This week, I decided to take my main, a level 70 shaman, through Gnomeregan. Why bother? That is a valid question. It wasn’t because I needed the achievement on my main. She actually soloed Gnomeregan a few years ago.
After Cataclysm hit, I did what many players decided to do. I ran around through Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor so I could check out what had been changed. Suddenly, there were a bunch of low level quests that I could pick up that didn’t exist before, (or had been changed in some way for the expansion).
At some point, I completed the new quest chain that led to entering Gnomeregan. Of course, since I get very easily distracted when I play WoW, I promptly forgot about. That quest has been hanging around, waiting for me to complete it, for too long. Now was the time to go solo Gnomeregan again.
I was actually looking forward to it. Gnomeregan was once my favorite dungeon to run through. There used to be some really interesting stuff in there, like leper gnomes, and irradiated troggs. It was the home of Techbot, (who seemed to be obsessed with the Diablo games).
As expected, both Gnomergan, and the area outside it, had changed since Cataclysm. What was once a somewhat empty area now was filled by New Tinkertown. This is where I ran into the King of Gnomes, High Tinker Mekkatorque.
I was wondering where he went! He used to be hanging out in Ironforge, but just wasn’t there anymore after the Cataclysm expansion. Previously, Alliance players passed by the King of Gnomes every time they got off the Deeprun Tram and ran through Ironforge. Keep running straight ahead, and you would end up bumping right into him.
Today, that spot is empty, and now I know why. Talk to High Tinker Mekkatorque, and he mentions Operation Gnomeregan, which was one of the pre-Cataclysm events. Interesting!
Once I entered Gnomeregan, it was clear that things had changed.
The layout was pretty much the same as I remembered, but, there were subtle changes that I wasn’t expecting. There are no more Gnome Refugees rushing past you as you enter the dungeon, and you don’t see any troggs, irradiated or not, until you go into an instance. Sadly, Techbot is nowhere to be found. You can no longer find troggs with hammers, attempting to break leftover equipment by banging on it. Instead, there are Gnomes with hammers, trying to fix leftover equipment by… banging on it with a hammer.
I don’t see any good reason to do a play-by-play of what is currently inside Gnomeregan, because anyone who wants to can get there and check it out firsthand. My experience with the dungeon showed me that it isn’t nearly as much fun to do at level 70 as it was when I went in at a lower level. At 70, you can walk past most of the mobs, and most of them won’t attack you. For me, this took away some of the excitement, because I knew that I wasn’t going to die somewhere deep inside Gnomeregan, and become an irradiated, green, Draenei that glowed in the dark.
I’m also trying to avoid giving away too many “spoilers” for the players who are new to WoW, and who have not yet had the chance to run through Gnomeregan for the first time. Maybe no one cares about this dungeon anymore except me, but, just in case, I decided to be cautious and leave plenty of things for someone new to go in and discover.
Personally, I was somewhat disappointed with the new Gnomeregan. Being level 70 meant that this dungeon wasn’t the slightest bit dangerous anymore. I figure if I take my low level Dwarven Priest through it, that would immediately increase the difficulty for me.
Unexpectedly, I found myself feeling nostalgic for the old Gnomeregan. It’s great that the Gnomes have made such progress on taking back their city, but I miss the feel of the old, toxic, abandoned, underground city that it used to be. Something about it is missing, now. That being said, I did stick around long enough to take out Mekgineer Thermaplugg one more time!