WoW Retrospective

Taking this picture I can hardly believe it’s been more then six years since my friend Jeff picked me up on that gray skied morning (which I took school off) at 10 AM to get our copies of WoW Collector’s editions. It’s been a mostly fun experience since then with many break periods and some ups and downs and I wanted to look back on them briefly.

Vanilla WoW – Between the fact that it was everyone’s first time in Azeroth and nostalgia I think this was my favorite time period in WoW. PvE was actually difficult back then and PVP wasn’t the broken gear grind that it is today. Some of my fondest memories include my first 40 man raid in Molten Core in which I was completely Wow’d (huk huk) by the fact that I along with 39 other real human beings over the Internet were tackling massive challenges. Sadly another aspect of the that won’t ever be replicated. I remember running an illicit casino on the bridge in Ironforge that made me infamous on the server I’m still on to this day (Arthas, a decision Jeff and I made on that car ride over based on the fact we both played Warcraft 3 and thought Arthas was a badass). And I guess the last thing I remember vividly from Vanilla was taking down Nefarion for what turned out to be a server third or something like that. I remember it being 3 AM and having the school the next day but with my guild (stooooormraiders) so close to defeating such an epic encounter I refused to go to sleep. Oh yeah, I also remember frequent server crashes and queues but that’s one aspect of old WoW I don’t miss.

Burning Crusade- My next favorite WoW time period with nearly as memorable moments as the original. Although for some reason I remember going to the midnight launch with my mum who refused my constant begging for her to buy the game but upon reaching the cash register offered to buy the guide along with all the lame t shirts they had. As nice of a gesture, I refused. Heroics were the big thing for this expansion with an added difficulty to 5 mans along with an incentive to do them over and over turning out to be really interesting. Karazhan to this day remains my favorite instance and flying mounts were one of the coolest additions ever. My spring semester of my sophomore year of college was basically this game so much so that my friend Nick and I were so well known on the server that it wasn’t unusual to receive a barrage of whispers upon logging in. The defining moment of TBC and possibly all of WoW for me was killing Illidian. Between the grand scale of the fight, assistance from lore characters, and the challenge of it all I still remember it to this day.

Wrath of the Lich King- That leaves wotlk which by no means is a bad game and if you looked at the bullet points it should technically be the best, cross server dungeon finder, 10 man and 25 man/heroic mode for raids, a (failed) attempt to bring back world PVP, amongst other things. Unfortunately it wasn’t with the raiding content being more then lacking at launch (a reused dungeon as the main raid) and the difficultly completely absent (whole game cleared within a week). Many players myself included canceled their subs only a couple of months after the game had been released. Looking back on it I think Wrath really killed the camaraderie that the other games in the series put an emphasis on. Between being actually paid to group with strangers you’ll never see again and no real need to join a guild until a year after the game was released it made the whole experience feel very segregated. That’s not to say the game didn’t do things right, the music was the best in the series and it was the game where blizzard perfected questing between phasing and streamlining the quests. Perhaps if I joined a guild and stuck around when the new content came out I would’ve enjoyed Wrath more but as it stands it wasn’t blizzards best effort.

Looking to Cataclysm – My download is about finished and I can hardly wait to hit that play button. I’m excited to check out the new content with most of my friends who play the game all on the same server and my character parked in a guild. I’m also eager to roll a worgen priest having never played the class before and to check out how the world I’ve known for over six years have changed. I’m a little skeptical of the choice to make 10 and 25 mans identical in loot drop (incentive) but we’ll have to wait and see how that turns out. I am happy that there is supposedly four full and new raids awaiting along with 9 new 5 mans as well. Either way even if Cataclysm turns out to be a disappointment to me personally I’m sure it’ll be a fun experience and millions around the world will enjoy it regardless. And we can always count on a new patch or expansion pack to come along and fix any mistakes that were made.

Thanks a lot WoW for hundreds of hours of enjoyment and plenty more to come. I had a great time looking back at your history and I hope the future is equally entertaining.

Spruchy level 80 Mage Arthas

~ by spruchy on December 7, 2010.

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