To bottom line it for you, the Kirin Tor have a prisoner, they want information… and they want the information tortured out of the prisoner.
But they have no intention of dirtying their own hands to do it, so they want you, the player, to torture the prisoner FOR them. And they give you the tools to do the torturing, which they just happen to have lying around. Go to it!
I personally found the situation infuriating. It really, really pissed me off then, and it still pisses me off to this day.
Now, I’m not angry at doing the quest. Or at the existence OF the quest. The programmers and scriptwriters added a lot of political nose tweaking in the expansion, with the D.E.H.T.A. and other things, but I could care less about what their agenda or intentions may have been. It’s all minor BS.
I have played the Death knight starter area, counting Beta and Live, three times through. The things you do as a Death Knight in thrall to the Lich King is a bit more over the top, and I did them anyway. And I enjoyed playing through those quests.
The difference to me is the situation.
There is only one possible decision to make when you are playing the quest; torture, or abandon the quest chain.
If you go ahead and torture the prisoner, you get rewarded by XP and a continuation of the quest line, which leads directly to another quest line, which leads in turn to another quest line in Coldarra, etc etc.
If you refuse, you can drop the quest from your logs. That’s it. Done. Denied any further interaction with all the quests that follow, and I haven’t done the math, but I think it’s likely that you’ll be unable to get enough quests to complete the Achievement for Borean quests.
It’s just a game, but the big problem for me is, even though I am not playing on a RP server, I HAVE invested life, in my imagination, to my characters. I have gifted each of them with a personality, an attitude is probably closer to the truth, and I think of them as the avatars whose journey through the World of Warcraft is guided by my decisions… based on how I think they would approach things.
I play Windshadow the feral druid as an “in your face” rampaging lunatic that prefers to square off and charge in, Swiping and clawing and chewing the enemies face off. I tank with my face, I choose to TAKE your pounding because that’s the price I am willing, no, EAGER, to pay to get in and tear your fricking arm off.
Oh, and I’m quite cute in my Lovely Black Dress.
My Hunter, Windstar, on the other hand, isn’t all about being a max DPS hunter.
I was asked about this in game very recently. I was asked if I was going to respec, like the rest of the hunter population, to a BRK approved Survival DPS spec.
And my answer was, quite simply, HELL NO. Beastmaster isn’t about damage to me. My Hunter isn’t about dealing out damage. Not at all.
My hunter is an adventurous free spirit, traveling the world and seeing the remote, inaccessible reaches of the vast universe, her best friend at her side. And when the shit hits the fan, she is never alone… her best friend is right there to chew their face off and give her the time she needs to back off and throw down the artillery.
Playing my hunter is all about a partnership, an enduring friendship between my pet and I. Period. And Beastmaster allows me to buff my pet up as an equal partner, so I feel that I can reasonably say that we beat the odds and see the world together, instead of me seeing the world and, oh yeah, dragging my DPS booster along with me.
I don’t ever picture Windstar as lounging around in Dalaran in a Pretty Black Dress. I picture her pushing her way through the jungles of Sholozar Basin, Moonclaw at her side, stinking from being in the field for three weeks straight, looking for the secret of the lost Saronite Mine.
And if the guild has an instance run to do, Windshadow is the one lounging around, bored and eager for some action to fire adrenaline off in her veins, and Windstar is the one that has to be drug out of the most remote jungle to come and do what needs doing… and then wave goodbye to civilazation once more as she heads back out into the back of beyond.
Neither of my characters are the “okay, you need some info? Could you hand me that poker from the fireplace and turn around? This’ll only take a minute” kind of lady.
Whether or not *I* am that kind of person is totally beside the point here. THEY aren’t.
And it pisses me off to no end to feel that my only options are to either dump the quest chain completely and miss out on a TON of follow up quests leading all over the place… or direct my character to do something that is totally, jarringly out of character for her.
My point to this rambling rant is to say that it is long past time that Blizzard implement branching quests.
If Blizzard wants to have a quest that requires your character do make that kind of decision, it needs to BE a decision.
You need to be presented with two choices, and the follow up quest has to be related to your choice. They should both lead to a junction that ties both into going back to ONE quest that unifies everything back together, and neither quest should have better reputation or XP rewards than the other. There should truly be no advantage to choosing one over the other, except that YOU made the decision that felt right for your character.
It’s way past time this was done. When other quests were more vanilla, it wasn’t that big a thing. You were always presented with quests that place you in the role of hero, or at least of adventurer.
But with the D.E.H.T.A. and the slaughter of hunters, with the torturing of prisoners, with the hunting of rare and uniqe animals for Nesingwary, even when the spirit of the animals asks you to depart the lands in peace, with quests whose journey takes you to places that require a moral decision…
I do NOT call for Blizzard to remove these quests. They are more mature, more adult than what we have had before, and I applaud the direction and depth Blizzard is bringing to the game.
However, in bringing these moral issues into the game, I feel Blizzard needs to go to the next step… and allow us to make our own decisions about these issues for our characters.
A choice, not an echo.