Call To (Developer) Arms: Stromgarde

Let’s just get one thing out of the way at the start – we all hate the idea of yet more rehashed WoW content, right? I mean, more or less. Both Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman were great in their day, and I have particularly fond memories of raid leading for the first time in ZG, with a WoWWiki tab open in the background to speed-read boss tactics, but frankly, at this point, the idea of seeing, say, AQ20 as the next 5-man is enough to make me want to stab things, and not in a WoW sense.

(Yeah, I know I predicted AQ20 as one possibility for the Patch 4.3 5-man. Let’s just hope I’m wrong, eh?)

Yeah, I didn’t want to even think about an existing location being reworked into a new level 85 dungeon. And then Rades of Orcish Army Knife came up with the best suggestion I’ve ever heard for a WoW location that’s crying out to become a 5-man, or even a hub – Stromgarde!

So how would this work as an instance? Well hell, it already FEELS instanced, just walking through the main gates! Cross that threshold, and you’re suddenly no longer in the wild grassland hills of Arathi battling spiders and raptors – now you’re in this contained, tense environment, up against all manner of entrenched, hard-as-nails soldiers. And with four factions fighting each other, all for different purposes, I always feel slightly apprehensive, like I was about to be caught in the middle of a very heated and very personal grudge match.

You know those war movies where the characters have to rush down a war-torn street while bullets are buzzing around them, bodies are covering the ground, planes are soaring overhead and you can hear bombs and explosions coming from every direction? That’s how I envision Stromgarde would feel; tense, panicked, with a palpable feeling of danger at every turn.

This is a long, detailed pitch for what, quite frankly, sounds like it would be a fantastic instance. Rades has a gift for weaving new stories from WoW lore, and there are some great ideas in here – I particularly liked his “hidden sponsors of the Syndicate” concept. And Stromgarde itself does indeed sound like a fantastic setting – as anyone who has watched “The Return” (still probably my pick for the number 1 WoW Machinima piece of all time) knows, it’s an evocative and woefully under-explored setting, another example of Blizzard’s tendancy to rush people past their own brilliance.

I wonder what other hidden gems there are out there that could become great instances? What about the old rope-bridge-connected Grimtotem HQ in pre-Cata Thousand Needles? Or Jintha’alor?

Ok, maybe not. More bloody Trolls.

Do you have an idea for a great location that could turn into the next 5-man – or even the next raid? And what do you think of the Stromgarde pitch – awesome or meh?

_Quote taken directly from Rades’ post.

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