Stepping Back Into the World of Warcraft

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It was not too long ago that I was writing a post about how much I was missing World of Warcraft. I wasn’t one of those players in it from the Vanilla days, but I was there when I was, and I loved every minute of my time playing the game. Life happened, and like many I had to take my break from that world. Then came all the hype and build-up leading to this month’s release of Battle for Azeroth. I told myself I could wait, but then came the Warbringers stories, the comics, the advertisements, and I quickly gave in. The crazy thing was how different the game felt once I jumped back into Azeroth.

I mean, I was playing my same Druid Night Elf (Hailstrom) and I was still on the same server (Grizzly Hills), but it was the game itself that changed which took some time to get used to. For better or for worse, the one thing you get used to by now about Blizzard games are the constant changes. The buffs, the nerfs, the reworks. All things that affect your experience in some way. Apparently not one expansion went by where my Druid wasn’t changed in some big way. My heart pretty much sank when I came to terms with the fact that my Insect Swarm was gone. A spell I loved for the consistency in damage you were able to put out from it. My Mark of The Wild which was a nice bit of personal protection when balanced and facing some heavy hitters. My Hurricane which has the same effect as Starfall, but looked cooler in my opinion. The Tree Form was put on a timer, as well as the Healing Touch being removed altogether. Then lets not forget what used to be fun when your Treants could legitimately back you up without doing so little damage and disappearing so quick as well.

Oh right, and lets not forget the removal of the old glyph system as well. I was never the biggest fan of glyphs, but they kept things interesting in their own way. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate the new system, because it seems to work much better than the old, however jumping into the game that’s just one more thing you are left to figure out on your own.

Getting those complaints out-of-the-way, everything else about the experience was fun to get back into. Once I figured out how to use this version of the Druid, everything else fell into place after that. Not as fluent as it was before, but it isn’t any harder to get the job done. Nothing changed about the work you put into leveling up, the way you approached fighting through hordes of enemies to complete a set of tasks, and the occasional chance to jump into a quest that is unlike any other. Particularly the ones involving some nice looking cinematics. With that said, I only wished that they could push special markers on quests that would progress you on the main storyline. At times you are pretty much just winging it until you stumble upon that one very important questline. If you are going to be making the game more user-friendly, that is probably the least you can do, not that I in all honesty need that handout.

It was a bit of a bummer seeing all the cool things that everyone else had who was 100-110 (or even 120), but it made the motivation that much stronger to power through all of the little things to reach the end game. I’ve yet to actually try out any of the new dungeons or raids yet, but that is only because I am building up the confidence to do so first. One thing that I haven’t forgotten is how frustrating it can be when you jump into those and other players will expect you to be the best ever and somehow have found all the epic gear beforehand. Something I don’t entirely get since you would also do those dungeons for the gear upgrade. Anyways, till that point, I have been fairly content with the many quests offered. Starting in Pandaria, there was a lot of things to do, much of which I did skip over some time ago. So I had a good reason to backtrack and see what I had ignored.

So at the end of the day, how I felt about World of Warcraft then versus now hasn’t really changed. When you have played enough Blizzard games, there is no surprise to how different your game will play if you spend enough time away from it. Does that mean you also have to agree with those changes? Not at all, but that shouldn’t hold too much weight towards what got you into this world in the first place. You jump in for the immersion, yet you stay for the thrill of battle, the engagement of community, and the hype towards world events unfolding.

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