When Cataclysm came out, I made sure to hit up every zone. Tumunzahar went through Vashj’ir and even as a Holy Priest it was enjoyable. I quite liked the quests and the lore of the zone. Granted, it took much longer to do anything until you got your swimming boost, but it wasn’t all bad. At least not as bad as everyone made it seem to be.
At least not the first time.
I’ve taken several toons through the Cataclysm content since then and always went to Hyjal simply because of how quick and easy the zone is. It’s more familiarity than anything else. So when the Death Knight recently hit 80 I decided to shake things up a bit and head back under the sea. What a terrible idea that was.
Now, as you might expect, there wasn’t another soul in sight. I’m used to that at lower levels, so no biggie. Got my quests and off I went swimming. And swimming. And swimming. It was painful. So much so that I managed to hand in one quest (despite being in the process of completing several more) and then hearthed back to Orgrimmar. Because damn.
It then reminded me of what I mentioned earlier, and that’s that most people hate the zone and avoid it like the plague. It got me thinking about all the zones in the game now, and there are plenty of them. Is there any other one that comes even close to Vashj’ir in terms of disdain? I mean, for me Hellfire Penninsula was revolting because of all the damn boars everywhere and the grief that caused me over time. But that’s peanuts compared to trying to go through Sea World. I know some might mention Lost Isles but even that’s limited to Goblins only.
The thing with Vashj’ir is that in principle it was a fantastic idea. I think what separates it from everything else is the 3D movement and combat. It’s one thing to do it in the air, such as we are used to courtesy of the Oculus and other such events. But in the water folks can get confused. And really, we were in the water for a lot longer than a few minutes in a raid. Not to mention, you were hardly ever on the ground. Interacting with mobs and NPC’s was tricky as a result…and they weren’t always easy to find because the zone was huge in terms of both depth and sprawling.
It’s too bad, because lore wise it’s definitely one of the best zones in the game…even if some of the stories were left unfinished. It leads me to hope we get some sort of follow up down the road. And I think Blizzard could learn a lot from the zone and make a lot of great improvements that would lead to people enjoying the environment more. In the mean time I think Vashj’ir will continue to be the zone that is the most devoid of players.