Casually Casual WoW 2: Uninspired Questing


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Welcome
new and returning readers alike to the second edition of Casually
Casual. For those just joining us, Casually Casual is my own personal
niche right here at Ten Ton Hammer where yours truly gets the chance to
give you the readers an intimate view of my thoughts on all things
casual. Last week I had the pleasure of sharing my own personal story
of transformation from a hardcore raider, to more casual player.



I was fairly nervous with the posting of the first Edition of Casually
Casual. I even had that first day of school, what should I wear, I
think I might puke on my shoes feeling. In the end I did not puke on my
shoes (thankfully) and I was pleased to see that the column managed to
garner quite a few responses from various points of view. One of the
most prominent themes I saw amongst the replies was the idea that there
is no difference between the casual and hardcore player.



The first time I read this I did a very distinctly Scooby-Doo confused
sound, complete with head tilt. The difference between these two play
styles is very distinct and real to me. Hardcore players to me are
those players who spend every moment possible pushing to be the best of
the best at some aspect of the game. style="float: right; width: 361px; height: 300px;" alt=""
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Casual players in my view are those who play when they can, and get
what they can accomplished in that time, if they fall short of a goal
no sleep will be lost because the game is just that, a game, and one
that will be enjoyed at their leisure. Using those basic definitions I
think it’s clear that there is a difference between casual
and hardcore players, and it can cause strife and ill feelings between
the two. I personally have been on the giving and receiving end of such
conflict.



I won’t dwell much more on the subject, I just wanted to
throw my last two cents in there, as well as give my definitions of the
words hardcore and casual in the hopes of better explaining my
position. Regardless of if you agree or disagree with my views on the
subject, I enjoy  all your responses and criticisms. Moving
right along let’s sweep out the old and usher in the new
topic of discussion for the week; the unfortunate state of questing in
the World of Warcraft.


Uninspired Questing



Questing to me is an unavoidable evil. A penance (not the Priest spell)
I must pay in order to play an otherwise amazing game.  I
might be coming off as a little overly dramatic here, and before the
die hard questing fans break out the torches and pitch forks, let me
say that I do not inertly hate questing. In fact given the right
circumstances I could even find it downright enjoyable. These
conditions are not often met, and for the most part I find questing in
World of Warcraft to be sorely lacking.

 

Mind numbing, repetitive, and obnoxious, are just a few of the words
that come to mind when thinking about questing. It wasn’t
always so, my first time questing, making that seemingly impossible
climb from 1 to 60, is still a fond memory. Even with the extra levels
added with the expansion packs, exploring the new zones and immersing
myself in the quest lines was not overly traumatic. I will admit I was
disappointed that while the zones were new, and so were the NPCs, the
quests were basically the same with a few gems thrown in here and
there. I mean you can only collect useless objects with an abysmally
low drop rate for an apparently helpless Quest-Giver for so long before
it starts to get to you (think Jack Nicholson in The Shining) .



Overall though, leveling up with my first toon was relatively pain
free. The problem arises when you consider that almost every single
player in the World of Warcraft has at least one alt. Logic says that
if you wish to do anything useful, at some point you are going to have
to begin the quest grind over again in order to gain a respectable
level. Do this enough times (or perhaps just once) and you will find
that you are able to complete the quests in your sleep. Questing is in
my opinion one of the most neglected aspects of the game.



Blizzard has made some strides to remedy this problem. In the Burning
Crusade new types of quests were introduced, and really who
didn’t enjoy flying around Hellfire Peninsula bombing
everything in sight? In Wrath of the Lich King questing came even
further, with Blizzard introducing zones that changed
as you did

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This comic created by Syaovera
and featured on the official WoW site makes light of the frustrations
of questing.

quests. This change of course has it’s pitfalls, including
not being able to see players who have not progressed as far in the
quest line as you have, but it’s a great idea, and make the
questing experience that much more interesting. I think though that
Blizzard needs to take questing even further.



I can complain about it, but what do I actually want done about it you
ask? Well it just so happens that I made a spiffy little list of some
of the bigger changes I would like to see:



Fewer
Repetitive Quests
- I know
it’s hard coming up with original quest ideas, and I
certainly don’t want to do it, buuutttBUT could we please cut
out quests that take forever and make players want to gouge out their
eyeballs with spoons?



More
Zone Changing Quests
- This
is a great idea, and I want to see more of it. Having the incentive to
actually see the zone changes because of quests I have done gives me
great incentive to want to push and complete them.



Different
Quest Paths
- This is the
idea that I would like to most see implemented. I want to be able to
choose different quest paths, and be able to have a different quest
experience depending on what path I would choose. Blizzard has already
done this in a smallish scale with faction quests (Aldor/Scryer) and I
would love to see this done on a grander scale. It would take a ton of
work, but I think it would help keep the questing experience fresh.



Faction
Betrayal
- We have faction
changes, but I want to take it a little further and introduce faction
betrayal. How awesome would it be to decide that instead of taking the
normal route your character will instead be working for the enemy?.
I’m undecided if the character should be able to complete the
opposite faction’s quests, or be offered a whole difference
set of quest opportunities, either would be acceptable to me. I can see
many kinks that would need to be worked out if this idea was
implemented but I think it is an option that many players would like to
see added.



A few of these ideas will probably be seen in the upcoming Cataclysm
expansion. Others we may never see at all, but one can dream. Even if
none of these (or other) changes are made to the questing experience
Cataclysm does at least offer a short respite from the mundane. More
zones will be added, and new quests will come with them. This does end
up being a double edged sword in the end though. The new zones will
offer a plethora of new quests, but the new expansion will also attract
hordes of people, making what might have been an amazing questing
experience nothing short of frustrating.



Cataclysm will also irrevocably change the face of the old world as we
know it, ushering in a new era of quests that will offer a new and
exciting experience for those leveling up, at least the first time.
Obviously there cannot be unlimited quests, or questing options in the
game, but I do feel that much more could be done to help keep the
mundane at bay. Hopefully in Cataclysm and beyond we see such changes
made, so that the questing fire can be re ignited. If you have ideas of
how the questing experience could be improved, please share it on our
forums, and until next time I wish you happy gaming.


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About The Author

Amunet, also fondly known as Memtron, is an organic life form best known for its ongoing obsession with Blizzard Entertainment's numerous properties. To that end, Amu has authored hundreds (thousands?) of the most popular World of Warcraft guides, editorials, and Top 10 lists on the planet. When not gaming and writing, Amu is busy chasing after her three children in a perpetual loop of ongoing disaster.

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