Posted Wed, Aug 20, 2008 by DarkFact
As stated in our overview, the Howling Fjord is one of Northrend's first-known areas for those who were playing Warcraft III - it is here where Arthas first arrived and set up camp, ready to pursue the Dreadlord Mal'ganis wherever he went and defeat him for good.
My travels in the Beta have taken me here to see some new content first and foremost, as I have a Warlock, Rogue, and Warrior to try out in the new zones. I wanted to arrive here instead of the Borean Tundra as it was here where everything started in Northrend, so I saw it fit to travel here.
Getting to the Howling Fjord was easy after figuring out the directions to Northrend from our Major Cities (Horde, in my case) - I first visited Orgrimmar and noticed there is a secondary Zeppelin tower to the west (as opposed to the east Zeppelin tower that takes us to the Undercity and Stranglethorn Vale), and this locale takes you straight to the Borean Tundra. This wasn't my ideal destination, so I opted to head to the Undercity and find the transportation there to the Howling Fjord.
Sure enough, the first thing I noticed as I was hopping out of the Zeppelin was the fact there was a secondary Zeppelin tower right infront of the first one, which I climbed up and boarded in order to fly straight to my destination.
Vengeance Landing, a Forsaken Settlement
As I arrived with my Warlock to the Howling Fjord and got off the Zeppelin at Vengeance Landing, the first of the outposts in this area for the Horde. The visuals are extremely nice, and you can tell you're in the cold north. It's not as over-the-top as Hellfire Peninsula's planets/sky above, but the subtle climate and weather effects make it look really cool.
A Rogue worked way better at killing everything in its path
After obtaining the first few Quests, I set out into the Fjord to kill some hounds, birds, and set some corpses on fire.
My task was simple, yet as a Destruction Warlock, I couldn't do much and had to stop to drink every 2 monsters - my numbers were not high enough to take monsters out quickly and ran into trouble more than once.
Chaos Bolt works wonderfully and fits right in with the other fire spells, making me output a lot of damage if allowed, so this will definitely be a good spec to try out in groups, alas, alone, it was a bit of a hindrance since I had to stop a lot.
Upon completing the first few quests and feeding my hungry plaguehound, I decided to swap out of my crafted gear / karazhan geared Warlock and bring in my Rogue to the same area. My rogue has a few Karazhan pieces but is mostly outfitted with all of the current Heroic Badge gear in the Sunwell Island, hence having a way higher advantage over my Warlock in terms of leveling / questing abilities.
Helping the Forsaken's Ships in the Howling Fjord
As expected, when my Rogue arrived at Vengeance Landing, it was quite a different experience. Monsters died very quickly to my attacks, and the Rogue Talents such as Unfair Advantage and others made me obliterate all starter area monsters with ease. Within 20 minutes, I had completed 4 quests and taken the followups, which took me to help the Undead ships in the area against the Alliance. Even in the cold north, Horde vs Alliance sentiment is high and had to dispose of many of their sailors and regiments.
The one problem I had thus far is that some of the boats were hard to get ontop of, and some areas hard to climb back to. I know we'll be able to use our flying mounts eventually, but this starter place gave me some trouble when it came to finding some more enemies to kill. Enemies here varied a lot and you can even see some Orcas and such in the water (which are aggressive!), so all in all this place is quite interesting to explore and quest in.
Worthy of mentioning is the fact that the dungeon "Utgarde Keep" is in this zone and will be a good place to visit to round off some levels and get some equipment to start really getting into the expansion content!
I'll report back with more beta findings as I get them, for now, this is all!
If you want to see more images from the Howling Fjord, why not check our Howling Fjord image gallery!
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