Saturday, June 15, 2013

Game Review: World of Warcraft - The Darkspear Rebellion

By Bixyl Shuftan

(Note, the article has some spoilers about what happens in this World of Warcraft adventure)

The biggest Multiplayer Online Game, World of Warcraft, recently went though a few changes in the form of a "patch." Patch 5.3, also known as "Escalation." There are four new scenarios players can play out, two of which are aimed at one of the factions, one Horde, one Alliance. Two new battlegrounds for player vs player action. There's new PvP gear and some Pet Battle and Brawler's Guild Tweaks. But the biggest feature is the Darkspear Rebellion.

For those who don't remember much about the game in it's earlier days, the Horde used to be led by Orcish Warchief Thrall. Thrall valued peace with the Alliance and the freedom of the Horde's peoples. But when Azeroth was threatened with being torn apart in the Cataclysm, Thrall steped down to help stop it as a shaman. In his place, he appoints Garrosh Hellscream as the new Orc and Horde leader. But unlike Thrall, Hellscream sees little need to negotiate for what can be taken by force, and refuses to listen to the Orcs' allies. His brutal ways lead to increased conflict with the Alliance, and the alienation of the other peoples of the Horde who see him more and more as a tyrant.

With opposition against him increasing, Garrosh brands the the Trolls of the Horde, the Darkspear, as traitors, rounding up those still in the Orc capital Ogrimmar and moves against them elsewhere in the province of Durotar (the home province to the Orcs and trolls). The Troll leader Vol'jin responds by declaring open rebellion, dubbed the Darkspear Rebellion.

Both Horde and Alliance players can take part in quest chains, Horde players as part of the rebellion, and Alliance players aiding it. Level 90 players will get a letter in the mail from Lorewalker Cho, and upon entering the Vale of Eternal Blossoms in Pandaria will see him waving at them from Mogu'shan Palace. Talking to him, the player hears about actions concerning the Alliance and the Horde, and sends out the player in two scenarios via his "dream brew" on a nearby table: "Blood in the Snow," and "The Warchief and the Darkness." Normally playable by just one faction, in this case the opposite one can do so as well, Horde players in "Blood" disguised as humans, and Alliance ones in "Darkness" taking on the guise of Goblins.

Following the revelations, Cho will send the player off. For Horde players, they head to Duartor and to Sen'jin Village. Vol'jin is there, among with Chen Stormstout and Thrall. Thrall has finally had enough of Hellscream, and is aiding the effort against him.

Speaking to Vol'jin, the player hears about the rebellion, and will be asked to gather resources from the Northern Barrens to help supply it. These resources are in camps set up by Hellscream's Kor'kron, once elite soldiers of the Horde now Hellscream's personal army, loyal only to him and determined to carry out his will (see later in the article on more how to get the resources). After the player returns to the village, the place is attacked by the Kor'kron.

After the player helps defeat the assault, Thrall heads off to convince some Orc leaders to more actively support the rebellion. Vol'jin will launch a counterattack north to Razor Hill. There, the player has to free several captives (dissident Orcs are among the Trolls), in addition to defeating three elite NPC enemies, a gunman, a shaman, and a Lvl 92 axe-wielding melee fighter. Speaking to the NPC Zulu de Voice just outside the town will provide a healing buff that without defeating them single-handed is nearly impossible. Even with it, players may need to team up to defeat them.

After the battle, Horde players will see a scene between Vol'jin and the Tauren leader Baine Bloodhoof, discussing the future of the rebellion.

For Alliance players, they can take a shortcut to Duartor via a teleporter at the upper level on the Summer Terrace (the Alliance hub in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms), which takes them to the town of Ratchet in the Southern Barrens. Flying to above the defenses south of Ogrimmar, they'll see two Alliance agents, who will ask them to help scout for intelligence. Once they find out just how badly Hellscream and Vol'jin have fallen out, the player is send as an emissary to contact them. After talking to the Troll leader, the player is offered a chance to show his good intentions by getting some supplies from the Kor'kron camps in the Barrens and delivering them to the insurrection.

Following these quests, both Horde and Alliance players will be asked by Chen Stormstout to return to Pandaria to Mount Neverest in the Kun-Lai Summit to talk to an old seer about some answers to questions about Pandaria's situation. Meeting up with him, he accompanies the player up the mountain. Once they reach Seeker's Point, the seer will reveal his true identity, why Pandaria was hidden from the world, and how that is relevant to the current situation, "Only by working together can we overcome the darkness."

Horde and Alliance players can continue to gather supplies in a weekly "Battlefied: Barrens" quest. The player needs to gather 150 units each of lumber, stone, oil, and meat. These can be gathered at four camps in the Northern Barrens. Players can gather them by clobbering Kor'kron guards or the workers helping them or swiping crates and slabs of meat there. One can also get meat from slain wolf mounts.

There are two quicker ways to get resources. One is by escorting caravans of goods. Multiple players are needed to ensure the caravans survive the attacks by Kor'kron raiders. Once it reaches it's destination, the player gets rewarded with surplus supplies. You can also get supplies by taking down elite Kor'kron commanders, but they're too tough to fight alone. It takes a team to defeat them. One can also get supplies by overturned Kor'kron caravans, announced in Barrens chat when these events happen. But only if you can get them before they're recovered.

Rewards include new titles, "Darkspear Revolutionary" for Horde Players, and "Hordebreaker" for Alliance, some high level gear from some of the quests, and the "Radical Mojo" rewards from the weekly Barrens quests can be combined with "Latent Kor'kron armor" you get either from battle or the Darkspear Quartermaster into items with "randomized stats that may have some unexpected results that you won't be able to get from other gear."

The Darkspear Rebellion won't last forever. Eventually another patch will close these events, "where the story will continue beyond the Barrens and take the next step toward what could be a historic shift in power."

So players of WoW, whether you're "For the Horde" or "For the Alliance," get into the action while you can in this turning point in Azeroth's history.

Sources: BlizzardWowpedia

Bixyl Shuftan

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