Wednesday, September 8, 2010

For Gnomeregan!

For the most part I try to write about hunter-related subjects, though I do stretch the definition at times. Today, however, is entirely un-hunterly (unless you count the fact that I was playing my hunter) because I will be posting about my first experience with The Battle for Gnomeregan! *inspiring music*.

This post will of course be spoiler-tastic, so read at your own risk.

Everything begins with Mekkatorque. I logged in to find an amusing note from Mekkatorque (and Lawyerbot 2000) in my mailbox. Mekkatorque requests that any and all Alliance players visit him in Ironforge. Once there he offers you a very gnomish quest; you must take the "Motivate-a-Tron" item he provides to you and use it to motivate the Gnome Citizens standing in the area. As one might guess from the behaviors of various gnome inventions in the Engineering profession, this invention does not always work as advertised. Sometimes it will cause the gnome to turn into a bunny (not very motivating) or it may also become a "giant gnome" which is hilariously still half my size.

Once you've recruited your "willing" gnomey soldiers, you lead them to Steelgrill's Depot. I cracked up when gnomes mounted up as I did. (There was even one riding a pink Mechanostrider. WANT!) When you arrive you are asked to perform tasks such as showing you can follow orders, testing machinery (which hardly explodes at all) and trying out Mekkatorque's speeches on gnomes in the area. This last quest in particular had some amusing pop culture references.

Once you have completed the series of quests you can join the event to retake Gnomeregan. I use the term "join" loosely. For this portion Blizzard borrowed from the Death Knight starting area; the event closely resembles the battle between the Death Knights and the Lich King's forces. You receive two buffs, one to increase your damage and one to heal you. This means it's not necessary to join a group to participate, though some players still were.

The first thing I experienced in this area was confusion. I tend to get very focused when I quest, so when I arrived I was more concerned with where Mekkatorque was than what else was going on. On top of on this there are quite a few NPCs around and since I did this the evening of the day it was released there were also a lot of players around. When I couldn't find Mekkatorque I looked around and it dawned on me that the event was probably in progress, and that's when I noticed the notifications.

Kicking back to wait for Mekkatorque to return I witnessed an amusing conversation. Two players, presumably waiting as I was, arguing about whether goblin engineers or gnome engineers caused more explosions. (My vote was goblins. Gnomes are more absentmindedly destructive, rather than maliciously so.) Eventually Mekkatorque returned and we were off.

I'll warn you now, this is a little buggy. Mekkatorque stopped making progress twice before I completed it. He does reset, so a little waiting allows you to retry, but the first time it happened we'd already made the jump down the non-functional elevator shaft (that the picture at the top of the post) and I had to hearth to Dalaran and run back. If you are doing this event I do recommend you have an escape plan should things go wrong.

I had a hard time determining what was causing the problems, but it appeared to be related to not allowing Mekkatorque to attack mobs. The turn out was so large we were killing things very quickly, and that may have been the problem. One of my resets appeared to be triggered by an individual yelling "tunnel" causing several of us to run to the tunnel, which is filled with a green mist that will kill you instantly. Having never done the event before I did fall for this. While I must admit, the prankster in me was amused, and it reminded me of the old "You can see Ragnaros in in 'window' behind Golemagg" gag my guild used to pull on the newbies back in Vanilla (Don't know what I mean? Go take a look. You trust me, don't you?) it did appear to bug Mekkatorque. This was not amusing to the folks trying to complete the event for the second time. The first time it bugged for us a few people said it was caused by people going into the Gnomeregan instance. I didn't witness this myself, so I can't say if it is true or not, but I advise you not to try it. This event does get lengthy, especially if you have to wait for him to reset and for the event to restart once he does.

To complete the event I recommend patience and sticking close to Mekkatorque. He does stop and wait a few times, but try to resist the urge to look around and kill things he hasn't yet engaged. Even though there were some negative aspects the event was fun and I plan to complete it on as many characters as possible. The event is quite short I completed it in an evening that was filled with interruptions. CM Lylirra noted that "As several gnomes would argue, just because something is "short" doesn't mean it's not worthwhile! ;)". I agree that this is a worthwhile experience, I do hope there is a bit more in store for the battle for Gnomeregan in Cataclysm. I <3 the gnomes and can't wait to see what they do next.

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