Stonetalon Horde side is AMAZING (spoilers)

85 Blood Elf Paladin
5205
So I haven't been posting here over the past week since I've been actively playing and leveling my little Tauren priestess to experience the new content. I've played mostly the Kalimdor zones (I'm saving Eastern Kingdoms for later - god knows I know enough about what happens there thanks to the never-ending Forsaken threads) and so far I've been really enjoying the leveling experience. I'm thinking I'll go into detail later on all the zones I've played through, but for now I want to give a huge, HUGE kudos to Blizz for the Horde questline in Stonetalon.

This was such a well designed zone from a story perspective. The main plot arc is consistant throughout the zone and really hits close to some of the key story points I wanted to see relating to the Horde in this expansion.

The biggest draw in the zone for me was Krom'gar and the events leading up to the dropping of the bomb. As a character, Krom'gar is fantastic because he represents two things: first, he represents the kind of militaristic mindset the Horde has re-adopted since Garrosh's takeover. He's brutal, efficient and pragmatic to the point where he berates his own soldiers for not being brutal enough, using the defense of their families and questioning their loyalty to the warchief to do it.

The second thing he represents, however, is slightly contradictory to this; he misinterprets Garrosh's desire for conquest as being completely pragmatic to the point where he's unreasonabley merciless. The biggest emotional moment in the quest for me was when you realise false evidence had been planted to justify using the bomb on the druids of Thal'darah Grove. (I honestly felt a bit of political commentary there in regards to the Iraq war and the alleged WMDs used to justify it) To me this was an emotional high point, but also a low point; it validated my opinion on just how immoral the generals in the Horde were becoming, but being someone who liked Thrall's vision of the Horde more, it's not pleasant to realise this has become the reality of what the Horde is.

It's interesting; Krom'gar thought he was representing his Warchief's will. He thought Garrosh's vision of unbridled conquest meant even civilians and innocent non-combatants were viable targets. Yet when Garrosh finds out what happened, he kills Krom'gar. I think it's a great moment because it sends different messages to different people. To the people who support him, it's a warning that despite his brutal goals, it doesn't mean he sacrifices honor and decency to do so. To the people who don't like him, it shows that he's not a complete monster and has some ability for mercy and compassion.

While I still have a problem with the fact other characters build him up as a military genius despite his more-than-questionable tactics, in Stonetalon you can definitely see what the writers are trying to convey with Garrosh. Hopefully we'll have more of this in the future and less Twilight Highlands-esque 'HURP DURP' moments.

So bravo to the minds behind this questline at Blizz. More like this, please! =D
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90 Undead Warrior
7140
It's a shame that I have leveled a lot of horde characters to max level already, cause it seems likes there's a lot to experience now that Old World has been completely revamped for the Horde.
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85 Tauren Shaman
6230
really? I felt incredibly underwhelmed.

The quest in ashenvale to move the bomb cut out, so there was a disconnect between the player helping the goblins making the bomb and having it used.

We go into the zone, find a goblin corpse, kill nelf spies with radar goggles, and kill a high elf for attack plans.

Your Anti-air guns are down so you go for more parts... only there are crazy elementals everywhere, alright, elementals crazy from what? from the shattering? from the mining? it's never even addressed.

the two orcs you ride into the zone with and see in the mines both turn out to be useless idiots, funny, but you never even see them again so there's a bit of a hollowness there.

We fend off a gnome assault and torch northwatch tents but we never really feel like there's an overall plot for the zone, the bomb is just THERE.

We then go to malaka'jin which we're losing to the grimtotem... but we never get quests to fight the grimtotem. We send a group of kobolds to the edge of the "unearthed grounds" (What the hell is this place, we never quest here again, what's going on?) which is interesting but then nothing comes of it.

We buff our soldiers (Where the hell did those forest trolls come from?) with the witch doctor magic, and it makes them... bigger, they don't kill any grimtotem, no change.

we see a random blockade on the road that sends us off to kill... spiders, alright... random.

We then go back to Krom'gar, move the Bomb to the sludge works and... kill nelf spies with radar goggles. Wait, again? Didn't we already do that? We did, alright well goblins are funny, what else can we... Oh... we get to kill Wyverns because they're pooping everywhere...

Alright, moving the bomb again... we're at a tauren village now, we get quests to use a demolisher to wipe out some alliance forces in this BIG SPRAWLING BATTLEFIELD... then we go to this druid tree and find evidence of corruption in the military.

We go back, unearth the corruption, and then report it... only Krom'gar is evil and burns the tauren village (that you spent all of two quests at... and HEY why's the FP a goblin rocket? Any reason? NO!) for... no particular reason, just to show that people under Garrosh are corrupt I guess.


The whole zone just felt to me like they had an idea of what they wanted to do then changed halfway through.
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41 Troll Druid
230
It has, by far, been the most cohesive zone I've leveled through so far on this alt.

Weirdly, though, I did every quest available and even got the zone questing achievement, but never got sent to Sun Rock Retreat. Strange.

There's also the fact that Krom'gar doesn't phase out of his fortress when he's dismissed. Since you virtually -need- to go back there after being promoted to General, there's a mandated plot break.

Other than those two nitpicks, though, the zone was flawless.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
5205
It's rare that I would say this, but honestly Skytotem, I'm think you're being a bit nitpicky.

The quest in ashenvale to move the bomb cut out, so there was a disconnect between the player helping the goblins making the bomb and having it used.


I didn't realise there was once a quest in Ashenvale to help make the bomb. It would've helped elaborate on that part of the story a bit more before the zone started, but ultimately it didn't ruin the entire experience for me.


Your Anti-air guns are down so you go for more parts... only there are crazy elementals everywhere, alright, elementals crazy from what? from the shattering? from the mining? it's never even addressed.


Is that really important? There's nothing wrong with elaboration, but we can assume the elementals are there for on reason or the other. It's not like it's critical to the experience in the zone.

the two orcs you ride into the zone with and see in the mines both turn out to be useless idiots, funny, but you never even see them again so there's a bit of a hollowness there.


I think the point with those orcs was that when you do the inital wagon ride into the zone with them, they're berating you and bragging about how awesome they are. When you finally see them in action and push comes to shove, they can't handle it. I don't think they're meant to be particularly deep characters, just your generic big-talking cowards who play themselves up and then get what's coming to them when they can't handle it.

We fend off a gnome assault and torch northwatch tents but we never really feel like there's an overall plot for the zone, the bomb is just THERE.


The overall plot is the conflict with the Alliance. Perhaps they could do more to mention the bomb beforehand, but it's not like the lack of mentioning it destroys the cohesion in the zone.

We then go back to Krom'gar, move the Bomb to the sludge works and... kill nelf spies with radar goggles. Wait, again? Didn't we already do that? We did, alright well goblins are funny, what else can we... Oh... we get to kill Wyverns because they're pooping everywhere...


Filler quests. They need something to meet their quota for the zone, and they need to give players a breather in between all the major plot quests.


We go back, unearth the corruption, and then report it... only Krom'gar is evil and burns the tauren village (that you spent all of two quests at... and HEY why's the FP a goblin rocket? Any reason? NO!) for... no particular reason, just to show that people under Garrosh are corrupt I guess.


I agree that the goblin rocket at Cliffwalker Post was a bit wtf, but if you honestly think that was one thing that ruined the zone I’m going to say that’s being very nitpicky.

Krom’gar burns the village because he misinterprets what you said and believes High Chieftain Cliffwalker was a traitor. That and dropping the bomb wasn’t just for the lulz, Krom’gar genuinely believed that is what Garrosh wanted, which is why he’s so surprised when Garrosh shows up and throws him off a cliff.

I think the brilliance of this quest is that people both in-game and out of it believed that since Garrosh is a ruthless conqueror, it gave anyone under him free reign to do whatever they wanted without accepting the moral consequences. But this questline showed that Garrosh doesn’t tolerate dirty tactics like framing innocents to justify using a WMD on them. For all his bravado and anger, he has a sense of honour.
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85 Tauren Shaman
6230
I think the point with those orcs was that when you do the inital wagon ride into the zone with them, they're berating you and bragging about how awesome they are. When you finally see them in action and push comes to shove, they can't handle it. I don't think they're meant to be particularly deep characters, just your generic big-talking cowards who play themselves up and then get what's coming to them when they can't handle it.


1. I'm too tired to address the whole post, so i'll just clarify that I was underwhelmed, the place wasn't "ruined" for me, just every little thing felt "average" which in Cataclysm added up to "sub-par" to me.

2. They don't berate you or brag about how awesome they are... they just joke, they talk about how one is into tauren and the other guy thinks he's depraved.

3.I'm saying there was no cohesion in the zone, I found myself asking "What's the big deal?" at times.

War with the Alliance? Okay, sure it did that adequately, but the whole "DISMISSED" thing with Krom'gar and Grebo's evil felt like it came out of nowhere.

There was no subtle toeing to the line of morality, one minute Krom'gar is going "failure is not an option" which is pretty standard general talk, the next minute he's bombing children because... well, because apparently.

I just felt myself asking questions as I went through the zone, where'd this bomb come from? shouldn't we use it on that base across the valley?

4. I'll reiterate it's not a BAD zone, just one I don't personally like, and feel went about its premise in the wrong way.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
5605
One of my favorite parts was the "Large Daddy" and Clarissa quest. Nice reference to Bioshock.

Clarissa: "Break their bones!"

Also, isn't Clarissa the little blood elf orphan you parade around during Children's week?
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85 Undead Priest
3225
One of my favorite parts was the "Large Daddy" and Clarissa quest. Nice reference to Bioshock.

Clarissa: "Break their bones!"

Also, isn't Clarissa the little blood elf orphan you parade around during Children's week?


That'd be salandria
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90 Orc Warrior
10290
One of my favorite parts was the "Large Daddy" and Clarissa quest. Nice reference to Bioshock.

Clarissa: "Break their bones!"

Also, isn't Clarissa the little blood elf orphan you parade around during Children's week?


The best part of Clarissa was Krom'gar's reaction to her...

"I don't know what to tell you.....I have no idea where Clarissa came from."
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90 Dwarf Paladin
10690
One of my favorite parts was the "Large Daddy" and Clarissa quest. Nice reference to Bioshock.

Clarissa: "Break their bones!"

Also, isn't Clarissa the little blood elf orphan you parade around during Children's week?


Alice and Mr. P would like to have a word with you.
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85 Undead Priest
3225
One of my favorite parts was the "Large Daddy" and Clarissa quest. Nice reference to Bioshock.

Clarissa: "Break their bones!"

Also, isn't Clarissa the little blood elf orphan you parade around during Children's week?


Alice and Mr. P would like to have a word with you.


Bouncer Vs. Alpha Series! Place your bets!
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90 Dwarf Paladin
10690

Bouncer Vs. Alpha Series! Place your bets!


Never played Bouncer. Referring to SF Alpha? If so. My bets on Alpha. Why? It's got Guy in it. Ninja in Sneakers > Ninja not in Sneakers.
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85 Undead Priest
3225

Bouncer Vs. Alpha Series! Place your bets!


Never played Bouncer. Referring to SF Alpha? If so. My bets on Alpha. Why? It's got Guy in it. Ninja in Sneakers > Ninja not in Sneakers.


Having a brain lapse, what's SF?
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90 Dwarf Paladin
10690

Having a brain lapse, what's SF?


Street Fighter Alpha? The one where Capcom introduced both Guy and Cody from Final Fight in fighting game form?
Edited by Dallanna on 11/30/2010 8:28 AM PST
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85 Undead Priest
3225

Having a brain lapse, what's SF?


Street Fighter Alpha? The one where Capcom introduced both Guy and Cody from Final Fight in fighting game form?


I was thinking more BioShock Big Daddy's.
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90 Dwarf Paladin
10690

I was thinking more BioShock Big Daddy's.


Ah, that explains it. Never played BioShock 1 or 2.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
7950
The zone did feel pretty schizophrenic to me, and Garrosh showing up at the end, spouting something ridiculous about honour and Saurfang just felt off, to be honest. And I thought those Orcs in the mine were taking a jab at how the Americans in the Inglourious Basterds movie were useless.

Also, another thing that seriously irritates me is how the NPCs fighting never kill each other. They just sit at something like 80% health and melee each other. Boring. It doesn't feel like a battlefield if the ground isn't littered with corpses, and there's no feeling of 'oh man I am great' when you save an ally's life just as they're about to be beaten. ._<

EDIT - And for all the honour and stuff Garrosh goes on about, he should do a better job instilling it in his generals.
Edited by Langzor on 11/30/2010 8:41 AM PST
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85 Undead Priest
3225
The zone did feel pretty schizophrenic to me, and Garrosh showing up at the end, spouting something ridiculous about honour and Saurfang just felt off, to be honest. And I thought those Orcs in the mine were taking a jab at how the Americans in the Inglourious Basterds movie were useless.

Also, another thing that seriously irritates me is how the NPCs fighting never kill each other. They just sit at something like 80% health and melee each other. Boring. It doesn't feel like a battlefield if the ground isn't littered with corpses, and there's no feeling of 'oh man I am great' when you save an ally's life just as they're about to be beaten. ._<


This... it just felt sort of abrupt.

Through the whole zone there was no feel that we were gradually getting up to a "terrible threshold".
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