[WoW] A first look at the firelands

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With thanks to my guild for letting me tag along on an exploratory raid, here are some screenies from the new WoW raid instance. Blizzard have always liked to use strong colour schemes for their zones and as you can see, the firelands is all red and black.

Another thing you’ll notice on zoning in is that you aren’t in caves, there are no corridors, and you can see the horizon out there in the distance somewhere. This is an ‘outdoor’ raid instance and it feels roomy.

And the last thing is … there’s a lot of trash.

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You can see some buildings in the background here, and pools of lava and  — oh yes – more trash mobs.

I might be the only person who doesn’t really have an issue with this. If only because the whole place is so wonderfully reminiscent of Molten Core whilst still being different. In fact, one of the consummate experiences of MC back in the day was zoning in and seeing two molten giants guarding the entrance bridge. (And probably wiping to them on the first pull.) If you look at the top screenshot here, you’ll see one of the same molten giants trundling along in the distance.

The trash mobs need to be pulled fairly carefully, at least at our gear levels, and I can’t remember the last raid instance where I would have said this. There’s scope for crowd control also. Spinny turtles (sadly forgot to take screenshots of those) are almost as amusing as the Ulduar snowpiles/ jumping snakes.

I kept thinking how fun it would be to try to run speed raids through the place in a few months time when people are more geared and able to handle crazier pulls. And again, that brings back memories of Molten Core for me.

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Not sure how well the spider webs in this screenshot came out, but anyhow it’s been at least two weeks since we last had to kill spiders so naturally the firelands has a spider boss.

We did fight our way up to her but I forgot to take a picture of that. She’s a HUGE spider who you first see hanging from her web. My desire to go tank that was about nil.

We did however have a few shots at Shannox, a boss who appears and starts patrolling once you have killed enough trash packs to trigger him. It seemed like a fun fight with plenty for everyone to do.

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Haven’t shown any pictures of rivers of lava yet so there’s one right here. In our exploration, we also discovered some kind of gauntlet up a hill with a big named fire elemental at the top.

Oh and the trash packs here do occasionally drop epic loot and (allegedly) recipes. Plus there’s the usual raid reputation which you can raise from killing mobs in this zone, leading to large numbers of PUG trash clearing raids.

Amusingly, I don’t think fire resistance gear is required for the firelands; well at least that’s one way in which it differs from MC. My general impressions were good. It looks fun, it looks cool, the encounters I saw (which were limited, admittedly) looked well put together. Naturally hardcore guilds have already killed 5 out of the 7 bosses on hard mode – they’re going to be fairly bored for the next few months unless Ragnaros #2 is crazily hard.

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7 thoughts on “[WoW] A first look at the firelands

  1. I’m a bit meh on the place, myself. Rhyolith is a horrible gimmick(the ease of the encounter is determined on how the volcanoes spawn; we got him dead easy the first night we even tried him, then he was a pain the past try.) Shannox is fine unless you’re a warrior doing nothing but hitting the intervene button to prevent another tank’s stacks(though I think thankfully we won’t use that method anymore). Beth’tilac is a good fight, however. Baelroc looks promising. Alysrazor is one of those ”a nation divided” fights that make me spit blood(as in,your raid is split up doing stuff. Ranged are split from melee, melee are split from other melee…you get the idea.) [ I just read MMO champ-they seemed to fix the Rhyolith annoyance of him constantly popping up volcanos behind him, and now he can steer better than an old pimp caddy with rusty steering.]

    I have a feeling the trash will get old once the small guys stop giving rep past 5999/6000(only bosses and the Big trash-Molten giants, etc, will give it), though for now I’ll take the steady rep.

    I dunno, IMO? For all the time they spent trumpeting this place I found it cold. And they better not make it last six months. It made me reminicent of MC in the way that I would have rather had MC back(yes, Molten Bore itself.) I really hope Blizzard decides to copy SoE when it comes to making the classic server. When they did that with Everquest, I thought it was *awesome* and I think more MMO companies should do the same.

    And hardcore guilds are clearing this in RECORD time, which is pretty alarming. Oh, they’re way better than I’ll ever be, I know that-I’m sure I’ll personally find challenge here for awhile-but when it took at least almost a month for the 13 last tier, this time it’s literally been *days*.

    I hope that my tune changes. While I like it more than last tier I think, and DEFINITELY more than TotC, it’s nowhere even CLOSE to touching Ulduar and BWL in my book. So…Yeah, Average is a good way to say it. I don’t have any REAL strong dislike for the place but it hasn’t really made me go ”OH AWESOME”.

    • I do like it lots better than the T11 instances, where I really did just dislike them on sight. Ugh, caves and tunnels. At least this looks as though it’ll be a cool place to explore.

  2. I’ve given up being suprised at top guild clearence speeds. At this point, we know that Hardcore guilds are gonna clear the raid in the first week or so unless

    A) It’s insanely buggy (C’thun)
    B)Phase One is Several Weeks Long and is called “Farming up relatively rare resist gear” (Everything in Vanilla, Matron Sexy in BT)
    C)Requires some a fairly specific set up and/or fairly specific gear (Nef shadowflame cloak farming, Naxx 40 4 Horsemen Warrior Tier set bonus, Pre-Nerf Nef 2 and Pre-Nerf Yogg.)
    D)It’s Gated.

    Apart from that, bosses drop because the top guilds may actually be pretty good at the game.

  3. Agreed that Firelands LOOKS a lot better than the rest.(BWD had a nice BWL kinda feel, which is one of my favs…but still felt like a poor man’s version/copy.) It actually has a rather nice aesthetic, though I suspect after 3 months we’ll be sick of fire, just like in MC. ;)

    And to give an example of the difference of speeds-the World First Sinestra didn’t happen until Jan 20th. Now, you could factor in holidays here-but at the same time, we’re in the dead of summer, another notoriously slow time, but these guilds don’t exactly rest when it comes to this.

    It COULD well be that Staghelm or Raggy stick guilds for a good month. We don’t know, but t 11 did seem to go down at a much slower pace than t12.

  4. Heh, I’m not a big fan of the MC aesthetic myself. I think it’s interesting how for you just having an open sky makes that much of a difference. Personally I just don’t care for black, barren raids, regardless whether they are set in a cave or on an open plain.

  5. I’m not at all surprised with how fast the hardmodes are falling. 7/7 Normal was insanely easy. (12/13 player) Remember these fights were on the PTR for ages. This gave those guilds plenty of time to master the mechanics and work on the fights.

    As of last night, The Gatekeeper was a major roadblock for those guilds. He may very well be a gearing issue. Initial reports were that he has far more health, more mechanics, and the SAME 6 minute enrage timer. Preliminary rumours have been that everyone in the raid must be pulling at least 33k dps. It’s extremely tightly tuned.

    If this is a case of overtuning, then gear checks aren’t so bad. It’s been a long time since there’s been a gear check fight. I’m looking forward to Staghelm and Rag’s mechanics. Those should be a whole lot of fun. :D

    I expect this instance to last until the new year. With the current nerfed rate of rep gains, it’ll be a good 4-5 months before I’ll get exalted. :( Another Hydraxianish grind.

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