This would be the first post of my Broken Isles review series, and I’m just gonna talk a bit about general issues.
Have you ever wondered why you like or do not like some particular leveling or endgame zone?
Well, one thing is obvious: it’s your personal attitude to this or that type of terrain and – to lesser extent – creatures inhabiting it. I’ve always liked grassy plains and snowy areas, so no wonder I could name Valley of Four Winds, Dun Morogh or Winterspring among my top ones in Azeroth. People who hate insects would suffer a lot somewhere in Dread Wastes which is basically scorpids and mantid lurking in the darkness. And so on.
But there’s one more important thing, and it doesn’t involve lore or visuals: it is comfort while you’re there. A comfortable experience could make even the worst zone at least bearable. I hate deserts and dusty rocky terrains, but Tanaris has always been one of my favs.
What makes a zone comfortable to be in? Three main points here:
- Easy traveling
- Hostile wild environment
- Safe spots
Let’s talk of them one by one.
1. Traveling issues. The worst thing you could do to a zone is making it hard to get to different spots and places. If there’s only one path to a location you need. If you fall off a cliff, and then you need to cross half of the zone to get back. Exploration is fun to an extent, but when you’re standing before a needed item and even see it a little above on a cliff, but you need to go a long way around to get it… When you get distracted for a second or decide to make a shortcut, you’re suddenly down there and need to go a 5-minute detour to return to the cliff. That’s just not my idea of fun. The main zone killers considering travels are, of course, ravines, hills and mountains.
2. Hostile environment. You may do well with cliffs, and you may not even object an extra ride if the scenery is nice. The question is: what kind of ride should it be?
When a zone is highly populated by hostile creatures, it just doesn’t leave a chance for you to like it. When each and every step could end up in a pack of mobs – it’s not what I want. You just can’t take a break. When you return with a cup of tea, perfectly sure you were way out of foe villages and towns and on the road, you see your breathless body stomped by some vacant yak or chewed by a random wolf. Again, not my idea of fun.
In my opinion every zone should be boasting at least some areas – and vast ones – where nothing bad could happen to you. Where you’re safe to ride either by the roads or between the trees and grasses. This just unwinds you a bit. Not all the world must be dangerous. You shouldn’t experience danger all the time if you took five steps from the flight master.
3. Safe spots. Flight masters are many nowadays, and couldn’t be overrun by wild animals or foes. And still, every area in my opinion should boast with at least three perfectly safe hubs where you could take a rest and do some things.
The important requirements about these safe hubs are as follows:
- Not just a flight master and a tent. This is important. It should be a settlement. I’m thinking Talador’s outpost here: it’s a small, but vibrant place. It could be a place of your faction or inhabited by locals, but it must not be a temporary camp.
- Not shoved where Elune don’t shine. Well, that’s obvious. Who would care for a safe spot if it’s no use and never visited? Of course, it should be located near vital points.
So, within the upcoming zone posts I will review Broken Isles zones one by one considering:
- Lore and Storyline