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3-07-2012 @ 5:40PM
I disagree with Ghostcrawler in part regarding the 80-85 Cataclysm zones. I don't think scattering them all over the continents was a bad idea at all. I do agree that creating a portal hub to all of them WAS a bad idea. Players should have had to travel there - flight path, cinematic, ground mount, caravan - whatever - but it's that portal hub that led to them feeling disjointed and disconnected from the rest of the world. It's the portal hub that ruined the feeling of exploration and wonderment.
3-08-2012 @ 12:39AM
I agree that the integration of the new zones throughout the existing world was nicely done. I'm not sure why the concept of "getting out in the world" seems to be defined as having to create a separate continent or world apart from the rest of current content.I do think the portals are a nice convenience, and I wouldn't want to give them up. However, there were multiple travel options to some of the new zones (Hyjal, Twilight Highlands, & Uldum) because they were situated next to existing Vanilla zones. That helped these Cata zones feel like part of a larger world and story for me. Perhaps, as Caz suggested, more travel options. (I still occasionally take the Deeprun Tram between Stormwind and Ironforge if I'm in the Dwarven District, just because it's something different to do, especially a way to break up the dailies during Love is in the Air.Unfortunately, Deepholm and Vashj'ir, as beautiful and unique as these zones are, are either only accessed via portal (the former), or just seemed perceptually too far away, even by flight (the latter). No ships? No mini-tears in other parts of the world caused by Deathwing breaking out of Deepholm? It made these experiences less desirable places to revisit after the first toon, reinforced by linear questing which prevents one from picking and choosing content. It's a big deterrent to revisit these zones on alts if you have to quest the entire zone.Even Wintergrasp was more interesting, for me, than Tol Barad (game mechanics aside!), because it was part of the map, not a disconnected island zone only accessed by portal.If Blizzard solves the linear questing issue with better balance between choice and linear stories, and thinks hard about where other endgame content is located (the Molten Front in Hyjal made Hyjal mandatory for character progression, rather than, say Vashj'ir), then the distributed geography of new zones might have been much less of an issue.
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