Alunaria, over at Alunaria’s Avenue, has proposed a holiday challenge: stay away from the griping, grousing, and general grinchiness about World of Warcraft that’s all to easy to find these days and post something positive instead.
Leveling my new Dark Iron Dwarf through some of the classic zones has reminded me how much I love the new terrain and environmental design. It started getting noticeably less clunky in Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria.
Out of Cataclysm I especially appreciate Deepholm and Vashj’ir. While I don’t care for the monotonous coloring decisions in Deepholm, the design team carved out quest areas that felt distinct and made a really nice, varying zone in what is essentially a huge hole in the ground. And—though I struggled with having to move 360 degrees all round, not just on a level plain—Vashj’ir is simply gorgeous!
Pandaria I find a bit more hit or miss, but Jade Forest is lovely throughout.
Legion and afterwards is where the landscape design really blossomed. Several zones have self-contained questing areas side by side, each with its own micro-environment. Stormheim has some of the best examples of this concept.
Apart from the land shapes, Blizzard upped the flora designs. Tree models are more elaborate and more natural, and come in multiple different sizes. The druid classhall for one is fantastic!
Battle for Azeroth adds even more detailing. The two player-character factions may only have three zones each, but they all have so much to explore. I can’t wait for flying to be made available so I can just ride around looking at the design.
As an aside, one of my favorite BfA features is the incredibly fuzzy bee mount in Stormsong Valley. 🙂
What are your favorite areas and why?
Images: World of Warcraft screencaps
Of Dice and Dragons is an occasional feature about games and gaming.