Did we or didn't we do these things?

One thing I've started to notice during my questing and during my first couple of dungeon runs since the Shattering is that Blizzard has moved the old world forward through the Cataclysm in a very inconsistent manner.

Let me explain what I mean:

Before the Cataclysm, the quest Lost But Not Forgotten by Misha Tor'kren in Durotar was about her son having gone missing. You end up finding his remains in the belly of a crocolisk, and while she is obviously very sad, she thanks you for providing her with a definite answer in regards to his fate.

In the new world she gives you a quest with the same name, but in it she acknowledges that her son has been dead for a long time and asks you for help with crafting an item in his memory. This basically acknowledges that the previous quest already happened: her son disappeared and she was informed about his death.

On the other hand however, we have quests like Fizzled, which asks you to fetch something from a character that you supposedly already killed for some guy in Razor Hill years ago. Apparently that quest did not really happen.

In the Barrens I saw the same pattern: On the one hand Mankrik is full of hatred for the quillboar because they killed his wife, alluding to the adventurers that he asked to look for her back in the day already having confirmed her fate.

Yet another character asks me to kill Kreenig Snarlsnout, another named guy that I already killed years ago. Likewise all those centaur leaders whose heads I chopped off back then are also miraculously back from the dead, pretending that the story of those quests never happened either.

Ragefire Chasm still has Oggleflint and Targaman the Hungerer, perpetually frozen in time, but the Deadmines are full of new bosses and no more Defias because we killed those and obviously things are different now.

I don't know, it doesn't make the quests any less fun to play through, but if you're trying to think even the slighest bit in-character, it's just odd. The way everything that you kill respawns after a few minutes has always required a certain suspension of disbelief, but at least I was never being asked to kill the exact same NPC twice while being told that this was actually happening five years later. Either the quests we completed in original WoW really happened and have had an impact on the world or they haven't, but acknowledging that some happened while pretending that others didn't just feels strange to me.

It's almost as if the developers couldn't quite make up their minds whether they wanted the Cataclysm to truly move the story forward or whether they just wanted to overhaul the existing quests and streamline them. I'm surprised that nobody pointed out to them how weird and inconsistent it would look if they redid some quests with the former principle in mind and some according to the latter.


  1. My theory: Well okay, two theories:
    1) Instances and zones are set at specific times. In the case of instances, they are always at the time before you killed everything. This means that travel between zones is time travel, though that isn't the actual in-game process. Basically a wizard did it.
    2) The NPCs with the same name are just that: the same name. To avoid the perception of a breakdown in leadership, someone else takes up the name.

  2. 1) I always thought of zones that way to be honest, but at least the progression was linear, i.e. as you levelled up each new zone would be "later". People have mentioned how Outland and Northrend will feel broken in this sense after the Cataclysm, but I didn't think I'd start time-travelling back and forth the moment I step into an instance...

    2) I considered that too, but it feels like a bit of a stretch when there are so many of them.

  3. The easiest explanation is to assume corpse ressing is canon. Hey, the Blood Council's killed me more than a few times, and I keep coming back, who's to say they can't?

    When NPCs do kill another NPC (like Misha's son) they just corpse camp him until he cancels his account, so, perma-death.

    Conclusion: crocodiles are horrible griefers.

  4. > but at least I was never being asked to kill
    > the exact same NPC twice

    Unless it's a daily quest :)

  5. @Zarat: That's a fun explanation if nothing else; made me LOL. ;)

    @Kring: But there aren't any dailies to kill a named guy over and over, are they? The most absurd daily I can think of was the sword one from the Argent Tournament, where you deal with the same cursed people over and over...

  6. You mean beside Chillmaw, Deathspeaker Kharos, Mistcaller Yngvar, Drottinn Hrothgar and Ornolf The Scarred? :)


  7. Ooh, that's what I get for never bothering with those. Still, in Northrend with all the undead action I still find that less jarring than seeing random mobs of various types come back to life in the old world.

  8. I don't think the mobs you have to kill in these daily are all undeads. And you're probably not going to accept Anub'Arak for the same reason.

    I don't think there was a "kill named NPC" daily in TBC and there weren't any daily in vanilla. There were repeatable quests in Silithus and one asked you to kill Twilight Marauder Morna.


    Otherwise I can only offer you: Kael'thas Sunstrider

    "Razor Hill was merely a set back"

  9. He didn't have a name as such, but the poor Emissary of Hate got killed day after day....Not ta mentions the embarrassments of where we done stuck that flag pole.

    Is a world where a gun shoots bullets at the speed as ya can throw a knife, where skeletal gryphons done fly with no apologies ta aerodynamic laws, where ya can heal yerself from jumpin' off a 60-meter tower by sittin' down and eatin' a cheeseburger. Is there any wonders what time be weirdly non-linear? Ya thinks too hard abou it, ya just gonna headacheify yerself.

  10. You mean like the old level 60 quest "In Dreams" where Taelan, Tirion Fordring son, gets killed and Tirion mourns his death.

    All you think at this moment is "Are you one of these suckers who didn't do the rezz quest or what's your problem, paladin?"