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WoW and World Changes

Last time, I discussed how WoW’s world was static, but this time, I want to talk a little about the server and subscription model.

And how that makes changes that you can’t go back on.

Specifically, some of my favorite areas in the game, beautiful, tranquil places, were wrecked as the story progressed. (Blizzard sure does enjoy doing that!)

First to go was Azshara. Sure, it was a neglected zone in the original release, with only a little interest added via a few quest lines and a world raid boss. But it was quiet, pretty, and a nice place to just hang out and chill.

I liked it. It felt peaceful, and it was a place to escape from the rest of the conflict, but still be in game. Maybe just fish in the bay a while, or farm some Felcloth. And since it was so rare anyone was there, the general chat was quiet, too. The exact opposite of The Barrens (ah, I’m showing my general Horde preference here.)

Then Cataclysm came out. Yes, they revamped all the zones, and I have complaints about some of the others (eww, Stonetalon), but this one hurt. I mean, really, really hurt.

The goblins, which I wasn’t all that excited to have join the Horde in the first place, polluted and wrecked the place. And there was no going back — well, not until Classic launched. Except, again, unless you want JUST the vanilla experience, it’s progressed forward through Cataclysm now, so you can’t go there with a Wrath-era character anymore and still see the then-version of the zone.

The problem is, for me, that people who want to take the story in another direction can completely wreck your favorite parts of the game, and there’s no recourse. You can’t even revert to an earlier save, so to speak.

Then they did it again in Pandaria (which, BTW, might be my favorite expansion storywise/visually). The Vale of Eternal Blossoms is gorgeous, and quiet at the start of the expansion. There’s even a quest, before you get there, which moves the camera through the Vale, teasing you with its idyllic beauty.

Then the last Sha is released, the whole Garrosh-infected-by-Sha-and-is-the-final-boss crap unfolds, and the Vale is overrun.

They had the ability to do terrain phasing, and they could’ve left the original version in that “here’s a preview of where you’re going”, and maybe even let you have a quest line unlocking the wrecked version. I totally would’ve kept some characters pinned to the beautiful version!

But, no, the geometry changed for everyone all at once, but that “preview” vision quest still kept its “oh beautiful dream” text, whatever it was at the time. Oh, man. That was such a disappointment when I was leveling a character after that change.

It was one of the reasons I was getting pretty disillusioned with WoW toward the end of Mists of Pandaria. They kept wrecking the places I liked most in-game!

(Incidentally, the very first version of this was minor. The beta version of weather in Stranglethorn Veil was so misty and so loud that it really felt like a tropical rain, and it was amazing. They toned it down before release, which was disappointing.)


It’s a minor nit, but it’s one of the things in the back of my mind as I think about My Project.

Published inVideo GamesWorld of Warcraft