Alternative title: So close yet so far.
I finally got by the WoW queue on my server and was able to experience the Death Knight class. The hour and a half quest chain in the Death Knight area was without a doubt one of the best Blizzard gaming I have ever enjoyed. The quests were fun, the storyline and lore were well done, heck, I was reading books on the ground in Ebon Hold. So how does Blizzard follow up the best hour and a half of gaming they have produced in a long time? With Epic Fail, of course! More after the break.
After finishing the quests, hitting level 58 of course I went to Outland. I was so curious what else they added here to continue the incredible levelling experience I had just enjoyed. The quests in Ebon Hold have you pimped out in a full set of sweet looking Death Knight blue gear – not too shabby! I grabbed the first few Honor Hold quests and (I fondly remember them, having multiple 60-70 characters) proceeded to finish the first one. The quest reward? I replaced my incredibly sweet full of awesome Death Knight specific pants with the same typical generic green plate reward. Wait, that can’t be right. Are the stats REALLY better? Yes, they are. Why bother? I know in 10 more quests I will have all generic plate gear, the same garbage I upgraded to with my warrior in outland. Why did Blizzard end the experience so immediately? I logged off. Not sure I will bother logging on again.
At bare minimum Blizzard should have put in Death Knight rewards for all Burning Crusade quests – heck, at least SOME of them. They didn’t change a thing. The stupid problem is that not only are you doing the exact same quests again to go from 58-70, but you are doing them with ONLY other Death Knights. Pretty hard to make a balanced group with just one class. I am shocked and dismayed. Blizzard really dropped the ball on this one. Why not start at level 65, do the Ebon Hold quests, and start in Northrend at 68? I just bought a brand new expansion, with a super fun and super cool looking new class, are you REALLY going to make me do the same content I did 2 years ago to start to enjoy the character? I know you want to stretch out time for subs, but why ruin this experience? It could have been great. Heck, it could have been good. Why force it to be bad? Start at 65, finish the starting DK area, and go right into the new content – and you would have a winner.
Stupid. Dissapointing. Pointless.
To be fair, and this may sound a bit silly, but the DK starting area alone was worth the $50 expansion. They included a new ‘phasing’ mechanic to the quest and storyline meaning depending on what leg of the quests you were on, you saw different mobs and backgrounds than the person next to you. It is a very well done mechanic and if they continue to develop content this way we could have a strong renaissance with good old WoW. Also to be fair, if they just made WoW a LAN game or single player experience (which in effect is what phasing does) you would have an even bigger winner.
I guess I shouldn’t have put my hopes so high. I should have known by now.