Cloudy with a Chance of Deathwing
While leveling a (druid, ahem) alt in Zul’Drak the other day, a funny thing happened: it started to snow.
Zul’Drak’s bizarre sky and unpredictable weather patterns got me thinking about the first time I experienced weather in WoW.
A long time ago on a server far, far away, a young druid first stepped off the boat from Rut’theran Village to Auberdine and discovered that there was a sizable storm rolling in off the coast. She looked around, astounded, then quickly whispered a friend who had encouraged her to try out the game. “It’s raining in Auberdine!” she hastily typed. “I didn’t realize there’d be places where it would always be raining.”
“It’s not always raining there,” her friend replied with a chuckle. “Sometimes it rains in Darkshore, and sometimes it doesn’t.”
“Oh!” she said, slowly catching on. “So you mean, like, some days of the week it will rain here? Or only in the mornings? Something like that?”
Her friend laughed again. “No,” he said. “Not certain days or certain times, or even certain zones, really. It’s just … random. Sometimes it rains or snows in some places, and some times it doesn’t do anything at all.”
“You mean …” she hesitantly responded, “you mean it’s like … real rain?”
“I guess you could say that,” her friend typed back, obviously a little confused as to what all the fuss was about.
Real rain! Real weather!
This was one of my first real “wow” moments in WoW. (Sheesh, excuse the awful pun.) The idea that sometimes it might be raining in one zone while being completely clear in another, and that it wasn’t just a matter of “it will always rain in Darkshore from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays” completely blew my mind.
A few days later, that same friend and I hopped on to a pair of low-level Horde alts to take a look at how the other half lived. We made our way to Orgrimmar, and in the days before the zeppelin with a direct flight to Thunder Bluff, we began our slow trek on foot through the Barrens. Somewhere between the Crossroads and … anything else in that old zone, I stopped in my tracks as a pack of gazelles ran across the road in front of us.
“Um, yeah I think so,” the Blood Elf responded. “Oh, and sometimes wolves or lions or something will run out and attack them,” he finished with an evil grin.
Dumbfounded, the Forsaken stared at her friend. “You’re kidding.”
Animals that act like real animals! Crazy!
Most recently, the changes to the water engine since Cataclysm launched have led to me losing quite a few minutes every day to splashing around the lakes in Stormwind. One of my favorite things to do is log on to my shaman, and jump up above the water while casting Water Walking on myself. I’ll land on top of the water, but a perfect ring of ripples will spread out from where I land. What, I ask you, is more fun than that?
What “wowed” you the first time you experienced Azeroth? Or, what new experiences since Cataclysm have made you take a moment to stop and enjoy the scenery around you?
On nights when Cho’gall refuses to renounce his corrupted ways, and Nefarian just plain won’t die, it’s nice to have moments like these to take my mind off of things.