Monday, December 6, 2010

From Shattering To Cataclysm

Courtesy of notes I took on my twitter feed, here's what I did during the two weeks between the Shattering and the launch of the Cataclysm proper:
  • Frothshock, new level 13 Dwarf Shaman, cleared Dun Morogh.  (Beer puns are pretty common on the newly permitted Dwarf Shaman.) 
  • Cheerydeth (the third), existing level 41 Gnome Rogue, cleared half or so of West Plaguelands, gaining two levels (to 43)
  • Orcthanc, a new level 6 Orc Warlock, cleared the orc level 1-6 area.  (Warlocks are evil, and Saruman, who lives in Orthanc, is also evil, making for another pun.) 
  • Tangleroot, a new level 9 Troll Druid, cleared the new Troll newbie 1-6 area and started in on Razor Hill.  (I plan to make this a balance druid, and have a personal habit of stealing location names from other games - DDO in this case - when I'm not slapping an atrocious pun on a character I don't intend to keep.)  
  • Gnoheals, a new level 5 Gnome Priest, cleared the gnomes' level 1-5 corner of Dun Morogh.  (Gnomes previously had "gno", err, I mean no healing classes, and another pun was born.)  
  • Odus, a new level 12 Night Elf Mage, cleared out the quests of Teldrassil.  (Another stolen zone name, this time from EQ1/2, for the newly allowed NE Mage combo.)  
  • Greencross, a previously existing level 23 Dwarf Priest, took the discipline spec for a test drive in Duskwood, gaining two levels (now 25) and clearing somewhere between a third and half of the zone.  
  • Cowsader, a new level 11 Tauren Paladin, cleared out Mulgore.  (Another newly allowed race/class combo, another terrible pun.)
Once the Druid wraps up Durotar, I will have covered the newbie intro zones for half of the game's twelve (as of tomorrow) races. 

Sustainability of the Shattering
Half of these characters will most likely never be used again (except possibly as bank alts), but I don't regret having taken the time to run this little experiment.  In addition to the new storylines - some of which actually do require a character of the appropriate race - it was an interesting chance to see how the new "streamlined" low level gameplay works out on a variety of classes.  I might even stick with some of these alts to level 60- yes, as Gevlon points out, I could solo the content quicker on my high level characters with flying mounts, but there have been enough changes to many classes over the years that it's actually a bit of fun in its own right to see how they work these days.

All that aside, this does illustrate a bit of a challenge that Blizzard faces in having spent so much time and effort on revamping the old world.  Even the best possible case for Blizzard, where I complete literally all of the new content on level-appropriate characters (somewhere between 3-6 level 60's, with another half a dozen or so alts abandoned at level 20) is not going to keep me occupied for the next year or more.  If this is where I am after two weeks - bearing in mind that my gaming time was a bit below average due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the States, a few months of serious alt leveling may be enough to clear out the world.  Meanwhile, it's far more likely that I will lose interest after seeing some of the most dramatically changed zones, if for no other reason than because I will literally run out of classes to play. 

I suppose that Blizzard simply doesn't care because they've got enough subscribers to tolerate some part-timers, but it's certainly a bit of a cautionary tale for anyone thinking of trying something like this on a smaller budget. 

Anyway, tomorrow the expansion arrives, and I haven't even decided what I'm going to do on my main when it gets here.  I don't know anything about the level 80+ game other than the names of the zones, so I suppose I'll just hop on a flying mount and head off in one direction or another.  In any case, I'm going to save enough time before bed to run one last heroic five-man, perhaps to kill Cyanigosa or Ingvar one last time for nostalgia's sake.  The way the revamp rolled out, there wasn't ever really a specific moment that felt like a final farewell to Wrath, so I suppose one final easy dungeon zerg will be as appropriate a send-off as any. 


Anonymous said...

Love the names!

Yeebo said...

At the rate that Blizzard adds new content, there is really very little chance that most of us will still be playing this time next year. I think they are going to get another blip in subs, possibly breaking their old record, and by the summer (at the latest) we'll all be playing something different.

Tesh said...

Yes, it's a bit of a kick to Blizzard to realize that a player playing a series of ten day trials can see a fair dose of the Shattering content.

Can't happen to better folks, I promise.