I’ve been questing through the re-made low level zones of late, considering I had Loremaster a short while after Wrath was released you may wonder what incentive there is to go back and do this, for me its the storyline. Which was always a big part of Warcraft for me, even back in teh days of Warcraft 2 and 3.

I have though felt incomplete as I have quested my way through the newly remade zones in a way I never did previously. When I originally levelled through these zones or came back to quest in them later I always felt a sort of .. completeness as I finished a zone.

The quests had usually sent you all around the zone and in most cases apart from some glaring exceptions the zones had felt finished. Now though when I finish a zone I feel as though I have missed something or havent done something .. despite having cleared everything I could come across.

Part of this could be due to the fact that I am looking at only Horde Quests .. I mean the Alliance could fill in the blanks for the rest of the zone, but that is just a void either way that I never previously experienced. Part of it could be that the zones are not truly finished and are waiting to be reworked in another major overhaul in a year or two. Or part of it could just be that after the flow of the storylines in these zones I just expect more.

Let me throw you some examples.

When you are questing in the Northern Barrens there is a giant mountain still claimed by the Burning Blade (you may recall quests here from classic) but in the current version of the game the only quests I found at all in relation to the Burning Blade in the barrens was keeping them off a supply train.. I mean there is no explanation of what they are still doing there, why they seem to have such vast numbers so suddenly or what they are now up to.

From Stonetalon to the South Barrens one of your biggest storylines is the aggressivess of the Forces of Theramore as they have stormed out of Northwatch and from Dustwallow. While you do really hit back at the Alliance in the South Barrens as a Horde player you feel left adrift when your quests do not take you to attack Northwatch, or when you move from the South Barrens into Dustwallow and you are not trying to destroy the new formed highway, preventing the alliance from moving troops to the barrens or attacking Theramore.  No instead of doing what you feel would be logical follow ups to the zones you are investigatng the burned out inn (again) and doing pretty much teh same quests you were doing in classic with 1 or 2 new ones thrown in.

Then in a Thousand Needles you are sent off on this fantastic quest chain that actually is one of the best I have come across as yet outside the Burning Steppes (if you haven’t done those yet do it .. fantastic story-chain) but then right at the end you are thrown a curveball. You free Magatha Grimtotem, help her, and then meekly inform the sailbarge and thats it. No dire portents, no “oh crap you better inform Baine” or whatever .. no it just ends. Which in retrospect is similar to how the Grimtotem lines always seem to.

So I suppose you can see why I feel like my thirst hasn’t been quenched by questing, but, yep there is a but, I also feel that the quests I am given are not making me explore the zones in any way the old ones used to.

In Ashenvale I had no reason to go anywere near most of the Furbolg settlements nor do I recall spending much time fighting the Satyrs which were quests I always loathed during classic but found myself oddly missing. In Stonetalon the old Horde hub is bypassed entirely, and the Charred Vale which is now covered in Black Dragons and Magma .. is not even looked at. In the South Barrens we ignore Northwatch and do very little questing at all down amongst the Quillboars which is an area now totally overgrown .. nearly all our focus in this zone is on the Overgrowth and the Battlescar. In a different area .. Swamp of Sorrows, the entire back and forth between the Alliance & Horde around Stonard and Sunken Temple is fantastic, but the entire western part of the zone is pretty much dead barring a single rather mournful questchain which still doesn’t have you fully explore the area.

Now I am not griping .. well maybe I am, I mean I have had a lot of fun in these areas, and have really been enjoying them, looking over the new storylines and getting a feel for everything in Cataclysm that as a “veteran” returning from Northrend and being shipped off straight to Hyjal or Vashjir you wouldn’t have seen or understood much of.

Helping Eitrigg and his son in the Burning Steppes prevent an invasion of Blackrock Orcs into Redridge was just awesome, as was the anger blizzard actually stirred in me against the Alliance with the quests in the Southern Barrens.

Yet while some areas feel completed through and through .. like the Burning Steppes or the Blasted Lands. Others do truly leave me feeling like I have sat down for a three course meal only to be told that I can only have the entree before they have to close the kitchen.

I hope that levelling an Alliance Toon will complete these zones for me, but I still feel a little miffed that zones which once felt complete now leave me feeling unsatisfied with the eventual outcome.