WoW: Orphans

I spent so much time procrastinating about writing up Portal 2 that I completely missed Noblegarden, the week-long Azeroth Easter festival. No matter: it was immediately followed by Children’s Week, when battle-hardened mercenaries with the power to destroy gods are invited to bring orphans to work with them. There’s a whole quest-chain of activities you can do with your orphan, such as flying kites and going for ice cream and going to visit the Banshee Queen in her dank and horrible lair.

Your orphan is treated by the game as the same sort of thing as the various summonable pets you can buy. That is, it follows you wherever you go and does not participate in combat in any way. If you get into your turbo-trike and drive away, the orphan chases after you like an Olympic sprinter. It all seems comically callous: “I’ll just get in my car. No, you stay outside. Cars are for us important hero-types. Just try to keep up, right? The exercise will do you a world of good.” Particularly since, as I noted before, I can drive around on top of lakes. I can see the tyke furiously swimming underwater after me, his location identifiable only by the little quest marker over his head.

Another amusing fact about orphans: they are interchangeable. In a sense, each orphan is all orphans. If you see someone else out walking with an orphan, you can talk to it, and it will respond as if it were yours. I actually took advantage of this during the kite quest, which caused my own orphan to go running around at random, so excited was he by his kite. Rather than chase him down and click on him to complete the quest, I just spoke to a calmer orphan accompanying a stranger.

In short, Children’s Week is exactly the kind of fun I’ve learned to appreciate in WoW: the fun of immersing yourself in incongruity. It’s also a golden opportunity for easy XP (especially for pacifists): each quest in the chain gives the same largish lump of experience as the daily cooking and fishing quests, which means it scales with the questor’s level. As a result, Oleari has finally reached level 60, the level cap for vanilla WoW. I’m disappointed to report that, although I’m now at the right level for a flying mount, I can’t actually obtain one without buying an expansion or two.

It seems like there are three routes I can take from here: I can buy The Burning Crusade and continue leveling Oleari, I can switch to a different character for a while (maybe even try out the Alliance), or I can just drop the whole thing. I’m going to have to decide that I’m done with this game at some point, and reaching the level cap seems like a pretty good time to do that. But I’m told that Burning Crusade is nice — nicer than subsequent expansions, apparently. I’ll take a few days to decide.

2 Comments so far

  1. Merus on 2 May 2011

    That’s nostalgia talking: Burning Crusade, for a soloer, is brutal compared to the smooth experience of Cataclysm’s 1-60 content.

  2. malkav11 on 2 May 2011

    Yeah, I don’t know where you would have heard that. Outland is admittedly a pretty cool place aesthetically, but the questing was only an improvement compared to the -original- 1-60 questing, not the new stuff you’re used to at this point. The raids are kinda nifty, but you’re not likely to experience those.

    Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm both have a lot of fun questing, but that’s also a significant money and time investment, so whether it would be worth it for you I can’t say.

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