[Note: This refers to Beta Build 8926, the current build as of this writing. Due to the pre-release nature of a beta, some or all of this is subject to change.]
For the Horde! Yes, that’s right, your Prime Gnome has gone to the dark side, at least to test out some of the Howling Fjords content. I took a 70 orc warrior into the fray in the Howling Fjords starting area. Alliance and Horde both have bases in both WotLK starting areas, but I wanted to try something new.
The Horde can access HF via a zeppelin tower just outside of the Undercity. This will bring you to Vengeance Landing, a city of the Kirin Tor (last seen in Netherstorm). There are over 140 quests in HF, so get busy.
Vengeance Landing is run by the Forsaken, and has most of the amenities you expect in a WoW town – inn, repair guy, inscription trainer. Yes, WotLK wastes no time getting their latest profession underway. Stock up your Peaceblom and Silverleaf now, because they are the ingredients in your starting inks. You’ll begin by making silver and pearl ink and inscribing basic Scrolls of Stamina, Intellect, etc. It should be an easy skillup if you’ve stockpiled, but will be pricy in the Auction House if you haven’t.
In terms of battle, the order of the day in HF is Vikings, I mean, Vrykul. These larger-than-you bearded warriors are fighting the Alliance and the Horde tooth and nail for the HF.
The Vrykul questline will eventually take you into Utgarde Keep, a Hellfire-type structure with two instances packed within. Utgarde Keep itself, which is a level 70-72 5-man, and Utgarde Pinnacle, a level 80 5-man.
Just because there are new enemies doesn’t mean you won’t attack each other. The other starter questline for the Horde involves protecting the Forsaken fleet from Alliance marines, soldiers, medics, and scavengers. This questline involves all your favorite quest types – collection, kill 15 of X, and of course, escort! The escort quest is especially tough, as there are marksmen around who can take 1/4 of a plated warrior’s health at a shot. Make your way through this and you’ll get to New Agamand, the main Horde base in HF. New Agamand is a beautifully detailed area that comes as a bit of a relief after slogging through the dreariness of the starting area.
Loot is not spectacular so far. This is not Burning Crusade, where green was the new purple. Instead, quest rewards tend to be greens that are minor upgrades for a Karazhan-plus geared toon, and fodder for a T5 or T6 character. I’d like to see this tweaked a bit before release, as BC has been out for a while, and I think most people made it at least to Kara.
As far as talents go, I’ve only just played the warrior, but for the first time on ANY toon, I find myself dumping all of my points into one tree. For now that is Fury, for leveling purposes, though my warriors are ultimately for tanking. It makes for a powerful character, but I feel that I am missing the balance that I have in my regular game. I really dislike the new deep talent, Heroic Leap. It pulls you up, leaps you over your foes, usually makes you aggro other foes, and doesn’t do much damage. This might be nice as an alternative to Charge, but as an in-combat ability, it is terrible.
I would love to hear other comments on warrior builds or any other builds in Lich King. Look for more updates in the weeks to come.
I have to put the loot thing in perspective. Remember, the loot scaling for the Northrend starting zones has in mind the millions who come to WoW after the expansion is released who will never see the inside of Karazhan, because it will be “dead” like ZG or Molten Core.