nearly a year after release.