Archive for December 9th, 2010

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A Canadian Werewolf In Gilneas

December 9, 2010

There are so many things to do in World of Warcraft right now, but on Tuesday night I decided to plow on ahead with my Worgen priest and finish up the area.

Yes, I'm aware I look completely ridiculous. And no, I don't care.

I’m impressed. I really am. And it’s not just my excitement over a new race and a new zone talking. While the novelty of that is there, I suppose, I’m mostly just amazed by how well the entire Worgen starting experience is put together, like a storybook unfolding in front of your eyes. Compared to it, the Night Elf starting area I did last week on my mage was a snoozefest.

For one, I think Blizzard has certainly raised the bar on their starting zone quests. You see these types of changes applied to other lowbie zones like Darkshore and Westfall as well, but even then you wouldn’t normally hit these areas until you’re about level 10-12 or so. Hence to be experiencing these new quests mechanics — stuff like aerial bombing and vehicular warfare —  as low as a puny level 5 in the Worgen starting area came as a bit of a pleasant surprise. It all felt so grand.

That said, there are still quests there to teach you all the basics (my priest had to use her healing ability this many times on an injured ally and yadda yadda yadda) but for the most part even all the dry tutorial aspects are incorporated into the overarching story. Contrast that to an NPC just telling you to hit that target dummy over there a few times. Most kill quests were also implemented in creative ways (like having to launch yourself onto a ship with a catapult), are so visually compelling (like being thrust into a chaotic warzone), or are just so humorous (like blowing up abominations and splattering their guts) that I’m willing to overlook the otherwise mundane nature of the task.

And here’s where I’m really impressed — that even at a time when everyone and their grandmas are rolling Worgens, not once did I encounter any problems having to do with overcrowding. Some of the measures put in place to accommodate the initial onslaught were pretty obvious — like increased spawn rates — but there were also plenty of the type of quests that didn’t encourage much mob camping — like tasks that involve being able to spawn your own targets, or looting from stationary objects, etc. Phasing probably helped a lot too in separating the influx of players into more manageable-sized groups (though it was also the cause of several hilarious glitches). Subtle factors, but appreciated by me nonetheless.

Now I can’t wait to try out the Goblin area. If the fun factor is anything like the Worgens, I’m sure it’s going to be a blast. Plus I don’t know if I can bring myself to go back to the starting zones of the any of the original races again.

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