The Voices of Zangarmarsh Mushrooms
Did you know that all creation, all living or non-living things, talk in a way? They do, though, not always in ways we recognize. Some of them talk in ways we cannot hear or feel, with words we cannot make sense of.
Hello fellow adventurers,
After a very long and often tiring adventure in the vast, barren lands of Hellfire Peninsula, who would have expected to be welcomed by a zone as spectacular as Zangarmarsh? Especially after getting so used to the crimson earth of the Peninsula, entering Zangarmarsh will be a feast to your eyes with all the dark tones of blue, violet and green.
Zangarmarsh... a zone in extreme contrast with its neighboring zones like Nagrand and Blade's Edge Mountains, a zone full of marshes, lakes, rivers and any sort of water bodies, a zone fully dipped in an ever-intensifying humid air which surprisingly does not cause difficulty in your breathing, but more than all, what really makes Zangarmarsh unique is that it is full of gigantic mushrooms, the smallest of which is almost higher than the highest guard tower of Stormwind Keep.
The darkness that lingers on Zangarmarsh is not of evil, it is of nature and balance. Though it might be hard to adapt your eyesight to it at first, you will soon get used to not seeing the sun for a very long time, as you continue your adventures in this marshy zone. There are even rumors that the sun has not really been seen in these parts of Outland for generations, where the only way the land to absorb any amount of sunlight is that if the rain drops falling to the ground from clouds hundreds of meters above the mushroom caps were able to catch a short glimpse of the sun during their departure towards their last journey.
I don't know if the word "zangar" means "mushroom" in any of the Outland languages, but they couldn't have chosen a more fitting word to name a marsh such as this one, that is full of mushrooms of all species and sizes, most of which you have no chance to see in any part of Azeroth. You could spend one lifetime on cataloguing the mushrooms of Zangarmarsh and still not be able to catalogue all of them. Poor Lauranna, how could she have known when she was appointed for this task?
Depending on which season, which month, which day and which hour of the day you are visiting Zangarmarsh, you can see the giant mushrooms in a wide range of colors, from thorium green to lava red and from dark gold to pyrite yellow. Just when you think you have seen them all, continue walking across the marsh, and it won't take too long for you to discover just another mushroom with a much different color you have never seen before.
Walking between such huge mushrooms, some of them as tall as a few hundred meters with stems wider than the trunks of the ancient Feralas trees, -one of them even housing a small Draenei town, Telredor, on its cap-, knowing that I will never be able to get to the top of some of them, I feel so small and so negligible in the course of how nature performs its miraculous work in this magnificent place.
Though seeing, approaching and touching each type of different Zangarmarsh mushroom creates an amazement in my soul that I had never experienced in Azeroth, there is one certain type of mushroom that I will talk about, which grabbed my full attention the moment I approached it, which was the highlight of my Zangarmarsh exploration.
Once you are done resting at the friendly inn in Cenarion Refuge, if you start walking straight towards north using the only path, shortly after you pass the long wooden bridge, you will see some broken, rotten and even dead mushrooms from the distance. Covering a huge portion of northeast Zangarmarsh, this place is called The Dead Mire. As you continue walking towards it, you will better understand why it was given this unpleasant name.
Once a lake full of water like many others in Zangarmarsh, The Dead Mire had turned into what it is now after the Naga drained all the water, as well as all the natural life in its ecosystem. Now, it is nothing but a house to a titanic snake statue and a grave to a big dragon of unknown origin, swarmed with Bog Lords and Hydras.
The specific mushrooms I referred to earlier are mostly found on the border with The Dead Mire and the rest of Zangarmarsh. I didn't count how many of these mushrooms there were, but if you seek the correct ones, you will not have difficulty finding them.
These mushrooms have dark brown, blackish color; what will really help you find them though, are the yellow-gold pores under their caps. If you zoom in your camera view to the first person or over-the-shoulder angle, it will be easier to spot them by looking up.
The following screen shows one of them, on the west border of The Dead Mire.
When you find one of these mushrooms, mute the music, keep the sound on, and turn your volume up to better hear the sounds around you. Just make sure you are not close to the big water pump at the edge of the dried lake, which seems to be still active even though there is no water left in the lake, as it will hinder your hearing with its annoying noise.
The sound you will hear coming from the mushroom is hard to describe by words. It sounds like the breathing of a creature, mixed with its heartbeats, resonating in pain. It sounds like as if the mushroom is trying to say something, and having great difficulty trying; even suffocating or hardly pushing the air out from its windpipe if it had one.
While listening to the strange voices coming from the mushroom, if you stand still and look at it long enough, you will notice how it has a bodily movement that you wouldn't expect from a plant; as if it is trying to move, or something is trying to come out of it. Check other mushrooms of the same type in the area, you will notice the same thing.
What happened here, at the location of The Dead Mire, was no doubt a tragedy. It was an immeasurable catastrophe for the lake, for the ground beneath it, for the animals and plants that depended on it. It eradicated all life it affected, and mutilated those it couldn't destroy. Those mushrooms are among the ones who could not be destroyed but had to carry the mark of that catastrophe for the rest of their lives.
Keep listening... keep listening... If you stay and listen to them long enough, you may start to hear what they are trying to say. Even if not in actual words we use, in feelings and pains we share:
They are trying to move away from the mire, from what they unwillingly witnessed, trying hopelessly to be heard and helped, with all the life energy they have left.
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11 Dec 2017 06:47 UTC
Hey Eom :)
I have tried and tried to get my comment through here, and I just thought of you today, so I shall try again now. I changed browsers, and got rid of all cache, and I am starting to think the error was on my behalf.
Thank you for yet another immersive story told. I adore how you emphasized the in game sounds here in such a way. Needless to say I had to revisit Zangarmarsh again, and I will always look at it with a lot more depth than before.
I never really noticed the mushrooms in such a way before. So thank you for adding a new layer of game experience for me :) Despite it being so tragic.
I just made a new Let's swim post. I came across a place, that might help inspire you, or at least be part of, a story waiting to be told.
Also, I would simply love to hear your oppinion on the new feature in 7.3.5 with the level scaling being introduced.
Have a wonderful day :)
15 Dec 2017 03:02 UTC
Really sorry for the comment issue. Not sure what caused it, a temporary server glitch, perhaps multiple times, but just to be safe, please copy your comment to a text file before posting, so that it will not be lost if an issue like this pops up. I value every single comment (I make or readers make), and losing them is sad.
It's easy to overlook a lot of beautiful details while flying over a place, especially if you are zoomed out from your character a lot. That's why I explore/quest with over-the-shoulder camera angle, which lets me notice and discover things and hear such sounds.
I saw your post, left it to read and comment to a proper time, which seems to be now :)
I try not to check all patch notes, to avoid spoilers, but I heard the level scaling and saw feedback about it. I really don't like level scaling. I don't think it will fix anything, or make leveling more enjoyable. I am just glad it is not applied to whole game, from 1 to 120. I am just glad, or it would destroy my experience. Mobs always as powerful as I am? Who wants such a fantasy world??
On the other hand, we shall see how it will work, to have a better judgement, also since my focus shifted from leveling to exploring and finding inspirations, I believe it will not affect me much.
You have a good day too :)
5 Mar 2018 04:50 UTC
I have been very curious to find out, how you like the new scaling system?
I like it, in a sense, that I can now finish quests in a zone without them turning grey on me. Though it never bothered me that much in the past. And I like how they have made Dungeons more challenging. But I still find it odd, and too "linear" to always have the same "level of powerfulness"!
6 Mar 2018 03:07 UTC
Patch 7.3.5 changes (specifically buffed hp mobs, which made mob-slaying a boring and tedious task) made me almost stop my Azeroth adventures because it hit me at the worst possible level range, 70. After getting a sense of the changes, I didn't do anything at all for almost one week, trying to make peace with the changes and see how I feel about continuing and if I could do it with a peace of mind and with similar enjoyment pre-7.3.5. I even felt a loss of attachment towards WoW that I would have never thought to happen... I feel better now and my only consolation is that the scaling is not applied to the whole world.
I was level 70, enjoyingly exploring and questing in Outland Shadowmoon Valley when the patch hit. The patch "forced" me to powerlevel to 85 via dungeons, something I would have never done, and to come back to from where I left and continue my adventures with the same pace before 7.3.5.
In a nutshell, that is how 7.3.5 changes made me feel.
6 Mar 2018 05:16 UTC
I was afraid of that. I heard that after 60 it does feel very much uphill. I can relate to how you felt. Clever way to work around it, even though it must have been frustrating. It is easy to feel "disconnected" to the game, when we have to deal with major changes that impact our core gameplay.
6 Mar 2018 05:38 UTC
I don't mind how long leveling might take or how much xp it might require for my main, as I am mostly xp locked. What was an annoyance for me was the buffed mob hp. I mean, one day I was slaying mobs in 2-3 hits, the next day I slayed them in 7-8 hits. Became boring and tedious quickly. My first response was something like "this won't work for me".
Blizzard has their own motives for these changes but I really don't like them. I can understand people liking the zone scaling, but to like the overly buffed mobs that each take 4-5x more time to slay compared to what has been for years, one should really be unreasonable in my opinion.
Previously, I felt a progression when doing the zones or dungeons of an expansion in a certain order, now they are all at same difficulty, which broke my sense of progression in that sense. I am glad I have my Excel file which I can continue to use to follow my progression order in my own way.
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