Last night Mrs. Ardwulf and I cleared Shadowfang Keep with our level 35 Druids, with no other help. I’df wondered if we weren’t a bit to low to do this, but it turned out to be no problem, although the trash mobs obviously did not go as quickly as if we’d done it with a level 60-80 character. But I was able to run around and collect five to eight of them at a time, then wipe them all out with AOE, with Mrs. Ardwulf healing. None of the bosses was any great challenge, although Archmage Arubal, the final boss, did give us a neat moment when he blinked and reappeared elsewhere in the room. It’s a well-done little dungeon for which there are unforunately no Alliance quests, so I see it as perhaps the Horde equivalent of Deadmines.
But the biggest deal of the night was something else: I played Vanguard again, really played for the first time in many months. I started a new character on the Isle of Dawn (which I have still never fully completed,) and got him to level 5. This in itself was no so important, even though I noted a few new things, like the fact that Vanguard now has Appearance slots for gear, much in the same way as EQ2. Performance is about the same as when I left, which is of course much-improved over where it was even well after launch, but then, I’m using the same hardware setup as last time.
The nicest thing was that I felt the Vanguard magic again. I turned the settings all up to maximum and just looked for a while. I watched the clouds roll by and the grass sway in the wind, and heard the bodies of enemies wither under my magical assault. It was a terrific experience, and I can’t wait to play some more.
Obviously, my time is limited right now to the point that I won’t be playing much of anything except on the weekends, and next semester (when I will have classes on both Saturday and Sunday,) things will be even tighter. But still, I am determined not to give up MMOs entirely, and right now the primary focus is and will continue to be WoW. But when Mrs. Ardwulf gets bored with playing, (and she’s like me in that respect,) I might just restart my StationPass account.