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The Azeroth Blues

Paul Sherrard

Unlike some other draenei and blood elves, I'm not 60 yet. I hit 40 last night on my Draenei Shaman, and immediately picked up the mount and converted to mail gear. Then, a feeling of emptiness came over me. I was puzzled. I've leveled up before through Azeroth, this Shaman will be my 7th trip to 60 (and now beyond), and I really do enjoy leveling. What's hit me though is a feeling that I'm stuck in the same old content.

It's not that I don't love Azeroth, I really do. It's been my home away from home for almost 3 years now. It's just that while I'm grinding away through levels in the "old country", all my guildies are out in the Outlands having fun and getting drool-worthy gear from mobs I've never heard of. Yes, I have some awesome company in the leveling grind (frequent commenter Skew is a good friend and guildie) as we both get our shamans raid-ready, but really, there's no sense of awe and exploration in Azeroth anymore.

Would Blizzard have done better to implement a bit more mid-level content in the expansion? Levels 1 through 20 were fantastic on Azuremyst and Bloodmyst isles, and I've heard the Blood Elf content is just as fantastic. There's something particularly cool at the end of the Bloodmyst quest series that leaves a player feeling good about the world and their place in it. And then you head into the rest of Azeroth.

There are a few new quests and my fellow Draenei are popping up as quest givers themselves, but overall I'm left with the feeling of "been there, done that", and the experience of being forced through the same content again to get the new race into the new zones.

If this expansion pack is supposed to give us a whole new experience, why are we forced to spend a large chunk of time between new content and new world doing the same old thing? Yes, the expansion is awesome, and to create a whole new 1-70 experience for any player would take an incredible amount of time and resources, to the point of being completely absurd.

So what can be done? Should we have the opportunity to change races on our existing characters, provided it's in the same faction? Should players who have a 60 or 70 be allowed to start a new character at level 30 or 40?

Are any of you feeling this way, or am I really just a big whiner? Can you think of any solutions for the next expansion pack that could introduce new races but not force the run through the same old content to hit 70 (or 80 or 90)?

I've got the questions, let's see if you've got the answers.

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