I was directed to head up to Arathi Highlands last night to go help out our forces. Once there, I was sent by a little goblin to go scout a few places, but to be honest I wasn’t paying him much attention at all as I was completely captivated by a rebuilt Stromgarde.
I’ve read Before the Storm which has a few major parts take place in the area and noticed all the pets and toys in my journal that come from Arathi, so I knew that it would become a major hub of this expansion but I still wasn’t prepared for the scale of the rebuild.
I spent a long time on my Blood Elf exploring around the place. The aggro radius on the guards and civilians was very low so I could get quite close. Not sure if that was intended as Blizz knew there’d be lots of curious Horde tourists or just luck, but it meant I could poke around quite well.
I was really pleased to see the one guard that I got a bit too close to, was decked out in the traditional red of Stromgarde rather than Stormwind colours.
However, I wasn’t quite expecting the mixed feelings I had about the rebuild. Arathi is one of my favourite zones and Stromgarde is so imposing and beautiful even in ruins that I’ve longed to see it rebuilt. But it actually happening with very little in-game participation feels like the history has just been wiped over.
When I was reading Before the Storm where there is a great deal of interaction with the Keep and surrounding area, the first reference to Stromgarde is when Stormwind forces stroll in to a fully functional intact fortress.There’s no mention of the ruins it is in game; broken down and filled with Syndicate members and enemies and no mention it was rebuilt, it was just there intact again.
I was sort of hoping there might be some in-game reference to Stormwind forces heading up and rebuilding, not just log into a fully re-built keep in place. I am coming from a Horde perspective so maybe I’m overlooking some Alliance quests, but I checked with a couple of Ally friends and they didn’t mention any quests or references to Stromgarde being rebuilt in game? On Horde side, apart from a few mission table quests that reference the zone in their title, there was nothing about the new Horde encampment right out the front either.
It really feels like so much of the lore/story is placed outside the game into books or not referenced at all before the world is changed without comment or a nod to what needed to happen to get to where we are now.
I’m thinking Zidormi will have to be placed in the area, or the people trying to farm Syndicate rep for the Insane title are going to have a difficult time.
Even with my mixed feelings, i am really looking forward to taking my ally toon up there for a really good look around without the risk of cranky guards.