As I shared last week, my quest to earn the Loremaster title before the release of Cataclysm is now underway. I opted to start off my journey in Kalimdor. First, I wound my way through Durotar, then moved on to the Barrens, hopped over to Mulgore, and now am working my way through Stonetalon Mountains. And as I’m sure you can imagine, this has involved a lot of running — A. Lot.
I’m not complaining — in fact, I knew this would be the case. And I think, in some ways, all the running of obscenely long distances may be one of the largest detractors for others who decide to make an attempt for Loremaster. It also makes the earning of the title all the more admirable for those who stick through the journey.
Despite the amount of time that it takes to run across some zones, however, this process has been making me more and more conflicted on the coming change in Cataclysm that will allow players to fly throughout the Old World.
On the one hand, it certainly will make things SO much more convenient. Not to mention fast. Why run all sorts of weird paths this way and that way at a measly 100% ground speed when you can make a bee-line route straight to your destination at 280 or 310% speed, and probably with a lot less interference from enemies? Put in those terms, supporting the change is an obvious choice. We’ll spend less time traveling and more time enjoying the other gameplay aspects that we’re really here for.
That’s what seems like the right way to feel about it. But this nagging voice inside keeps telling me that I’ll soon be yearning for the nostalgic days of running everywhere with my trusty hoard of ground mounts.
Here’s the thing. The Cataclysm is going to change a lot. Many zones probably won’t even seem like the same places that they are now. Rather, they’ll seem like entirely new areas that we can fly over, much like the introduction of brand new zones that we could fly over both in the Burning Crusade and the Wrath of the Lich King expansions. I can see that line of thinking. In fact, I got into a long discussion with my husband about it and he, an electrical engineer, supports the argument that they essentially will be entirely new areas. From a coding perspective, I suppose they will be.
But from a lore perspective, that is not the case. Thousand Needles — whether it’s a dry, barren canyon, or a flooded area with returning life — is still Thousand Needles. It’s still the place that I remember battling against the Grimtotem Clan, where I raced along the Mirage Speedway, where Dorn Plainstalker gave us quests to teach us about Faith, Endurance and Strength. I suppose flying may be the only practical way to get around the zone after Cataclysm, but I have a feeling that getting down on the ground and trotting it out may be the best way to really take in all the changes and how they relate to what the zone once was.
I may just have to call it a draw on this one — even with all the mixed feelings about using flying mounts in the Old World, I’ll probably be more than relieved to have them in a few months. I’ll have to remind myself, though, to every now and then take a ride on my ground mount and take in the scenery.
What are your feelings on the topic?