Monday, June 28, 2010

I never thought...

by Copra

Another weekend gone. Instead of taking the Midsummer festivities seriously I found myself plunging into the longer story arcs in Zul'Drak and Grizzly Hills with my shadow priest Pupunen.

And I never thought I would make another level capped toon in the game. Let alone play hours on end without even noticing it anymore.

This happened, though.

First of all, it took a good, solid story chain in Zul'Drak area to launch the craze. As if that wasn't enough, the next chain I plunged into was actually prequel to the one I had completed, which made the whole even more interesting.

The one I'm talking about is the chain involving Drakuru. The first part of the chain begins in the Grizzly Hills, where you capture an ice troll. This captured one asks you to help him to retrieve a legendary weapon and this story leads you to Drak'Tharon Keep, a 5-man instance.

The second part of the chain takes place in Zul'Drak, where you get a mission from the local representative of the Knights of the Ebon Blade.

As I mentioned, I did the chains in wrong order: the conclusion in Zul'Drak first and the beginning later in Grizzly Hills.

Mental note: if you are about to experience the games longer quest chains in any sort of chronological or logical sequence, please work one area at a time. The story arc will tell you when to move on.

In Zul'Drak there is another troll centered storyline, that of the ancient animal gods of the local trolls. If you haven't done this chain, I urge you to go and do it! It's well worth the effort, as it really shows that it's possible to build up emotionally involving chains within the game. Well, as long as you can toss the "kill 10 rats" syndrome aside.

In Drakuru's case, I found myself wishing every now and then how I would rather change sides and side with this troll ruler. I would have liked to have the option to turn from the railroaded path, and take the a sidestep. For once at least.

In the case of Ancient Gods I would have wanted to kill all the scourge and scourge infested trolls in the area. Thankfully there was a quest chain in Grizzly Hills (to which the first Drakuru chain ushered) in which you get to help the Drakkari Troll ghosts to get their much deserved rest. One of the highlights of the Northern experience as itself, not only as a part of a bigger chain. Oh, with added bonus of Harrison Jones, the famed archeologist... and saving him!

All in all, I'm a bit sad that it's over again: Pupunen capped (and do I have stories about my observations...) and the story is over. Then again, I learned one crucial thing during the last few levels (or four... I started from 76 and ended capped...):

The stories within the quests are best served when you overlevel the content: you have the chance to see the stories unfold rather than worry whether you survive and how you can cope with the mobs.

Levelling quest content isn't the best form of storytelling, really. The mess of quests you are involved with constantly blurs the actual chains, and you will not remember what connects to what in the end. Faulty in design, really.