Friday, 5 November 2010

Where will you be when the Cataclysm hits?

Keeva of Tree Bark Jacket had an interesting post recently about completing achievements before the xpac (Screw Bucket Lists), or rather, about not completing achievements:
'’s almost as though I want to leave these things half finished, as a reminder that the Sundering hit us without warning. My character isn’t privy to “patch notes” and announcements. She is going about her business, returned from Icecrown Citadel, having killed the Lich King. She is just a citizen now, a returned hero, enjoying some well-earned rest. She wonders what the mysterious rumblings are when she visits Orgrimmar, but doesn’t suspect anything dire on the horizon.'
I've always been pretty PVE focussed and haven't really delved into the RP world within WoW, but I do love all the lore and stories behind all the things in WoW. I didn't know much about raiding when I first began playing, I thought the game mostly revolved around quests, so I had a lot of fun with them as I levelled up. It's fun to see the stories and adventures you come across, and I enjoy thinking about what the stories are behind my characters, what their motivations are and how they would react to the world and challenges around them. There's a tremendous (and almost surprising) amount of depth in WoW - everywhere you turn there's history, from the actual books scattered around towns and cities to the NPCs themselves and what they do. It can be great fun to immerse yourself in the quests and zones.

There are some really memorable storylines within quests - many who levelled Night Elves in Darkshore will remember the questline For Love Eternal, telling the sad story of a loved one lost in the battles at the Well of Eternity. I remember how creepy Duskwood was the first time I levelled there, and the horror upon completing the Stitches questline at what I had released on Darkshire (though I'm bemused that after that first horrible deception by a questgiver that none of my toons ever learned to be less trusting when helping strangers). The Spectral Essence, which allows communication with the spirits on Caer Darrow gives a glimpse into the history around Scholomance, is a great item. The Lady's Necklace remains another favourite questline of mine, and why my Music Box is one of my favourite mementos. The quest to help save Crusader Bridenbrad is a wonderful questline (along with many in Icecrown and Storm Peaks) which gives so much more depth to everything in the zone. There are many hidden little spots around the game as well which can be a joy to explore, let alone some of the amazing art and architecture which make up the zones.

Reading Keeva's post got me thinking about just where my toons will be and what they'll be doing when the Shattering occurs. While there's some achievements I'd still like to wrap up (and even just getting the Tripping the Rifts achievement) and preparations for Cata, most of my toons are, like Keeva, returning to the Old World having fought in Icecrown Citadel and brought an end to the Lich King. Already (to avoid patch-time lag) many of my toons now have their hearths in Darnassus, my favourite of the home cities. I imagine most would end up there, returning home after the trials faced in Northrend, perhaps sharing stories of their adventures with Tyrande and the residents of Darnassus, with no idea of the events to come.

Where will you and your toons be when the Shattering occurs? Will they be caught off guard, shocked as the land is ripped apart? Or have they taken the word of the Cultists invading the cities and are expecting the world to be engulfed in flames? Or have they not paid attention to any of the ominous signs, ignoring the earthquakes and elementals as they reflect upon their adventures in Icecrown and Ulduar?


Keeva said...

I think I'm a bit of an RPer at heart!

Some of the questlines are just so memorable.. especially the sad ones. I had intended to "prepare" for Cataclysm.. but it started to feel wrong. I didn't want to be ready - it was meant to be a surprise.

Sure I'll farm up more Justice Points and try to liquidate my bank etc.. but something doesn't feel right about "finishing" reps.. even going around taking screenshots. I *know* I'll want to remember these places.. but something about doing it was making me feel like I was spoiling the point of the disaster.

Once upon a time I would have felt bad about leaving achievements unfinished. But I know that because I don't PvP, I can never "win" on achievement points; it's only the completionist within me that likes to tick all the boxes. But I think, in this case, I won't mind leaving some old-world stuff unfinished. Even if I finished them right now, I would know that I didn't do it back at the appropriate time.

Leaving things unfinished, abruptly removed or whisked away to be feats of strength - that's ok with me now. I don't feel like I failed. Remembering what I *didn't* finish is just as important to me as the victories that I chalked up.

Maybe I'm just weird :)

Feral Tree said...

There are definitely some amazing questlines. Some of the in-game RP moments can be quite fun as well - the opening RP sequences of places like CoS and HoR were pretty awesome the first time I ever saw them. The first time I fought and killed the Lich King as well was pretty epic - after ages of working on that fight on HM I think we all started to joke about some of the melodramatic sword waving and Tirion's inability to break out of an iceblock, but that first time we tried the fight it was definitely one of the most memorable moments I've had in game.

Perhaps leaving some achievements and things unfinished will end up being a more satisfying memory than finishing them up. Like you say, our toons don't have access to patch notes and things; the better memory may end up being letting the epic storyline play out and actually interrupt us from all that we're doing as it does in the story :)