Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Obsolete content, a curse and a blessing

So I just played WoW for way too long, it was grindy and repetitive, but my God, this game offers an experience like no other. You know when you play a game that you get so invested in that you can't stop thinking about it? It's something that goes beyond the gameplay, you get an emotional attachment to the environment, characters, and story, and everything comes alive. I found myself questing in Silithus, and generally I'd complain about having to kill 20 stupid things but this time I had no quarrel, the area is just so rich in content.

Upon seeing Silithus, you might be confused. It's not pretty and it seems pretty straight forward. It's a desert with bugs, but there's something special here and I'm not sure any other game has or has even been able to accomplish. The area feels old, and not in the lore sense, but this area is outdated. There are items and quests that are simply relics of a time passed. Most notably Silithus boasts something that WoW hasn't really had for a while, and those are World events. As far as I know (since I started playing mid-Cata), this was the first or at least one of the biggest vanilla world events. There is a gate at the southern end of Silithus (which also marks the edge of the continent, which was off limits before flying was brought to the old world) that only opened once a bunch of players completed a bunch of absurdly lengthy quest lines. Upon completing this they were able to open the gate, which spawned a bunch of giant bad guys and allowed the server population to run new instances.

Now the gate stands open, and the gong which triggered the opening is still there, but there's no players around, and the raid content that had once been the talk of the town is now ignored. It's kind of sad, but at the same time it works with the original game design. In the lore, Silithus bears the scars of a war fought eons ago, and in reality, the content tells the same story. The parallels open a doorway to a new sense of immersion in the game world, as I can relate to the content that I have missed with the actual lore, and it makes it all the more real.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I wonder if maybe too much immersion is a bad thing. One of the reasons I decided to never play an MMORPG again after I quit RuneScape many years back (go ahead, laugh) was because it immersed me to the point that I stopped doing other things that I loved in order to play. After reading this, I'd have to say I'll probably never want to touch WoW because I'd never go back.