Battle For Azeroth Blood Lust Fades Quickly

When World of Warcraft's seventh expansion pack went live this week, Blizzard's dramatic pre-launch events had whipped me into an anti-Horde frenzy. Three days later, I just want to hang with these snake critters. War's over, everybody go home.

My first few hours with the expansion were filled with the same story-based, single-player questing I've come to expect from new World of Warcraft content.

I cleared out my quest log, headed into the new Alliance area, Kul Tiras and immediately began filling my quest log again. That's fine. I needed to unlock the war story missions in order to escalate my battle against the Horde.

Once players complete an ongoing quest to gather 100 war resources, found in caches scattered across the new areas or given as quest rewards, they can unlock three new multiple choice places to quest. This is enemy territory, where players flagged for player-versus-player combat can have their way with each other. Players help the Alliance establish a base of operations during a special opening event and then it's war.

Vol'Dun shall be ours!

Only it's not really war, it's another series of branching quests. From Shatterstone Harbour, seen below, Murlock the gnome Warlock is sent on a quest to find a guy in the wilderness. Then she has to kill lizards and pick plants to create an antidote for poison. It's the same old, only now there are some Horde folks wandering around and if I wanted to let them kill me I could.

Ignore my hotbar, its a mess.

While the main story quests make extensive use of voice acting for even the most incidental dialogue, the war story stuff is largely voiceless. So I can hang with my snakey new friends, but when they decide to perform an extended cloaca monologue (maybe don't look that up) while giving me a tour of their temple, I have to read their words instead of basking in their sweet sibilance.

It's not that I'm not having a good time in Battle for Azeroth. I am enjoying the new quest lines well enough. I still get a kick out of the goofy pop culture references Blizzard crams into every corner of the game. And I do love being so powerful as a Warlock than I often forget to set my pet to assist, letting it sniff flowers while I take care of enemies by myself.

Honey Bear and his friends Piglet, Tiger and Melancholic Mule.

I'm just not really too concerned about the war bits right now. Murlock just freed a region of Kul Tiras from Nearly-Cthulhu. There are some Bristleback boar critters causing trouble. And she's just ferried up to what everyone tells me is the toughest of the three new main story zones. She's got a lot on her plate.

What I am trying to say is, I've got more important things to do right now than worry about the Horde. The call-to-arms was great, but man those arms get tired fast.

Wheeeeeeee!

Comments

    From what I've heard the horde leveling experience is significantly better in both quest design and story which makes it unfortunate that the pre-expansion videos are driving people to the alliance.

      well that's interesting because i heard the opposite. Horde is dull-er.. but its the 7th expansion, technically its the same ol shit 7th time now... we all know the actual action doesnt happen until 120... just head down, skip dialogues and lvl.

        Skip dialogues?

        Nah. I'd rather enjoy the little side stories as well as the main quest. It doesn't take that long to get to 120. I've got one toon there already and I was often side-tracked by exploring, fishing, archaeology, achievements, etc!

        I don't know that I'd call the Horde leveling experience dull but it is frustrating because so many areas are vertical. So it's a pain in the arse to get to where you need to go. And yeah, it's hard to make something fresh when it's been going for so many years.

        I do kinda want to boost a character on the alliance side to check out their quests too and see what the experience is like from that side.

        And Mike Fahey - where are your addons! ZOMG! Get Bartender and Shadowed Unit Frames and make a nice UI :P Or be lazy and just use Elv UI.

      Man. That feels really hard to believe. I played Alpha and Beta quest content, Horde-only, and I was so fucking bored I gave up well and truly before launch. I've never liked the Troll's whole Aztek-Jamaican-voodoo aesthetic (also, seriously, how hard would it be to hire actually Jamaican voice actors?), and the major city was just an enormous pain in the ass to navigate with massive stretches of boring, unpopulated nothingness, to create this false sense of grandeur. I was sick of fighting Trolls in swamps when we did it in MoP, so I was even less enthusiastic about re-visiting that. The one, single redeeming virtue was the cute ferret/fox-people. And frankly, even that was a little boring, going through and being introduced to them just like every other NPC race in the last ten years... I can't imagine that the Alliance side of things could possibly be less interesting than what I gave up on.

        I did the alliance levelling and found it borrrrrrrring. Can honestly say this was the most boring levelling experience I've ever had (close to Cata/Pandaria).

        In saying that I'm getting back into the swing of things with the end game content. But MAN.. talk about generic as F questing. The amusing thing is people are defending it saying "OMG ITS THE BEST LEVELLING EXPERIENCE EVER". I get blind fanboism, but come on people....

        Just hoping that World of Diablo is one of the Diablo annoucements. Cos we need something fresh.

          I wonder whether the people who are stoked about levelling are the ones with warmode turned on and PVPing more?

          As for World of Diablo... only if they continue to make regular Diablo games too. I'm still pissed that once they did WoW we didn't get anymore Warcraft strategy games (and no the Starcraft series doesn't count!)

            Totally. WarCraft 3 was so great but then they just left it. Good god why? It was so great!

            I had warmode turned on and didn't mind the leveling.

              I haven't turned off war mode. Mind you the second time I levelled up a 120, it was a bit more enjoyable as I was more aware of how huge each chapter / area was.

                Oh man some of those story chapters feel like they go on forever. I will definitely not lvl another character though. 1 rogue is enough for me. Warmode for life!

          Playing with warmode turned on certainly adds another layer to questing.

        Just from watching Preach's beta coverage he was saying that the horde leveling was closely related to the expansions story and dealt with mature themes with some creative quest design. Whereas the alliance leveling tended to focus on the individual zones problems which felt insignificant compared to what is going on in the expansion and also relied heavily on fetch x quests. But i guess for a lot of people they don't really pay attention to the story. I havn't played wow much since wrath but the zones art style always had the most impact on my enjoyment.

      i don't think either side is significantly better tbh. I mean on one side you're dealing with troll politics and on other side you're dealing with the internal problems of Kul Tiras. Plus this is the 7th expansion, you know by now 99% of the WoW questing basically boils down to go X do Y while killing Z amount mobs.

      the one plus side is the Jania storyline on the Alliance side, it has a very cool lvl 120 quest chain with some WC3 call backs and a strong cinematic finish

    I've been playing WoW since vanilla days and I think this is the least I've enjoyed an expansion so far. All in all I think Legion was a great expansion, even though I got sick of seeing brown, black and green demomic lands in the extra zones that they added over the 2 years, but the initial levelling experience was great, as were the dungeons. There is something really flat about BFA. Though perhaps I've just hit the wall with WoW.

      I came back for WoD then skipped legion and considered coming back for BFA after i heard how good legion was. Clearly i know how to pick the good expansions.

        I think long breaks help. I took a long break at the end of Cata and came back part way thru MoP (just before Throne of Thunder) and an even longer break at the end of WoD (came back just before Antorus). I've enjoyed the game more after that, though I still find it has a lot of frustrations that stem from decisions the game designers have made about talents, and class abilities.

        I'm honestly not sure how long I'll keep playing this time. Whether I'll see out BFA or call it quits again, but I'm enjoying it at the moment.

    Only problem I've got so far is the way they lock the story behind mystic dungeon requirements, can't wait for a dungeon run through auto, stupid idea for an actual story requirement.

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