Friday, December 19, 2014

The Spires of Arak

As with all my Warlords posts, spoilers abound. I assume everyone has already completed this content so it isn't a huge deal.

Spires provided the hardest Outpost choice so far. I really liked both the option of the Smuggling Run and the option for the Brewery. I'm behind the curve already so the Brewery's experience point boost and extra hearth were appealing. The Smuggling Run offers a Follower, a bag, and a toy. It didn't really seem like much at first. But it came down to looking at a short term versus long term benefit. The bag was a huge boon. It is a 28 slot bag and as much as I like to hoard old armor bag slots are welcome. The extra Follower was something that would help me for the rest of the expansion. I didn't think the experience point bonus would make it that much faster.

One of the first chains I did was to open up the blueprints for the Salvage Yard. After I could build it, I decided to replace my Enchanter's Workshop with the Salvage Yard. It will give a better chance for gear for both myself by getting random upgrades. Not long after I built it, a blue quest reward upgraded to epic and over 600 iLevel. While it was nice to be able to DE the greens with the developers breaking the Ore Shuffle and the greens vendoring for more than I could get for the dust on the AH, it didn't make much sense to keep that building.

The Spires shifts the story from the Iron Horde to the Aarakoa. I really felt like the story was buildign well through Talador so this diversion seems oddly paced. The Iron Horde do show up a little bit as a further pressure to the Aarakoa, but the main storyline was the rigid caste system in the Aarakoa society.

I found it interesting that the Arakkoa we see in Outland are all the fallen or shadow variety. The untainted Arakkoa look much different. They reminded me a bit of Rajh from Hall of Origination. Interesting also that Rajh uses sun and solar based attacks. The untainted Arakkoa follow Rukhmar and they have discovered advanced underground technology that also employs solar based attacks. As soon as I heard underground, ancient, advanced technology, I immediately thought about all the Titan facilities across Azeroth. Did the Titans visit Draenor as well? Will we discover that the Apexis were actually the Titans? The Arakkoa call Rukhmar the Sun God and Rajh is derived from Ra also a Sun God. The coincidences are striking.

Another parallel to Uldum is the proximity of the catlike Bloodmane tribe. In Uldum, you had the catlike Tol'vir in close proximity to the Halls of Origination where Rajh hung out.

As I traveled through the zone it was interesting learning about the deities of the Arakkoa: Anzu, Ka'alu and most importantly Sethe. Sethe is portrayed as the force of shadow and as as 'dead god'. It is Sethe's blood that deforms and warps the Arakkoa into the outcasts.

Eventually, you help Anzu fight Sethe again and I couldn't help but notice the similarities between Sethe and our old friend Hakkar from Zul'Gurub.

It was also cool learning the story of Terokk. In the Burning Crusade, Terokk had vanished and the outcasts didn't not know his fate. Terrok's Quill was a popular 2 hander. I didn't get another single player scenario but they used the phasing approach. You become Terokk and live his story sort of like how you did the Naga quests in Vashir.

Overall, Spires was a fun zone and I enjoyed the stories, but ultimately it seems like a sidebar to the main Warlords story. The Shattered Hand show up but they a minor role.

I finished the week at Level 99 and ready to head to Nagrand.

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