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:
'...it’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?