Drustvar is the western zone of Kul Tiras, the land of miners, farmers and sturdy warriors. The lead-in briefing is investigation of what happened to the Lord and Lady Waycrest who were absent at the latest council, so you set out to unveil the mistery.
Mild spoiler alert: the overview can’t be done without mentioning certain characters and areas, but major plot points and twists won’t be given away.
It’s an extremely rare occasion when Blizzard doesn’t have multiple storylines running in one location. Remember Val’sharah – where you first thought would be “Emerald Nightmare”, but then wooden imps and faerie dragons, crazy moonkins, furbolg villages, ghost night elves and non-worgen Gilneans come to mind.
Well, Drustvar is ALL about the dark legacy of the past largely exploited by modern day witches.
Witches. Witches, witches, witches. Throughout the whole Warcraft history we haven’t got a single proper witch – a classic one. This is very strange, as witches have always been an important part of every IRL nation’s folklore. The closest we’ve ever come to that was a pandaren jade witch in Jade Forest of Pandaria who turned travelers into stone, and it was just a couple of quests.
Now we have them in full as if Blizzard wants us to excuse the developers for their previous absence. Classic looks. Classic cackling. Classic attributes – mind control, hex amulets, disguising, hexed people and twisted mostrosities, with a heavy enhancement on wicker twig magic (due to dark Drust people legacy). Throughout the zone, from the very start to the very end you’ll be fighting witches and their servants. And you even participate in the wrongly accused classic witch trial!
Some attributes of a victorian horror are present too – take a dark cult led by a nobleman, creepy children and their tea parties etc. But in the end this all is intertwined with the very same witch theme. The limerick is precious:
The zone is actually not that dark. Surely you start in creepy villages, woods and cemeteries that bathe in creepiness, but you are quite soon sent to the more opened shorelines border with Tiragarde Sound. And then, after a while, to mountainous regions in the west which vividly remind of the most welcoming sunny winter/not-so-winter zones like Grizzly Hills or Highmountain.
Which doesn’t make the questlines less creepier. Like I said, witch theme is tying the whole zone.
The questline is immersing, grimdark and has some serious plot twists.
There are lots of side questlines, more than you can imagine, and frankly I completed the zone in exhaustion. When I have to make the last step into the heart of evil, and I just can’t make it. Maybe we could have a couple of “something completely different” for side quests, maybe it’s my mage leveling issues (it was tiresome unlike other classes), maybe it’s all together.
The weak point of the zone are its characters. We lack the ones that we admire and want to follow to the end. Most of the characters you meet are just… okay. They play their part, and you forget about them immediately after the questline is completed. They just don’t stick in mind.
Lucille Waycrest is notable with her personal tragedy and appealing inability to fight. It’s so natural that not all are warriors, but Blizzard normally fails to refuse fighting skills for major characters. Here we literally have to protect her, she’s neither a warrior nor a sorcerer, while at the same time being the central character of the plot, making up plans and making us move forward. It’s a new thing, and it’s quite fresh and appealing. Normally if you have to protect someone, it will be some crazy scientist or explorer, a joke played for laughs and a butt monkey. Lucille is certainly a strong character, and not a whiner, even if she lack might and magic skills. A hero scholar/noble. Yet she lacks a certain zest that would make us love her to the bone.
I would definitely note the “body-positive” Kul Tiran woman which accompanies us through Crimson woods, one of the local guards. Now that’s a girl which has some salt in her! :) Too bad she modestly steps aside after her part is done.
A notable thing is Kul Tiran druids. This is where we have a chance to fight alongside for a while. Strange though, when they lead us to get acquainted with the head druid, the questline just… ends. But he answers our questions! It’s very educational, and I think all the main issues about them being Kul Tirans, wicker forms and all are answered. The lore is most sufficient.
Drustvar has some awesome background sounds rolling. The music is victorian and eerie, and in the moments when it’s silenced you hear what I call the next step in ambience. Woodpeckers in daylight and owl hooting in the night, as long as many other sounds, are very much immersing.
I advise playing the first part of Drustvar in the night, and proceed to the mountains in the daylight.
Battle for Azeroth Zone Reviews: