I have been having more fun in World of Warcraft than I have had in years. That at least feels like a true statement, but also one that makes me question it. Sure it seems like I am having a blast, but it got me thinking… don’t I always have a lot of fun at the launch of a new expansion? One of the interesting things about having a blog that has been active since 2009 is that in theory I should have evidence of how I felt at the launch of Cataclysm, Pandaria and Warlords. Around the launch of Cataclysm I seemed to be mostly focused on grouping and gearing… and grinding dungeons to get to the magical number needed for raiding. I think I was still very much in my “games are serious business” mode, so there really isn’t any talk about the expansion being fun or not. In truth remembering that time period I was very much not having fun, and I think in the grand scheme of things that is ultimately why Cataclysm was the expansion that caused me to “quit” World of Warcraft. The quit is of course a lie, considering that I am still playing the game… and never really went longer than six months without reactivating my account. The launch of Pandaria unfortunately happened during a serious lapse in my posting, and by the time I start back up… I was on the daily posting kick and talking about casually playing the game. With the launch of Warlords… I talk a lot about how nostalgic the game makes me feel, but in reality not much actually talking about how I am enjoying it. This was after all the expansion I had originally said I was going to take a pass on… so this quote makes sense.
I still stand by my original statement that if you have no interest in World of Warcraft, this expansion will do little to change that.
So if I set out to prove that I am always pumped about the launch of a new game expansion… I guess I disproved that theory? I guess at least on some level, any infusion of new content is something that I ultimately enjoy. There are new zones to explore, new quests to figure out… and lots and lots of tasty loot. However this time around something feels different, and I am having trouble quantifying exactly what that is. For the first time since the launch of Wrath of the Lich King… I have hope that the best days of the Warcraft franchise are not behind us. With all of the previous expansions… I felt like they did a decent job of stirring up nostalgia, but not really doing a great job of making me feel like the game has a new purpose. This time around so much feels fresh, from the class designs and reworks to the fact that they all seem to be focused on a clear vision of what that class does. I attempted to talk about this yesterday, but the fact that my airflow was pretty low ended up with the post being a jumbled mess. To be truthful I am still sick right now, so for all I know this post is also going to be a jumbled mess. However I love the feel of my Warrior for the first time since I really came into my own as a tanking main during Burning Crusade. The irony here is the fact that I am not really tanking at all, but instead dpsing my way through the content as Fury.
The only problem here is that we have just barely scratched the surface, and myself even more so than that. The game launched Monday night, and we already have four level 110 characters in House Stalwart. I am very much not one of them… but instead hanging back in the middle of the pack at level 105, having completely finished Stormheim and just started Azsuna. I have no idea what the “feel” of the expansion is going to be once we all kick off the training wheels and move into that sometimes glorious time known as the end game. Even Warlords had some really fun moments while leveling, and including some really amazing cinematic experiences. However once we arrived at the end there was a very hollow game waiting for us. I guess the difference this time is that with the launch of Warlords I absolutely expected to have bounced off of the game by about the three month mark. In truth it was a little closer to the six month mark, but the bounce did in fact happen at least mentally even though I don’t think I ever actually cancelled my account this time around. This time however… I have a blazing pyre of hope that maybe just maybe that won’t happen. Ultimately I really like what is going on… with the class design, with the storyline, with the zone creation, and heaven forbid with the lore itself. The bigger story of Khadgar being Khadgar and Jaina being Angry… well it can screw off. However the intricate intra-zone stories are awesome, and I totally want to have reasons to hang out with Havi during later content. World of Warcraft and Blizzard… please don’t break my heart this time.