Friday, September 10, 2010

Gnomes, trolls and flying around

While this entry was going to be dedicated to the operation: Gnomeregan and Zalazane's Fall events, a blue post this morning about flying in Azeroth has stirred me up and I'll be ranting again about crappy design decissions.
First of all, if you haven't done Operation: Gnomeregan and/or Zalazane's Fall you might want to skip this part, since it will contain spoilers. Just head to the last part where I'll be talking about flying in Cataclysm. You've been warned.

Comparing the events
I won't describe deeply the events. Shintar already did it today and probably better than me. I want to focus on comparing the last part of the event (the only you can only do if you're level 75+) that will reward you a feature of strength and a cool overcloak a shitty cloak (more about this in my previous entry).
In the gnome version there's a bigger sense of epicness. During the battle you're given targets to take down: rocket launchers first, then wait for bombers to destroy the shields on tanks, then enter Gnomeregan properly, battling a giant trogg to the climax where the place is blown up with an atomic bomb. All very martial, with a "Scotty, beam me up!" scene before the bomb fires off. Bravo!
On the other hand the troll version seems less epic because you're not given any specific objectives and the finals is somewhat... disappointing. You start by asking the spirit of Bwonsamdi for help (hint: that name is inspired by the voodoo Loa of the Dead, the Baron Samedi), you battle him to prove you're worthy and then you're off to kill Zalazane, taking down whatever gets in your way (you even battle a miniboss, but not as remarkable as the giant trogg). In the end, Zalazane's blown to pieces by Bwonsamdi and everybody's happy. The owrk is done, but I feel it lacks the epic finale you see in the gnome version. By the way, during Operation: Gnomeregan you never face Thermaplugg. He communicates through a brag-bot from the depths of the instace. I suppose they did it so they could keep the instance unchanged, since the bomb explodes in the train station (the upper level, out of the instance) while Thermaplugg is in the depths of th instance and protected by at least two heavy doors, so the blast or radiation won't reach him.
Both events are fun (until you do them by the third time), but I enjoyed the gnome version more. After all, Thermaplugg is an instance end-boss and Zalazane justa low level mob, not even rare or elite :) But while we know Tehrmaplugg will be still alive (so instance remains unchanged)... can we afirm Zalazane's dead for sure? We're told the low level mob was just a brain-washed troll infussed with Zaazane's powers, so are we sure we've killed the right one now? *grin* I expect a comeback... even if the real one's really dead, resurrected like Arugal.

Flying in old Azeroth
Ok, rant time now... again! The detonator now is this blue post:
We’ve added a new flying skill called Azerothian Navigation. When World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is released, players who purchase the expansion will see this skill available from flight trainers once they reach level 60. This new skill is required for flying around all Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms zones, including the new level 80-85 zones.
The cost for this is 250 gold. The name has also changed. I've updated my original post with the new information. :)
So... after paying 250g for normal flying in Outlands (anyone can confirm if formerly was more expensive? I have the sensation it costed more), most probably having paid for the epic flight (between 4000 and 5000g depending on your reputation), another 1000g for flying in Northrend... they want us to pay more just to fly in Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms? What's this, we're purchasing a GPS device or subscription to be able to fly over the lands we've ran across hundreads of times before, walking or riding? Not to mention if you want the 310% flying speed: more gold to the sink (5000g).
But the second part of the message just made my eyes roll. 250g is nothing nowadays, not even for a level 60 toon. Heck, I have a level 32 tauren druid that has over 300g, thanks to auctioning stuff from my level 80 main. What's Blizzard's goal? To keep chars under 60 flying around instead of walking/riding? This is already done. You need to be level 60 and head to Outlands to train the flying skill already. A skill that formerly was only available at level 70! So why this double payment for the flying skill? Are they planning to eliminate the Outlands flying skill or allow you to fly there after purchasing this one? If so then all makes sense, but I haven't seen any post about this. Also the skill only refers to Azeroth and Outlands isn't Azeroth. You'll hit 60 and you'll pay twice. If we already can fly in Northrend and we know the lands of Kalimdor and Eastern kingdoms since we've been playing here since the early vanilla days it makes no sense: you know how to fly, you know the place and you even can fly in harsh condtions like in Northrend. So again... what's behind this decission? Can I get a total discount since I've already the Outlands and Northrend's flying licenses?

Post soundtrack:
Revolution Calling - Queensr├┐che (Operation: Mindcrime, 1988)


  1. I'd be surprised if they kept the two flying skills at level sixty separate, because I agree that it would be strange. Maybe the one in Outlands will be renamed to "Outlands flying" and have its price lowered so that Azeroth and Outland flying will cost as much put together as level sixty flying costs now? I have to admit this is something I'm not too worried about. :P

  2. Yes, I know it's a minor thing, but first it makes no sense, and second, I'm waiting for a Deepwater Diving skill too...