I’ve really enjoyed my time in WoW getting from level 80 to 85. I started at Mt Hyjal after a brief journey into Vash’jir to get a Seahorse mount. Then I moved onto Deepholm, which is the most gorgeous place to hang out for a while, even if the airship made me physically sick. And through this time I heard from others how much I’d like Uldum, how beautiful it was, how thoroughly Egyptian in mood. So I was excited when it was my next port of call. I actually found the way there a few days earlier than I’d meant to, got distracted while doing the Metzen the Reindeer quest and found the caravan headed for Uldum, and that was my introduction to the only WoW zone so far that I have extremely mixed feelings about.
Uldum is undoubtably pretty. I really loved the questline for the Ramkahen. Even the boring bits of ‘killing x’ I was quite enjoying. I adored the gnome obliteration quest (this isn’t my video of it): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dJuALvrKrw. Everything was going pretty well and the zone was living up to expectations. Until, that is, I finished that questline and wondered why it didn’t feel like the zone was done. One of my guildmates suggested I might not have finished the Harrison Jones quests, and I remembered that I had kind of wandered away from them, maybe a sign of things to come. I went to look up the ‘famed’ explorer and picked up where I’d left off.
I’m sorry world, I didn’t like it. That’s not entirely accurate, I liked good chunks of it, the bits that revolved around tomb exploration, pyramids, archaeology and even roping camels and caging pygmies. I didn’t like the Schnottz stuff. I know we needed a baddie. I liked that the bad guys were Deathwing’s (am trying to avoid TOO many spoilers here). I didn’t like Schnottz, the Hitler pastiche, the faux German accents. It made me uncomfortable. I think we’re done with the age where German accent = baddie. I didn’t really feel comfortable having Hitler as a pop-culture reference that lingered. It’s hard to explain. I’m sure I could have dealt with it for one quest, but it went on and on, and I felt more uncomfortable as it did. And that discomfort made me stop enjoying the quests. I was talking to a friend who lives in Germany and wasn’t up to Uldum yet, and I got as far as mentioning the Indiana Jones questline, but stopped short of mentioning I was currently questing for ‘a really bad guy with a Hitler moustache who speaks with a German accent’. That’s the conversation that made me realise I wasn’t entirely comfortable with it.
And then, talking to Spinks, I managed to formulate my thoughts more. It wasn’t just the German accents I didn’t like (and yeah yeah, I like Indiana Jones films, but they’re historical and set in the right period for him to be fighting Nazis!)… Uldum just seemed to take me out-of-game more than the other zones, though the Harrison Jones quests, so they became the focus for my ennui. I’m not sure if anyone else feels the same way, but since it was such an odd reaction for me, I thought it might be interesting to blog it – since I don’t often have much to say!