Updated Tue, Aug 30, 2011 by Saia
When I first started playing WoW, I always found the changing world very interesting. You’d log in one day and discover a city covered in decorations or some other massive world event going on, like the opening of the Gates of AQ. For many players as they explore those starter zones, the first taste of this ever-changing world would be the Darkmoon Faire.
While the Darkmoon Faire itself has always been a one-visit-and-you’re-done event, it was always interesting to see the barkers appear as the circus was being set up. Everywhere else the festival fairies seem to make the change in cities instantaneous: the server resets and suddenly the cities are festooned in lights and decorations. Not so with the Faire and that was part of its charm.
The problem was that, particularly once the expansions began rolling in, the Darkmoon Faire soon became irrelevant. It was something fun to visit as a newbie but as the endgame beckoned, most players completely forgot it existed, only visiting to get a certain pet, epic trinket or just for the amusing beverages.
So why on earth has Blizzard chosen now, this patch, to reinvent it? No idea but their thinking is more in line with a feature found in a freemium MMO than the king of the hill. Yet Blizzard is including this revamp as a major feature in the patch where we finally give Deathwing his just desserts. The feature itself was mentioned at GamesCom but wasn’t touched on in any detail and yet Blizzard is treating it like it’s on par with Transmogrification and Void Storage or even the final raid of the expansion. In reality, the Faire is more of a footnote that many veteran players have long since forgotten.
Yes, this is a highlight of the new Darkmoon Faire. It dances apparently.
So what exactly has changed then? Well the Faire is now relegated to its own spooky island with portals leading to it in Mulgore and Elwynn Forest. Blizzard is also promising lots of new things to do and pets to claim as well as the Darkmoon Deathmatch - essentially the Faire’s version of the Gurubashi Arena scrum − and a dancing bear. Yes, a dancing violet-eyed Druid bear is a highlight.
While a revamp is a nice idea, it’s not something most people would ever dream of being in the same patch at Deathwing’s demise. By rights, it should be a footnote in 4.1 or 2 and not a major point of 4.3. Yes it is something for the RPers, newbies and those of lower levels (finally) but it’s definitely not worth a massive previous and top billing.
The other problem is, there’s nothing new. Yes there will be pets and quests and things to do but we’ve all had a Tonk toy battle royale before and Darkmoon Cards and tickets have been in the game since the Year Dot. If Blizzard were to actually do something truly revolutionary, then it would be interesting but instead we may just have the same old stuff with a nicer look.
The PTRs aren’t yet up and this preview is just that, a tantalizing hint of what we can expect and, judging by the comments, the playerbase seems split between those who think it’s the best thing since sliced bread and those who are in Team Who Gives a Fig. Only time will tell whether it really is worth the star billing.