Streamlined Questing: The New Darkshore

24 11 2010

While I was leveling my new spacegoat Shaman yesterday, I popped over to Darkshore instead of doing Bloodmyst to start experiencing the new post-shattering questing world. First experience: it’s great. After some time and some pondering, I noticed a few significant changes to the way questing was set up.

Kill ten of that, find me this, rescue those guys, discover that and then come back

In BC and Wrath, and especially in vanilla content, leveling was often a matter of collecting all the quests from a hub and going out to complete them. This is still the foundation of questing (at least, based on my Darkshore experience), but there’s more to it. I arrived in Lor’danel somewhat disappointed to only see two available quests for my level 10 Shaman. Assuming that there was more than met the eye, I took my quests and wandered off to kill things and save people.

I did a few quests (all of which were pretty much adjacent to the town/questgiver) and returned to the town. On the second set of quests which sent me into a cave, I at first was annoyed. Typically cave quests mean you have to kill far more of a mob than usual to get to the desired named mob/item in a quest. This time, however, there were two extra quests found in the cave, and these also played into the storyline of the zone! I was pleasantly surprised.

This trend continues into the rest of the early parts of the zone. Questing is much more streamlined and organic. There has been no point so far where I have been starved for quests. I have always been on my way somewhere, finding quests as I go. Also, named mobs appear as a skull on the minimap. This makes me very happy.

Story, story, story

Another thing that strikes me as excellent about the new questing is that the quests are very focused. Something is going on in the zone, and the quests go beyond “we are being attacked by x, kill them.” I won’t give away what the story is, but suffice it to say that the quests really tie in well to a story and while there might not be any significant phasing going on, you feel pretty involved with what is happening. Also, there are elementals attacking the city. (Will they be attacking the city for the next two years/until the next expansion comes out?)

Tangent, tangent, tangent

Speaking of story, a guildie who saw a burning tree asked in gchat yesterday: “So will this tree be burning for the next two years?” I answered probably. I hope that I’m wrong, however. A Cataclysm occurred, yes, but I think it’s important to keep the story moving as much as possible, and this should involve more than the introduction of new raids. Citizens of Stormwind should slowly rebuild the broken sections, cities under siege should be calling for reinforcements or fall to the attacks, etc.

So please, Blizzard, let us rebuild, or make us fall; just continue the story! (They have demonstrated the ability to do this without too much interruption: see the way the elemental invasion unfolded without major patch downloads between stages.)

A taste of what's to come