Expect the Unexpected
I’m not one to get upset over spoilers ((Those that are – enough with the yelling. Not helping.)). In my opinion, a game, movie, book, or whatever that falls apart because of spoilers is a wretched thing to begin with, and is worth nobody’s time, not even the author’s.
Having said that, I’m always delighted when I am surprised by something in one of these mediums. The use of the word "brisance" to describe a rocket motor’s torque-like capacity; a non-verbal flash of humanity from an otherwise unpleasant character; the madman on the piano that is subtly masked (but not obscured) by the lead vocals; that hidden nook in a game in which nothing important can be found, but which is unique in your experience. And yes, even the classical "whoa I didn’t see that coming!" moment that takes place from time to time, plot-worthy or not.
When playing a game like WoW, your desire for surprises is often countered by your need to get to a certain goal by a certain time. For raiders, it’s sometimes important to avoid all the frippery of "plot" and focus on the mechanical aspects of reaching 90 and getting geared. It’s cold and unpleasant and quite frankly one of the worst things about this game. I understand how it comes to pass, but I don’t like it.
I’ve burned through content quickly in order to get to 90 so that we could start raiding on schedule – or at least, so I could be part of that ‘we’. Still working the gearing-up ((Oh, no doubt the "pro" guilds would have bounced my ass by now. Good for them.)), and that’s turned out to lead me to unexpected places, to my delight.
I dinged 90 while working Kun-Lai, but I hadn’t finished that zone. Turns out that probably the best faction to start grinding right now, for me, is the Klaxxi, which means I have to come back and finish Kun-Lai first, so I’ve been working there. Eventually, as you fly around this place, you’re drawn to the summit. I just had to check it out.
There’s really not a lot special about this; anyone at level 90 with a flying mount can get here. Heck, there’s a path you can walk up.
But it’s a brilliant peaceful moment in the hustle of the day, and I’m better for it.
Little surprises like this make the game more interesting. There are no arrows, quests, or NPCs to get you to them. There is no achievement spam. You just find it, or you don’t. And if you want a memento of the moment, you take a screenshot – just like it is in that thing they call "the real world".
I’m positive there’s a guide for Klaxxi grinding somewhere that would get me out of Kun-Lai sooner. Most likely, this place isn’t anywhere in that guide. That’s one reason I don’t use those guides, but prefer to only resort to online research when I have to. First, you find things like this. Second, there is a good feeling to the more organic process that you don’t get when you’re marching to the beat of some mechanical, methodical guide.
Yes, sure, sure, I would be using that guide "if I was really serious."
But I’m willing to take a few hits against efficiency for a little bit of inner peace and enjoyment.