R.I.P. Azeroth

| July 13, 2008 | 10 Replies

My 63 orc rogue has just entered her last old world Azeroth zone, Silithus, having completed all but instance quests in all the other pre-TBC zones. This is part of my experiment to complete as many of the old-world quests as I could finish, short of instance and raid quests. I still may be able to finish some of the raid and instance quests, as several of my guildmates have expressed some interest in revisiting the old stomping grounds of Scholomance, Stratholme, UBRS, and the like, although so far nobody has been chomping at the bit to, say, take a whack at Onyxia or revisit Molten Core.

Entering Silithus last goes counter to my usual method of saving something good for last, but I just could never bring myself to go into Bugland until forced. It’s never been a favorite zone, for a variety of reasons: too many mobs, too many tedious “kill 20” quests that always bring unwanted adds, too little interesting loot, too much sand, too many bugs. At my current rate I may or may not hit 64 before I’ll have run out of old-world content, minus the instances.

It’s been lonely at the top.

The last several zones I have done have been pretty much deserted. I only saw one gnome in Burning Steppes, and only because he was level 42 and had come to desecrate the Horde fire during the Midsummer Festival. In Winterspring, I had the unusual experience of having the furlbog camps almost completely to myself, only encountering a single dwarf hunter who killed one and ran off. There was a little traffic around Everlook, again due to the festival, which dried up as soon as July 6th rolled around. While I saw a few high 50s in Western Plaguelands, I saw exactly three people the entire time I was in Eastern Plaguelands: a night elf who watched as Cryler and I did the Darrowshire event, a lost single-digit-level blood elf who didn’t know he could use the teleporter to leave blood elf lands and was trying in vain to run across EPL, and one human warlock ten levels below me who poked her head in one of the towers while I was flipping it and decided not to challenge me for it.

I’ve gotten some random whispers from people wondering why, in my early 60s, I’m “wasting my time” in these zones. My guildies think I’m a little nuts for remaining, when at 63 I should be finishing up with Zangermarsh and about to tackled Terrokar Forest (they understand what I am doing, and why, but they still think I’m a little touched in the head).

On the one hand, it’s quiet and peaceful, and I get all the thorium to myself.

On the other hand, it’s a little sad to see the desolation. Zones that once bustled with people, activity, calls for groups, and chatter in General are now virtual wastelands. People are only using zones up until 58, and immediately drop whatever they’re doing and hightail it to Hellfire. I can’t say I really blame them. I’ve been buying auction greens out of the AH and everything puts even the old world blues appropriate for a 60 to shame. If it wasn’t for disenchanting, I’d have no use for them either. The experience is cold-molasses slow. If it wasn’t for the high price of gatherables like thorium and mithril, the money would really suck.

Blizzard has said that the gear reset on WOTLK will not be as high. I hope not. The incredible leap in gear quality and money rewards you get right from the onset questing at 58 in Outlands are the two death knells of the high level, old world zones. If it wasn’t for an artificial reason to do as many old world quests as I could, I’d have no reason to be out here either. The quests aren’t a great deal more fun (and in the case of Silithus, a great deal less so). The scenery isn’t that much better (repeat Silithus comment here), and it’s not like the zones are laid out more conveniently or have better reputation rewards (can you tell I really, really hate Silithus?).

I fear that, by this time next year, I’ll be writing the obituary on some of the upper level zones in Outlands, unless Blizzard makes some effort to tie these two expansions together a little better. Why bother with Blades’ Edge when you can leap up to the new Northrend zones and get better loot for less effort? Perhaps in a year, I’ll be grinding away at 73 in Netherstorm and I’ll get some random /whisper, “dude why u wastin ur time in there??!?”


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  1. Bloodwin says:

    I think it really depends on what zone you know or like. I mean Stranglethorn Vale is a legend in it’s own right but people still go there because it’s what they know. It will be the same with Outland. I only have one level 70 so I may well choose a different direction after Nagrand than I did on my hunter. Also I expect people going through the second or third time might get in a level or 2 of easy quests at 70 rather than brave Northrend.

    On my various lowbie alts I often end up doing only green quests and never really having to break a sweat, so if that option is available the second time I may well hang out in Netherstorm doing the quests in the ghost town because it’s all so local and easy.

    (btw way to go on the huge post Renata I saw it and thought “oh she’s got access then” as a grin spread across my face)

  2. Jason says:

    I have to say I give you credit for sticking to the old world as long as you have. I have a 70 shaman and a half dozen or so alts that I hadn’t leveled much in the last few years. But I have gotten serious about leveling my warrior and am up to 54.

    The entire time I’ve been leveling this toon I had planned to stay in the old world until 60. But now I am seriously reconsidering that I think I’ll make the jump to Outlands at 58.

    I think part of that decision is based on the fact that there are more people around in Outlands. Sure it’s nice having mobs and nodes all to myself but at the same time it’s a bit lonely.

    I do agree that it’s sad seeing the old world wither away though. There were some quest chains that I really enjoyed the first time around that I won’t be doing now because part of it involves an instance that will be difficult to get a group for.

    I suppose at some point we have to move on because sooner or later World of Warcraft will have more and more expansions and will get so large that what we now consider the “old” world will become the obsolete world.

  3. LadiThief (Terokkar) says:

    When it comes to Silithus I can’t think of an area I hate more, but that said I am a bit of a loner at times.
    The old world is a nice quiet solitude area. A place to go and mine and gather mats and enjoy the desolate crappy atmosphere. To this end though I think Blizzard did a great job. Lots of games have used deserts and other areas that are such in real life to be dreary and we would never think of “wanting” to go there. Why should Blizzard create something different.
    So to the cause of the old world all things become obsolete but doesn’t mean they have nop use now or in the future.

  4. Tesh says:

    There’s a glut of players grinding away at endgame raids. A community needs a healthy middle class to be interesting and economically healthy. I’ve always seen the subscription model as a barrier to entry. As time goes on, and the only ones keeping the “world” of Warcraft afloat are the endgame hardcore players, this hollowness will increase. Without new blood in the game, playing through and just enjoying the journey, there will always be “ghost zones” that have lost their splendor.

  5. Mottshadur says:

    Renata, I appreciate your experience and your commitment to your “articial reason”ing. Basically, you found a new game for yourself – it’s a game I play, too. I’ve recently been doing something similar trying to get my Blood Elf priest off a frickin’ chicken and onto a raptor. As you pointed out, Darkspear Troll rep ain’t that easy to get.

    I might be in a minority here but I’m not totally excited about the storyline taking players to Northrend. Talk about Arthas and inevitably you are reminded of the Plaguelands. Zones like the Plaguelands and Silithus are wastelands ON PURPOSE. At least Winterspring is pretty to look at.

    Personally, that’s why I tend to jump to OL at 58 – because the Plaguelands and Silithus are soooo depressing (and I’ve done Winterspring plenty).

    The story for WotLK is based around Arthas which is a great story in its own right, however, when I think of Arthas’s story I can’t help but be reminded of the depressing Plaguelands.

    What if Blizzard could revitalize those zones with events? What if we could experience small “Ahn Qiraj” incursions on a random basis in Silithus? Create “barker” npc’s (similar to the Darkmoon Faire barkers that appear monthly) that are bedraggled soldiers of the Cenarion Circle begging and pleading players to help fight the Ahn Qiraj invasion. The catch is the barkers would show up randomly – 3 or 4 times annually – and attempt to rally the server into action. Create unique drops – some gear, some pets, food with unique buffs – but not to compete with the gear reset players will go through when entering Outlands.

    Another idea is to make the Plaguelands (at least one of the PL zones) more world PvP similar to the mines in Alterac Valley. The Scourge is the default (and keeps retaking the zone), but as players take areas (Plaguewood for example), Argent Dawn npc’s come in to “replace” the Scourge npc’s.

    Finally, if you take a close look at maps of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, you’ll notice there are zones defined that players can’t even get into yet. Gilneas is the zone directly south of Silverpine but is gated off by the Greymane Wall. What’s been going on behind that wall for the past few years? And what the heck are we supposed to do with those Platinum Discs from Uldum?

    There are still many opportunities to revitalize Azeroth proper and I hope Blizzard takes advantage. At least I’m not the only one curious to see what’s in there. 🙂

    Just one thought to bringing some interest back to those areas.

  6. knux says:

    Just wanted to say NEW EPISODE! It’s over here http://media.libsyn.com/media/worldofwarcast/WorldOfWarcastEpisode67.mp3

    Hopefully they get a story posted soon ^_^

  7. NobodyNParticular says:

    We’ve been missing you on the Alliance side. Please hurry up and ding 70. I leveled most of the way to 60 playing in WPL and EPL. Still have not done Scholo or Strat. At 68 now and still want to go back and do old world instances because someone did a lot of work and I want to see what they did. I still have fond memories of my second time in an instance, Deadmines. My first instance was accidentally running into Gnomer thinking a 20 level party should be able to run it. I didn’t understand pets don’t jump and we wiped with hundreds of troggs following my bear to the party.

  8. hordex says:

    I love that they are bringing naxx bak in the expansion. being someone who missed old world raiding coming in at the relaease of tbc .It looks like alot of fun.

  9. Keenshotz says:

    i saw some beta stuff, and nax isnt going to be an instance, its gonna be a big building to lvl death knights, with all of your favorite bosses as the quest givers. i cant wait ^.^

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