Wednesday 27 May 2009

I am Sent Away

There comes a time in the life of every child of Elwynn Forest when we have to spread our wings and fly away. Of course, we've all been to Stormwind already, and met the high-level Jenkins and heroes, and beggars and bankers; but really this is still home. No, usually our first trip abroad is to Westfall, and what a difference there is between Westfall and Stormwind. While Elwynn forest has a magical fantasy mediaeval touch to it, Westfall has a different
atmosphere: dustbowl America - a formerly rich but now rundown farming community, now almost derelict and overrun by weeds and other undesirables.

The story of Westfall is the story of that shadowy organization, the Defias Brotherhood, and it's a great story, though this isn't obvious when you first arrive. In fact the initial quests in Westfall are a little tedious - kill twenty of this, collect 8 of that - and the magic mechanical scarecrows, while they add to the not-in-Kansas atmosphere, do not fit into the world - no attempt is made to explain what they are, where they came from, how they came to life. They are just there, as out of place as a laser-gun-toting murloc. But never mind that, follow the yellow-brick road to Sentinel Hill and Gryan Stoutmantle. That's where the real story starts.

And it's also where you get to fly! When you were fighting the great Hogger, you noticed high-level characters passing overhead on flying steeds, and thought "wow, it must be wonderful to be able to fly! I'll bet you have to get to level 80 before you can do that"! When you get to Sentinel Hill, however, you discover you can join that elite group. You don't even have to own or train the mighty beasts that will soon be transporting you to Stormwind, for they are a taxi service. And what a great service! The journey from Stormwind to Sentinel Hill probably took you a week or two. The return journey, high above the scene of your recent epic deeds, takes a minute or two. I'll never get tired of flying!

Anyway, back to Gryan Stoutmantle. At first, the quests he gives you just feel like more of the same "Kill Ten Rats": kill 15 Defias trappers, kill 15 Defias smugglers, kill 15 defias pillagers and looters, and so on. But gradually, the story begins to come into focus with the Defias Brotherhood quests starting with a trip to Lakeshire to learn more about this shadowy organization.

This excellent slow-burning quest chain leads you, via Stormwind city, deep into the Deadmines in Moonbrook village, the first instance dungeon that most players, where you hunt down the leader of the Brotherhood, and then leads to the next instance, the Stockades in Stormwind, to interview his deputy, finally leading to the higher echelons of Stormwind society and your first audience with the King. Great stories like this are what make me want to play more. The stories, not the loot. Make more great stories like this, Blizzard, and you will be loved forever.


  1. Dàchéng I just found your blog and I'm enjoying it : )

    Nice writing.

  2. Thank you, Mogul. I'm sorry to say, I've only just found your comment! It drew me to your excellent blog as well!