Shamus Plays: WoW #14: Thinking Inside the Box

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Jan 26, 2011

Filed under: Column 40 comments

This is it, the penultimate episode.

My days in WoW are coming to a close. I need to reclaim that time and apply it elsewhere. I never did hit level 70, but I burned a lot of time leveling alts in various parts of the game. I did the worgen starting area a couple of times, and leveled some horde-side characters as well. It’s shocking how much time I’ve sunk into this beast, and I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. World of Warcraft is Disneyland: A vast majority of its visitors will miss a vast majority of its content.


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40 thoughts on “Shamus Plays: WoW #14: Thinking Inside the Box

  1. Sheer_Falacy says:

    You do actually get an explanation of why the Fulbrows were murdered at the end – they could have recognized the mysterious shrouded figure. Which probably wouldn’t have mattered much, but still.

    Also if you take it as far as nuking half the zone that’d be pretty awesome, but it seems unlikely to happen.

    1. Shamus, you do show how having many alts will keep you from leveling ;)

      I’m kind of sad this one ended so soon. Ah well.

      Thanks for the run.

  2. tremor3258 says:

    Why doesn’t the Alliance just *hire* the kobolds at this point?

    I can understand Blizzard setting the text speed slow to accommodate everyone. It irritated me, but I can understand it.

    Sad to see this ending.

    1. RTBones says:

      Seconded…at least the sad to see this ending. I’ve enjoyed reading series, particularly because of the perspective it is written from. That makes it fresh, and something “different.”

      Additionally, I stopped playing (again) just as the beta of Cataclysm came out. This series was a nice peek into some of the changes.

      Speaking of which – Shamus, once this “Shamus Plays” ends, are we going to get a “wrap-up” post discussing the “dangling bits” of Cataclysm changes you’ve observed (and feel are comment worthy) but wont be covering as the SP is ending?

  3. Ian says:

    Did you do the Horde quest line in Stonetalon Mountains? You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t do it at least once.

    I think that zone is level 25-30, so it doesn’t take very long to get there. Just roll a tauren pally and [War Stomp] some faces or something.

    I had a blast in the new Azshara, too, particularly with the goblin quests (I LOVE YOU, GOB SQUAD!). Considering how much I despised the old Azshara that’s saying something.

    If you’re already done those two zones, disregard this comment. :)

  4. Nidokoenig says:

    About the carpet of dead kobolds, surely that makes it the least likely place for adventurers to go? The place will be utterly quiet until the mine refills.

  5. Hitch says:

    As a nearly 5-year veteran of WoW, I could nit-pick details you seemed to miss and recommend “good bits” to check out until your ears bleed, Shamus. But, you have too many more interesting things to fill your time with, so I have no problem with you moving on.

    You did make me laugh out loud in the middle of page two.

  6. X2-Eliah says:

    Naturally you must now do DC Universe Online (that’s the one that came out just now, right?)

    1. Traska says:

      Oh yes please, DCUO. That game is in need of thorough… investigation. Yes, surely not a skewering or anything of the sort.


      1. krellen says:

        Are the quests as silly? I suppose the Joker could probably have you doing some completely off-the-wall things, but in that context, it actually makes sense.

        1. X2-Eliah says:

          I have no idea. Noone has any idea. That’s why Shamus must do that game ;)

          1. Jarenth says:

            We’re poor and busy, while he has a mysterious benefactor and is already commited to the idea of writing about video games for our amusement.

            It’s a match made in heaven, really.

        2. Daimbert says:

          I’ve played through Lex Luthor’s and Batman’s initial missions, and other than Lex Luthor being remarkably open about how evil he is they aren’t bad. Storywise, they’re better than CoH’s at least initial stories … but the way they’re done will make you not care about that, and just want to get through them as quickly as possible. Which is really, really sad.

  7. Deadpool says:

    I too am sad to see this go. I like Shamus Plays, and this was my favorite one, probably because of the whole “inventing of Lore” you were doing with Gobstab…

  8. Sean says:

    It’s interesting that you bring up the Disneyland analogy, because over the course of this and your Champions Online series I came to that exact conclusion. One of the things that always bothered me about these massively multiplayer online “roleplaying” games was the fact that everybody was running around doing the same things. I think you mentioned something about seeing a line of players queued up to either get a quest or complete a quest, and I thought “that’s just ludicrous”. Eventually it came to me that these games aren’t so much roleplaying games as huge virtual theme parks, and I think I can accept them on that level.

  9. Desgardes says:

    This was not my favorite text along journey, that’d still be silent hill homecoming, but it was good. Putting in a stronger narrative from Gobstab’s point of view seems like a natural progression from your lotro and champions online playthroughs.

    So, I do have a question. You’re picking up stolen pixels again after this, but is it going to be full blown alteration of generations after this, picking up another game when you feel a creative rut in Stolen Pixels? Or will this just lie fallow for awhile until you get inspired to lampoon another game?

  10. Maldeus says:

    This probably isn’t really something you’d be interested in doing, but I’d love to see you do one of these all the way through to an epic confrontation with some major baddy. Maybe with the next one, you just leave a question mark after “The End” and come back to it later if the mood strikes you?

  11. Josh says:

    And by “I need to reclaim that time and apply it elsewhere,” you really mean “play twice as much Minecraft,” right?

  12. Pickly says:

    So, I guess we might be seeing the legendary “JOHN J. KEESHAN” (Or however it’s spelled) that everyone in the comments has been talking about.

    I have to admit, the series has gotten somewhat less funny to me as Norman gets more annoyed and starts agreeing with the demon more, although it still has been quite fun to read all the way through. It is too mad that most MMO’s seem to be too big to really do any end game quests on these.

    1. Maldeus says:

      Norman’s slowly agreeing with the demon was pretty much the only logical place for the story to go. I’m just sad because that’s not the only logical place for the story to stop. But with only one episode left, there’s not really time for it to go any further than that.

      1. krellen says:

        It has to stop there, though, because the game doesn’t allow you to ally with the demons.

        1. LassLisa says:

          Except insofar as that’s the whole premise of the warlock class.

          Following in Daddy’s footsteps!

          1. krellen says:

            Admittedly, it’s been five years, but the only time “you’re a Warlock” came up while I was playing was during the Warlock class quests to unlock the new pets, and at no other time. It’s not like there was a Warlock path through the game.

            1. Will says:

              It’s made pretty clear right at the start of the game that PC warlocks are forcibly taking demonic powers and using them for ‘good’, rather than straight up bargaining and joining the forces of evil.

              1. Yep, and that most people kind of don’t like them for it.

                Hanging out in bars as a center for your profession while other people get cathedrals and towers and other nifty places …

                The one neat thing, alliance side, was that the Goldshire trainer had all the spells and information.

                Though taking out training demons and some of the other streamlining was really too bad.

              2. krellen says:

                Unless you were Forsaken, as was my only Warlock, but that’s because the Forsaken are unambiguously evil.

  13. Jarenth says:

    Won’t lie to you, Shamus.

    I was kind of hoping Norman would team up with Vanessa at the end, especially since this is the penultimate episode, and their feelings about the Westfall natives kind of overlap (now). But you jumped Westfall-ship now, so I guess that isn’t happening.

    The Horde is probably still recruiting, though. Norman might be better off with them anyway.

    1. Desgardes says:

      Or maybe he will realize how his view of the world has become so molested by his interfacing with people, and he will be forced to join them! And the last image is him issuing duel challenges. And then a hamfisted epilogue detailing the dangers of rampant laissez faire business practices?

      1. acronix says:

        I think he´ll deduct that the world is nuts and, as the only sane man, there´s no other choice than to go live in hell, since it can´t be any worse.

        1. Pickly says:

          Or give up warlocking, take up alchemy full time, and make lots of money playing the auction house.

  14. Cezar says:

    Are the Shamus Plays series only exclusive to MMOs?

  15. Steve C says:

    It’s a shame you will never see Uldum. Uldum has the best quests of all the zones. If 7 years ago a game had been released that was only Uldum people would have bought it and felt they had played a full, complete and really good game.

    1. Jarenth says:

      The only thing I have to add here is that while the actual questlines in Uldum are ok, if I have to sit through one more cutscene where my character cowers in fear while generic parody NPCs do all the work, I’m going to set sómething on fire.

  16. Noumenon says:

    Shamus, everyone’s reviews of Cataclysm got me to download WoW, and I made my first character a warlock, just because you made it look like fun.

    The adventure you covered in this storyline must be about 5% of all the time you spent in WoW.

  17. Neko says:

    Shamus, I’m sorry but we’re going to have to insist you spend the rest of your days continuing this story and all your other projects. We’ll get you drugs so you can stay awake all night and keep writing.

    1. theLameBrain says:

      Or clones. Clones could work.

  18. Blackbird71 says:

    You know, the writing in the original version of the game wasn’t exactly Shakespeare, but teh idiocy in these new Westfall quests is truly astounding.

    What I mean to say Shamus is thanks; thanks for making me not regret my decision to drop WoW last year. I thought it would be cool to check out the Cataclysm changes, but I’ve seen enough stupidity to satisfy me.

  19. Doctor Satan says:

    if we assign each object in a room a different volume, would it be easier to, you know, like help the ai move in that room. you know, like if a table is 4x4x4(lxbxh) the ai can jump on it and if it is 4x2x4(or 2x4x4 or 2x2x4) the ai can jump over it. something like that?
    ps. your site is great.

  20. Jenn says:

    Oh please don’t quit WoW! I have to read all your stories until you are level 85!

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