It's now been almost a year since I first logged on to WoW Classic. Back then I was immediately in love - again!
Though some things were exactly as tedious as I lovingly remembered them, like the endless travel times between quest objects and never being able to afford anything even remotely useful, some things weren't anything like I remembered them, like instancing. My memories of instances are just full of waiting, waiting, waiting, dying and running and probably not getting to the end anyway. It's almost a miracle I even enjoyed doing them at all, if my memories are anything to go by.
Good thing then that for some reason that hasn't turned out to be a problem at all. While instances can still take a lot of time (I spent about 2 hours doing a Deadmines the other day) they usually run very smoothly. I rarely have anyone leave mid instance, ninjaing loot they can't even equip and just standing around like they're pretending to be a tree. This time around it seems clear that the vast majority of players have at least some experience of playing WoW. That could also be because I haven't actually even gotten to the really tricky end-game content yet.
Yup, it's true. I have been playing for a year now and my highest level character isn't even level 50 yet (in fact, he's 49). The explanation really just comes down to one thing: even though I still enjoy the game immensely, I just don't put nowhere near the time in to it like I used to. This means I am actually playing the game like I always wanted to - being able to combine it with all my other interests rather than letting it steamroll all over them.
WoW Classic is just one of many things I can choose to do in an evening, and my evenings are very short anyway. At best I have some good three hours to put in to it on a Friday or Saturday evening and if I am lucky I can get an instance done.
|Old school blood elf.
I don't need to though, I am really enjoying the questing. Not all of it mind you, I am reminded of why I used to have a set course through the map back in the day and steered clear of certain areas. Giving them another chance in WoW Classic I just realize that I still don't find them fun. Stonetalon Mountains is such an area, Arathi Highlands is another.
The vast majority of areas I still love though, Tirisfal Glades, Duskwood, Stranglethorn Vale, Hillsbrad Foothills, Tanaris and so on. I have so much nostalgia connected to almost every inch of this game I can't go anywhere without thinking "oh yeah this is where I spoke to that person" or "this is where we did this quest", "this is where I found that thing".
There is no denying that Blizzard improved on a lot of things in later expansions however and that some classes fare better in Classic than others. Warlock and Hunter are what you would call faceroll, especially compared to a class like Warrior who I find struggles immensely at pretty much everything.
Other than a bit of class balance though (which of course Blizzard never gets perfect because it is probably impossible) I find few things to improve. There are quality of life things, like the long Hearthstone cd (which doesn't bother me really). The fact that you can't see what an object is worth until you vendor it and find out you've been carrying around a 5c item for an hour. I miss having any sort of decent timers for my spells. The summon stone would be quite handy of course. The list can be made long, but none of them are game breakingly necessary in my opinion.
For some of these there are addons to ease your pain (the vendor problem being one I needed to fix for instance). For others it's just suck it up and deal with it (like it literally taking more than 30 minutes to get everyone to an instance).
That I only have very limited time to put in to the game seems to also have caused another behavior in me. It's a fact that the game is the most rewarding, in the sense that you actually get stuff done, the lower level you are. Quests are shorter and levels are quicker. The higher the level, the more time you need to put in to a session to find that you've actually achieved something, I find.
This means I seem to get into a bit of a hump around level 35ish (might also be content that's a bit dry there but I haven't reflected on that) where I often roll an alt instead of moving on with the character I am currently playing. This means I have about 3-4 characters between 30-40. The warlock made it all the way to 49 simply because everything is so easy on him.
But I don't care. My only goal with the game is to enjoy playing it, however that may be. If it means playing characters from 1-20 hundred times over, so be it. I don't need to see any raid content and frankly I probably won't (though yet again it seems very much more accessible than it was in the original). While I am looking forward to experiencing some end game content again I am definitely in no hurry.
I am still so damn happy that WoW Classic is a thing and I enjoy every second with it. But I also don't feel the need to play it all the time. I am glad I've been able to find a good balance between it and all the other things I want to do. I've managed to fit WoW Classic perfectly into the little niche I wanted it to be in.
I also have a lot of thoughts about Burning Crusade, but that is probably best saved for another post.