Revisiting World of Warcraft

Steve and I played Warcraft a few years ago, but dropped it not long after Burning Crusade came out. We got busy and weren’t really into raiding (so our high level characters were really all about daily quests and that got kinda boring). But I’ve been watching the lead up to Cataclysm and thought maybe this might be fun again. We also have a friend who invited us to join his small family based guild. We were out shopping for Thanksgiving dinner and decided that, yeah, reactivating the Warcraft accounts might be fun.

We’ve been playing over the holiday vacation. It’s very different than pre-Burning Crusade, but not in a bad way. I know a lot of people talk about nerfing and how it’s simpler and too easy at the lower levels. I’m not sure I necessarily agree. Picking the game up after a 2 year break gives one a different perspective. The game feels better designed, both in terms of the quest chains and the flow. It’s clear to me that Blizzard, as a company, learned a since the original WoW came out. Blowing up the world was a way to go back and “fix” what they couldn’t do during the first game.

The changes flow well. I won’t got into spoilers, but there is narrative to explain all the changes and it makes sense. I mean, sure, there’s a lot of suspension of disbelief involved in playing the game, but the world seems mostly internally self consistent. This makes it easier to believe and be immersed in the gameplay.

One of the hardest bits about WoW has always been leveling cooking, but starting at Thanksgiving means tons and tons of cooking quests and power-leveling. Steve did a bunch of the cooking quests while I was dealing with some client stuff related to the targeted attacks on ESPs and the whole email industry, so I was a bit behind. Yesterday, though, I spent a couple hours running around completing all the quests. I’m glad I did as all the TGiving stuff went away today and I almost missed the chance to get to 300+ cooking.

I am not sure I’d appreciate all the changes quite as much if I’d been playing through the Lich King expansion. But as it is, I am quite impressed with the changes in the game. For a lot of the lower level quests it’s easy to see how they changed, but also how much they are the same. It’s been fun.

I needed a few days off and spending so much time in a fantasy world killing random stuff was a good way to reset my brain.

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