I promise not to bore you with as long as an analysis as I had yesterday, but mostly because there’s far less to say about today’s subject. As I mentioned yesterday, literature (in all varieties) about time or set in post-apocalyptic landscapes has always fascinated me. I’m sure that Back to the Future being the first movie I saw in the theater and Wasteland being one of my first role-playing games on the computer (after the original Bard’s Tale) had some affect on me, and perhaps the morality of most post-apocalyptic literature, that we had something and lost it, that we should appreciate what we have, appeals to my nature.
For that reason, I was particularly excited when I first heard about Cataclysm. The idea that they were going to rend Azeroth end to end, redesign it, create a new world from the ashes made me quite excited about the expansion. I had really enjoyed Fallen Earth and was looking for some of the themes from that game to come over to WoW, though obviously in a very limited way.
As more was released, that 1000 Needles was going underwater, that Stormwind and Orgrimmar were going to be destroyed, etc, I became more and more anxious for the release.
It was, in the end, a disappointment. Overall, I enjoyed the expansion for what it was, but it was certainly not apocalyptic. It was barely even cataclysmic, for that matter. I know it was foolish to get my hopes up in such a way for anything Blizzard does, but what can I say? They struck a chord, then a nerve. A gigantic death dragon flew out of the center of the world! And all we get is a flooded zone, a scar here and there, a missing part of Stormwind, and that’s about it.
Sure, there are some small post-apocalyptic elements. The goblin starter zone works perfectly, in fact, as a sort of pre-apocalyptic adventure. Afterwards, Stranglethorn and the Barrens both have a good amount of apocalyptic chaos within them. Deepholm, too, has a great storyline wherein you work to prevent further apocalypse.
Overall, though, it’s not a post-apocalyptic environment like Blizzard I bet had first imagined. I’m sure there original concept and story boarding involved massive world-sized changes that would completely redefine the world. It just turned out to be too much work, and so those of us who were looking for the anarchy of a post apoc world were a bit disappointed in the end. No great loss on Blizzard’s part.
As a final example, I was looking for something akin to the chaos caused by the pre-wrath event, where a communicable disease was rapidly spreading amongst players, turning them into playable zombies, rendering the capital cities wastelands where it wasn’t safe to venture. Stormwind should have been the new Gnomeregan. Orgrimmar should have been the new Stromgarde. A great migration away from the captials, creating or revitalizing hubs. It could have been fantastic.
Stubborn (who still hopes for the end of the world to come)