I Want to Sav(or) the World of Warcraft

Reminiscing about the grand old days of playing World of Warcraft has me realizing how much of the game I’ve forgotten. When was the last time I dropped by Onyxia’s parlor, had a nice cup of tea? Said hi to some of those dungeons up in Twilight Highlands?

The world is huge. Just, freaking huge.

It’s hard for me to grasp most of the time, because each expansion layers on more levels like a pearl and I just stay in the new layer and mill around.

There is so much to do out there between questing and exploring zones and soloing through all the dungeons and raids.

Of what is out there, how much do I remember? I did it all at least once at some point over the years, but there were long gaps between expansions where I sat at max level and, what? Did the same dungeons and raids over and over? Leveled alts? Did pet battles?

Sure, I leveled alts, but without exception those alts were played in a zone  only until I out-leveled the area, then I dropped whatever the heck I was in the middle of and moved on.

When was the last time I ever just took a character from the beginning, the very beginning, and worked my way through every quest in every zone in as close to the original storytelling flow as possible?

The answer is, never.

How funny is that? I go on and on about how great Warcraft is with all this incredible content, but when it comes down to it, it’s been at least over a decade since I put any effort into playing through the game as one big story. In fact the last time I played through determined to be a completionist and see ALL the story there was to experience was in vanilla. And back then, it was because you needed to scrape and beg for those XPs, yo.

I wonder if I could do it? I wonder if it is possible for my short attention span ‘ooh shiny’ attitude to pick a character and hit each story zone, do it ALL regardless of whether I’ve out-leveled it or not, and keep doing that all the way to the end? To do World of Warcraft from start to finish as a single cohesive story?

It would take some planning to do it right, I can see that already. Anything ridiculous worth doing is worth overdoing, after all.

I’d need to pick a character, and a starting zone.

I’d need to group zones together into story arcs. The goal wouldn’t be to LEVEL so much as to take a character with every quest open and available in the game, then play through entire thematic arcs to get the complete experience. Using a fresh character prevents me from soloing every dungeon or raid I’d come to, but would ensure every quest in the game would be available as I travel through.

Suddenly I wish there was a way to reset your character quest progression to zero to do it all from the beginning. But no I don’t, the logistics on that would be terrible. They’d have to know which quests you’d already completed so they wouldn’t offer you quest rewards again, but not shut off quest rewards for quests you’d never done the first time, sorry STUPID idea, galactically awful, ugh.

To really do it right would take completing the dungeons for each zone once I had any final quests, since (at least originally) you would finish the story arcs in a zone by doing dungeons and then finally doing the associated raids. Only then would I move on to the next arc.

I’m excited at this idea. I’m freaking stoked about this idea. I’m ready to log in and tear it up right now!

I kinda sorta started to float this idea of playing through all the zones to Cassie last night, and she shot it down so fast it gave me whiplash.

Name a zone, and she had a reason, a perfectly valid reason, an EXTREMELY accurate and valid reason why playing an alt in that zone will suck all over again. She says I’m delusional, and there is a reason why as soon as we out-level a zone on an alt we move on. That once we’ve done the zone the very first time, we’ve let all the magic happy quest fairy dust out of the jar. You can’t go back and recapture that feeling.

I don’t know. I think she’s right, but at the same time damnit I want to try. One thing in my favor is I’m old. My memory is shot anyway, most of it will seem new to me if I come at it from a different direction.

The big challenge would be making sure I can clear the dungeons and raids at the right time in the process so I maintain the flow of the story as I go. I have a feeling that I’m going to need buy-in from Cassie on that one to get them done, especially on the raids.

I’m still going to try to do it. I think I’ll have to delete either my Void Elf alt or my Lightforged Draenei and start over from scratch. I’ll be level 20 at the start, but I could still go to each starting zone in turn.

Hmm, but would it be better to do a Worgen? That starting zone is only accessible to that race, and has some impressive story questing tied to it.

Oh great, now I don’t know where to start.

I guess from here, before I get bogged down by which alt class and race to play, I need to make a list of all the zones in each expansion/world, and then start tying story arcs together to nail down a sequence.

Yep, yep that seems like my next step.

I’m sure this will go well. What could go wrong?

Stay tuned!

 

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15 thoughts on “I Want to Sav(or) the World of Warcraft

  1. I’m always constantly wanting to do this exact thing. Only making sure I take my time to level each expand profession, grab a good amount of the achievements. Holding me back is mainly not knowing what character, I think once I unlock MagHar orcs I’m going in!

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  2. it’s actually kind of doable now, and better than (I think) Cassie remembers. Being able to just stay in one zone and do everything without out-leveling it makes things feel more cohesive. At least 1-60. My advice is to maybe just choose a continent. If you’re doing allied races, I’d take one to Kalimdor and a different toon to Eastern Kingdoms.

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  3. With the way they’ve changed scaling now in the old world leveling process, it really isn’t possible to out-level zones anymore, at least not until you hit 60. To really be effective at your plans and hit all the old world zones, you almost might want to split it among multiple different allied races. Plus they’ve also changed it so some of the expansions are paired up in the leveling process – so you can pick between Wrath and BC between 60-80 and pick between MoP and Cata from 80-90.

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  4. New change to leveling in BFA prepatch if I recall is the change of level ranges. You’ll be dammed hard pressed to outlevel a zone now. More likely to outlevel the expansion before you are through it. 8.1 is making xp changes effective December 11th that are going to make you fly through the levels. 1-60 will be by far the hardest part. It’s the most content. Don’t bring heirlooms, that bonus xp might break your neck

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  5. That’s quite a challenge. If nothing else, it will keep you occupied for a while.

    The biggest problem is that they changed the starting zones for Cataclysm. Roll a new toon now, and you’re starting in a Post Lich King world. Then you go “back in time” during Outlands and Northrend.

    I’m not sure how big a deal that is for, say, the Draenei, but the Forsaken storyline is totally different now than it use to be. (It’s also pretty awesome. If you’ve never rolled a Forsaken Post-Arthas, I highly recommend it.)

    One note on the Worgen. I started playing it just to see but I never finished. The story got to a point where I had to go “Kill 8 Forsaken” and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

    Dark Lady watch over you.

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    • I wound up playing a baby Forsaken Hunter post-Worgen introduction, and it’s possible to sneak around carefully and get into a deserted Gilneas during part of the storyline. I marooned that character there, perpetually in a time bubble of sorts, wandering the empty streets of Gilneas. That was more fun than following the storyline.

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    • I did play a new forsaken in both pre and post catqaclysm, and I was NOT expecting how incredibly changed the starting experience was. I did new alts with Cassie and yes, it was extremely cool.

      But I forgot that, the story arcs are going to be broken in flow now, aren’t they?

      That explains why people on twitter were saying I should consider doing a private WoW server pre-cataclysm changes to experience that flow.

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  6. I’ve tried to do this on different alts over the years, but I always wind up fairly quickly switching back to a “main” so i can squeeze the most out of the limited time I have in whatever subscription period I have active. If it were a single player single purchase game, I’d do a LOT more of this sort of moseying about and really soaking in the world.

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    • I can’t change the way you think but if you make your new alt your main and the story your focus then doing the end game chores shouldn’t feel as important. End game is just a break between story bits.

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      • It’s not that I want to play the end game; I drop a character once it winds up on the gearscore treadmill. It’s that I want to explore the world, and that’s just easier with a high level character, especially when exploring new content; I can’t take a new unit into the latest expansion without a level boost or grind.

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