My Cataclysm Experience So Far

I’ve been logging in to World of Warcraft less and less these days, and I have suspected for some time now that my time with the game may be coming to an end, and were it not for the release of the expansion,  I feel fairly confident in saying I would have already un-subscribed.

I just recently reached level 84 on my Mage, spending all of my time questing in Vashj’ir and Deepholm, earning the quest achievements for both zones.   I found it pretty tough forcing my self to continue playing through them, but I’ve vowed not to quit playing until I’ve got one character at 85.

I have two main complaints with my experience so far.  First,  both Vashj’ir and Deepholm lack many unique features or areas within the zones.  In Vashj’ir I was constantly using the map to find my way around because everything looks the same; an endless jungle of seaweed and coral.  The same holds true for Deepholm; just a whole lot of rock, lava, and crystalline formations.

My other complaint is with the way questing works, where you complete all the quests at a given quest hub and stay in that general area before moving on to the next hub.  I realize that it’s relatively unchanged from Wrath of the Lich King, and even Burning Crusade, but it seems a lot more obvious in Cataclysm.  There is really no incentive at all to explore the zones, nor is there any reason to because you never need to stray too far from the current quest hub to reach your objective.  Plus, the map points out exactly where your quest destination is so that’s one less reason to explore.

I actually much prefer quests that have you traversing across multiple zones and areas, but there’s none of that to be found.  More so than the previous expansions, I just can’t stand the “quest hub” system.  At the very least it would be nice to have to travel more than ten feet from the quest giver.  As it is, it feels as though the designers don’t want the player to stray too far from a predetermined path.  Not to mention the fact that all of the quests at each quest hub generally follow the same pattern.  There’s always a “gather x number of y” quest, along with a “kill x number y monsters” quest, which will be followed up with “go kill named monster x”.  Once the named is killed, the quest giver sends you off to the next quest hub to repeat the same quests but with different collectibles and creatures.  It’s horribly boring, and the pattern has become so noticeable because of the slower experience gain.  In order to stretch the level progression out, your forced to do a tonne of quests, so obviously quest originality gets tossed out the window.

I’m now a couple of quests into Uldum, and it appears as though it will be more of the same, but at least Uldum is a visually interesting zone.  I did a quick fly-around and it was nice to see several unique features in the zone; it doesn’t all look the same.  I’m still faced with a dilemma however; I don’t want to quit until I hit level 85, but I don’t really feel like playing because I find the whole thing kind of boring.

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