Just taking this EU server update opportunity to reflect over how fun it's been to come back to WoW this time!
I used to play since the very beginning in 2005 (I even bought the special edition on a whim and still so proud of my little panda pet). Before then, I was an avid FFXI player, and I could never quite get that amazing feeling that FFXI gave me partying and really having to hone your skills and reach goals with your guild and that sense of community. I had an ok time in vanilla but my guild ran away from me and were raiding before I could get to 60. Life made me leave, and then I skipped BC altogether and came back in Wotlk.
Now Wotlk, that was badass. I had SUCH a good time, I found a great community, and a lot of my RL friends were also playing at the time. It made me happy just to think about logging in, and once because I had to travel somewhere for 2 weeks, a guildie I hadn't even met irl logged in for me every day and did my daily dungeons and dalaran quests for me, we were that tightly knit. I really missed those days after I quit playing (straight after Cata).
I tried to return several times since, probably once every expansion, but I could never quite get into it. The sense of community like before wasn't there as much, people were disenchanted and bored, no one said anything in LFD, it was just a grind. I didn't even try Draenor.
Then came Classic, and several of my vanilla mates begged me to come back to relive the old days. I finally caved and downloaded it and we had some fun times. But I think everyone was wearing rose tinted nostalgia glasses if I'm honest – it got boring real fast (I'm so sorry, Classic fans). For someone who no longer has that much free time to spend on games as an adult with shit to do, Classic just drags on too much. I was giving up, and before I quit it, I decided just to have a look and see what retail has to offer before I uninstalled it.
Well, uninstalling never happened, that's for sure. Damn, everything has changed, but dare I say for the better in nearly every way! LFD is an absolute riot if only I can get people to chat (and most of the time, people do!). I play holy priest, and I met this monk tank from some other server, and for days we've had a hilarious time together doing dungeons, making jokes, and keep getting more people on our fun, making the dungeon leveling an actual pleasure to do. I also joined a lovely guild with lots of experienced kind people, and now I worry I won't leave the game for ages, lol.
Everything is so much more fun to do than ever, and people seem very energised and happy to play. I used to miss that FFXI party feeling where you would look for a party and try it for ages, and then when you finally found a great constellation of players, you would stay together for ages just because it worked, and it's the same now with dungeons in WoW. It's that feeling of finding a good random group and having an actual good time with it because you find a rhythm together and your skills work well in unison.
I'm enjoying a lot that everything scales to level, because you can actually play together with friends/guildies more easily – it's an excellent idea. I'm enjoying that you can do all the dungeons easily, it opens up to experience more of the content and not make it so repetitive (like vanilla was, for instance). I really really love achievements. I'm enjoying that it's easy to get more gear and upgrade it, that you can change your appearance, I'm enjoying all the pet stuff and I'm looking forward to when the game gets harder and takes more effort to skill up and gear up. There's probably a lot more that I will enjoy that I haven't even had the chance to try yet (what are garrisons??? What is this mythic +?? Haha). I'm nearly level 60 now, and I'm happily looking forward to getting to 100 so that my guild can help me gear up and finally teach me to raid at 120.
Also, I've been 1 single achievement away from "What a long, strange trip it's been" for a decade, maybe I will finally get it this time. That would be really special to be honest.
Basically I haven't felt this good playing an MMO since 2009, so thanks for reading my ode to WoW.
Cheers, and may the wind be at your back 😉
Tldr; My WoW experience: Wow used to be good in vanilla, awesome in Wotlk, boring later, amazing now, and I'm enjoying it more than ever.
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