Wednesday, 12 November 2008

[WOTLK Spoiler] Borean Tundra vs. Howling Fjord?

NB: If you came here looking for places to farm Borean Leather, go to
this post.

So, unlike the jam-packed entry to Outlands, we have two [jam-packed] places to enter the Frozen Wastes of Northrend (in around 24 hours time unless the servers totally blow up):
Howling Fjord:
This place isn't exactly the icy wastes that spring to mind when we think of the frozen North. I mean there's farms and stuff. And also a heavy Alliance presence in the form of a keep that Arthas' abandoned men built, and to a lesser extent, Forsaken waging their own war against the Scourge.
And a humongous keep, smack bang visible as soon as you get off the boat (and a bit of a walk away if you came by zeppelin). In fact there's a nice battle going on all the time, between Alliance, Horde, and the vrykul from Utgaarde Keep.
Beta reports I've read suggest that scenery, music, and, for Alliance, the questlines are better than 'Boring' Tundra, but this is coming from the faction that takes Gnomes seriously, so I'm not sure how much I can trust Alliance opinion ;).
But yes, Utgaarde Keep is the first instance in Northrend, so being near it is a nice plus point to this zone.

Let's take a look at what Borean Tundra has:
Tuskarr live here, and they breed penguins (I just hope they don't look as stupid as the ones you get from polymorph)! That's pretty much win right there.
Also there's Rhinos for all the hunters out there who have an inferiority complex (I will get one for PvP at some point) and there's a lot more opportunity to farm leather for all the leatherworkers out there (leatherworking hunters win). Where else would you expect to get Borean Leather?
Borean Tundra is a bit more what you'd expect that far north, lots of ice and random creatures and random bad guys (a few trolls and scourge and stuff), although it does border on a jungle that's basically Un'goro in the arctic circle: Sholazar Basin (which, apparently, is a really cool place place with Nessingwary and an anti-Nessingwary faction).
And did someone mention Gnomes? There's totally a Gnome airfield there, much easier to get to than the one in Dun Morogh. And it's totally asking for every Hordie within the zone to come trash the place. Totally.
Here's a quote taken from some other place from someone who's been to the Tundra:
"This zone had snowy shorelines with huggable, walrusy Tuskar (Kaplan described them as little Wilford Brimleys, which was the right thing to do), flat frost-burned plains, pockets of evaporating water that looked like a sinister environmental reclamation project, volcanic terrain, an area that was covered with a magical "mist" that I mistook at first for the realm of the dead, a Gnome airfield, and a crashed Necropolis with tons of displaced Scourge milling about."
So basically if you're a Horde Leatherworking Hunter, you deserve a prize, and Borean Tundra is your place to be.

Can't decide? Don't worry, it's pretty simple to get from one to the other: on the back of a giant [riding?] turtle (there's a platform on the back of the turtle - it may or may not be supported by 4 elephants). In all seriousness though, it's a carrot powered turtle... It has a carrot dangling in front of it (for the movespeed bonus?).

Oh yeah. I almost forgot. There's a third place to enter Wrath of the Lich King territory: Acheron the Ebon Hold in Eastern Plaguelands. I'm going to level me a DK (somebody has to).

And for those who want to know where to go at which point, here's a list of the Northrend Zones, together with rough level brackets:
Borean Tundra - 68-72
Howling Fjord - 68-72
Dragonblight - 71-74
Grizzly Hills - 73-75
Zul'Drak - 74-77
Sholazar Basin - 75-78
The Storm Peaks - 76-80
Icecrown - 77-80
Wintergrasp - 77-80 PvP Zone, requires flying mount
9 zones, which by my count is 2 more than TBC.

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