OK so as threatened in the comments of my last post, I figured it was time to dedicate a post to what I like about the new WoW experience. Some readers seem unable to get past the concept that I can like a product while still criticizing some aspects of it.
The thing is, I’m uncomfortable talking too much about the stuff I’m liking because I don’t want to spoil anything. There’s spectacle in the new starter experience and it’s fun to come upon it. And if I talk about the new player experience for one race, someone is bound to tell me about the new player experience for another race, and ruin things for me.
I’m the guy that laughs out loud (sometimes) at quest text. Yeah, I read every word of it (the first time through). I expect the developers to have put thought into the quest text and so far in WoW (both old and new) they have. I appreciate that a lot. So I come upon a pun or a funny comment in a quest’s text, and I have to tell Angela all about it, including back story and stuff. I love quests lines and the new player experience is one quest line after another. In the Night Elf area, at least, there are very few “1 off” quests with no context.
So I give a huge thumbs up to the folk writing the quests (and this is part of why I wave dismissively at suggestions that I just leave this area and go find a better challenge…I *want* to experience all the new lore at least once).
And, there’ve been a good number of what I guess we’re calling vehicle quests? I call ‘em gadget quests. Basically quests that somehow change up game play in some way. They haven’t been hard, but they’ve been silly fun and I was glad to have experienced them. Again, no spoilers.
I have mixed feelings about the names of mobs only showing up if you need them for a quest. They sure make things easy to find and I’m sure that’s the intent, and it does add to the immersion that not everything is clearly labeled. But it takes something away from the thrill of the hunt. Here’s a shot I took to illustrate my griping about quests being so tightly clustered. You see here Steeltalon (??) (the bird with the yellow name) and some corrupted bears (red names). I need to kill all these guys but for two completely different quests. In the name of no extraneous traveling (I guess) they all helpfully travel together:
Further good news is that I hit level 20 tonight and saw things are starting to change. Quests were getting a bit more challenging, sending me after mobs that were level 19 and clustered tightly together so adds were common. There was a quest that forced me out of my Druid’s Cat form, reminding me of how wimpy I am as a Night Elf. For the first time I had to keep an eye on my health, and had to think about mana management. I drank for the first time after a series of quick fights that left my mana depleted. In short, I started having to *think* about what I was doing. The dreary routine of every battle being exactly the same began to fall away. The actual game play started getting fun, and the quests continue to be interesting.
Hopefully this isn’t a bump in the road but the start of a nice ramp up in difficulty. The bad news? My skinning has fallen behind so I’m going to have to back up and kill mobs to catch it up. I *really* wish I could turn off combat experience while doing this (hmm, maybe I can level up skinning on the corpses of gray mobs?) because I don’t want to get out-leveled on the quests again.
Anyway, so there’s a brief post on the things I like about WoW. One last time… I can criticize some aspects of a game (or a book, or a movie) and still enjoy the game as a whole. I’m sure you can too.