They fixed the Alpha. I'm back to home turf :D
I'm also going to make a point, that I am going to continue posting pictures of content from the Alpha into my Twitter feed and here, because you can trust me when I say to you that no amount of static data will substitute for you actually playing the game live. Trust me on this, I just have for two hours and my MIND IS BLOWN.
Blizzard really have knocked this out of the park, you know. No amount of non-moving 'spoilers' is going to ruin this for you. You just have to wait for release.
|ONLY HYDRA YOU NEED.|
Before I went to Shadowmoon, I took a detour to the Black Temple, because this is the ONLY Hydra you'll ever want to tame ever when the game goes live. If I have to tell you why, you are clearly not getting Huntering. I know it's not purple or white, but really, BEST HYDRA WORLDWIDE. Once I'd checked in my pet, I went to the Alliance starting zone and BLOODY HELL. I have an Alliance Garrison.
I HAVE AN ALLIANCE GARRISON.
|OMG FAMOUS ARCHITECT.|
As was predicted, Baros Alexston is your Alliance Architect. He arrives in the portal from Stormwind that Khadgar conjures for you, and your Garrison is established in an area that seems a lot smaller than the Horde equivalent (and is, you only get three plots to choose from) It is a totally different beast from the its factional counterpart, the construction workers play Hearthstone in their breaks and don't sleep, and all in all it seems far more complete than the Horde equivalent, because one assumes it just *is*, mostly because of the extra amount of time this side of the game has had in development. I really do look forward to playing this more in the days that follow. Also, it is beautifully apparent that the Developers aren't taking themselves too seriously in this place. They just aren't :P
|Outside your Garrison. OH THE IRONY.|
The thing that immediately strikes you about this zone is the attention to detail: whether it is the NPC who stops as you travel to a Quest objective to chat to her friends or the sense of community the Draenai settlements immediately radiate I'm not sure, but there is something indefinably 'complete' about this place that was missing in Frostfire. However, the perennial purpleness was already frustrating after two hours play, and I found myself longing for frost and ice, which just goes to prove that sometimes, you just won't please everyone with your backdrop. Needless to say, this zone is already making me itch to explore it, but I'll have to admit that is with my Garrison hat on. There's been a lot of subtle change to elements inside that I'll detail on the Other Blog, once they've settled in my head. For now I am simply reacting to stimulus, of which there was much.
|WHAT IS THE BEST PET FOR DPS|
Then there is the creeping sense of familiarity about fighting with people that you know from TBC, that exist in one form in your mind but are now presented you as another. Without spoiling plot for anyone there are a couple of 'OMG is that who I *think* it is?' moments in the first couple of hours that make you do significant double-takes. Then there is the undefinable sense of standing in a place you have lived in as a wrecked shell that is now a living, breathing home to so many... and the sense of impending dread this instigates, at least in my mind, is quite significant indeed. Revisiting this place is oddly wrong but then right, that there is so much history that you already know has transpired... and the fact that nothing you do here will change the world you go back to is, at least for me, a definite concern. Trying to separate the two worlds I know will be a tough ask. I'm already boggling at the possibilities.
|Still stuff to do :D|
There are rares, and Bonus Objectives, and many, MANY things that I will now take the next couple of days to fully explore. I will be streaming (double figures again today, not bad for a mad middle aged woman) and faffing in Garrisons, and posting on the other blog, but for now I will be attempting to let sink in the realisation of what this Expansion means in terms of plot, because actually there's a fair deal more than I'm able to comfortably conceive.
I think I need moar caffeine...