Blizzard’s Azeroth is quite a beautiful world, thanks to wonderful art direction. Some people in Blizzard’s art department have a very strong vision of what they want the game to look like, and it shows. Also, they employ many low-poly wizards and great magicians of texturing, which helps create a surprisingly good-looking, smooth-running world without too many polygons.
But it’s a shame you have to play WoW to see Azeroth. That is, you might not have to play WoW at all. Look:
That’s a druid, morphed into their superfast bird-form. You’d have to play for a bunch of months to level a druid far enough to get this form, and while you would be able to do some sightseeing while leveling, you’d be mostly busy grinding. Now with my method, I get to see the nice landscapes of WoW without having to play WoW. Here’s how:
- Download WoW (there’s a link for the client download here)
- Sign up with the private WoW server WowBeez
- Log in and create a level 80 druid (you need to pick the instant-80 server for that)
- Go through the portal you see when you enter, you’ll be transported to The Mall where you can train all the shapeshifting skills and buy some Tier III equipment with the included gold
- Walk back to the Taxi NPC you came from. Talk to him to get food and water (optional)
- Talk to Taxi again and ask him to transport you to an area you’d like to see. He can transport you to leveling areas as well as instances
- As long as you’re in a Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King area, you can shapeshift into a bird form and check out the landscape from above! Press space to climb, X to sink (default key assignments)
- If you’re in a Classic area, just use some other fast form to explore quicker
Granted, this does not let you explore the inside of instances (only the noob ones, you can’t survive the others), but you do get to see most of the outside world. And you certainly see more of the landscape in shorter time than if you had to actually grind through the game.
Like Tipa, I am still waiting for a game that caters to the Explorer Bartle type. Azeroth is a beauty to explore, if half of Blizzard’s art team split off and created a niche Explorer game, I’d probably pay to play that. Until then, I just look look at their work using WowBeez sightseeing 🙂