Inverted Expectations

This post was written on Thursday evening. I’m going to sit on it when it’s done, and I know going in that, like many other posts of mine, this draft has about a 80% chance of deletion. I’m going to write it all down now, and I’ll see how I feel about it after a few days.

Blizzcon 2010 has started!

As the long string of excited posts about everything from loot bags to food carts goes up on WoW Insider, I have a confession to make.

I don’t feel like excited or enthusiastic about playing World of Warcraft anymore.

I still log in. Then I stare blankly at the character log in screen.

Who to choose?

If I’m by myself, the answer is, nobody.

I have not a single ounce of interest in any of them… except for my Mage.

Why am I still interested in my Mage?

Because when I play my Mage, I’m playing with Cassie.

This effect, the feeling of fun while playing with Cassie, believe it or not, can be duplicated with a boardgame. I don’t need WoW to have fun spending time with my wife.

So, WoW has gone from being a value added part of the family experience, to being something that just doesn’t sound like fun.

Is it the blahs?

I don’t know. I don’t think so. Or at least, not only the blahs. But it could be. Maybe it is.

If I’m going to be perfectly honest with myself, I think part of it is that the game has been out for a very long time, and yet with every big expansion it’s the same old, tired story.

Well, all right, other expansions have come and gone, why should this one feel any different?

During previous bug-filled unbalanced pre-Expansion patch releases, my enthusiasm for the promise of the game, the potential it holds, would keep me logging in and see me through the bad times until the fun returned.

Is that it? My enthusiasm has aged like a bad cheese; it’s gotten crumbly and easily broken.

I really liked class-specific quests. I loved the Druid flight form quest line. I’ve enjoyed every quest line for every class i have chosen to play; it’s been one of the big “replay value” aspects of the game. As has there being two separate factions with different starting areas to play through. Now the class specific content is gone. The reverse of what I want…. instead of there being more class specific content to give me an additional reason to enjoy leveling different characters, now the existing ones are gone, too. So, when you play an Alliance character… that’s it. You’ve seen it all.

Or is it the bugs?

Oh my, yes. The bugs. That is a major part of it. But not just the existence of bugs, it’s more what the bugs the patch incorporated represents for me about Blizzard’s changing attitudes.

What positive things have come from the release of the Patch into the game? There were quite a lot. Revamped Talent trees, new play mechanics for many classes, expanded stables and trap launcher for every kind of trap, and, well, a few other things. Sure.

Then I balance that with it’s polar opposite;

What negative things have come from the release of the patch into the game?

I’m not going to list them all. It’s so subjective, isn’t it? How emotionally affected you may feel by the bugs you encounter in different from anothers. One person’s major frustration at getting D/Ced in instances is anothers “butch up, Sally”.

What it comes down to, for me, is that the benefits gained from implementing the patch WHEN IT WAS, the new Hunter stable slots and Talent trees and all sorts of cool little things, were outweighed by the negatives incurred by implementing it before it was done. Before it was stable. Before the beta component of testing was complete.

The point to logging in, for me, is to actually play the game as a form of entertainment. Adding stress for any reason OTHER than pulse-pounding internet dragon killing excitement is NOT the kind of stress I’m looking for.

The condition of the game before the patch was such that I could reliably log in and play a stable game. I could plan to do something, with the serene confidence that I’d be able to do so, including coordinate a massive in-game event without having to worry about sudden chaos-causing problems such as when everyone that tries to click on a Mage portal to Dalaran or Shattrath gets disconnected every single time they click on the portal. Not to, like, bring up any real life examples or anything.

The condition of the game after the patch is that I may intend to do something, but chances are good something somewhere is going to crash or have issues. Issues I’ll have to work around or find a fix for, and if I’m in a group, I’ll likely find the group fall apart before everyone gets back to a stable environment.

I’m too tired to deal with Vanilla WoW stability issues. This stuff was fixed. We were past this point. We had lots of problems, but we endured them and moved past them. We were all good, ‘sup?

I’m sure that my exhaustion with current content is a good portion of the problem. I had a far worse experience just prior to Burning Crusade being released, being hacked and all my Druid’s raiding gear being deleted and not ever getting it back two months before BC came out, and all. But I stuck it out then, and it all turned out fine eventually.

Even at the height of the instance zoning problem, when you simply were not allowed to play in instances because too many other people were already playing and having fun, I did not feel quite as tired of all the sillyness as I do now. I was not as close to canceling my account as I am right now.

It really is the buggy state of Patch 4.0.1, and when and how it was released. The timing of it. I just don’t see any excuse for it.

It’s not a slap in the face. There are no histrionics here. It’s just that it’s a videogame I’m paying a continuing fee to play that feels like I can’t really play it now without wondering what problem I’ll hit up next.

I’ve got console games, and you know, I never have to worry if the developer is gonna change something up on those that’ll make it so what I used to play will sudden;y stop working, or crash when I do x. Worst I gotta worry about is that my disc gets scratched and will stop reading.

This ain’t world peace or a cure for cancer we’re playing. It’s a video game. It’s no big deal, but I have to decide, is the ennui I feel, and my general falling trust in Blizzard’s attention to providing a quality release product, combining to mean that i should save my money anc cancel my subscription and not pay money to buy Cataclsym? Why through good money after bad?

I’m not a zombie, or a fanatic. I didn’t drink any kool-aid, and I’m not going to follow slavishly anywhere Blizzard chooses to follow.

And there’s an old saying that’s applicable… don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

When the class specific quests have been brought up in the past, one common Blizzard response has been that coding quests costs resources, and those resources are better used in creating quests that all players will get to experience.

To which I reply, Blizzard is receiving an immense amount of capitol from our monthly subscription fees. We pay money for the game, and we pay money for the expansions, and on top of that we pay a monthly subscription fee for server maintenance and new content.

The Blizzard response implies resources for coding are finite. You can do either X OR Y, but not both.

My response, take some of the subscription capital, and instead of spending our WoW payments on funding your new MMO, use some of it to hire MORE RESOURCES, and code BOTH kinds of quests. Hire 5 more people and have ’em code class quests. Add the resources to the project.

OR… stop using that bullshit excuse, and admit that you don’t want to spend the money to invest in that segment of the game, even though it helps to differentiate the feel of the various classes and extends replay value, keeping existing customers in the game for longer periods of time.

If you don’t find value in it, say so and be honest. When you use bullshit excuses, all I do is laugh at the corp-speak.

You don’t have the resources? Really? Wow. I feel very sad about your incredibly poor financial condition. I regret that WoW is not a money-making enterprise for you. I am sad that we are a burden on your bottom line.

That was BS customer speak, by the way. Two can play that game, and neither is very helpful to actually communicating.


I sometimes feel like the last sane person on the boat.

It’s Blizzcon. I mentioned that at the start.

Blizzard employees, while you head on out to your huge event celebrating what awesome rockstar gods you are, as your legions of fans pour their undying love and devotion all over you, as the horde screams out their adoration and chants your names, as queues form to meet you and beg for autographs, I am here to whisper in your ear on your chariot ride to the senate;

Blizzard, it’s a videogame. A very good videogame, but still a videogame. And at the moment, it’s a pretty broken game. Don’t shatter your arm patting yourself on the back.

You’re only as good as the quality of your product, and if you keep going on this route, releasing content before the bugs are actually worked out, you’re likely to find out that the lesson of Star Wars Galaxies and the NGE can be applied to other companies, too.

WoW, in my opinion, and boy this whole post is only my opinion, is one of the most impressive achievements in gaming technology. How incredible is it that the game has kept my interest, and the interest of other players, for years. Not months, but YEARS. Sure, a good part of that is carefully timed content patches and new expansions, but it’s still an incredible achievement.

But it is still a videogame. It’s a product. We are still your paying customers.

We are not your tax paying citizens, and you are not our kings and queens. We are not reduced to flinging poo while we toil in your fields, without choice as to the disposition of our monthly funds.

We can emigrate at will. We don’t even have to pack up our furniture and haul it away on a burro.

I just keep asking myself, why? The game isn’t even remotely stable now. It was pretty rock solid before the patch.

What is the definition of a beta? Ain’t it, “something not yet ready for release”?

The patch was not ready for release. And yet, released it was, and it’s live, and we’re dealing with it…

But why? Was it to give us something new and shiny to keep us logging in that little bit further, get us over that last hump before the Cataclysm where a lot of people might have canceled their account for one month until new stuff was available?

I don’t care. Machiavellian scheme, incompetence, poor managerial decisions pushed by a rigidly adhered-to marketing timeline, I honestly don’t care.

What I care about is that I’m a customer… and a stable piece of software I’m in the habit of using regularly has had a patch pushed to it that has broken many aspects of it until, not that I can’t use it, but that I don’t emotionally FEEL like I want to use it anymore.

There was a time when every game that was released was pretty much a beta version, and the first thing you had to do to even get a playable build was go online for the patches. Then along came a company called Blizzard.

In that era, Blizzard made a name for itself by responding to media questions asking for a release date with the answer “We’ll release it when it’s ready.”

That was so amazing, that a release of software would be pushed back, delaying profits, just so it was released in finished form. How ballsy! How… how respectable.

It seemed to be an indication that Blizzard was a company led with integrity. I for one responded with my consumer loyalty. There hasn’t been a single product Blizzard has sold that I haven’t purchased. Okay, except for some of the Trading Card game stuff, and some of the models.

I’m sorry to say it, almost as much as I’m sorry to feel this way. But this Blizzard ain’t that the one I gave my consumer loyalty to, the one that I had confidence in. Not anymore.

There’s honestly nothing else out there remotely like WoW.

More interesting to me, there CAN never be another game that could capture my heart the way World of Warcraft did. I won’t be writing a blog gushing over the next video game. WoW has always been something special, but aside from that, WoW came along at a time when the MMO world was still pretty new, and Blizzard took the foundation of Everquest to an entirely new level.

But that was then. We were younger then, and the world has moved on. We, as a gaming culture, have grown older, and if we aren’t more mature, we’re certainly a lot more jaded.

Our expectations are a lot higher now than they ever were in the past.

The Patch shouldn’t have been released until it was stable. That’s my feeling about it. If that meant they didn’t hit their timeline of release prior to Blizzcon, so be it.

I look at the early removal or breaking of class specific quests as just kinda being icing on the cake. One of the few things I was looking forward to was getting my Mage to level 60, so I could do my class quest and learn the Pig polymorph spell. Well, that’s not gonna happen. Turns out I waited too long… the Cataclysm didn’t break it, the patch did. Whoops, guess I should have played that class a month earlier.

I’ll still get Pig… from the trainer. And Cassie will get her Flight Form from the trainer as well… but never get the chance to do the class quests.

Why break it?

That’s a rhetorical question, because the answer they seem to give themselves is, “Because we can. And because nothing matters in the game anymore until Cataclysm is released, and the sheep will keep paying until it comes out, and then they’ll buy the expansion, and then they’ll pay while they level to 85, and by the time they get bored again we’ll have 8 more months of revenue streams generated. We’ll just put together some new content instances or raids for when they start getting restless and bored again. Let’s just go mingle with our adoring public. We’re good.”


But do I care enough to be there to see it, if I don’t feel any enthusiasm anymore?

60 thoughts on “Inverted Expectations

  1. I always hate to reply to things days later, but when I originally saw this post, I was very sad, but I couldn’t think of how to phrase things. And, now that I’ve given it some thought, I guess I’m a Blizzard Apologist – or will obviously be seen as one.

    And the reason for that is because… I’ve noticed people’s mileage may vary.

    My wife has wanted to tank as a bear, but couldn’t figure out how to manage rage. With 4.0.1, she’s not only tanking, but she’s having me take over healing duties on my paladin. My paladin, incidentally, who I absolutely gave up on healing with when I tried months ago, and whom I’m absolutely, positively LOVING healing with now. Holy Power – which many people on the forums see as being the death knell for Paladins – is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen added to the Paladin arsenal. I absolutely adore it.

    I really liked the Balance changes on my druid, but I guess in my heart I’ll always be a Paladin in Warcraft.

    But, it seems like most of the problems you have are technical ones, and… well, we’ve already seen a lot of back and forth from software developers about the process. And I think that you’re absolutely right and absolutely wrong about it being unforgivably buggy.

    Where you’re wrong is that things like Cogwheel Of Doom should have been caught in testing, in QA. It never happened to me until the Halloween event. My son, however, experienced it on every Cogwheel. A friend never ran into a problem with it. Three different machines, three different problems. And there’s the testing priority, which is completely different for every player.

    Did you go on the test server? If you did, what were you checking out? Did you get your entire raid group to go over to the test server? Were you checking out PVP? Your new abilities? Dungeon running? Old world questing? Could you honestly say that you, personally, would have thought to try out every aspect of the game? Or that you’d even have time to try out every aspect of the game?

    I’ve worked on code for weeks, testing out everything I could, sending it over to a large number of testers, all of whom use the software in real world ways, and they all came back to me signing off that everything was A-OK, we could go live, we NEEDED to go live, because these changes would help everyone. And it went live and it blew up in my face. Something was missed in testing, because it just never occurred to anyone.

    And keep in mind that one of the tech support guys pointed out that, at one point they had a fix for the Cogwheel of Doom… which broke Illidan’s event completely. Fixing the ability to click on a pumpkin… broke a raid.

    That’s how software works, I’m afraid. There’s so many tiny parts that intertwine, and there’s no way to make a test process which checks out every single one. Sometimes you have to say, “It’s time to go live”. And worse – there’s the regular cries from people who DID see the problem, who DID report the bug, and say that they weren’t listened to.

    A test server is not a live server. It might be configured the same way, it might be running on the same hardware. But it’s never quite the same. And if you see issue X, and you report issue X, and development can’t reproduce issue X and QA can’t reproduce issue X… are you sure that issue X actually happened, or was it some quirk on the test server?

    It’s very easy to call people out for shoddy work. But, it’s important to take a moment to put yourself in their shoes.

    But, I said you were wrong and you were right.

    Because 4.0.1 should not have gone out. Because 4.0.1 absolutely MUST go out EXACTLY one and one half months before Cataclysm. And Cataclysm WILL NOT BE READY on December 7th.

    Ok, just like Wrath wasn’t ready, and Burning Crusade wasn’t ready, and Warcraft wasn’t ready. Bad rollouts happen, amirite?

    Um, no. Not this time.

    Someone said: 4.0.1 is World of Warcraft 2. Cataclysm is just the icing on the cake. The game is being completely redesigned, from the ground up, into a whole new game. And, based on my experiences, it’s awesome. I’m sorry your experience is different, but that’s really going to be hard to prevent… your mileage may vary.


    The talent trees were still unfinished when the announcement of the December 7th release came out. Talent trees. A core portion – some would say THE core portion – of character advancement. Was. Not. Finished.

    Announcing a date so close, with such a major portion missing, was ridiculous. So, oh my goodness, some serious bugs slipped out with the 4.0.1? How is this possible?

    Because, remember when I asked if you could test everything? Or if you and a hundred friends could test everything? Yeah, the next phrase is… “When you have an arbitrary time limit because the changes MUST go out because you have a hard deadline.”

    Oh, geez. That’s going to make it impossible to check out even 25% of the game. And, keep in mind… what percentage of the Warcraft playerbase actually checks things out on the Test server? Half a percent? A quarter of a percent?

    And here… here is the number one thing that Blizzard has done which is undeniably their fault, which has prevented smooth testing.

    In Everquest and Horizons, there was a test server. It was open 24/7. If you played on it, you knew that every now and then, the developer might have to kill your characters. But, otherwise? It was a real server, with people who played on it regularly, with its own economy and everything. And Blizzard doesn’t do that. And, they should. Instead of taking down the test server at the end of every “major dev cycle”, it should be up and running and playable, constantly. Because then people will use it, for really reals.

    But that’s just me trying to pretend not to be a Blizzard apologist.

    Because I’m about to explain why 4.0.1 was dropped when it was.

    Log into the game. Go to Dalaran. Count the people you see. Multiply that number by 90%.

    It’s their fault.

    Ok, I say 90%, because of Sturgeon’s Law. But… when Lich King came out, the first question was… what’s next? When the first major patch came out, the first question was… what’s next? When the name of the expansion was released, the cry came out: when’s it coming? When Blizzard hemmed and hawed, the cry came out: Why won’t you answer the question? Every peek, every preview, every announcement… When? Is? It? Coming? Out?

    Yes; Gamestop is partially to blame, because they offered preorders once the expansion had a name. And every time their date was wrong, they slyly pointed to Blizzard, and complained that it was Blizzard’s fault. And what did our fellow players do? They believed Gamestop. Blizzard hadn’t given a number, but people were furious because Blizzard had somehow “lied” to them.

    And, of course, Activision is partially to blame, because I’m sure that at some point, they decided that enough was enough and they needed a firm date.

    But that didn’t happen because they’re just an evil corporation. That’s because they’re a business. It’s the job of a business to provide the users with what they want, and then collect the money from their grubby little hands.

    And who told them that they could take the money from our grubby little hands?

    We did.

    Yeah, 4.0.1 came out too soon, because it came out exactly when it needed to, in order to keep a committment to a date that we, the users, demanded that Blizzard give us. Point fingers wherever you want – Cataclysm is coming out on December 7th because we demanded that we get a firm piece of information, and… someone gave it to us.

    “Be careful what you wish for” is always, always, always what happens when we, as players, try to make demands of the people who supply us with things. Because sometimes we get exactly what we deserve.


  2. Bugs suck but we get them with every major content patch which is exactly what we got with 4.0.1. As a software engineer, I am well familiar with the appearance of bugs at the most inopportune time. Im part of a team of over 100 people responsible for upgrading/updating the financial system at a major govenment agency. We’ve been “beta testing” our process over the last year with what we call mock runs and we just finished our go-live last week and found (you guessed it) some bugs which we’re fixing now.

    WOW is a big game and has alot of pieces/parts and no matter how much testing you do, theres always that corner case that someone finds that spawns an annoying bug. Blizzard like any software development firm acknowledges this and does their best to fix them as expediently as possible.

    Im not a Blizzard apoligist but as someone who is intimately familiar with the software development process I can see the forest for the trees. Despite however much testing you put something through, theres always going to be issues. If the prospect of dealing with bugs in new software bothers you, wait a while when major releases are put out.


  3. I found this on the forums and it seems to work to keep me from crashing.
    I thought I would share it here.

    Simply turn off tooltips (when joining a BG, for example), and you will no longer crash. You will need to create two macros, for “turn off tooltips” and “turn on tooltips”.

    Turn Off Tooltips

    /script GameTooltip.Temphide = function() GameTooltip:Hide() end; GameTooltip:SetScript(“OnShow”, GameTooltip.Temphide);

    Turn On Tooltips

    /script GameTooltip:SetScript(“OnShow”, GameTooltip.Show);

    For me this stopped the dreaded client freeze. I can click HH event pumpkin, mage tables, lock wells, Feast, etc.
    First post long time reader keep up the good work and thank you.


  4. I totally agree with many of the strong points you’ve hit on.

    Blizzard’s thing is to release when it is ready. (Hence Diablo, ha.) Then you read things online about how MANY of these bugs were known issues and REPORTED in the beta. Ridiculousness.

    We all have a threshold of bugs and glitches we are willing to deal with, but Blizzard should have a better sense of prioritization with these! The cogwheel issue is absolutely absurd. (We are all very aware) Now having said that why has this not been resolved? “Every patch is going to have issues.” Granted but it has now been two weeks since the release and the cogwheel issue remains. But you can bet your Big Bear Butt that you can’t stack mark of the wild with Kings any more!


  5. Whilst I’ve not actually encountered an in-game bug, I’ve been overcome by a sense of ennui with the game. I log in, fly from Innkeeper to Innkeeper to loot a candy bag. Kill the horseman. Then log out to scroll through the alt list and see what I want to play. And usually end up mailing Heirlooms around, dicking around for 10% of a level and then logging out.

    Then I made the mistake of downloading Warhammer Online and trying it for 14 days as a returning player.


    Interesting class mechanics.


    I’ll wait for the launch date of Cataclysm to die down, the patches to settle and the game to bed down a bit. Will probably pick up World of Warcraft again sometime next year. For now though … WAAAGH!


  6. Well, my Mage is now level 56, so I’m getting there. That’s not bad considering how little actual play time we’re spending. Readers of my twitter feed saw a rare update that showed I had a little bit of stuff going on this last weekend.

    Real life is what happens to you as you sit around making plans. 🙂


  7. BBB, and all the others 🙂

    I can relate to pretty much every single post here (except for one, guess which!), which is oddly weird! I’m not quite as annoyed at the patch, just because there were so many changes, it’s mind boggling. Actually, you know, it’s not a patch. I submit to all of you that, no, it’s not a patch that’s happening, it’s a new game. It’s WoW 2!
    The characters still look the same, and most of their capabilities are still similar to what you’re used to. The world (still) looks the same. But it won’t for long!
    Not that I ever played it, but EQ came out with EQ2, and as far as I know, it pretty much died. I don’t know how or why, but it did. I think Blizzard tried to avoid that by not doing an official “WoW2”, but by changing the existing game into WoW2! As such, given the amount of changes, 4.0.1 went actually “pretty smooth”, and I hope the same will hold true for 4.0.3/Cata.

    But(t) on the flip side, the problems are quite game breaking – and I mean literally breaking. Cogwheel – CRASH! I waited for 15 minutes to get into an instance (OK, I’m lucky…), tried to snag some mage cookCLICK!
    On my rogue, I noticed I could get the PvP 1800 rated weapons for “just” honor. So I hit WG and the weekend (AV) zones. Guess what?! I run into AV, WoW crashes with a nice “please submit this to us” error. I log back in and find myself with the deserter debuff. I do some auctions, mess with addons, I’m down to 3 minutes and say “reload ui” to get the addons working. POW! I’m a deserter again for 15 minutes. Or I hearth to Dalaran – again, resetting my debuff timer. SAY WHAT?!?!

    Those things bug the heck outta me. In my opinion, there’s no excuse for things like that happening. None. The servers got restarted, hotfixed, I don’t know what day after day, and things that kill my game are allowed to remain in.

    And yes, that’s just the short-term “rage”. I agree with you that removing the class quests is a big thing. I tried to do the class specific quests on all my alts – just because it adds a little flavor. OK, so at times I cheat – I bought the flight form, but I still wanted to complete the quest, I just need to find a few friends so I can go and summon Anzu-OWAIT, HE’S ALREADY HERE, WTF?! Well, at least my main can go in and farm the raven mount :/

    To end this on a positive note, I’m not as “what do I do now” gridlocked as others – the raiding guild I’m in is a bit behind, we’re just now where we can state that LK10 is ‘on farm’. I’m trying to gear up my alts so that I have an easier time to get 80-85 and level my professions properly, i.e. without having to pay exorbitant AH prices (but instead perhaps profiting a little myself) And I can’t wait for Cata to come out – I want to level an(other) alt through the ‘new’ zones and take a look at it all.

    Now, don’t get too involved in the Lego Universe, BBB. I hear it has “tetrisesque” qualities… 😀


  8. sad tone to the post bear, i’m sorry you are feeling the blues about the game. If you and cassie want to come visit me in eve toss me an email and i’ll get you each a 3 week buddy invite.

    I remember doing pig quest with my frosty gnome mage. it was alright.. not nearly as satisfying as completing the druid epic flight quest tho.


  9. I did the mage pig questline this weekend! It definitely is still there. The only issue with it–you have to use polymorph sheep. SO take off the cute penguin/monkey glyph. 🙂
    THEN immediately go into a BG and turn the first rogue you see into a pig. It’s immensely satisfying. Just don’t click on the flag! 😉


  10. I am sad that the Blood Elf Paladin mount/tabard quest is gone. 😦

    I also hear you, BBB, though my frustration stems more from issues surrounding stability and performance.

    1. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! I feel this way mostly about how patch downloading is handled. The background downloader was fine for content we periodically had to download. Live-streaming is all well and good, but I think the upshot of this is that the game requires many more ports or something while playing, and if you’re on a Verizon FiOS wireless connection with the router they saddle you with (coax connection required), it made a stable game with a reasonable latency go haywire, to the point of freezing up. The occurrence of this problem correlates pretty strongly with the advent of the patch; what did they change? The net result was that I could play through about half an instance before the game would freeze up *my entire internet connection*. Seriously?!

    2. Having another 1.6 GB to download through “live-streaming” after the initial patch was downloaded was a kick in the teeth. Why not just include that for pre-download as well? Not that there was any danger of raiding that evening, but as a person who can only play once a week for any substantive amount of time, it was an unhappy surprise.

    3. Cogwheel of Doom – this hit me on the holiday boss at first but then later on the portal to get past the first part of Oculus, and just seems like icing on the cake.

    At least with instances being full there were other things we could do – the current bug (though a bit better now) kicks me out of the game completely!

    I do regret losing what flavor the class-specific quests provided. I think in return, though, the revamped essentially race-specific starting areas will be delicious. Early-game experience has always been one of my favorite parts of any game, and we’re getting essentially 10(!) new starting areas to romp through. In addition, the old zones are all essentially made over, only now with much less “down time.” While this might cut out a bit of the “open world environment” feel, I think it really will be providing more to do, and also provide that much more lore. The individual class quests, while interesting to a certain extent, I think paled in comparison to many of the quests we experienced in Northrend. If they weren’t able to spend time rewriting them up to a standard that matches the new paradigm, well, I think that will be okay – I’m willing to be distracted by the other shinies.

    Thought: Will troll druids get automatic admission to Moonglade? Cows and nelves living together is one thing, but would any self-respecting night elf tolerate the presence of hated trolls, even under the aegis of nature?


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