Hello there, friends and neighbours. I’d like to take the time to introduce you to the best non-player character in the game. No, not Lafoo, not anymore at least. That adorable Oracle doofus has had his day in the sun and there’s a new Sherriff in town. Ladies and gentlefolk, allow me to introduce you to Lunk.
You can find Lunk at Thorium Advance in Searing Gorge. It’s the first place you come across as you enter the zone from The Badlands. Lunk is an ogre, but he’s an ogre with a difference. You see, Lunk is a pacifist and he gets quite upset at you as you run around doing what questing players have done since time immemorial – slaughtering everything in sight and looting the twitching corpses.
It turns out that Lunk does in fact have a better idea. No need to kill those nasty glassweb spiders for the venom you need, just keep them busy and Lunk will get the venom for you. How? You’re going to be sorry you asked…
This quest had me quite literally crying with laughter, and it’s not even remotely unusual of the new levelling quest content. Earlier on in The Badlands I was sucker-punching Billy Goats off mountain tops for a living. Even earlier in Redridge Mountains I was reliving every Rambo movie ever made. Lunks’ questline in particular, however, had me wondering just how big a bong was being passed round the quest design teams’ office when they dreamed this one up?
Dev1: So we need a starting quest in Searing Gorge to set the tone for the zone. Any ideas?
Dev 2: <takes a massive hit from the bong> Dude… how about a big friendly ogre who rides spiders on his belly?
Dev 1: Are you high?
Dev 2: As a kite. Take a hit of this.
Dev 1: <Takes a massive hit from the bong> *cough* Whoah, you’re right, that’s the best quest idea ever. Spider tummy time! Suddenly it all makes perfect sense.
Dev 2: Gotta trust the weed, man!
Speaking of the Redridge Mountains, those of us of a certain age will get a real kick out of the John J. Rambo…. er, I mean Keeshan quests. An absolutely huge questline that leaves no 80’s action movie cliché untouched, and ends in a hilarious tribute to Stallone’s latest Rambo movie that… well a picture is worth a thousand words…
And then there’s Fiona’s quests in Eastern Plaguelands, the new Defias Brotherhood questline in Westfall, the by now infamous The Day Deathwing Came quests in Badlands… I mean who doesn’t want to punch Deathwing right inna face, pick him up and throw him all the way to Kalimdor and then pick up a hot chick in your flying Chopper and beat Deathwing in a knife fight?
I’m giving serious consideration to rolling a lowbie horde just to see what I might have missed in Durotar or Silverpine Forest. The sheer amount of polish, detail and downright joy that’s gone into the levelling experience from 1 to 60 has left me in awe of what Blizzard can do when they set their minds to it. I mean, we all know they’re good, but this has just flipped a two-fingered salute (or one-fingered if you’re American, whatever) at every other MMO in the market. Blizzard are basically saying “Bring it, bitches.” And I can’t wait to see what levels 80 to 85 are going to be like. Well, obviously I can wait and I’m going to have to wait but… well you know what I mean, stop being picky!
And yet, even though we now live in an age where every Hillsbrad farmer has a brain you can loot and every Bear you kill does indeed have a lootable ass, they still manage to inflict great steaming turds like the Big Gulp fishing daily on us.