Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Cataclysm Journal 20!

What lies beneath..





So, from the point where we last left off from. Feignheart and I had our stay cut short in Dalaran after receiving an urgent message and quest back from the old world. Alerting us to a whole new threat to Azeroth, we used what little time we had left to rest and prepare.. Prepare.. Prepare for what exactly. With the smell of adventure in the air we packed our rucksacks and sharpened our arrows, claws and teeth. Though we could never fully brace ourselves. For what lay in the path ahead, what perils and countless dangers, beyond the Hero's Hearthstone, was truly unknown.

To the Golden Keg..
We find ourselves back in the world we started, in the city of Stormwind, where we receive another quest to seek out a shaman on the cities outskirts. A Shaman named Naraat, the Earthspeaker. After some small talk, we were shown a vision. This 'vision' displayed Thrall, leader of the Orcs, in the centre of what was described as the Maelstrom. Amidst all this confusion of chaos, you leave the vision and return, where you are directed to make way to Stormwind Harbour and board a boat to look further into the source of the destruction. The adventure starts now...

Ambushed!
Once we arrive on the docks, word has it that we are apparently receiving reported 'attacks' from what seems to be the Horde. So with none of the Alliance ships having yet returned, we start being heaved onto Mercenary ships. Pirate ships. I must break and say, the voice acting while aboard the ship and so on was absolutely fantastic! Really set the scene! (As can be heard in the beginning of my video above). I say 'While on-board' as it wasn't long until we found ourselves being ambushed by a GIANT sea monstrosity! Some form of Octopus attacks the moving ship and rips us off deck and down into the water. Without a moment to think, we are swept away by a group of Naga, unconscious and unable to react. Welcome to Vashj'ir.

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)





Split into three sections, this stunning underwater display is like nothing we have ever encountered so far in our travels. By underwater, I mean the entire zone is beneath the Great Sea! The first section is a never ending bastion of coral reefs and scenes of complete wonder with sea life just 'leaking' from every corner. Imagine Stranglethron Vale Flooded. Not to mention, Finding Nemo does come to mind.. Meanwhile the second two sections are a lot darker, filled with even more mystery and hidden depths. Throughout, an image speaks a thousand words to uphold the sheer spectacle:




Step to the left..
Now. With the depths of this aquatic expanse obviously being underwater, some adaptations have of course been made. For starters, we have acquired [Sea Legs] which allow us to breath underwater and brings in a new game-mechanic giving us the ability to run along the sea floor! Now what about a mount? Well that's when we go onto a very, very interestingly sporadic quest indeed. You know those dance machines you find in the arcade towards the back of that unoccupied house tucked away in Stormwind ? No, Feignheart hasn't jumped on one of those. However, take the concept, and apply to to wrestling a sea creature. (As in the image to the right). You have to use the keys on the arrow-pad in mirror with what appears on the screen in a random sequence. Developers, we have to hand it to you when we said we couldn't have prepared for what was to come. Anyway, back to it. This ended up rewarding us with our very own mount for Vashj'ir - [Subdued Abyssal Seahorse]. Filled with treasure maps, more on-the-move quests, bombing missions and a complete overhaul in quest pace, you cannot help but feel compelled to keep going!

It Lives...
Now, on the subject of pace. Within the first few quests, I noticed a slight challenge or delay in my usual mob killing time. This was due to the huge health increase and not to mention attacks of enemy mobs. However, like normal expansion transitions, with a few replacement greens you soon find yourself fighting fit once again. Though the surge in stats is huge! This lead me to reaching 16k crits! Looks like Cataclysm must have a threat to contend with! Either way, those numbers sure do appeal to Feignheart who managed to obtain [Cobra Shot], a nature damage attack, and a new pet talent for SugarDaddy called [Sic'em], which bolsters your pets focus.

Along the way, you work alongside the Earthen Ring, who are Shamans from across the globe. While being very similar to the Druids, they also express how they are different. Further down the line, a quest chain in fact, we managed to work our way into a Naga disguise and play as one of them! This leads you into battle against the Vrykul who we encountered back in Northrend. All of which really shone out and created nothing but fun! It's like a whole new game!

Left on a major cliffhanger, with the achievement for 1500 quest completed and a fraction from 83! It's back to Stormwind for our next mission. Until next time, where Feignheart follows the fiery trail of adventure...




Thanks for reading!

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- Jamin
Eh? Captain Bubbles?!

6 comments:

  1. Lol - Great description Jamin. Although I have fully explored this zone on Döra, I have never really fancied questing here - but now I do :) So thanks for that. I must say though that I look forward with some trepidation for Thriftee in these zones - lol.

    Nice video! The music gives the zone a very different atmosphere to my own vid of this area. Loved it. :)

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  2. @Dora

    Yes! I really do recommend it! You can really get entangled in this place :)

    - Jamin

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  3. Do pay attention to the NPCs you encounter - more specifically Budd and his crew. You will meet them again!

    I just started out questing in Vash'jir for the first time. My third char on 85 will be a Shaman, so obviously she had to go there instead of Hyjal. ;) I was absolutely stunned by the beauty of the zone and the detail of the underwater flora and fauna. Stranglethorn underwater? Gods, no, in Stranglethorn there is only one or two different tree models. In Vashj'ir however there are so many different plants, corals and fish, it's simply amazing. All those colours! And it's very realistic, too. I know a couple who go on a three weeks diving holiday each year, and when they showed me some pictures from various places they dived in, they looked exactly like screenshots from Vashj'ir. The Blizzard art team really outdid themselves there!
    Oh but I'll stop raving now. xD Before I forget it, loved the video, great captures of zone and quests. Keep it up! :)

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  4. @ Nairu

    I will keep the NPCs in mind :)

    Full of such beauty isn't it. However, Stranglethorn was the closest place which come to mind XD. I agree with you on how huge of a variety of plant/animal life that exist down there.

    Glad to hear you enjoyed the video!

    - Jamin

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  5. These new quests are some of the most fun I've had since BC first released.

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  6. @Scott

    Indeed, they were a very fun way to get into Cataclysm!

    - Jamin

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