Friday, March 28, 2008

A jump into the pool

Finally it was time to have a look at Sunwell Isle! When I mounted the bird in Ifronforge this Wednesday I was at first a bit frightened to see the long flightpath the way it appeared on the map. Would I be sweeping THAT far over open sea? It seemed as exciting as that occasion when I fell from the boat and kept swimming until I gave up from fatigue...

Thankfully the map didn't show reality. A shortcut made it feel rather like a teleportation, but with a softer landing in the end, where you could cruise over some now, unknown, suncovered beaches. So lovely the first time! Maybe not that lovely after a month, but who did think about that at a moment like this?

So there I was, far from alone. The framerate sank like a stone and I moved stiffly, almost blinking my way in different directions, trying to orient myself. To turn down the video settings helped a little, but oh, this was laggy.

"Do you think there are a lot of people? You should have seen when TBC was launched. There was a huge crowd around every single pig in Hellfire", my hardened coplayers declared.
For me this was enough of people. I picked up a few daily quests and run around killing things, thanks god in a group, since I still found it hard to get a picture of the place as well as the mobs in this crowding.

Afterwards it dawned upon me what the place reminded of, suiting, considering the name of the island: it was exactly the same feeling as at the outdoor public pool a hot summer day in the city where I live, where there's no lake suitable for swimming for miles. People stand packed in the water, trying to make a swimming stroke, but of course they just hit each other with the arms all the time. To actually swim is out of the question. You mostly stand there splashing a bit. That's exactly how things were at this island. To move systematically, in well considered fashion, was out of the question. Mostly I ran around aimlessly, sometimes I ran into a coplayer, sometimes into a mob (there were pretty many of them, in spite of the fact that there was a bizarre amount of corpses all over the place, I guess they spawned quickly). No, to make myself a better picture of the island I think I have to come back in a more odd time of the day, to explore it in my own pace.

What about Magisters Terrace? Yes, I got the opportunity to try it out the first day, together with my guild, which I was very grateful about, to pug it on the first day with this lag and general confusion would have been daring. We ran it through on normal, which you have to do in order to qualify for the heroic version. We didn't experience any big difficulties - we had a lot of cc (hunter-warlock-mage) and could easily manage the quite a few huge pulls. The environment was a mix of outdoor and indoor surroundings, where the gardens made you think of Scarlet Monastery, but with more colour and in blood elf style.
The movie thing in the middle of the instance was a nice thing, even though I doubt you'll see it more than once. Anyway I hope Blizzard will do what they'll been talking about, offering movie sequences in the instances in the expansion.

Most fun was - of course - the end boss, sending us upp in the air, swimming around among bubbles. There was birds flying, eggs spinning in the air, a lot of colour and effects. I felt a bit like being in the middle of one of the movies from Disneys more surrealistic periods. Dumbo and Alice in the Wonderland, I've always suspected was produced under the influence of... well... something.

Then the party was over and we took a handy shortcut out by an orb, being rewarded with a awesome gem each, for me a Runed Crimson Spinel that will come handy once the badges reward vendor opens up the shop. That was some bag of candies you brought home from this party! No less than two 20 slot bags had dropped on our way. And the gold kind of flooded during the night. A decent contribution to my funds, I'll see if it was an extraordinary happening or if it's a trend. Who knows, maybe it will be a bit easier to build up your savings from now on.
In spite of the crowd I must say that the first jump into the pool was nice. The fact that the game crashed every time I teleported from the island - well that's children diseases that we can forgive now in the very beginning.

No comments: