“Thanks for these field reports…is that a beer stain?”
That simple line in a quest hand-in tells you much about what it’s like now starting out as a dwarf in Coldridge Valley. There’s some humor, some pride, and a fair bit of ale. But there’s also some old and some new, something borrowed and something blue. So yes, I find myself married to the land of Dun Morogh.
When I made Egwydorian, I knew a great deal hadn’t changed in terms of the landscape in Dun Morogh, and in terms of what you actually see in that area, there’s next to nothing. A few more encampments, sure, and flight paths in Kharanos and Gol’Bolar Quarry (great for snagging a few Snowshoe Rabbit pets or a new Ram at Amberstill Ranch), but the land itself is still as we knew it before. It’s the quests that have changed.
In your early goings in Coldridge Valley, there are some things old players will be familiar with, such as Bingles and the inability he has to keep tabs on his tools, and having to go into the Troll cave again. Good news is that they’re now neutral except for the baddie and his elemental deep inside. After some puttering around you’ll be on your way to Kharanos, but can’t take the old safeway Trogg tunnel because it collapses. Instead, you get a Gnome pilot to whisk you away.
Kharanos has seen a nice update, as Dwarven Military vehicles are on hand, holding some Trolls at bay. Also, no going across hell’s half acre for Leper Gnomes either thanks to the Gnomeregan recapturing. I’m sure they’re still there for the Gnomes to deal with, but Dwarves have no reason to go that way unless it’s purely for snooping.
Instead, you pass through there and Gol’Bolar Quarry to get to the meat and potatoes of Dun Morogh: Water Elementals and Dark Iron Dwarves. The elementals are near the lake now and have trapped some of your Brethren. The Dark Iron Dwarves are invading the air strip and you get to go fend them off! The air strip was always a place people wanted to go, kudos for Blizzard for actually creating a chain up there. Once it’s complete, there’s some fun follow up involving Magni’s daughter. It provides just enough insight into the current political landscape in Ironforge.
That pretty well wraps up Dun Morogh, after which you can continue on your Dwarven path and head to the Valley of Kings and into Loch Modan, which isn’t much of a Loch anymore. The Twilight Cultists have shown up in the middle of it, while Murlocs and Gnolls are also rampant. The absolute highlight of the zone for me, is a lovely drunken Hunter in the inn. She sends you on a serious of quests that involve a great reference from Joss Whedon’s Firefly, and this beautiful disguise she gives you:
To complete the zone, a couple quests take you to everyone’s favorite dig site again (say hi to Ironband) and then to a new hub of quests in Farstrider Lodge. It’s much of what you’d expect from a Hunter’s lodge and the quests involved, but they’re not outrageous or tedious. You’ll also get to see one of the new tameable pets in the game: Foxes.
To bring your toon to a lovely simmering level 20 will be some encounters with said Twilight Cultists…a very quick swing through Mo’Grosh Stronghold again…and a flying mount (sorry, not spoiling that one).
Since the world’s changed, this is the first area of the 1-20 I’ve done and I have to say I am very impressed with it. The quests flow together incredibly well, and tell some really great stories (some downright hilarious). I did it with little rest and no BoA’s, and at no point did it feel tedious. Not just because the content of the quests is relatively new, but the flow I just mentioned. Again, even if you just travel to Thelsamar to check out the drunk hunter and some baby murlocs (did I forget to mention those?), this area is definitely worth a bit of your time again.