I find it ironic that I am returning to World of Warcraft at the exact moment subscribers are apparently leaving in droves. I am also returning for free deciding to create a new priest in a new server rather than removing 10 years of dust from my priest of old.
Yes, a decade of dust. I bought World of Warcraft to tide me over for Guild Wars 1. That $15 was a lot back then, and so when I really was hitting the leveling wall I quit. A friend used my account for awhile so I have a few expansions. He quit with Pandaria.
I would say it took a pretty perfect node to get me back. I love Heroes of the Storm so am constantly seeing “advertisements” in that. I am bored in Guild Wars 2 with that expansion nowhere in sight. I just can’t bring myself to get back to The Secret World, where I dislike combat, or Lord of the Rings Online, for sentimental reasons of keeping my memories back in the good ol’ days rather than what appears to be a pale horse. And, I can play for free in World of Warcraft up to level 20.
My strongest memories were of Elwyn Forest; gliding through the treetops on the flight service. Then there was that haunting, perfect music. I picked up a new human priest on Ravenholdt (RPPvP), and away I went. What was new after a decade gone?
The UI is slick as ever, and while I didn’t need the tutorial overlay, it was really well done. It seemed much more interactive than mere text bubbles popping up to be ignored. I am well aware that one of World of Warcraft’s crown jewels is the polish of interface.
I blasted through Elwyn at a speed I really didn’t recognize. I never needed to sit down to replenish. I was barely scratched. Even Hogger, a “group” event, didn’t even cause me to pop a healing potion. This was all fine, and I expect that a few expansions in Blizzard will need to speed up the early sections.
At level 10 I became really confused because of the new trait system. New to me. I don’t have a clue as to when it was done. I clearly remember the old tree’d trait lines with points. Now I just clicked a specialization. Well, since I will be solo’ing so much of the game, the damage spec for priests seemed right. Right?
Wrong. After choosing it, I peeked at some comments on leveling a priest. I was supposed to go Discipline. That seemed so weird. Shadow spec replaced my main attack with a weaker one. Discipline gave me a new, very strong attack in addition to my bread and butter. At level 15, I guess I got more character options (Talents). Nothing seemed overly helpful. I chose the passive.
To be honest, I was pretty disappointed at how I was receiving new skills and abilities around level 10. It seemed too simple. I remember it being more complex. I remember having more choices in my skill rotation. It really is not exciting to level up, at the moment.
Elwynn Forest was pretty much as I recall. I was just starting to get annoyed with the “running game” when I moved on to Westfall, which has had a revamp from the Cataclysm expansion. I really enjoyed that zone’s quest arc, and I hope to enter the dungeon soon. I’ve moved on to Redridge Mountains in the mean time.
I am honestly not sure how long I’ll walk this path. It is interesting to see this MMO after 10 years. In one sense it is satisfying knowing I am so far out of the loop that “completionist” at this point is laughably impossible. On the other hand, will I just be leveling indefinitely or will some group content along the way change things enough? How much effort do I put in to it? Right now my mindset is that this is MMO filler. Very polished, highly regarded MMO filler.
Once I hit level 20, I will know for sure how far I want to take this. If I do subscribe, joining a guild is top priority.