WoW Wednesday has been notably absent from the blog lately. I haven't played WoW in at least a month, which is a large part of it. The other part is, I'm not sure there is much interest in it from you, the reader. I mean, if you don't play, I imagine it doesn't appeal to you. So I am in the process of rethinking it, deciding whether or not I want to continue with the column and if I do, where to go from here.
I did want to share the link to this article with you though. Its from the A.V. Club and it talks about abandoned cities in the game. If you've been playing the game long, the article will make a lot of sense. I've been around long enough to see a lot of these cities rise and fall. I have an appreciation for abandoned things in real life, buildings mostly. There's just something about them that I find fascinating. But it never occurred to me that things in a video game could become abandoned too.
Before they merged a bunch of servers together, I played on a few dead servers. Well, dead on the Alliance side, which is what I was playing at the time. It was beneficial during holidays- it made getting the holiday quests for achievements done so much faster. But there weren't many players to help you out when the Horde came to play "Destroy the Alliance", and the long trade chat and even guild chat silences could sometimes get boring. The cross realm things they did changed some of that, but you can still find major cities that are pretty much abandoned. Ironforge, the Exodar, Dalaran, Shattrath, and Silvermoon City are the ones that come to my mind immediately. It makes questing nice and easy if you're looking to power level, but again, the silences and absence of other players can get boring. With every expansion, more and more cities and areas get left to be abandoned in favor of the new content. I guess that's true of life too. The new and exciting is often chosen over the old and known. But WoW developers don't do much to help the old cities either. The new content doesn't require the old much anymore past mid-level 50's it seems. You only spend a marginal time in the Outlands before you can go to Northrend, where you can get the higher item levels needed to continue with the game. And from there its a straight shot to Cataclysm and Pandaria content.
With Warlords of Draenor on the horizon, there will be more empty cities. The empty cities aren't completely horrible though. If you role play or like to take screenshots of the scenery, the emptiness can be an advantage. You can also get to the auction house or trainers without a million people blocking your way or causing lag. And sometimes, when you don't want to see the Chuck Norris jokes, conspiracy theories and "make me a sandwich, bitch" comments, having a silent trade chat isn't such a bad thing. The article is right, there is beauty in WoW's abandoned cities.