Is quoting Meathook a bad thing?

Cataclysm, unfortunately, hit the world during a week where I was covering a colleague’s leave at my real job and also three days before I took an exam. In addition, my left wrist is currently in a brace, which means half of my typing is much as usual and the other half (i.e. the keybind half) is slow and awkward. Can we postpone all this for a couple of months, please?!

No, not really, of course. In spite of getting wiped by the real life boss and the fun of trying to play with an immobilised wrist, Dhak hit 85 early last week via Vashj’ir, Deepholm, Uldum and Twilight Highlands. So far it’s been fun, though I am suffering from a severe case of toomanythingstodoallatoncemustdoNOW; the tactic that seems most helpful is deep breathing and a firm resolve to stick to one goal at once!

Things I’ve loved so far:

– Pebble. I want! That is the most adorable little earth elemental ever spawned.

– The end of the Uldum quest line (the whole zone is fun, too, but the end made me go wow…no pun intended).

– Halls of Origination. Yes, it’s super long, but it’s original and interesting and you actually have to think about the fights.

– The Abyssal Seahorse, which I can’t use outside Vashj’ir… /cry

– Archaeology, which is quickly turning me into an addict who spends her time soaring around looking for dig sites instead of, oh, leveling jewelcrafting or actually gearing up. Because I needed another time sink…bad Blizzard!

– The shaman down inside the gullet in Twilight Highlands. I presume their chatter is different depending on your class, but it made me giggle repeatedly. ‘When was the last time you saw me turn into a wild beast…wait, never mind.’

– And, of course, the goblin and worgen starting zones. I love them both for equal and opposite reasons (which surprised me; I didn’t expect to enjoy the goblin zone, goblins being the kind of race I never usually play and have very little sympathy for). Fun!

Things I’ve disliked:

– The new Darkshore. Yes, there is much that is cool and interesting about it, I love the new pet, and I’m not arguing that it’s bad from a development or gameplay point of view; quite the opposite. But of all places in the world, this one just bowled me over when I saw what they did to Auberdine and the surrounds (being afraid of exactly that, I didn’t actually visit it after the Shattering until my new worgen reached that point). You can hardly walk ten yards before you have to climb over or around some new canyon or gorge, Auberdine is not just damaged but totally wrecked – and to add insult to injury, the first quest you complete there is going off to recover the survivors. This would be fair enough, except that the survivors are the old named NPCs from Auberdine…and you have to walk past the corpses of half the others, lying on the beach! Bad Blizzard (in the other sense, this time)! Of all the horrid things to do to players with fond memories of their early leveling days…anyway, that in particular definitely knocked me for six. Laird was my FRIEND. He sold me fishing recipes!*

– The amazing vanishing mining nodes (and herbs). Hopefully this bug will be looked at soon, unless of course the GMs are just getting too much amusement out of watching players trying to sneak up on obsidium nodes and mine them before they vanish. Puzzling at the beginning, this one becomes frustrating fast.

– Tol Barad, at the moment, though this may change when more people are 85. My experience with it so far has involved small groups and frustrating attempts to elude or distract the Horde gank squad long enough to capture a base only to lose it again, but since a) it’s new and b) I suck at PvP, this opinion is highly likely to be both ill-informed and invalid. On the other hand…it has a dragon as a reputation reward…which may reconcile me to its shortcomings.

– Lag in Stormwind and Orgrimmar, combined with roughly a billion dragons flapping their wings between you and whichever important quest NPC/vendor/flight master you’re trying hard to click on. Yes, people, we know you’re uber. You do not have to hover three feet off the ground on your Bronze Drake in the middle of the Trade District. Also, the lack of a common city for Alliance and Horde makes holiday achievements trickier!

All in all…yes, I’m having heaps of fun. No question of that. It’s been interesting too to see everyone’s gear level suddenly even out quite a bit; I’ve discovered that while I’m by no means good at my class, neither am I quite as abysmally awful at kitty dps as I had been thinking, which is a nice confidence booster. Also, I love the challenge and the need for actual thought in instances now. It remains to be seen whether I’ll ever dare to raid…

*Yes, I know. It hasn’t escaped me that this is exactly the reaction I’m sure Blizzard wants, and that they’ve done an excellent job with the expansion. But still. Bad Blizzard!