My ten days are almost up, which leaves the dreaded eternal question. But I will chew on that later, for now, I have to confess something.
I actually enjoyed the return to Azeroth. I found some things I expected, and alot of things I didn’t.
The first of those was that when I joined a PvP server to play with two friends, who are both teenagers, I expected to be in a world of hurt. That I would have to wash my eyeballs with soap after each login session. That I wouldn’t be able to level from all the griefers. That a guild of teenages each with multiple level 80 toons would be unable to create any semblance of “community.” And I was wrong on most all counts. The guild, for all its CAPS LOCK SMACK TALKING was actually pretty helpful. And I even managed to find a guild that didn’t use CAPS LOCK SMACK TALKING when that got old. I chatted with other players in game, and even found a decent pick up group or two. The one time a griefer showed up in my questing area, they stayed all of five minutes before moving on, and it was good that they did, because I had a group of 80’s from our guild ready to come rock her world if she hadn’t. Gold pieces were freely given in advance so that when I dinged 20, I would be Mount ready. Speaking of – that was such a good move on Blizzard’s part, though irritating as a Shammy player that Ghost Wolf is now good for only 4 levels. Why not back that up to say, 10 or 12 instead of 16?
Somebody said something in game the other day about the Barrens – I told them it hadn’t bothered me a bit since I had learned to quit General chat. This was followed by much “Aweomse!!1!!0! how to do that?” How does one hit 80, especially more than once, without learning these little tricks of the trade? Anyway, I was glad to pass that little tidbit on to others.
Secondly, I have to admit, though Blizzard still plays favorites on classes, often boosting one above the others for long periods of time to play with class distribution, I believe that all of the classes have improved from my last time around. It also leads me to believe that those power boosts are in fact, unintentional results from trying to tweak PvE/PvP power levels in a game where the community is so large, it can find exploits your builds almost before you get them out the door. I enjoyed the Paladin again, but the Shaman is still my favorite. I have watched a number of PvP battlegrounds fights and it seems to me, for those who are counting – that builds don’t play nearly the factor that they supposedly do. I saw a level 80 troll rogue spec’ed for PvE do just fine in a PvP setting. Not first place, to be sure, but not the bottom of the pack either.
Lastly, I’ve actually kept up with those fast levelers, oddly enough. I guess having 80’s weighs you down a bit, because I’m still ahead of them on the leveling curve, even with their extra xp bonus gear. The Tauren starting area is still maddening – it took me nearly 3 hours to level to 10, something Ican normally do in an hour with other races. I but the number of quests and the rest bonuses insure that you can usually move out of any given area sooner than you should, if you don’t like it.
So…will I be staying in Azeroth for the long haul? No. World of Warcraft lacks too many of the things that I have come to know and love from my MMO’s – vanilla is all well and good, but now that I’d added some chocolate chip cookie dough, its hard to go back. And its starting to show its age graphically, as you can see from above. But am I enjoying it for the moment? Of course. I have friends to play with and a class I enjoy using. That’s good enough for me for now.