I entered The Deadmines last night for the first time in months.
With me were my oldest's Hunter, Tasarae, one of the Mage team on his Pally alt, and his daughter's Mage alt. I recruited a friend from Az's old Tuesday Molten Core runs, and she came along on her Bear tank alt.
All of us at level, and one of us setting foot inside for the first time.
We wiped three times --the last time trying to down Cookie after Van Cleef was dead-- and we pulled off a couple of fantastic recoveries after we had a couple of packs of ads on us.
All in all, it was amazing. I'd not had quite as much fun in a while.
Tasarae got to learn how Hunter pulls in an instance work, and I learned that I can tank --kinda sorta-- if I need to. My Bear friend had never been in Deadmines with a Bear before, and she was thoroughly enjoying how much fun it was to Bear tank things.* And in spite of me having a couple of levels on her, I simply could not pull aggro from her.
My Mage buddy healed us as best he could, and his daughter's Mage learned to enjoy sheeping things and blasting enemies with fire.
The instance itself, as my Mage team buddy said, was pretty much a perfect introductory instance. You learn the basics here and can take those lessons with you later on.
I was teasing my oldest about how she was going to be gunning for our raid team's Hunter puller, and she gave me a look that said "oh HELL no".
"But really," I said, "you're learning the same things that we use in Naxxramas today. That's why I don't like boosting so much, because this is how you learn to play your class."
"I'm still not raiding anytime soon," she replied.
The slow reveal of the extent of the weapon of mass destruction was not lost on my oldest. When we reached the final door and blasted our way in with a cannon, she said "Woah! Look at that!"
She knew there was a boat ahead, as we'd been chatting about it in Discord, but she was stunned by the size of the thing. And the weapons.
And in that moment, the plot came full circle.
This was what the Defias were working toward, and what they intended to unleash upon Stormwind.
I suppose it comes as no surprise that in addition to my regular blogging I've been writing about Card's continuing adventures on the side, with an eye toward a climax in the Deadmines.**
The questing in the Abbey, throughout Elwynn, and into Westfall all point a player toward a reveal as to why the Defias are the way they are, and even then there's plenty of plot points that a toon never knows about, even after the entry into the Deadmines is completed and the note found on Van Cleef's body points a player in the direction of who might be in league with the Defias within the Stormwind nobility. Hell, even once you get to L60 and defeat Onyxia you still don't know everything there is to know.
In that respect, I believe Blizz did a fantastic job of giving the player enough to go on, but not so much that they know everything. In reality, people don't know everything about what's going on --even if you think you do, you don't-- and so the Defias storyline reflects that. A player may find out everything Blizz has written on the subject (including the comics) but the player isn't privy to that information. And besides, you could make the argument that when what happens in WoW Classic contradicts the comics, I'd argue that WoW Classic should trump the comics in that regard. After all, the MMO is what we experience.
And the Defias' story is a cautionary tale as well, when your belief in your own correctness blinds you to everything else. In a way, it's a perfect tale for the past year or two.
Or, to borrow a few lines from what I've been working on...
*Her main is a Warrior Tank, so she's familiar with how.... busy.... it is to be a Warrior tank.
**There's other stories floating around too, such as the Missing Diplomat questline. The Missing Diplomat questline is perfect for someone who has ties to the shadowy underworld, such as a certain protagonist whose family is connected to SI:7. It is also great in that it gets Card out of Stormwind and on the road toward Dustwallow Marsh, where she can begin the quest to assemble her own wand.