Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wrath Retrospective - Quests

In Wrath the overall questing experience was greatly improved. The addition of two starting zones not only helped to handle the initial wave of people leveling, but also provided choice and variety. One of the biggest, though often overlooked accomplishments, was quest flow. Each zone had several quest hubs that lead you neatly from one to the other. This not only makes questing less annoying and more efficient, but it also helps the zone stay fresh longer as you uncover it bit by bit. There were also practically zero quests that had you traipsing around the world. For the most part this is a welcome change as spending half your questing time on flight paths is not fun. However I do enjoy the occasional change that leads you across the world. Admittedly this might have been somewhat impossible considering that we were supposed to be isolated up in Northrend, but I hope that some nice long continent crossing chains filled with lore will be making a return in Cataclysm.

Phasing also make its first appearance in Wrath. For the most part it is a great technology, allowing you to feel as if you are really making an impact. My favorite use of this is the very tiny use of phasing in Sholazar Basin that creates a flight point at the Nesingwary outpost once you help a gnome repair his plane. The downside of phasing, most notably in Icecrown is that after the initial wave of leveling it is almost impossible to find someone in the same phase as you to help with the numerous 3 and 5 person quests. This also makes completing the Icecrown part of Loremaster a huge pain. I hope they learn from this in Cataclysm and do not make difficult to complete group quests part of phasing.

Vehicles quests were also utilized in Wrath. For the most part I feel like they got the amount of vehicle quests just right. Enough to spice up the leveling experience, but not so many that you feel like you’re never using your own abilities. From the information I have seen coming out of the Cataclysm Beta I am a little concerned that they are going overboard with vehicle quests but all we can do is wait and see about that.

Overall questing was a great experience in Wrath. Each zone had great flavor and story lines. Easily the best quests as far as story goes were in Icecrown. Unfortunately many people, I would guess a majority, never came close to completely the zone due to the fact that they were 80 before even finishing The Storm Peaks. It’s a shame that such a great zone flew under the radar.

Here is a list of my favorite quest chains in Wrath, Alliance side of course.

10.Finding the Ashbringer - Rescue the Ashbringer and return it to a disguised Tirion.

9.Sholazar Reclamation - Work with the Avatar of Freya to beat back the Scourge.

8.Frost Dwarves - Gain the trust of the Frostborn and uncover the identity of their king.

7.Paladin/naruu questline - A touching quest line in which you attempt to rescue a paladin on death's door.

6.Discovering where humans came from - Witness history and the birth of humanity... or get wtfpwned by the Lich King if you wander too close.

5.Guru of Drakku - Do an evil troll's bidding and see the Lich King again.

4.Wrathgate - This is obviously the most universally memorable moment, but the quests that lead up to it, including observing the past events of Arthas and his men when they arrive in Northrend also stand out.

3.Being a crazy blue lady - Fighting for the love of a giant creation of the Titans while throwing any other blue bitch who tries to take your man off her drake = win.

2.Oracle/Frenyheart - The comic relief of Wrath of the Lich King. I can't tell you the number of times I have laughed out loud while questing for these guys.

1.The Heart of Arthas - I'm not going to spoil it, just go do it. Terrifying and heartbreaking all at the same time.

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