I have finally had more time to explore and quest around in the Scorched Desert. At first I was kind of put back by the desert scenery, as desert areas usual are notorious for being rather bland in terms of environment. The yellowish and Brown tones always seem to blend together, being completely reminiscent of the brown shooty shooty set pieces. After awhile though it really does invoke its own charm, a splash of colour in places makes it stand out more and the slight sickly green of the trees add to the feeling of a dying area.
I started plowing on with the first quest and I honestly seemed to have a bit of trouble, it was set it the very hard category (when I first saw it it was devastating) so I expected it to be tough but I had taken on quests in Blue Mountains of that quality and was fine. I died a few times due to mob spawning on top of me while fighting and from errant cultists. I did ok with one cultist but once 2 got involved I was either running or eating dirt. There are just sooo many cultists everywhere, many who jump out at you like ninjas and heaps running around on some sort of drug fueled suicide charges, it isn’t long sometimes before you have 2 or more on top of you making you bleed.
I watched one person with a hammer/sword chewing through the mobs with ease so I am thinking I need some more focus on better and more specialised dps builds. Maybe it is time for that hindering build I was looking at, or I could do some dungeons for ap/sp and gear.. I really don’t know. It is a nice difficulty challenge though so I will probably keep plowing on.
Finally made it to the town al-Marayah where there are plenty of quests as well as the next story part. At first it once again feels quite dull and restrained as a town, as you almost have colour blindness from the surrounding valley. As you start exploring, poking around and pick up a few quests in the town the story of the town and area starts to unfold. While Kingsmouth was a town of mystery and fog al-Marayah is the town of platforming and I get the feeling Alladin would have felt at home here (need more camels humps to jump on though).
It is a warren of streets full of twists, turns and dead ends so it is actually really nice with the platforming parts as you get beautiful panoramic views of the city and surroundings. The “signal effect” quest is a great introduction to the city heights as it has you exploring most of the rooftops, and wow what a mission. Although short it would have to be as tough as many of the investigation missions. I had to go online at first to find a text file of the recordings, Although I had the right sort of translator I had no idea what to translate it into so I admit to cheating and I feel terrible.
It’s funny that while doing the quests in the al-Marayah I ended up fulfilling the tier 2 of Black Sun Red Sand. I was running around accusing people left and right as it was very amusing and I spotted another abnormal type name so decided to follow. I honestly have no idea how I would have done it otherwise and really need to expand my minds eye in different ways of thinking towards these quests. I ended up on the rooftops once again but this time I came across people that didn’t seem to want me around. The way to get around them is nothing short of briliant. Keep those eyes open.
After being blown up once I also felt the need to explore all the different apartments and the detail inside some are great. It really feels like people live here, not the gw2 style of living either but a real and gritty type. There are mechanics shops, fully furnished houses, shops and a fancy hookah bar. Having found the hookah bar I decided to stop for a little bit of a puff on the before moving on. If only I had some friends to pass it along too.
After all the excitement of the night I went away from the computer and came back to a lovely sun setting into the towns background. I was truly amazed with the particular lighting and shade as well as watching the shadows expand to engulf the town in darkness. I swear I could even see the sun moving inch by inch downwards although it was probably just a trick of the eye