My first impressions of the Burning Crusade.
Well, right off, let me say that I did not get out into the Outlands. See, I pre-ordered two copies of the game. One Collector's Edition for my lovely wife, so she could be the owner of the cutsie Black Netherwhelp. For me the standard edition. So, a week after release, what arrived in the mail? Other than packages all week for my wife? Just one copy, her Collector's Edition.
Oh, she saw me sad and said I should install it on my machine, and it didn't really matter. But, no, this was her copy, not mine, it wasn't going to be installed on any machine but hers. Three hours later it's getting installed on her machine.
So, I didn't take anyone into the Outlands.
While it installed I listened to the music CD and looked through the art book. It's a companion edition to the original Art of the World of Warcraft. That's worth the price difference right there. And it came on both DVD and CD-ROM, and I think the standard edition is only CD-ROM. (So I'll be able to install it off her DVD and use my key.)
Anyway, while my wife gave me a little time, I created my two characters. Okay, I created two characters that would only get deleted since they're on her machine.
First up was the Draenei Shaman.
They are top heavy. The men are at least. Their legs, though ending in hooves like a Tauren, are much thinner. Now when a Tauren sits, he's like a huge 3 year old. He just plops down on his butt and his feet are sticking straight up. Just jam a lollypop in that grass munching maw and you've completed a Norman Rockwell scene. But when a Draenei male sits, imagine the scene from some old Italian painting, the kind set in the woods where there's fauns and satyrs running around. When he sits his one heel is planted, and his leg is bent a bit, the other leg lies on it's side. This is like something out of Greek mythology. I didn't explore too much, since it was just a temporary character. But I know Shamans, and he'll be fun to play. The wife, later on, created a Draenei Priest. Very elegant looking.
Then came the Blood Elf Mage.
I don't think the Blood Elf men are gay, like many do. Sure they have nice hair and all. This is clearly more manga, anime-moe influenced, in my opinion, than not. If a Belf jokes around with you, and says he's better looking than your girlfriend, he's right if you aren't a Belf.
Yeah, the guys are haughty, but so are the women, they all are. You aren't transplanted into some Horde universe with skulls and corruption and mention of an Earth Mother. It's like candy cane land. It's very magical, and very Harry Potter. (Magically animated brooms, etc.) And it's very Elven. And it's the antithesis of the Night Elves. And that's really the lore. Well done. (Maybe a little bit too Harry Potter. The spinning bookcases and the dancing brooms? Why is it so damned dusty there!?!? There's clouds of dust being pushed around by brooms. What's all this dust? Pixie dust??!)
The first quests are all close by. I remember my first time as a Night Elf. I was running all over that Shadowglen area, out to the cave, all foresty. These quests seemed closer to get to. And one of the first quest rewards is a 4-slot bag. Nice. (Not that my Horde Tailor hasn't hooked up our new Blood Elves with 4 Runecloth Bags each.)
Not sure about the vendor trash sold in the Draenei beginning area, but the Blood Elves have got some seriously flashy stuff. I got a quest reward staff at level 3 or 4. Later I went to a vendor and checked out her gear. And then I saw what she had for sale. There was a staff, not as good as mine, but damn, it looked epic. It looked so good I spent the 1s and got it. The first shield you get from the quest reward is so very, very Blood Elf, I couldn't believe it. Everything about the place looks good.
I'll have my serious Blood Elf on Kirin Tor, a Mage, and I'll definitely be creating a Blood Elf Paladin over on Steamwheedle Cartle.
I believe this WILL find more playing the Horde side than otherwise. And that's a good thing. The more balanced the factions are, the better off everyone will be. (Not an issue on PvP servers since those tend to be close to 1:1 anyway.) But battleground queues will even out the more balanced the sides are.
Anyway, hopefully today my copy will arrive. It ought to since the realms are down for maintenance and not due back up until 8pm or so our time.