Yesterday, in a post on Metroblogging Azeroth, I wrote about home cities and why we choose them. Is it a purely functional choice, or is there something more? Does it require easy access to bank, auction house, training, or do you choose to set your hearthstone to a place that has deeper meaning for you?
Thunder Bluff, the Tauren home city in Mulgore, is a good example. This morning while I was having coffee before work I ran my baby rogue down there to pick up some weapons training. It is the most beautiful area, capturing perfectly the atmosphere of an idealized Native American village. All of the NPCs looked as though they were doing “real” things, rather than just standing around waiting to be talked to. It was fresh, colourful, clean, bright in the morning sun…and I felt such a sense of peace being there.
I would never set my hearthstone there, as one of the things that I need is easy access to the AH. But still…so lovely. That’s one of the things that Blizzard has done extremely well, is the sense of place that they can convey. I’ve been in Stranglethorn Vale in the early morning, fishing (again while having breakfast before work), and sitting on that beach, with that pale-gold morning light reflecting off the water perfectly realised, I felt at peace. It’s not the same as being there in person, obviously, but it is extremely impressive for a game to provide that level of immersiveness that you can enjoy a dawn, or a sunset, or the stars at night.