Shamus Plays WoW #7:
The Cataclysm Begins!

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Dec 8, 2010

Filed under: Column 39 comments

Part seven is now up. Go make with the reading and such.

This series was a bit of a challenge. Like my other series, I had a kind of arc I wanted to cover with my main character. (Or characters, in this case.) But here I had this wildcard that I didn’t know when Cataclysm would go live. I had hoped that it would wait until after my protagonists had reached Westfall. I wanted the switch to Cataclysm to be a major turning point for both characters, and I wanted it to really show off the changes to the world. It didn’t work out that way. I had the idea of Norman getting rid of Gobstab and then calling him back, and I sort of held onto that so that it could be inserted whenever Blizzard decided to launch it. Sadly, my story was just getting started when it came time to make the switch. Even just one or two weeks would have been a lot nicer. Had to throw out quite a few jokes and ideas. Drat the luck.

So Cataclysm ended up not being a very big deal in my story. There aren’t any major areas of destruction where my characters are working, and so I don’t think it will come up again for a few weeks.

Ah well. It’s still fun to write.


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39 thoughts on “Shamus Plays WoW #7:
The Cataclysm Begins!

  1. Agammamon says:

    See! if they incorporated that sort of backstory and internal consistency in their quest lines I might still be playing the damned game.

    1. Trix says:

      Oh, but they’re much better on that now. Cataclysm did quite a number on the old world questing storylines.

  2. Amnestic says:

    Thanks Shamus, now all I’ll think of whenever I see Deathwing is him saying “Nomnomnom”. Gonna make murdering him a lot harder. :P Topical music video!

  3. Aldowyn says:

    Yeah, not one of the best. Basically “Oh look, the world ended! Back to work… “

    1. X2-Eliah says:

      That’s more of a problem how the game presents the world ending, though. I mean, if you are able to go “Oh, the apocalypse. Huh, well, back to work”, then it’s not really your fault, is it?

      Also, is it just me or are the images really bland this time round? You better check if you’re not running on an, oh, integrated chipset, Shamus (Yeah, I’m a bastard :P )

        1. Volatar says:

          Someone just needs to mail Shamus a new card for Christmas.

          ….actually, I might have one in my garage. AGP or PCI-E Shamus?

          1. Kdansky says:

            I would, but then I live in Europe, and the postage fees would be more expensive than just buying a new card.

          2. Kdansky says:

            Late for the edit: How about a paypal account so we can put some moneys there? I pay for things that are way less entertaining than your site.

            1. In the last thread a number of us were asking about that, Shamus did not respond.

              1. Shamus says:

                It is being considered.

                1. Excellent. Come on, it can’t hurt, just once, to let your fans send you a gift back. You know. Before they blow the money on gin and the like.

  4. Ramsus says:

    Is it a bad sign that I only want Norman to stay on the path of good so I can continue to see Gobstab torment him with his own actions?

    1. Talson says:

      No, it is good. Very good. *insert your best beast wars Megatron “yes” here*

    2. Ball Collecter says:

      I noticed, in part 5(?) when “Norman” gave the candles to the guy for glowing wax sticks, the quest-giver said his name was “Normon.”

  5. Blake says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading it this week.
    Would’ve been better had the cataclysm hit later but not much you can do about that.

  6. Gandaug says:

    Love this series.

  7. Brandon says:

    Am I the only one who is so far disappointed with Cataclysm? I mean they went through all this trouble to redesign whole areas and have all kinds of crazy shit happen, and majority of the quests that I’ve seen so far are exactly the same as they were before, just the NPCs got moved around. That’s kind of sad.

    It will still make questing much more streamlined, no doubt of that. And it is nice to see a bit more life in the world, with actual guard patrols and such.

    1. Veloxyll says:

      Some of the zones got more cataclysm than others, though a lot of the changes in places like Elwynn seem to be quest flow rather than a complete redesign. I will again recommend the Undead 1-20 experience for a more heavily redesigned zone; well, 1-10 is quest flow and story adjustments, it’s Silverpine where you really see what Blizz is capable of.

      1. MichaelG says:

        I blew the last of my coin so I could fly in the old world. But wandering around, I don’t see many changes. Just got to that new island off the coast though.

      2. Brandon says:

        This is good to hear, because so far I haven’t seen much change in the old world. Stuff is rearranged, but and LOOKS different.. but the quests and story are the same. It’s distressing. I do like that it’s streamlined.. but after seeing the new race starter areas, I have to go “Why not give us more of THIS, Blizzard?”

        Those areas are really high quality. I was absolutely against the idea of Goblins, but they ended up being presented in such an awesome fashion that I really like it.

        And Gilneas made me want an entire MMO dedicated to that kind of setting.

        1. Ian says:

          I don’t think the idea was to throw a whole new game at everyone. The 1-60 zone changes are technically a free content update (though, admittedly, many of the changes that were made were done so for the sake of old world flying, which requires Cataclysm); honestly, I’m surprised that they changed as much as they did. Not to mention that some zones, most notably Azshara (since I just went through it on my shiny tauren paladin), have very little in common with their pre-Cataclysm versions.

          That being said, the real meat of the expansion are the new zones and features, just like with Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. Blizzard really delivers on some of the new zones, too. Deepholm, for one, looks stunning, and there are many quests in Vashj’ir and Hyjal that clearly had a lot of love poured into them.

          1. Trix says:

            The increased number of hilarious references is a plus too :)

  8. Amarsir says:

    I wonder if it might have been reasonable to delay Cataclysm’s effect on your LP for two weeks, or to have double published a couple weeks to get to the right point. It’s never worth corrupting a story just to fit one piece, but at the same time if Cataclysm really didn’t matter much for your LP anyway then waiting might not have hurt.

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “…Even just one or two weeks would have been a lot nicer. Had to throw out quite a few jokes and ideas. Drat the luck.”

    So,why didnt you take the pictures up front,and continue making the old wow comic for a bit?You waited years before doing a lets play of wow,so a few weeks for cataclysm wouldnt be that bad.

    I like the ending of this one.It makes me feel so warm inside whenever good guys turn evil.

  10. Feb says:

    Wow, you put it like that and the storyline is even more horrid than I had previously thought. And I thought that mostly from reading this blog.

    I’ve been happy with the way the quests in DC Universe flow into one another, and make some sort of logical sense in the world. I am a little apprehensive about what could happen when, say, Star On Chest arrives in Metropolis, though.

  11. Turbosloth says:

    I’m finding this lets play the funniest so far by a fairly wide margin. The dual perspective presented by having the imp point out the illogicality of the quests while the warlock just bumbles through them giving them as little thought as Blizzard apparently hoped all players would is priceless.

    On the other hand Shamus you are an evil evil man. After getting out of my WoW addiction way back in the Vanilla years, nothing has tempted me to come back more than this. And as someone who has experimented with a fairly wide variety of potentially abusive substances, I can conclusively say that none of them came even close to being as harmful and life destroying as WoW. Curse you!!

    Edit: I mean harmful and life destroying to me specifically btw. I’m aware many people can pick up WoW, play it maybe 10 hours a week, have a good time with it, and wonder what this crazy ‘WoW addiction’ stuff people are always talking about is. I’m just not one of them.

    1. Viktor says:

      The problem isn’t playing 10 hours a week. The problem is stopping…

  12. Kdansky says:

    I really love what you are doing with WoW. I found quite a few of your other WoW-related posts not so good, because it showed how little you knew about the intrinsics (and everything one could possibly need to know can be easily found on wowhead and/or elitistjerks).

    But being brutally honest with the quests is highly amusing.

  13. Steve C says:

    Shamus I know you like exploring and storytelling in games. Have you checked out the new archeology part of WoW? I figure you might like this from a “play theory” perspective.

    Something the video doesn’t mention is that xp is given as though it was a quest.

  14. Hal says:

    You’re allowed to say “cock-blocking” on The Escapist?

    The more you know.

    1. Jarenth says:

      There’s a good chance the editors of the Escapist have all blown off work to play WoW instead, though.

  15. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

    I was hoping that quest would come up in these, being the one I most hate.
    I was hoping that the quest would be fixed or removed in Cataclysm, it being the one I hate the most. If this wouldn’t be par for the course for changes made by large companies, I probably wouldn’t be quite as cynical about updates that are supposedly fixing or upgrading things.

    But I am, so this is pretty much what I expected. Of course this is just one quest, but even after reading the comments here I’ve seen no reason to raise my expectations at all. Streamlining be damned, I stopped reading the quest descriptions partly because they left a bad taste in my mouth and they made the whole thing feel grindy.

    Not to mention that being able to hang that little bastard on a tree branch and leave him hanging as target practice for the kobolds, for being a spoiled dumbass, is just such a beautiful idea that not making it happen feels to me like I’ve been wronged by Blizzard.
    There was a possibility for the designers to offer me joy, just for a fleeting moment, alas for it was not to be.

    1. I have to admit the combination of the road patrols and this story line staying around …

      I usually skipped this sequence and area when leveling, regardless of race. I finally did it and was not amused. You are right, this is the most tortured of the quests, and the one I too, liked the least.

  16. Hitch says:

    A question that didn’t occur to me until today: where did that kobold get the gold tooth? Is there someone in Azeroth practicing kobold dentistry? I think this furthers Gobstab’s theory that Normon has been committing genocide on a thriving kobold civilization.

    Of course, we haven’t seen how Gobstab reacts to real evil. Waiting to see his take on murlocs.

    1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

      Wouldn’t be surprising. After all, the kobolds are capable of making candle wax that the humans apparently can’t replicate themselves. And their violent reaction to humans could easily be attributed to the humans killing them en masse for their candles.

      Well, such is the future of any who dare to develope better wax than the Alliance.

  17. Klay F. says:

    I don’t know if this has already been said, Shamus, but there should really be a Twenty Sided Wow guild. I can’t be the only relative newbie who is sick of getting called an idiot every time I use an ability that isn’t perfectly optimized for some random dungeon. (Yes I am already bitter about the random dungeon finder, as there don’t seem to be anyone who qualifies as human who also uses that feature.)

    1. You know, maybe it is time to transfer a character to the server Shamus is on.

      I’ve a prot dps paladin who can, of course, tank. It is just that prot as a dps spec is currently better than ret.

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