Monday, 12 October 2009

Good old times...

I seem to remember having read several nostalgic posts about how the old lands will soon be barren and void, how a great cataclysm will wreck it all and how new players will not be able to enjoy all the rich lore and intricate storylines woven into two continents.

For the life of my little sleepy willy, I cannot seem to find those posts now that I’d want to link to them. Typical.

However, I had the pleasure of levelling an heirloomed alt lately from zero to hero level 1 to 34 – and not all that is remembered fondly is actually such a good idea. Those areas desperately need a serious overhaul.

Some areas are just plain frustrating. Nothing against a little challenge (as long as it’s a clever challenge – and one suited to exactly my level of competence, of course) but a roaming level 25 elite in a level 12 area is not much fun. Not only will that worgen kill a new player every time he sees them – the aggression radius is also insanely high, so that it’s hard to even find a safe spot. Is that truly necessary any more?

Then there are fights that were relabelled – formerly group quests are they now solo quests. Of course the quest mob in question has been changed from an elite to a normal little snuffle-nose-gopher-thing. That does not, however, include the other 29526539175239 monsters in his little village – all of which are runners, half of which are healers, and the other two thirds are big fat meanies *stomps foot hoof*.

I get the feeling that the occasional fight was designed with the “but.. they can drink as many potions as they want” mechanic in the background.

Finally: Old quest chains. While in Northrend quests generally are only a few steps – or if they are multistep all the quests are in approximately the same level range – the quests in Kalimdor can span a good 7 to 10 levels (the Lost Diplomat and the Scythe of Elune line come to mind).

That used to be fine in the olden days. We would wade through knee-deep snow through all three (or so) zones designed for the level range. Southshore, Wetlands and Duskwood were something done at the same time. It made good sense to leave those orange quests because you’d be coming back for them later anyway. And all of southshore and the wetlands and especially duskwood were uphill. Always uphill.

Now, my poor little shaman only needs one of those zones, of course (which has nothing! *stomps foot hoof* to do with the heirlooms). So now I feel sort of loath to actually follow a questline that’ll take me to another continent when I can just kill 22 more ghouls to get to next level and be done with it. Or … go back and kill 40 little raptors of no experience, no loot and no good looks just so I can get to the queststep that allows me to kill another 40 raptors that grant experience (and still no loot – and they still look sort of sad).

So where is all this mumbling and foot hoofstomping taking me? The old lands certainly had their charm back in the day. They desperately need a total overhaul, however – and I don’t mind if that includes breaking the world in half and releasing a ginormous armour-plated dragon of doom. The new new-player zones will probably be that much better designed. And will include a downhill part – and less snow.

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