Apr 2nd 2012 6:35PM You know, that dance wasn't as safe as they said it was!
Apr 2nd 2012 7:11AM I play both factions too. My first character was a Tauren and my second was a Dwarf, and now my mains are a Blood Elf, a Gnome, a Human and my trusty old Tauren. I have played both factions loyally since Vanilla Beta, so I'm also "old" enough to remember that the Horde Vanilla experiences seemed richer because Kalimdor was the first continent to be designed & implemented -- Blizzard was just so excited about the New Horde & Night Elves, and who could blame them? These were cool new ideas! But it also meant that the Eastern Kingdoms (and therefore the Alliance & the Forsaken) benefited from what Blizzard learned during the Kalimdor-creation process. As a result, through most of Vanilla, the majority of my Horde alts were Forsaken because it was simply a richer experience.
But the fact is that in Cata, Blizzard got lazy with the Alliance. We're talking "Draenei-ever-since-Burning-Crusade" lazy. They even admitted as much with the Worgen opening experience -- they "ran out of time" and just threw in a half-assed conclusion that didn't really make sense and left nearly every player scratching their heads and saying "Uh, what?". But that's kind of par for the course in Cata -- from the endless parade of Alliance pop-culture parodies (thrown in to substitute for lack of characterization & plot), to the fact that the Alliance leaders do pretty much nothing (while the Horde leaders actually leave their cities), to the fact that the sole substantial Alliance victory (Dustwallow Marsh) is un-phased as soon as Alliance players turn in the final quest, to the colossal middle finger that is the Alliance's Twilight Highlands experience, it's pretty clear that Blizzard didn't really care about the Alliance this time around. They had some really neat stories they wanted to tell in-game about Thrall & Garrosh & Sylvanas & Vol'jin & etc., and so that's what they put their effort into. They didn't even bother to write & implement their own Alliance lore in-game, farming it all out to out-of-game authors.
I play and love both factions, but I'd be lying if I said I thought Blizzard made both sides stories rich and full this time around. They had the material, they had the potential, but they just couldn't muster the effort when it came to the Alliance, and as a result the Alliance side of the game is now a bunch of "Coulda-Beens" and "Also-Rans".
I've only leveled two new Alliance alts from 1-60 and those only for completionism's sake (and one of them I finally just started leveling through dungeons). Meanwhile my 8 Horde alts are heading for 80!
Apr 2nd 2012 6:10AM "Twilight Highlands features a different intro, but both chains ultimately lead to the same thing, albeit with different companions along the way."
Wow! Really? So the powerful story of Twilight Highlands for Horde players ALSO culminates in throwing an underwhelming wedding for some cultural stereotypes? I never noticed that...
Mar 24th 2012 12:01AM Varian needs to die, and Joanna Blueheart needs to marry Anduin. She can become the new Queen and he can become the new Archbishop.
Mar 23rd 2012 7:33AM Also:
Mar 23rd 2012 7:16AM I'm with you there, Twowolves. I'm a super-casual player and I still managed to burn through the Cata in-the-box 80-85 content in under two months. It's the first time I've ever seriously considered un-subscribing -- not because i was pissed off (although 2/3 of Uldum are *literally* a joke, and the whole Twilight Highlands experience as Alliance is pretty miserable) but because I was left with a "That's it?" feeling.
I'm hoping all the other fun elements we're reading about will help the meager 5 levels of this expansion feel much richer!
Mar 21st 2012 6:29PM Further "Cata" fails:
1) The Horde openly commits atrocities against Druids/Cenarion Circle (Stonetalon Peak, anyone?); the Horde also openly slaughters Night Elf civilians, conquers their lands & desecrates their sacred forests. Meanwhile, the Cenarion Circle becomes a huge part of the story and a major faction. Neither side even acknowledges what the Horde has done. No grumbling, no sense of distrust, no promises of future reckonings. Nothing.
2) Malfurion is co-regent of Darnassus (status 1) & co-regent of the Cenarion Circle (status 2). Despite status 1, in his capacity as status 2 he's happy to work with the same people who are slaughtering his people, conquering his lands & desecrating his sacred forest all while butchering his fellow druids.
3) Malfurion shows up at Thrall & Aggra's wedding. He brings Tyrande in tow. Neither mentions what Thrall's people, led by the successor Thrall personally chose, are doing to the Night Elves. Ysera, guardian of the Emerald Dream & patroness of druids & Night Elves, also attends but says nothing about what Thrall's people & chosen successor have done to the natural world or her followers. The hero (us), who has also witnessed/participated in many of the Horde atrocities, also smiles politely and twiddles his thumbs.
4) The Zul rehashes, while fun, ended abruptly and without explanation. Despite the lead-up machinima, the arrival of Troll emissaries in the two capitals, and the intro quests, there's not even so much as a "I'll get you next time, Gadget! NEXT TIME!" once you finish the quests. Many players wound up convinced that those two dungeons were the entire Zandalari effort to reunite the tribes & reconquer the world; it's hard to blame those players, since Blizzard didn't really put anything into the game to indicate otherwise.
5) Blizzard touted the epic-yielding quality of Archaeology, but included only epic items which were outdated by the time of the first major content patch, and which were entirely dependent on the RNG; no further items of any quality were added throughout the expansion.
Chime in with your own!
Mar 20th 2012 6:11PM "Just because it is content that you don't value, doesn't mean that it isn't valuable to many other players out there."
I didn't say I didn't value it. In fact, if you read what i ACTUALLY SAID, I said i thought it was "frequently amazing." I LOVED much of the 1-60 update.
And yes, we got those pre-expansion content updates for BC & Wrath, but we also got far more content in the expansions proper than we did for "Cataclysm". The talent updates and Inscription weren't the centerpieces of BC or Wrath; they weren't the bulk of the expansions. They were fun additional add-ons made to improve the quality of game-life for everyone. This past expansion had less expansion content (as well as more half-assed things).
And as noted above, Nozdormu and the Lifebinder both reappear without explanation in the game. The game we paid for. THE GAME WE PAY FOR EVERY MONTH. It really doesn't seem like we should be forced to buy extraneous media just to find out what's going on in the game we're paying for.
Mar 20th 2012 4:41AM (To be fair, i should mention that I was one of the few fans of the Argent Tournament... So my tolerance for poorly-thought-out content is pretty dang high!)