Well, I have updates on my last two posts...both involve tooling around in the beta but I`ll warn you of spoilers.
Ravenholdt in Cata (beta)
The goal of my exploration was to check on the fate of Ravenholdt. Astute readers will know that an exalted reputation with Ravenholdt is required for the Insane title. Assuming that Blizz doesn`t actively strive to make the Insane unachievable, if Ravenholdt and DMF survive in Cata and can still award rep, then I should be all set to finish up my title even after Cata launch. So, I copied over a premade level 85 rogue which I proceeded to spec as haphazardly as possible. (As a fun aside, although the premade was an orc male, the stress test recustomization feature resulted in a snarky lady goblin! :3) First, I flew out to Ravenholdt Manor to confirm its continued existence. I almost flew past it because of the map redesign. Flying past Tarren Mill reminded me to keep an eye out, and I even noticed some scratchy markings on the map that indicate the secret path leading to the manor!
Since the questgiver was there asking for junkboxes, I then headed to LBRS to see about acquiring some (my Insane buddy swears by this location). A quick turn through and I had 5 Heavy Junkboxes to hand in. I managed to get back to the manor and hand in the quest. Lo and behold, I got my 75 rep with Ravenholdt!
Beta surprise! [spoilers]
For starters, the Alterac and Hillsbrad maps have been combined. Frankly, it makes a lot more sense now, especially since the border between the two has always been a little awkward. The maps in general have gotten clearner - for instance, there used to be a mysterious green patch on the western end of Tirisfal Glades that always intrigued me. Apparently it`s just supposed to be more mountains, so now the enticing green area has been replaced with wholly uninteresting mountains. Curiosity averted!
I zoned in to Orgrimmar and had to get to Undercity to check out all the exciting new stuff...and still found myself traveling by zeppelin! I had long hoped that major cities might offer faction-related portals for easy access, but the only thing I could find was a portal to Tol Barad. At least UC and Silvermoon have an insta-portal, and the zep ride from Org to UC isn`t so bad (although waiting for the zep to appear is!), but I hope they put something more expedient between Org and Thunderbluff. I love TB and would want to base myself out there if possible, but the flight to Org is already quite long and the zep ride is a joke!
Flying from Flame Crest to UC was really shocking. Although I haven`t played ally for very long, I really enjoy the atmosphere of a lot of their zones. I flew first through the Badlands, which were impressively scorched and razed, but mostly impressive since I`ve never particularly liked them. Loch Modan, however... The dam is burst! The loch is dry!! Even the critters themselves are new and varied. And since I flew from south to north, I started with the dry loch, had to check the map to see where I was, and then flew over the pieces of the shattered dam. This was pretty heartwrenching (;~;), but flying through the Wetlands made me feel a little better when I saw that the Greenwarden had acquired a following! He used to be all alone in the middle of the Wetlands, but now he has a little quest hub to keep him company :)
After arriving in UC, before I logged out I flew around the city. You can fly in the city, so I ended up flying out via the flight path I came in. I got a creepy mental image of players hovering in the darkness above the bank like oversized bats. *shudder* Outside, the ruins of the entire city were accessible to my flying mount. There`s a lot more to the upper level than the broken courtyard we are accustomed to seeing, and it`s fantastically eerie. As I was flying around, however, I noticed some glowing green machines in a back courtyard that looked suspiciously like plague spreaders...