December 2, 2011 – 11:24 am
Every iteration of WoW has had its own particular gathering places for each faction. Looking back on these, it actually makes me a little nostalgic each time I visit one of the “old” capitols, remembering the game when that was the hot spot to hang out.
While Hordeside it was all about Orgrimmar, for Alliance, Ironforge was the place to be in Vanilla WoW, because that’s where the auction house was (back before the auction houses in Stormwind and Darnassus even existed, let alone were linked to one another). I still have my banker there, because the Ironforge Bank and AH just seem like the place to be, even if that’s not the major hangout anymore. Ironforge was also conveniently located right nearby to Blackrock Mountain, home of both Ragnaros and Nefarian, so it was the primary Alliance “raid stockpile” spot and where you went to repair/buy more arrows (you know, back when hunters had to carry ammo and it only stacked to 200).
Of course, with Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King we had cross-faction capitols with portals to all the other major cities, so you were kind of silly not to hearth EVERYONE to that location – even your lowbie alts could get summoned to Shattrath or Dalaran and then set up a hearthstone there. These major hubs were the defining spots of the expansions, located near most of the raid content, and there was a good bit of RP that happened at least in Dalaran. (I still maintain that Dalaran is an excellent city for RP, because of the variety of environments and taverns there.)
Now we’re back in the “old world”, and it’s Stormwind and Orgrimmar for the two busiest cities. Both have portals to take you to the new content areas like Vashj’ir and Twilight Highlands, and the booming trade market has moved from Ironforge to Stormwind now that there are two auction houses there. It makes sense to keep the Horde capitol in Orgrimmar, especially with the prominence that Garrosh has had in leading the Horde – it’s always been the central location for the leadership. Alliance side, things didn’t really solidify until Varian Wrynn returned, and so it made sense for the major city to switch to Stormwind, since that’s where he is (we first saw that switch with the attacks on Stormwind Harbor).
I’m curious how this will all shape up in Mists though, whether we’ll still have the major faction capitols (Stormwind and Orgrimmar) as the biggest hubs of activity, or whether there will be a new capitol city in the new content, more like Shattrath and Dalaran were.
Having a faction hub in the old world, with portals to the new content, worked well for Cataclysm because it was such a spread out expansion. Hyjal, Vashj’ir, Deepholm, Uldum, Twilight Highlands and Tol Barad are all spread out around the world, with no coherent “center” to them. There isn’t really a good place for a new capitol city that would work out, especially not from a cross faction standpoint.
For Mists, we’re looking at an entirely unexplored new continent, much like Outland and Northrend, so a “new” city capitol makes more sense, especially if Blizzard is going to put in teleporter locations back to the old world content. If so, it’ll be fun to explore that new city and find places for RP. While I don’t think the Riders will ever stop hanging around the Pig and Whistle (Tarquin DOES basically own the place…), it’s fun for new expansion RP to happen right in with the action when it’s action oriented.
November 29, 2011 – 8:20 am
We did not get Ragnaros last night – not through any fault of anyone in the group, but because you can’t fight both Ragnaros and the Internet Boss and hope to win. Connection problems and lag were plaguing various raid members (even after they chased down their housemates and unplugged Netflix).
While I’m not upset that we couldn’t use our full raid time to off the Firelord (no real point in being angry at the whole internet), I’m a little sad that today will see the beginning of 4.3 and the Deathwing raid. We’ve done a lot in a few months, having not even started raiding until sometime in August (I think? It was pretty late), but I was really hoping we’d see Ragnaros loot to usher in 4.3.
Next week, Firelord… next week…
November 28, 2011 – 8:14 am
Recently, Bricu put up a post over at WTT:RP about getting ready for the upcoming expansion and how we and our characters can get ready for it. It’s a good idea to start thinking about those things now, especially with the end of year/Christmas game releases coming, Diablo III on the horizon sometime in Q2, and then Mists of Pandaria coming along as well.
In some ways it seems very odd to have a new expansion on the horizon already, but I think that’s largely due to how much of Cataclysm I wasn’t really involved in. While I’ve “caught up” content wise, there’s a lot of stuff that I wasn’t really there for – and it feels a lot like getting “back into the game” from a roleplay standpoint. Fortunately other people are still around (though I definitely feel the loss of several members of our community).
I know that new expansions are points of transition, when people leave for other games or come back after extended absences. In that light, I’m trying to keep the new content at least on the horizon of my thoughts about WoW and my characters.
While I know I’m unlikely to have the kind of raiding/RP connection that I had to Wrath, I think the increased PVP emphasis in Mists should provide for that as an RP outlet.
On the other hand, I really HOPE that raiding and roleplay can have the same kind of connection that I and my characters had to Ulduar and Arthas, if only because that was such a fertile ground for RP and writing and fiction that it was almost overwhelming. Aely’s interactions with the Keepers never made it into Fic, particularly her relationship with Hodir, and that’s something I’ve always regretted.
We don’t know a lot yet about what the raiding game will look like in MoP, but we do know it’ll be less “big bad” oriented (which is something of a relief after Kil’jaeden, Arthas, and Neltharion). I’m hoping that openness will result in more opportunity for RP, and not just Pandaren RP.
For specific characters, though, it remains to be seen.
Maybe this will be the expansion where Annie Mae really comes into her own? Aely’s struggled to plug into Cataclysm, but I’m finding her little niches within the Riders. Maybe I’m just greedy, and want an expansion where I’ll have both guild RP AND “game” RP for my characters! I’ve already got ideas for a Pandaren kicking around in my head, but I’d like to have that connection without a “token” character (though that is how Annorah came onto the scene, so I can’t complain too much).
Regardless, the upcoming expansion will be a new scene for everyone. Maybe not AS new as Cataclysm was (my characters are still trying to get over that), but new enough, with new races to get used to and a new continent to explore.
Are you doing anything particular to set up the upcoming changes to the game? What kinds of things are you hoping that Mists will bring to the game?
November 26, 2011 – 8:25 am
Annorah, in her tier 12, looks positively devilish from behind…