World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

I played the original World of Warcraft from launch in November of 2004 until June of 2005, and while I liked the game well enough, I just kind of quit for a variety of reasons. Mostly because my schedule didn’t jibe with that of the folks I was playing with, and you can only play a game designed to be played in groups by yourself for so long before boredom sets in. But, years go by and I still keep up on some of the happenings in the game, I occasionally check the forums and look at patch notes, and I get the odd promotional disc begging me to come back.

But I would resist for a long time, mostly because what I didn’t want to happen was that I’d reactivate my account and then really like it, which would mean that I’d have to pony up forty of my dollars for the privilege, which I didn’t really think was cost-effective.

And then, around Thanksgiving last year I found the expansion pack for $20. I looked at it, and passed on it, but I somehow convinced myself that it must have been some kind of sale or something, and couldn’t possibly be twenty dollars forever, and, really, what’s twenty dollars? Twenty dollars is less than I’d pay for a large pizza and some drinks, and even if I get it, I didn’t have to play it, I just would have that option if I get bored one day, right? And then, somehow, the game ended up in my house, on my shelf, waiting for me to play it.

But I’d hang on to it for a while longer, not really convinced that I really wanted to play it, but not convinced that I didn’t want to play it. Remembering that the game was really well put together, and that I had a lot of fun playing what content that I could get through on my own, and I had a free two-week trial with no strings attached that I could play and then cancel, and my character and all my stuff was still there, so I could restart the game with my level 55 mage without actually grinding all that content again. And, then, somehow, after about ten weeks, the game ended up installed on my hard drive and I was in the midst of reactivating my account.

So, after nearly three years of being away from the game I was about to log back in to what would really be a wholly different game.

In the interim from the time that I played the game a whole lot had changed, most of which doesn’t bear going into here. But gamewise lots of stuff was added and changed: Battlegrounds, daily quests, epic mounts, new areas to explore, new races, new classes available to each side, a whole new continent to explore, and about a million little changes.

So I logged in and picked up my character pretty much where I left off, riding my horse through Stormwind toward the bank to see what in the world I thought was worth saving at the time, get my bearings and start adventurin’.

The game was, even with all the changes, more or less how I remembered it. At least the ‘old world’ was. So that made things a little easier to get back into the swing of things and to work off a little bit of the rust. But in the years since I’d played the game my guild had disbanded and all of the people that I had played with had switched factions and servers, so there wasn’t any way I could play with anyone that I knew without rerolling a character on their new-fangled server and then spending copious amounts of time getting his levels up to a respectable level, which didn’t sound too fun.

So I created a new character on their server and on their side of the ‘war’, but I had to make sure that I created one of the new races so that I could see the new starting area. Which, admittedly, looked really good. Then I joined up with all the Old Friends and began his ascent to reach the level seventy(!) plateau that I’d need to get to to play whatever regular content that they all did weekly.

But I also wanted to check out the higher-level content, so I was splitting my time between two servers on completely opposite ends of the WoW spectrum. High-level Alliance solo player, who got guild invites every few minutes (I guess people just see someone in the low 60s without a guild and they figure that she needs some friends), and a low-level Horde character who had a group of buddies that were available sometimes, when they weren’t doing all the Fun Stuff with their high-level ‘Mains’ while I was schlepping along in the lower ranks trying to get up to speed.

And that’s what I did for a couple of months. I got my high-ish level character high enough to see the new continent, Outland. I got to see the front of the titular war. I got to see the new starting area for the new races. I got to see pretty much all of the new stuff. And then the realization that I would have a lot of work to do if I wanted to get my lowbie character up to speed to let him get to the ‘good stuff’. Even with friends that was going to take a while, so I just kind of let my subscription run out after three months.

But, since my characters’ data will be there for the life of the game, if I ever decide to check out the next expansion pack, whenever that comes out, I’ll have a character who can check out most of the new stuff. Of course, I’ll have to wait for it to come down to $20 or less before I even do that, so it may be a while.

Leave a Reply