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6-04-2011 @ 5:24AM
Really, I felt Hyjal was the absolute worst zone of Cataclysm, and the main reason why is that it has an absolutely AWFUL start. You're meeting a lot of major lore characters one right after another, but you're never really given a proper introduction to any of them. Contrast your first meeting with Ysera in Hyjal with your first meeting with Alextrasza in Northrend. They make a really big deal out of you going to meet with Alextrasza, having to help at the red dragonshrine before you can even meet her, and not really seeing her til the end of a rather lengthy quest chain involving the azure dragonshrine. And when you finally meet her, even the greeting is special, with her telling you how she's known you since before you were born. In comparison, you go to Hyjal and Ysera's just there. She talks to you like she's just your regular old questgiver. Malfurion too. Then there's the issue with Fandral being locked up. The thing is, if you haven't read Stormrage (or read a synopsis which would only be found outside of the game), you will have absolutely NO idea what the hell is going on. Before Cataclysm he was one of the head honchos in Darnassus, now suddenly he's locked up? While I support the books that Blizzard makes, they should be supplementary, not mandatory. They should be something you can read to get a more detailed view of events, not something that needs to be read just to know what the hell is going on. And that is my major gripe with Hyjal. A very large portion of it, especially at the beginning, goes unexplained in-game. Considering all the effort Blizzard's made towards making the game more accessible to players, I find it odd the story is less accessible than ever, and Hyjal is the best example of doing it wrong. Combined with the very lackluster finish with Ragnaros at the end of the zone, overall it just felt so much weaker than all of the other zones, especially Vashj'ir, the other starter zone (which I felt was the best zone of the expansion).I will admit that Hyjal wasn't ALL bad. I actually liked the middle of it, when I was recruiting the ancients, a good part of why is that they were actually explained. Each ancient (except Malorne) had an NPC at their shrine who would give some backstory about them when asked. They also tended to have more interesting quests than the stuff that came at the start and finish. The guy you find hanging from the hook in the cave by Goldrinn's shrine is absolutely freaking hilarious. And it was nice to see Ortell again when you infiltrate the Twilight's Hammer, though the fact that they gave him his own voice but never really had him use it seems out of place. I actually didn't enjoy the Twilight's Hammer infiltration though. It seemed really lazily done. Like, I didn't even wear a disguise, just a very flimsy name change. You'd think someone would have recognized me from the path of destruction I blazed through them on my way down the mountain. Plus the quests for that part just really didn't catch my interest, with the exception of the quest to give the valedictorian speech, which was highly amusing.That ends my really long rant about Hyjal.
6-04-2011 @ 5:28AM
One thing I forgot to add, another part of why I disliked Hyjal. Where did all the remnants of the Burning Legion invasion go? Archimonde's skeleton which used to be there prior to Cataclysm is gone (disappointing, it was such a lovely scenic touch). And where both the horde and alliance towns used to be in The Battle for Mount Hyjal, now all of a sudden there are millenia old Night Elf ruins there for the Ancient's shrines, despite us being able to clearly go into the Caverns of Time and see those ruins logically shouldn't be there. Again, it's just a detail that makes the zone feel sloppy, and contributed to my strong dislike.
6-04-2011 @ 7:54AM
6-04-2011 @ 3:34PM
In fairness, it should be pointed out that this is not your first meeting with Ysera. Granted, it's the first time you've bumped into her awake, but you should already know who she is and such, having seen her during the Northrend campaign, and already picked up on all the dragon lore there.You may or may not have bumped into Malfurion before, but it would be bizarre for the game to act like you need an introduction to quite possibly the planets most well known living legend. If there's are residents of Azeroth who don't already know all about Malfurion, it's because they're sub-sentient troggs living under rocks.Poor Fandral, though... they do give that a bit less text than they ought to.
6-05-2011 @ 2:32AM
I would argue that we've never actually met Ysera before. Sure, we SEE her in the Emerald Dragonshrine, but we don't interact with her in any way, so technically, a meeting never took place.And while you're right in that we, the player should be fully aware of who Malfurion and Ysera are, they probably shouldn't know who WE are, or at least Malfurion shouldn't considering he's been comatose.. But with the complete lack of introduction, they act like we've known each other for ages. Contrast that with other NPCs who aren't given a lot of lore importance who frequently do mention in their text how we're some faceless nobody to them until we actually complete a quest or two.Also, seriously, Ysera should have a unique dragon model by now. >_>
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