Well, I’m finally back! National Novel Writing Month was fun, and it took up most of my free time. While I didn’t quite hit 50,000 words, I did manage to get over 44k and for the first time ever finish a story I started! Go me!
On to World of Warcraft and Cataclysm. Some of the talk around this is really starting to piss me off. Since December 1st I’ve been playing pretty heavily with the post shattering world of Azeroth and I have a few opinions on the new game, the new expansion and some of the reactions to those.
The first issue I’ve come across is people saying that Cataclysm “isn’t for them”. They’re assuming it’s built for new players, but poorly. Why? Well, as Pete over at Dragonchasers says:
First of all, I just mentioned the lore and the narrative. Well guess what? Those will mean *nothing* to someone brand new to WoW.
In his opinion (from what I gather from his blog posts) the biggest part of this changing the world is the lore, and it’s true that if it’s built specifically for the new player all this changed lore and the issues that the Horde and Alliance are facing now will mean very little to a new player. They won’t understand what it means to have Thrall gone, or why Vol’jin was kicked out of Orgrimmar or why that is important.
So why are people assuming it’s for the noobs? Take this quote from Spinks over at Spinksville:
I took Spinks to have a look at the new Eastern Plaguelands, now greener, less plaguey, and with less Scourge. And it wasn’t very long before I decided to leave it and just level a new alt to check out the new low level stuff. Why? It wasn’t there for level 80s. It isn’t just that the quests were trivial (they may be trivial at level also) but the NPCs’ timeline wasn’t in check with mine.
To that I say: Of course it’s not! Quest levels in World of Warcraft ARE the timeline. If you could accept a level 80 quest at level 1 and have someone run you through it the timeline would be screwed as well. Only a fresh character will have the appropriate timeline at the moment. Does that mean that Cataclysm is more for noobs and alts? NO! Just that THE EXPANSION HAS NOT COME OUT YET! Seriously people, this is the pre-patch. When the level 80-85 experience launches with Cataclysm you will get your correct timeline, your quest givers commenting on your Kingslayer title and everything else you want.
In short: People are judging the expansion before it’s launched based on a few bits Blizzard threw us early. This is of course the best way to review a product. Does this mean people don’t have some valid points? Of course not, but we’ll get into those later.
What I like about the Shattering:
I rolled one of each race to see the new opening “scenes” and was floored by some of the immediate changes. SPOILERS FROM THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES OF SOME RACES AHEAD – The ‘death’ of King Magni Bronzebeard and the takeover of Ironforge by his daughter and her Dark Iron baby nearly made me fall out of my seat! I never thought that would come back to haunt the Dwarves. Also the Forsaken having a way to create new Forsaken for the first time is an amazing change for their lore. Oh, and the new Warchief of the Horde, Garrosh Hellscream, dueling and killing Cairne Bloodhoof is just crazy. SPOILERS END.
I played through the first 35 levels of the Forsaken area, Brill, Silverpine, Hillsbrad, Arathi Highlands and Hinterlands. The first thing I want to say is that if you haven’t gone through those areas, then go to the small camp on the border of Hillsbrad Foothills, coming from Silverpine, and do the quest called “Welcome to the Machine”. Make sure to read ALL of the quest text. DO IT NOW. Did you do it? I can wait.
Ok, that is possibly the best quest I have been on in any MMO. Other than that the storyline that you move through for levels 1-20 of the Forsaken areas is like going through a really good single player game. Is the gameplay still the same? Yes. If you have an issue with that, go play something else. You don’t play Super Mario Bros. and bitch about how you just jump on things or throw fireballs. Simply put if the gameplay is boring to you, try another MMO, a single player game or wait for WoW 2 and hope. It’s just how the game does and always will play. I understand being bored of a game after over one thousand hours played, but honestly that has nothing to do with the game and everything to do with you having put in over one THOUSAND hours into the same damn game. I’m not sure there has ever been a game that has soaked up THAT much game time, and much more, from people.
What I don’t like about the Shattering:
Having to wait for Cataclysm to launch to run from 80 to 85, or make a Goblin, is torturous after seeing the Shattering and how great that is. It’s only a few hours away as I write this, but I’m far too tired to stay up. I’ll be seeing it tomorrow at about noon, so hopefully the servers will be up by then.
Not all of the zones were drastically redone layout wise. All of the quests seem (so far) to be much more streamlined, lore appropriate and FUN. Sadly though, some of the zones are MOSTLY the same, like Arathi Highlands. It’s ALMOST the same, but there are a few nice changes to it.
Also I didn’t get killed by Deathwing. I was really hoping he would get around more and most people would get killed DAILY. It’s such an awesome idea to have the big bad flying around and killing everything that could eventually oppose him. Also I guess I should add that I’m upset I can’t join forces with Deathwing to destroy the Horde and Alliance, and rule under him for all eternity. *cough*
That’s all I’ve got for now. What do you like/dislike about The Shattering? I’ll see you all in Cataclysm.