Sunday, 28 November 2010
I've finally caught up with all the pre-Shattering screenshots that I took. If you'd like to see the full series of posts, just follow the 'azeroth photo tour' tag.
The Shattering... Oh wow. Amazing! Mind blowing. I wasn't in the Beta and I kept away from spoilers wherever I could, so everything was so shiny and new, it was like Cataclysm came early! (which I suppose is accurate enough.) As I traveled around the new zones, I had a Keanu moment at every turn (you know, in the Matrix when he goes, "Whoa.").
Did I miss something here?
But now that I can finally talk about the Shattering, I was all poised to write a post about how I felt about how the series of events has unfolded, when I found that Johnny from MMOmeltingpot has already written it. Go there, have a read, then make sure to come back again.
I absolutely agree with the sentiment that we should feel robbed of something awesome here. I logged out on Tuesday night then back in just one day later on Wednesday, and everything was different. As far as I could tell, no-one told us there was going to be a time warp. It felt like whole new stone towns and encampments had sprung up all over the world overnight. A war had gone on in the Southern Barrens, for goodness' sake, and we missed all of it.
I haven't read The Shattering book although I realise that a lot of the events have been explained there. I think that's a bit unfair of Blizzard to just jump into a new story like that when many of their paying player-base won't have a clue what just happened. I did notice on MMO-Champion that there was a linked blue post with a sort of synopsis on the changes, but the actual patch 4.0.3 release notes revealed precious little about the extent of the changes that took place during the patch, including the 'time warp' factor.
What I really would have liked is some kind of intermediate patch where the world was just a fiery pile of rubble for a few days. I realise this would have meant a whole 'nother load of graphic development, but just being able to see Orgrimmar or Stormwind in ruins and without the new camps would have made the story feel like we were really involved, rather than just waking up one morning to a brand new city.
The Alliance vs Horde changes in places like Ashenvale and the Barrens could have been brought about, or at least helped along by players. Perhaps a few extra quests could have been added to help out some refugees or put out some fires in Orgrimmar... or to lead into the political changes in each faction? I don't know, I just feel that a chance has been missed - something that could have been so incredible to experience in the game.
A Whole New World!
Just to be clear, I absolutely LOVE the changes. I spent two whole nights just exploring, getting all weepy as I flew into Booty Bay and rode through the ruins of Taurajo. Auberdine felt terribly sad also, but the zones look completely brilliant - even more beautiful than they did before. I was so overwhelmed by it all that I didn't take any screenshots at all. I have realised this week how much I love exploring in games, and how much I'd been missing it lately.
I haven't rolled any new alts or done much questing yet, but I've been reading people's reactions on other blogs and on Twitter and I am so excited to experience it all, sooner or later. There's just so much to do!
I had a go at the Plants vs Zombies quests in Hillsbrad, starting with [Basic Botany] at the farm just south of the Dalaran crater. If you're not familiar with the original game it can be a bit tricky so I just wanted to share a couple of great guides - Syl's post about the new pets on Raging Monkeys really helped me out with a bit of strategy, and Jaedia has explained some more as well. It took me a few goes including a couple of times where the game bugged out right at the end, but now Leesah has a Singing Sunflower to add to her collection!
I stopped exploring after that because I realised that Pilgrim's Week was about to finish, so I quickly cleaned up the achievements for that. I really hope it will be easier to get to the Alliance cities as Horde once we are able to fly in Azeroth - at the moment it is extremely painful to get into Darnassus and Exodar.
Now, to leveling my Priest! And bring on the expansion - 10 sleeps to go!!
Tell me about your Shattering experience! Do you agree that we missed something amazing? Where is your favourite new zone?