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I spent a not inconsiderable amount of yesterday giving my husband the ability to play uninterrupted, with a lot of poking, updating and general fiddling on his Macintosh. It was therefore more than a little depressing to spend an hour looking at this screen, but eventually we both got in to play, and with the eldest in tow managed to knock off our first two Normal dungeons: Darkheart Thicket and the Halls of Valor.

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There’s only one thing to say about dungeons that matters now, if truth be told: gear drops scale to players. That means the L100’s in our group got appropriate loot, and my son’s L110 got a lovely piece of 840 Warforged for helping out his nub parents. My husband of course was flawless (as was my Guildie’s healing) but I forgot that Barrage is not to be used anywhere where there are packs of closely-placed trash. Fortunately normal is forgiving, nobody died much anywhere and both dungeons were interesting diversions from levelling. Darkheart’s just screams ‘Challenge Mode’ design (though of course now that’s not what we’ll get, but the point’s still well made) but the Halls of Valor was incredibly long and doing that in 45 minutes is gonna be a push early on. Mechanics aren’t too hard to grasp either, and the shift between interior and exterior location in HoV with the ‘Sparkly Portal of Transition’ was, quite frankly, lovely. At the end of THAT when everyone else got an upgrade, I won a pattern.

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This has made me more happy than any drop since Monday. I wasn’t even aware I could get this as a reward either, but considering now how many quests I have related to Professions? This is Great. There’s also a better than average chance I’ll have finished Highmountain tonight too, and I’m 104, but I’ll bet it won’t be until 105 when I leave the opening zone, and that in terms of content means I’m going to be here for a couple of months before I start worrying about having exhausted basic quest content. That’s a MASSIVE improvement on Warlords, and I for one am overjoyed.

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Highmountain is BEAUTIFUL, especially at night, and now having sorted out two of the three tribes I need to be on board? Not long now before the final reckoning happens with the Drogba. There was a moment yesterday morning when I encountered a section of Lore however that makes me realise that if I was one of those people running on Azeroth’s original historical timeline, I’m probably in for a number of large and unpleasant surprises going forward. There’s a blog post coming next week on retconning, but when you look at Draenor and how effectively the rule book was completely thrown away for that, it should be no surprise lots of the past will now be quietly rubbed out and re-written over. This Expansion is not a return to the ‘normal’ timeline, far from it. This is now comic book territory where everything and anything may be re-imagined if it better fits the plans of the designers going forward. I had a think about this yesterday and as I don’t play this game for lore any more, that’s fine. As long as the story I am given is engaging and realistic in the view of canon I have? Away you go.

I can see however why some of the Lore ‘Purists’ will have already walked away.

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In the end, gaming in Azeroth is as much about the people you play with than the backdrop given, and there’s so many people on my FL right now as it to be as enjoyable as the place I’m questing in. I feel sorry for my best mate on Silvermoon in the EU, enduring massive queues which would seem to indicate that this game’s more popular than it ever was. Frankly, that doesn’t bother me: all I’m after right now is a steady pace of progress and things to keep me busy. As I have both in spades?

That’s all I could ever ask for :D

4 thoughts on “One Life Stand

  1. I’m loving it .. I don’t think I’ll be running out of content any time soon! My server (Lightbringer-EU) has seen between a 2x and 3x increase in activity – where once it was averaging 300-400 concurrent players on the horde side at peak times, now we’re getting close to 1000 (and alliance is usually double that). You can get a rough idea of Silvermoon’s activity level here: http://warcraftrealms.com/weeklyfactionactivity.php?serverid=349

    It’s easy to see why they have queues at peak times :p

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  2. Lore purists that are unable to flex can leave – no loss. They have been some of the most vile parts of the community for a long time. Everyone in entertainment has noticed what Marvel has done. Hence why Sony has asked Marvel to make its next Spider Man film for them – a lesson Fox could have learned with the Fantastic Four – but failed miserably.

    Even the Star Wars franchise has taken that to heart – creating fun and engaging entertainment is what audiences want and will pay for. Leave pixel perfect lore accuracy to the historians (while many history programs are interesting, box office hits they are not.)

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  3. Also the lore hasn’t been ‘pure’ for a long time – returning to the Grizzly Hills for my Guardian artifact reminded me that it involved bear-men connected to a world-tree that had dug its roots too deeply into the bones of a dead Elder God – a patchwork quilt of lore sources that they’ve always been good at knitting together.

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  4. There’s a difference between playing a game for lore and being against any retcons.

    Or should I say playing for story =/= playing for lore?

    In other words, being able to accept the state of things doesn’t mean not caring about the narrative.

    And in some cases it’s not really obvious: what is a retcon and what is feeling blank spaces (a blank space that perhaps was already filled with a work of a player’s imagination).

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