Oh The Questing Of Old

Quest

Ah the questing of the good old days. Well, ok, not entirely. If you’re playing in Wrath or older, that means you’re questing in Vanilla. And if you’re playing Classic WoW then of course you’re doing it also. Some of the quests are enjoyable (as I eluded to before and will bring up again later), and let’s face it a number of them are simply “Kill X of Y.” And then there’s other quests. Like class quests for example.

Now yes, I will get out of the way right now you are under no obligation to do any quest in particular (unless the loot entices you), I feel a desire to complete the class ones just to see the stories through and feel like I’m doing my characters a proper service. That said, it doesn’t mean they’re easy. Take this quest for example. At level 12 you receive the quest which will lead you to a great 2H Mace: Redemption.

Obviously good things are worth putting in the effort. But the quest for this lovely item starts outside the gates of Ironforge (as a dwarf). Subsequently you’re going to head off to find four items. No biggie. Except as you can see in the picture, there’s a bit more involved than that. Four stops: Thelsamar, Deadmines, Shadowfang Keep, and Blackfathom Deeps. As Alliance, you’re riding from Arathi Basin or possibly Southshore depending on how far north you’ve rode. You also have three instances to get into.

While it’s nice getting the quest at 12, you’re not completing it until you’re in your 20’s or higher. Me, I didn’t run and dungeons at level and as such didn’t complete it until about 40. Nice thing is, the mace is still solid at that level. Unless you’re a Prot Pally like yours truly.

Still, it’s not about the reward in this case. I did enjoy the mild story and the idea of someone building a weapon specifically for me (even if I couldn’t use it). But I forgot about the quests of old and the traveling involved. Some are worth doing, and others (an elf in Darnassus wanted me to go to the Hinterlands) can be passed on. And yet, I find I like it more than questing the original zones post-Wrath. Doing the traveling and completing the quests feels appropriate to your level, rather than going into a zone and jumping on a storyline that you out-level before it culminates.

Real Virus Harkens Back To Virtual One

The untold truth of World of WarcraftSports organizations throughout North America are suspending activities indefinitely, in an effort to curb the spreading of the COVID-19 virus. Officials in China, Italy, and more are shutting down amid what the World Health Organization has classified as a pandemic.  Here in Canada we’ve not been strongly affected. Yet. I recognize it’s coming and I work front line when it comes to germ control and contamination. Today isn’t about the real plague we’re dealing with, but instead one that most players probably were not even around for.

The day was September 13th, 2005. Blizzard rolled out a fresh new patch, which included the Zul’Gurub raid instance.  Obviously players and guilds were anxious to get in there and take on the denizens inside, including the final boss: Hakkar the Soulflayer. Now the raid itself was pretty straightforward with fights and challenges, but the end boss had one little difference. During the fight he would cast Corrupted Blood on players. The spell healed Hakkar but was also hit-point draining and incredibly contagious for players.  It made for a tough fight. Even pets and minions could be infected.

And that’s where the problem started.

One ever so tiny oversight nearly shut down the game. You see, if Warlocks or Hunters dismissed their pets and re-summoned them, they would still be infected.  Low level characters didn’t stand a chance. And players certainly would summon their pet or minion innocently enough, only for the Corrupted Blood to latch onto those lower level toons and literally wiping them out. Cities, like Orgrimmar above, suddenly looked like skeletal genocide. Eventually, among the three servers most affected, the cities were empty ghost towns. People were getting their characters out of them as fast as they could. The saving grace was if you died, the debuff vanished. But again, if you were in town and went back to your body, well rinse and repeat essentially. However, once in the outer areas it wouldn’t spread faster than the players were dying.

As you might expect, the reactions varied. Many players felt it was a fantastic world event. There were lowbies who couldn’t do much but would help players get out of the city to a safer location. High level healers would offer their services (much like we did when the Wrath pre-event launched). And of course, you would have the Rudy Goberts, sorry I meant idiots, who made a point of trying to spread the disease.

In the end, it took several hard resets and some quick fixes to deal with the issue. The developers switched the mechanics so that pets and minions could no longer be affected by the Corrupted Blood debuff. As a result, on October 5th, 2005 (about three weeks later), the plague was over.

Two years later, a number of medical institutes talked scientifically about the plague, and compared it to what a worldwide epidemic would be like. It was compared to biological illnesses, and more importantly than anything it showed how hosts would behave – something all the theoretical studies in the world couldn’t accurately replicate. 15 years later, we’re dealing with the real thing. However it doesn’t endanger everyone necessarily. It spreads through whomever it seems to decide to, while being a risk to those with low immune systems and the elderly. Who knows, maybe some of the research from Corrupted Blood will help in some way as the world deals with the coronavirus.

 

“Will Vanilla Bring You Back?”

“Will you come back for Vanilla?”

That was the question posed to me over the weekend from a good friend, and one I met through Azeroth in the first place. Magik and I met purely out of happenstance. The Mrs. and I were putting our guild together and we needed the charter signed. So I approached a fellow elf in Darnassus and they said yes. It was one of his alts, but it kicked off a friendship that remains to this day.

So when he asked me out of the blue if I was going to return now that Blizzard took things back to basics…boy was it hard to say no. I miss the things we used to do, even if it started during Burning Crusade. It was because of him I made that much talked about swim from Theramore Isle to Tanaris. And when he figured out what I was doing, he laughed his ass off. We did that a lot with one another. But alas, I’m reminiscing and not really answering the question.

In all truthfulness, the core of WoW is incredibly appealing. Back when we had talent trees, and level 40 mounts, and Azeroth felt huge. Mostly because it was. You had a pittance of the flight paths you have now, you walked until you were 40, and you never had the option of hopping on a flying mount. Quests dragged you all over hell’s half acre and beyond. From corner to corner, just to attune for dungeons. And I loved it.

You had to invest in the game, and it felt encompassing. Servers were unique. Horde and Alliance were unique. So on and so on. So if that’s the case, why am I saying no? Well, for starters, the number of players in our household is part of the impact. For three people to have memberships, we’re looking at 60 dollars a month (CDN) roughly. Even if you put current WoW and classic WoW together, you’re never going to convince me to spend 700 dollars a year on it. I know I could save money by committing to longer subscriptions, but it still doesn’t feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. And if the inquiry of a good friend doesn’t pull me in, I don’t know what will.

And if I did go back, I would be doing the same thing I am now on a private server. That is to say I would bounce around doing quests and raids and getting transmog gear. But I would be doing it solo. I’m not someone who can commit to a guild because I can’t guarantee when I’ll be on. Raiding was never high on my list of things to do, and going back to the oldschool level of commitment isn’t fair to the guild that would accept me anyway.

Maybe things will change over time. Vanilla is the new hotness on the block, and we’ve got BlizzCon right around the corner where I suspect the company will announce at least one thing that pulls me right in. And maybe more of my friends will group together and try to gang up on me to come back. After all, I’ve lamented it was the people I miss more than the game itself.