Wednesday evening saw me finally finish the Expansion’s main quest content, Good Surmaritan. Of course, had I needed to, I could have easily rushed through all of this in far less time, but on reflection I am SO glad I didn’t. In fact, the more I consider what was presented here, the less I wish that ActiBlizz had linked any kind of raiding/progression achievements (such as flying) to the process. If you feel you need to hurry your way through this particular adventure, I’d argue you’re doing Legion an enormous disservice. This is the kind of game-play experience I’ve yearned for since we followed Arthas’ journey through Northrend. This is what I’d hoped Draenor would be but ended up simply as an afterthought. In effect, here is the best quest content presented by this company since Wrath of the Lich King.
Oddly however, it is also the most frustrated I’ve ever been in an end-game zone, and a portion of reticence to play was initially wrapped around my inability to survive for long periods because of gear level. Had I been more robust I suspect I’d have spent a lot more time pushing forward, and it was only with the help of my husband’s tank that I was able to make key progress. However, there’s been epiphanic moments the like of which I cannot remember in a Warcraft questline, mostly because this time around, I wasn’t either fighting the Horde or having to deal with a mess my own faction created. In fact, the decision to remove the narrative thrust away from both Red and Blue has been, quite frankly, a stroke of utter genius.
Suddenly, the Legion is truly everybody’s problem to deal with.
The decision to tie this entire journey to flying is understandable, but I feel has the potential to take away a lot of the impact of the work from those who simply undertake the Zone to complete their Pathfinder Meta. If all you are interested in is flying, however, I’d argue you’ll probably not miss the impact of plot and storyline to begin with, but in future Expansions it might be an an idea to set aside serious narrative progression for considered thought. I really didn’t feel any sympathy for the Nightborn when this journey began, but now that has changed quite considerably, especially as a result of the final scenario where I heartily approve of the decision to take this adventure in a specific direction (no spoilers for those of you who have yet to take the plunge.) What this does is show that the cause you’ve begin is worth not only fighting for, but supporting, and I’m looking forward to going back to Merethil tonight and continuing my journey.
Suramar is a curious place, but as a zone designed simply for max level players it works incredibly well. I know there’s still a quest chain in Suramar City I have yet to complete, and items from the Menagerie to collect. I’m aware I still need some reagents to pick up the last of my Leatherworking recipes from Felsoul Hold. This journey is far from over for me, and that shows a company that not only listened to the pleas for better story lines, but understand the requirement to make them last an entire Expansion and not simply a couple of patches. The combination of variety in questing’s also been a pleasant change: herding cats, commanding your own withered army, having to learn how to sneak with style… all factors which have combined to make this portion of questing frustrating joy, because finally, blissfully, it became proper hard to do stuff again.
If you rushed through the zone in order to raid, or simply ignored the content until now, I cannot suggest strongly enough that you go back and do it again, because once you grasp what is truly at stake for those in the Broken Isles, and why Gul’dan’s bargain to keep them isolated was never really ever a decision that should have been accepted. This is what I’ve been wishing for since Deathwing’s arrival, that could have been the Sha’s true legacy, and which really would have been better than Orcs vs Draenei. Here is a story that doesn’t stick us at its centre, but relies on our ability to help and show compassion and to understand how truly awful the Legion’s influence is, and why we must do everything in our power to stop it. This is the future: we fight each other only for sport, for the competition, and in all other things we are joined in the need to eradicate the most insidious and destructive of enemies.