A Sad Panda...

90 Undead Warlock
9425
The year is 2012 when a Pandaren begins his training on the wandering Isle and the world looks bright and full of possibility. Quest mechanics and character models are tight and spot-on, just amazingly crafted. He goes about his business and is offered a choice between the Alliance and Horde. He thinks that the Orc leader looks like a badass and could be destined for great things, so he sides with him.

He finds himself in the Barrens. Goblins, Orcs, Trolls, and Taurens, all having to level in this one spot...it's not for him. He checks his map and finds a nice plot of land on the other side of the world: The Ghostlands.

This new place is spooky, an amazing change of pace from his peaceful village. He goes about his business and finds that he may have chosen poorly. Everyone is talking about the Lich King and Kael'Thas, acting like the year is 2007.

Quickly he notices that those quest mechanics and character models he had so loved are gone from the world and replaced with turds. He gets blisters on his feet from running circles around a central mountain because, despite having multiple quest hubs, this place only has one flight path.

He finishes this zone and goes south to Hillsbrad Foothills, where the year is 2010. Here he encounters one inside joke after another that he doesn't quite get because, again, new panda. There is no serious questline to be found, no story to draw him in. Something is going on about dwarves and this old cripple named Drek'thar that won't help the undead and is branded a traitor. He wants to follow the story but it's all just one big self-aware joke.

He stops by the Undercity, where there was some huge betrayal that he never heard about so there are orcs everywhere. The undead aren't allowed to have abominations anymore, but they are because there are abominations. He accepts it. When he gets to the Plaguelands, he finds out that the Lich King that was assaulting the Ghostlands died and nobody told him. There's a new Lich King that took over because if nobody controls the Scourge they might continue to run rampant like they were in the Ghostlands and for years before that...or something. Accept it.

As he levels, everywhere he looks: Deathwing. And the Twilight's Hammer. There is literally no other antagonist in this world. Everyone's acting like the year is 2010, but he's coming to accept that. He goes from one zone to the next until he has a decision to make: Should he go up to Winterspring, south to Silithus, or east to Blackrock Mountain?

He chooses Silithus and is shocked to see that it's now 2006. The questing is infinitely worse than even the Ghostlands and that's saying alot. The Twilight Hammer is here, but there's something different: They're completely full of suck. They don't have any of the impressive buildings and magic he's used to. Killing elementals is gaining him repuation with the Hydraxian Water Lords, a group that he doesn't recall seeing in all of his travels across the world. The questline seems to be building up to some great climax, because now these bugs are the ultimate evil. But he's not getting the experience he used to so he goes to the Dark Portal, never seeing how it turns out. But that's fine because he will never, ever see or hear from the Silithid again.

On his way out, he goes on a quick adventure through Blackrock Depths, sort of as a goodbye to Azeroth. Somehow, the dwarven queen is there. He heard talk that her husband died six years ago and she's in Ironforge with their newborn baby (how that math adds up, the world will never know). He kills her husband again and leaves for Outland.
The year is now 2007 and the quests are full of suck again. Not as bad as Silithus, but pretty bad.

Nobody knows who Deathwing is but Kael'thas is back and he has Illidan with him. Up to this point, the Panadaren has never heard that name spoken once but apparently he's a bigshot and always was. He grinds his way through awkward quest mechanics and convoluted rep gains and even meets the Warchief. For some ineplicable reason he's never heard of the Horde and all of his power and strength was sucked up until he's a giant poon. Doesn't matter, he's ready to kill both Illidan and Kael'thas.

But he never does, because it's 2008 now and time to go to Northrend. The world is better than ever. The questing mechanics aren't as good as they were in the rest of Azeroth but they're more serious and aren't jokes about the internet...whatever that is. Quickly he discovers that the Lich King must have faked his death because he's back and who is this Deathwing guy anyway?

The story is cool, imagery is cool, but by the time he's ready to kill this Lich King for being a jerk (and Malygos, the leader of the blue dragons despite his earlier discovery that Kalecgos is the leader) it's time to go to Orgrimmar and clear out some portals. There is no new continent to discover. Everyone is going crazy about Ragnaros and Deathwing and Cho'Gall and...well, somebody mentioned Azshara. He fights at the World Tree and some underwater place that ends in a cliffhanger that goes completely unresolved and the Center of the Earth!!!! Er- the Center of Azeroth. He even goes through one zone in the desert that serves as one great big Indiana Jones gag.

He had read about Uldum, that it was a place that, for years, was hyped as an epic land of mystery and awesomeness, but no. There are some cat people that don't really fit into the main story, but besides that it's Indiana Jones and...inside jokes...He notices a very strange presence of Outland creatures, but nobody thinks anything of it so he shrugs. He doesn't even bother thinking about Deathwing because he will never, ever see any of these endbosses that are hyped up.

Finally he lands in Pandaria. It's 2012 again and the story is mostly serious now. There are no villains hyped up because when he hits 90...dailies. He doesn't have time for any of these dungeons or raids and he cant make an alt because...dailies. The story is progressing to the overthrow of Garrosh, which will only make his starting zone that much more dated and non-sensical. He visits the Stormstout Brewery and drinks himself to death.

-

As Wow veterans, we really take this game for granted. We don't look at it from the perspective of a new player. No other game can get away with such a convoluted leveling experience. There is no easy solution but the experience of, well, every single new character is so ridiuclously disjointed as to lack any form of storytelling whatsoever. Anyone else notice this?
Edited by Blacktouch on 12/31/2012 6:11 PM PST
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71 Tauren Paladin
8140
Yes. It is boggling that I see Garrosh Hellscream in every other zone... In Orgrimmar he is the warchief of the Horde, as well as in all the updated old-world areas.

Then I reach Nagrand and he is standing alone and staring at a campfire. Borean Tundra, and he is sitting in Warsong Hold commanding military forces against the scourge and Alliance that we finished fighting years ago. Icecrown, he is attending the Argent Tournament with the Warchief Thrall. =S
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91 Troll Druid
9005
I read all of this. And oh my god, this is amazingly true. Just. Yes.
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100 Troll Warlock
10595
This post is excellent.

12/31/2012 03:23 PMPosted by Celayia
Just. Yes.
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90 Undead Warlock
9425
I love Wow, have been with it on more than off since before AQ. I'm used to the flaws just like everyone else. But new players aren't. They don't have the emotional attachments we do. Blizz wonders why its playerbase is down? Look at Skyrim. If you weren't already so committed to this game, why would you think of choosing this over anything like that? Could you imagine if Bethesda released a game that jumped between all of the previous games, seemingly at random, keeping the graphics and character models from the first release, and never gave you the endgame of the previous releases? Everyone would laugh them to the poorhouse.
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90 Gnome Priest
6575
12/31/2012 03:12 PMPosted by Blacktouch
As Wow veterans, we really take this game for granted. We don't look at it from the perspective of a new player. No other game can get away with such a convoluted leveling experience. There is no easy solution but the experience of, well, every single new character is so ridiuclously disjointed as to lack any form of storytelling whatsoever. Anyone else notice this?


Epic post!
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90 Pandaren Monk
6130
This post is excellent.

Just. Yes.


Indeed!
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
8315
Very good read. Thank you.
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72 Worgen Druid
1315
As much as the consensus is that that post makes a good read, it still serves as a wall of text in that those who have attention deficits (like myself) tend to gloss over them.

Are paragraphs a bit much to ask for?

I just now gave it a good look.

It is indeed a good read.

But those with ADD or ADHD are still likely to gloss over and miss that.
Edited by Kielminna on 12/31/2012 4:17 PM PST
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90 Troll Hunter
16780
Wonderful post.
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100 Pandaren Monk
11405
12/31/2012 04:13 PMPosted by Kielminna
As much as the consensus is that that post makes a good read, it still serves as a wall of text in that those who have attention deficits (like myself) tend to gloss over them.


Actually, I have a bit of an attention issue, but mainly posts like this keep me away from reading, just because it's a wall of text and overloads my senses. :(
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100 Night Elf Warrior
10100
Good post (if somewhat jaded) but for Blizz to remake every single quest in all of Azeroth/Outlands for each and every expansion AND add all new stuff would probably take 3-4 years between expansions. It would be nice though.
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90 Tauren Warrior
10785
This gets me thinking. How sweet would it be to play through the game from launch to now. With the raids included as part of the levelling experience.

Tune the old dungeons so you're only doing the cool ones. And have the player actually progress through time to hit level 90 and present patch.

They could play through the old Raid dungeons in some sort of 5 man configuration I guess. They'd have to make the old raids explain themselves and with the extra action button they could probably include a few mechanics that made the old encounters pretty easy. They could even have your time spent out in the world short and controlled and have you gain experience in the dungeons, and skills/abilities while you're out of them. Or cap you at 60 until you've cleared some noob-mode MC, AQ, BWL, and I have no idea where Naxx would fit now.

Phasing to hide most of the changes to the world and then have the game progress you through the patches as you conquer the dungeons. Saving the world like what, 5 times by the time you're in MoP? It could be some sort of fasttrack to the top.

This would be a HUUUUUUUUUUGE amount of work though. And at Blizzard levels of quality it'll never happen. Maybe in the next game..
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Yes. It is boggling that I see Garrosh Hellscream in every other zone... In Orgrimmar he is the warchief of the Horde, as well as in all the updated old-world areas.

Then I reach Nagrand and he is standing alone and staring at a campfire. Borean Tundra, and he is sitting in Warsong Hold commanding military forces against the scourge and Alliance that we finished fighting years ago. Icecrown, he is attending the Argent Tournament with the Warchief Thrall. =S


That is kind of werid though. In sense Garrosh could prank call him self over the phone....erm if we had phones in the game. But still it's odd flying one zone and bam he already at another.
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85 Night Elf Hunter
5670
I prefer the older stuff it beats the newer stuff by a damn sight, please leave northrend and outland alone...orginal 1 to 60 content is already lost forever with the horriable cata 1 to 60 link in the chain quest style redo. they should have left cata 80 to 85 content.
Edited by Hunteravalon on 12/31/2012 4:36 PM PST
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90 Draenei Shaman
5940
Had to recover from the huge crit that wall of text hit me for before I could continue..

And I realized this was indeed an excellent post.

This game could be so much more amazing, especially for new players, if the storyline was a bit easier to follow throughout questing. It's very easy to miss huge chunks of a questline and inside jokes simply because you decided to quest in x zone instead of y. I learned this the hard way :(
Edited by Lolwtfhax on 12/31/2012 4:47 PM PST
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90 Undead Warlock
12555
I started playing after BC had come out. I remember being so excited to go to this place called Molten Core as soon as I was 60. There was a ton of end game 60 stuff I wanted to explore, just to see it. Never happened until much later...

You hit the nail on the head with this post OP. The whole old world revamp did nothing but screw things up story wise in relation to BC and Wrath as far as continuity goes as you level. I was excited at first to see what's developed over the world, but now, I just feel sorry for new players walking into this mess
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62 Pandaren Shaman
10085
impressive read, I agree 100% it is hard to see it from a new players perspective if you've been playing as long as a vet. I can't really say how to fix this without doing a major overhaul of the game, tho think of it as this, I believe they keep it like that so new players can experience some of what we vets have experienced from a gameplay perspective. tho from a lore and new players standpoint it is total bonkers..
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90 Pandaren Hunter
2735
I recently started playing having avoided Wow for many years and I fully and wholeheartedly agree with the OP.

The storyline makes no sense for me at all, confusing and I am bummed that I will never see any of the "World Bosses" that my friend keeps talking about that used to be in the game......
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