I’ve spent a little time in the last week revisiting old zones. A lot of these places feel like old friends now lost to time, places once loved and populous that now host only those speeding their way through.
The boat to Northrend (which I still ride just for fun sometimes)
The original Azeroth is like that too, though it’s changed so much that a lot of my old haunting grounds are gone or changed. (While I love what’s happening in Eastern Plaguelands, it just doesn’t feel quite the same as it used to. Call me a nostalgic old fart.)
Shortly, the Cataclysm zones are going to meet the same fate, home only to those speeding through on their way to the new Pandaria zones, unlikely to spend any time in Twilight Highlands (which, though probably 1/3 too long, is one of my favorite places in Cataclysm, alongside Vashj’ir). And I’m wondering if I’m going to feel about these zones the way I feel about some of the old zones from previous expansions.
I can go back and quest in Outland or Northrend and still feel some of that pull that made those places special. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel that way about Stonecore. Maybe Vashj’ir – something about the water and the totally different environment there made it magical in a way that other zones weren’t (though I’ll admit that the story didn’t keep me interested enough to completely finish the zone on more than one character). Somehow I doubt I’ll take the time to go back and fly (swim?) around and take screenshots though, the way I seem apt to do in old expansion zones.
It’s a bit cliche to say “every new beginning is some other beginning’s end” (and I’m probably dating myself a little with the song reference, but whatever), but it’s a bit of an odd time in WoW right now. The leveling got easier, presumably to speed people along to cap who are looking to change mains or add new characters to their arsenal for Pandaria (see: Annie Mae). There are Pandaren in Stormwind, though they don’t interact yet.
And everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop – the World Event that’s going to bring us fully out of Cataclysm and (hopefully) back to the roots of the original games that seemed to just work better. Even the loading music sounds more like the original WoW.
I’m trying to push Annie Mae through the zones for one last hurrah, but I’m finding it hard – repeatability wasn’t a strong point of Cataclysm. Still, I’m trying to see things with fresh eyes before we all get distracted by the new and shiny that is on its way. I have a Pandaria goal list, and I’ve mostly met it. Now it’s just the last bit of leveling (Annie is closing in on 83) and waiting to see what the Peace Summit will bring.
If you asked, I’d say I don’t really have any established rituals for seeing out an old expansion, but I’m wondering if maybe I do. Maybe that last list of things to get done is my way of preparing for the new things on their way.
- Godmodding and Griefing (116)
- On Privacy, Real ID’s and Roleplay (49)
- XX and XY in RP (47)
- Population Disparity (34)
- Tanking Perceptions (33)