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8-12-2008 @ 8:31PM
I'm not sure I agree with their methods, but I can sympathize with Blizzard's (presumed) motivation on this. The implementation of Shattrath as hub city for BC was always sort of at odds with the storyline. As questing/exporation would have it, the player steps through the Dark Portal and makes her way through a war zone to discover a strange new land... and once several pieces of the Outland story had fallen into place, she'd be invited to join the Naaru in the expansion's defining struggle (and hang out at their home base). What actually happened, once players found out how useful Shattrath City is, was that everyone skipped over the "discovery" part of the story by running to Shatt as soon as they got to Outland and then skipped back to level through Hellfire quests. It looks like the story and zone structure of Northrend is much the same: early exploration and discovery, and just as soon as you start to get familiar with the place, you realize how big a war you're getting involved in... and that there's somebody offering a well-equipped base to run that effort from.Visiting zones and doing their quests in the "right" order makes for a more cohesive story, but with these hub cities situated in the middle of their expansions' leveling ladder, we're stuck with a tradeoff between coolness of story and convenience of gameplay mechanics.
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