Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sad long silence


I had almost forgotten I had a blog. All this due to a couple of weeks of travelling due to work related things, then being hyperactive in RL and finally getting a new computer - which was broken to begin with - to cut my actual play time in shreds.

And then the ultimate waste of time, Cataclysm.

Of course I had to try everything. Worgen, goblin, undead hunter, Vash'jir, Hyjal.

First things first. I started a long time 'dream class' of mine before the Shattering hit: Undead Hunter. And I admit, hunter is the face rolling machine to level. The experience is spoiled only by the fact that the starter area has been reduced to a no fun hand holding guidance, even though the quests themselves have been linked up into a better flow of the story. This is where Blizzard has really made the most improvement: the story of the character really flows and you are moved from one part to another when needed. No more the minimap is full of stars exclamation marks, but only few which you can do at the same area. And the real treat of the undead story progression comes when you are leaving the Silverpine Forrest. The quest in which you are being put into the place of a quest giver. I have never laughed as much while playing the game, except when we're really wiping with my brothers. If you do not want to play an undead, do yourself a favour and play this far. And a bit further, as the story continues later on...

Cataclysm came and it was time to see the levelling areas. Vash'jir and Hyjal at the second wave of levellers == not fun. Everyone and their cousins have this urge to get to the cap as fast as possible, as if they were afraid that they might start liking the quests, stories and the deep - and quite often - fun lore of it all. The main gripes of the whole charade is the fact that the quests, especially the most interesting ones, are designed for single player, only to be raped by hundred player characters simultaneously. Kill stealing and other obnoxious and anti-social traits rule the areas, when people just tag a mob and let others kill them. Or just pick the collectable stuff while you are killing the mob guarding it.

So I have dropped it. I'm not in such a hurry to the cap even though the guild is most certainly about to start the first 'raids' soon. We will have the next expansion in what, two and odd years, so why hurry to the end and be bored with no content?

Goblin starter area screams for comment: played it and didn't like it. It just doesn't fit my mindframe, it's too 'contemporary' and it overdoes the pop-cult references abundantly. Just my bowl of porridge there.

But the worgen starter area. Goodness gracious! Everything seems to fit the story in here. And the game: the werewolf people fits the overall game like no other of the added races ever. The story is just as grim and gloomy as you could expect, the only thing that left me cold was the actual voice acting. It just sounds so off from the british accent you expect that it isn't even funny. One could have expected Blizzard to put as much effort to it as they have put on everything else in the game, to make the Victorian setting sound as one (or as we see it through Hammer Studios movies and Sherlock Holmes' interpretations) as possible.

The only thing I regret about the expansion so far is the fact that my dream of levelling up a worgen druid who would kill nothing to the cap has been shattered by the fact that you cannot get a worgen out of the Gilneas without killing a wild worgen or two. Or at least as many as the quests require, add a few scourge in the mix. This was confirmed by a GM who helped my character to respawn after I had explored the whole area available for play the other night, when I noticed that everything was phased, there were no creatures (save spiders and stags) in the area and even the trees were absent. And the world ended in a shining, transparent wall beyond which there was nothing towards Hillsbrad and only a bottomless crevasse towards Silverpine. Even Shadowfang Keep was absent from the area around Wall of Gilneas!

So this is what I've been doing for the last few weeks. Thanks to the people in The Wild Hunt, I have forgotten my calling to write: you know who you are.

Maybe it is now safe to try the levelling areas again. Off to Hyjal with the Three Stooges again!

C out