I have now had the time to go through the Maldraxxus zone main quest chain and as promised here are my thoughts on its production, so far, with no spoilers. Compared to the Bastion main quest chain, the storyline does kick in very quickly after entering Maldraxxus. However, similar to The Maw, I, personally, feel that the zone looks quite bland. There are differences between the areas within the zone, but no part of the zone really stands out as anything special. It just feels like an amalgamation of zones I’ve seen in the game before.
The quests, as they currently are in the Beta main quest chain, are very standard kill X number of mobs or collect X items/ drops type quest. Original feeling quests are very few and far between, so in terms of gameplay it feels like quite a standard and, I would say, stagnant WoW affair. The pacing of the storyline does feel better than Bastion’s. However, I still didn’t feel very engaged in the storyline and there are a lot of quests that feel like obvious filler which drags events out.
As mentioned in my last article there are a lot of cutscenes still in production, so perhaps when those are included, the storyline might feel much more exciting and engaging. However, I’m not convinced the addition of the in development cutscenes will result in any drastic improvements. I still don’t feel any strong connection with any of the characters in this expansion, nor do I feel any investment or urgency in the events portrayed.
In terms of Maldraxxus’ covenant the abilities that you get access to, they do feel like they would be particularly useful for melee classes as they give access to a shielding ability. The characters of the zone were a lot more likable than I expected following the events in the last zone and given how war ready all the denizens of Maldraxxus are. Most of the characters you assist, do feel quite reasonable in their goals and requests.
There are still two zones for me to explore and I have particularly high hopes for the Ardenweald zone, so I’m hoping to have much more positive things to say soon.