[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.