Yes, I ran all of the new quests on Lamannia. Once. On Normal. With a deadline looming.
This does not qualify me as an expert on the upcoming new content. But I have been there, I have done that, and surprisingly, I have opinions about what I encountered.*
* I know, completely and totally strange, I have opinions. Who would have expected that?
I am going to speak about the quests in only the most general terms; I intend to avoid any spoilers. But if you are the type that really doesn’t want to know anything about new content in advance, I suppose you should just stop reading this right now. Here, have a harmless post about raid loot and completions and we’ll see you tomorrow.
For the rest of you:
The new content consists of five new quests and one new adventure area. The whole pack is sponsored by a new faction, The Harpers, including their own unique favor and (one would assume) favor rewards. The Harper quest givers are all clustered together on the western edge of Eveningstar, just south of the entrance to the Kings Forest.
You can pick up four of the quests all at once, but not the fifth, it requires completion of the other four. Thus empowered, I grabbed a hireling (Luna, the 22nd level Favored Soul), and of course my trusty Onyx Panther. Luna turned out to be a halfling! A good omen, and off we went.
The entrance to the new content is an oxcart that is handily located nearby, right next to the entrance to Kings Forest. It takes you to the new adventure area, “The High Road”.
The High Road looks and feels just like the Kings Forest except on a much smaller scale. I was able to use the “follow the wall on the right” maze-defeating technique to quickly circumnavigate the whole thing, locating all five quests in the process.
A welcome return to a more intricate style of quest where one is rewarded for listening to NPCs. Delicious hints of secret doors and other reasons to take time and smell the roses. A nice change from the recent trend of providing only linear content where one simply kills everything in a row.
A Stay At The Inn
More similar fun – I wonder what would have happened if I’d taken a different dialog choice? It seemed like some sort of mystery was ongoing but I over-clicked and just killed through it – I had a deadline – but I immediately wanted to run it again and try different dialog choices and routes to see what would happen.
Stuck in the Swamp
Update 15 redux.
Another fun one for reading NPC dialog. And it was nice to have a competent escort for once. I was on Epic Normal and at that difficulty, I think the NPC might have been able to solo it.
The End of the Road
Attack the keep! YAY! I have a fondness for this type of set up, because when I was a Dungeon Master I used to make my players attack a (keep/fortress/homestead/other fortified installation) all the time. I liked giving them the tactical challenge of facing something where they were completely and hopelessly outnumbered but would be able to overcome superior numbers with guile and precision.
Right away I was rewarded with an encounter where tactics matter. Yay! But that didn’t last, and probably couldn’t in an MMO setting with an automated DM.
Still a fun quest but it became more linear, and in many places became a Necropolis II-style incorporeal swingathon. Definitely made me glad I had the Cloak of Night. You’ll want it too, or Ethereal Bracers or Spectral Gloves or at least a decent Ghost Touch weapon.
The end boss looked like maybe he was supposed to be a raid boss but the quest got scaled down? He’s a badass, no doubt about it, although my triplet of Barbarian, Favored Soul and Panther was a match for him.
A nice set of quests that have a variety of challenges but can all be completed in one (long) session. I already want to run them again, but I won’t, need to save some of the surprises for my first time through with the guild on the live servers.
But I want to run them again. Right now. This is a good sign, and I give the new content a solid thumbs up. Much more interesting than the Update 15 content.
The only knock I have is that there is no new raid. Adding a cool raid on top of this content would have made it perfect.
🙂 😀 🙂