WQ: Better Questing!

The bread-and-but­ter of lev­el­ing, quest­ing, is bet­ter than ever in Wrath. Quest­ing is more fun from both from a nar­ra­tive and mechan­i­cal perspective.

The nar­ra­tives are stronger. A scourge-rav­aged vil­lage where many peo­ple have been lost, where you ulti­mate­ly ral­ly the peo­ple to flush the zom­bies out. Some ani­mal activists work against overzeal­ous ani­mal hunters, you start off help­ing trapped ani­mals, learn­ing about the hunters, and even­tu­al­ly lead­ing an attack to stop their oper­a­tion. A gnome encamp­ment try­ing to learn what hap­pened to their lost peo­ple and how the miss­ing are con­nect­ed to the grow­ing pol­lu­tion. They’re like short sto­ries that you play out in the WoW uni­verse. In orig­i­nal and TBC, you’d have a mix of good sto­ry pro­gres­sion with ones that seemed tan­gen­tial or designed to be filler. A much high­er pro­por­tion of the quests are tied to these short sto­ries. There’s set­up, there’s a cycle of activ­i­ty and con­tin­u­a­tion of sto­ry, and final­ly a con­clu­sion with per­haps a leader to the next chap­ter. And this sto­ry usu­al­ly ties into the over­all theme of the zone, or the neigh­bor­ing quests.

The mechan­ics of actu­al­ly doing a quest are the same–there are col­lec­tion quests, deliv­ery quests, smack ene­mies quests, and some oth­ers. It’s the con­di­tions sur­round­ing these quests that has improved. Most quest hubs have neigh­bor­ing regions where those quests are per­formed, and now a quest chain log­i­cal­ly pro­gress­es with­in that region with lit­tle ran­dom leaps to oth­er parts of the world. No more won­der­ing if you’re going to be back in the same loca­tion for a dif­fer­ent quest. My wife and I used to tour the entire zone upon entry, pick­ing up absolute­ly every quest in the fear that two seem­ing­ly unre­lat­ed hubs were going to ask us to per­form a task in the same loca­tion; it’s not fun when the Smelly Yeti Extinc­tion Soci­ety ask you to kill ten smelly yeti and then two ses­sions lat­er, the Aro­mat­ic Leather Crafty­mak­ers ask you to col­lect ten smelly yeti hides. No more of that, from what I’ve seen. Now we just come upon a quest hub and do what we like.

Both of these points are sub­tle, but clear­ly Bliz­zard has put a lot of effort into improv­ing the qual­i­ty of quests. I’m real­ly enjoy­ing them.

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