Sunday, January 30, 2011

(Re-)Visiting New And Old

I had the pleasure of spending a bit over three days without power last week thanks to five inches of snow and one incompetent local power company.  Book-ending that experience, my Warrior finished up the main quest arc of Hyjal and the achievement for WoW's Lunar festival.

I had my choice of three quests to turn in for this achievement.  I chose the outhouse for the screenshot, in Syp's honor.

Hyjal's a pretty good zone, and its plot is actually relevant to the expansion in a way that Vashj'ir doesn't seem to manage.  That said, the two are obviously from the same era of WoW quest design, with a highly linear quest path, heavy use of phasing to change the landscape as you travel along, and the occasional vehicle combat gimmick or three for a change of pace.  In any case, the reason I was working on the zone was to pick up some exp and gear for the Lunar Festival. 

WoW's Lunar Festival is one of several world events that feature globe-spanning scavenger hunts.  In this case, ancestral elders bearing coins are found scattered around the world, including some Wrath-era 5-man instances.  I'm reasonably fond of these events, since they provide an excuse to return to a variety of older content, however briefly.  (I soloed a fair number of coins, but I did eventually use the dungeon finder to get heroic dungeon groups for the last few.) 

In some ways, both the nostalgia coin hunt and the new questing zones are sightseeing tours.  Actually killing stuff happens incidentally to seeing the sights, but it doesn't necessarily feel like the point.  In Hyjal, Blizzard is telling a story, while the Lunar Festival invites veterans to recall their own tales from their past visits to these locations.  I suppose that this is a logical progression for the direction of the game in general - and pulling the staggering numbers former WoW players back in for the occasional visit - but it does seem odd that the core combat mechanics aren't really the point of the solo game anymore.  
Another world event down, these are all generally less painful than they were in 2009.

1 comment:

Yeebo said...

I'm finally in the Cataclysm zones, after starting from scratch at launch. While very much tooled up to be single player experiences, I'm finding the questing out there to be some of the most fun I've had in WoW.