It’s official: I have now raised an Iron Man to 1/3 of the current maximum levels. Hurrah!
You know, for all my love for both Tauren and Trolls, I… just have no love for the Barrens. I cannot stand leveling there. I’m not sure what it is, but both zones just bore me. Also, I’ve died several times doing Counterattack! , so I figured it probably wasn’t a good idea to bring a character who isn’t allowed to die out there. 🙂
And somehow, for how much I just dislike the Barrens, I adore Hillsbrad – which is weird, since a lot of people hate it post-Cata. Reasons for said hatred include:
- Diseased bears with spider eggs growing on them
- The general horrors of the Sludge Fields (full info on it here)
- The destruction of Southshore
- The general Forsaken-overtaking of the zone
among others, of course. Me? I love this zone, partly because it’s kind of disturbing. That’s the same reason why I like questing in Silithus: I hate any bugs in real life, but the big ones in game are fun
to slaughter. There are a few things about this zone that I want to point out to everyone, and point you towards Hillsbrad for adventuring.
- Welcome to the Machine – Aside from being an awesome Pink Floyd reference, this quest is one of the best Blizzard has put in. You get to be the quest giver and dispense quests to various player “stereotypes”: Dumass, the unskilled new player; Orkus, the well-geared, end-content player who’s coming back to see the changes that the Cataclysm brought; and Johnny Awesome, the alt leveling with the aid of heirlooms and the
sparkle ponyCelestial Steed. The characters are hilarious, and the best part is, the person you got the quest from to dispense quests then sends you to clean up after them. A day in the life of a hero in Azeroth.
- Just. The text for this quest. The quest text, the progress text, the item flavour text, the turn in text, one of the rewards, everything. Perfection.
- Heroes of the Horde! – Just… what a quest. What started out as helping a truly moronic orc not drown turned into one of the most emotional quests in the level 1-60 range. You truly are a hero of the Horde. RIP Kingslayer Orkus of <Red Like My Rage>. He also shows up riding Kasha when your character is dead, which is a very touching detail. You hit the nail on the head with this one, Blizz.
- And, for everyone who’s against the Forsaken’s efforts in Hillsbrad, there’s this one for you: Matters of Loyalty. Drek’Thar himself, blind and in a wheelchair, coming out to berate your character for their misdeeds, and finishing it with “Yes… I have done terrible things, but nothing could ever be as terrible as lending aid to the Forsaken.” Honestly everything that I’ve ever wanted from the Frostwolf’s resident shaman and elder.
Aside from all this, Hillsbrad is a beautiful zone, and has some incredible quests in it. I urge everyone to give it a second chance: you may just enjoy it in the end.