Saturday, February 7, 2015

Still impressed

I am still levelling up through the new content in Warlords of Draenor.  I am pleased with the way things have been going and I continue to believe that this is the best WOW expansion pack so far.  Whether or not there will be a raid to rival Ulduar (best raid ever, imho) I am not in a position to evaluate yet, but it is clear that the rest of the things are great fun, and the subscriber numbers appear to show that other people agree with me.

One thing I have been thinking about a lot is the way that quests are integrated with the map now.  Instead of having the text "Go southwest towards the forest to find Uragg" you now are told "Go find Uragg" and your map has Uragg's location highlighted.  In some ways it takes away from the exploration element because instead of wandering about trying to find something you just go straight to the goal.  On the other hand it gets away from the issue of quests with extremely vague instructions being really frustrating.  I remember times gone by when I would curse at the game because "Go a little ways southwest" meant "Go across the entire zone, around a mountain range, almost exactly south."

Filling quest text with a long and detailed description of how to get to a place is a little bit silly when presumably your character has a map of the world and the person asking you to do a thing could just, you know, point to a spot on the map to be helpful.  Sometimes this does lead to just following the map icons and ignoring the scenery but it does avoid the frustration of hours spent grinding mobs uselessly because they are in the wrong camp and you had no good way to tell.

So while it does feel kind of like cheating to have the map light up with the locations I need to visit I think that is a reasonable tradeoff.  The WOW devs have done a good job giving other reasons to wander and explore and I like this new system overall much better.  I don't *need* to go climbing mountains trying to figure out how to get to that random boss monster but I am obviously going to!  Also the additions of random quests that are accessed just by showing up, and boxes, crates, and other random containers scattered about with good stuff inside are decent incentives.  While of course I could explore just for funzies it is much more enjoyable when there are specific things I am trying to get to and it is great that so many of them are in very hard to reach places.  Nobody has to get to those places but we want to get there and that is the right way to have it.

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