Ten Ton Hammer's First Look at:
The Burning Crusade:
West of Hellfire Peninsula lies the mushroom-filled zone of Zangarmarsh. This humid marshland contains an
assortment of bugs and monsters, making it the perfect place for an aspiring adventurer.
It rains frequently and gigantic purple/blue mushrooms grow like trees over the entire zone
(fungus is even used as a type of currency). The creatures range from giant elemental-type beings to
bugs to naga. This strange land plays host to four different factions--Cenarion Expedition,
Alliance, Horde, and the Sporeggar.
The first settlement that I came across in this wet stretch of land is Cenarion Refuge.
It is peopled by the Cenarion Expedition, a neutral faction that has been sent to explore the area.
Here, I was able to pick up a Master Cookbook for 2 gold and a copy of Master Fishing
- The Art of Angling for 5 gold. There are a couple of questgivers here as well, ready
to send eager adventurers off on missions.
Told you the mushrooms were big!
Just south of Cenarion Refuge is Umbrafen Lake, the first area I explored in order to complete
quests. It is chock-full of Broken and Naga, with a few eels thrown in. The eels turned out to be
formidable foes, but after a little bit, I got the hang of how to beat them--let my pet take all the
damage (I'm so glad I have a good tanking pet).
North of Cenarion Refuge is the driest place in the zone--the Dead Mire. This drying-up bog is
a source of concern for the expedition and the people of Telredor, so quests to explore the mire
(gathering samples mostly) are plentiful. Parched hydras, Bog Lords and Withered Giants circle the
mire and cause never-ending amounts of frustration for the many hapless adventurers who venture
to quest there.
Beacon in the darkness
In the center of the marsh, there are two beacons. They are conquerable and
provide a nice pvp-objective for the area (for when you get tired of fulfilling the many
requests from npcs in this area). The faction which controls both towers also controls the central
graveyard in the zone. The alliance draenei town of Telredor (built up among the mushroom tops) and the
horde troll town of Zabra'jin flank the two beacons and it is there that the flightpaths are found
(at least I assume--since I play alliance--that the horde flightpath is there. Telredor has a ton of
quests to keep you busy throughout the zone.
Just north of these towns (and the beacons) is the Coilfang Reservoir, also known as Serpent Lake. This is home to four
(count 'em four) different instances: The Slave Pens, the Underbog, the Steamvault, and
Serpentshrine Cavern. These instances are down, down at the very bottom of the lake and you must
swim past many Mudfin Frenzies (level 63ish fish that like to bite you) to get to them.
The western part of the area contains the city of Sporeggar--an unfriendly city to start out with,
but you can gain reputation by killing certain creatures throughout Zangarmarsh. North of Sporregar
is the ogre area of Ango'rosh Grounds, because a marsh just would not be complete without a few ogres
in it. South of Sporeggar is a very pretty place that contains the zone's higher level mobs, called
the Spawning Glen.
This zone is a great area for any type of player. It has just about everything that you could
want: instances, lots of quests, challenging mobs, mushrooms. I did find it odd that in a land
of giant mushrooms, there was not a single mushroom vendor...my poor gorilla had to go hungry when I
ran out of food. I also thought that the fen striders looked a bit like the monsters from the
new version of War of the Worlds *enter spacey music here*.
This is just a brief preview of the many options available to you in Zangarmarsh. Stay tuned to our
Burning Crusade coverage for even more exciting first looks!
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