So, I’m about a week late, but hey! Cataclysm, huh?
The ironies for this expansion were two-fold for me. One, that I wasn’t getting the Collector’s Edition. Two, that I was going to a midnight release rather than waiting for it to come in the mail.
I wasn’t as excited for Cataclysm as I had been for BC and Wrath. I was ecstatic for BC and definitely excited for Wrath. I was unable to go to any midnight release for BC (a friend managed to procure me the CE at a midnight release where he lived) but for Wrath, Lus was on a job with crazy long hours and so he wouldn’t have been able to function the next day if I had dragged him to a midnight release. Despite my seeming apathy for Cataclysm, two of my managers were going to the midnight release at a game store and invited me along. So… I figured why not. Not like I had anything better to do with my Monday night!
Admittedly, I felt pretty silly going to a midnight release (after which, you are supposed to rush home, frantically install then fight server queues in order to play your main and race to level cap!1!!one!) And… I had no main to play! As I addressed before, I’m no longer playing Anea and for about a year, I’ve been playing alt after alt, only a few of which had made it to 70. So… I would pretty much be rushing home, frantically installing then fighting no server queues (I got lucky) to log in and… debate about which alt to play. As per usual. Not really “special”, eh?
Be that as it may – the changes are still there. Massive changes. I had heard about the changes to Ashenvale (one of my favorite places in the game) but hadn’t seen them, since I never opt into Betas. My first instinct after logging in was to go see the damage and changes to the world – that actually seemed to make most sense, more-so than rolling a Worgen or Goblin. I logged into Anea and went to check out Auberdine, since it seemed like that wouldn’t affect me as much as Ashenvale would… wrong. Totally wrong. Auberdine is no more and now, there’s some new place called Lor’Danel. And even that is still a mess, compared to what the area used to look like. The zone is absolutely changed, people are dead – you can’t even travel down the zone safely. Honeystout fell several times into crevices and the river because the road was ruptured and washed away in a flood.
Right before writing this post, I happened to see a commercial on TV for Cataclysm. It said, “Everything you know about World of Warcraft… HAS CHANGED!”
That’s occurred to me at one time or another, and it’s definitely true. I’ve noticed while I was questing that I can’t put my questing pants on and sail through a zone like I’m used to. There’s a change in the flow of quests (most people think it’s for the better) and I can’t say that I like it so far. At least for zones that I
know knew like the back of my hand. My groove is all off. It’s not that I mind reading the new quests – I definitely don’t. It’s that I feel like trying to run off and kill tons of mobs, get a tons of quests done then hand them all in at once. Free rein. Now though? I’m tethered to little spots, doing a few quests, turning those in, then moving on to another spot. As several people had said, it’s very linear. But… I liked my circular routes of knocking stuff out at my leisure and in the best way possible that I’ve found over years of questing on alt after alt.
So, that knowledge that we’ve gained about the world? Which zones are appropriate for which level, where is best to farm certain ores/herbs, where is best for which fish, what zone to go to next for ease of questing? Gone. The quests and their requisite mobs/NPCs? Who knows. Not everything has changed, no. But enough has changed that I feel I need to constantly check to make sure I know where I’m going or that advice that I’m giving is right.
But they’re right – everything I knew about the game has changed. Years worth of knowledge is lost and changed. While I’m trying to embrace all the newness (that’s the whole point of this expansion, right?) I’m trying not to feel like I’m back at square one.