- When word came out recently that Blizzard was close to launching their next expansion, I knew it was time to resubscribe. So goodbye for now, EQ2X. LotRO, I never got you installed, but I promise I will sometime next year. I'll always have Champions when I need something different, but I probably won't be back until Demonflame launches. It's time to return to Azeroth.
- The first thing I did when I resubscribed to the game was figure out where the hell my character was. The second thing I did was figure out where I had to go to start the retaking of the Echo Isles quests. That was fun, though the final quest had the same vaguely unsatisfying buff mechanic they used for the Retaking the Undercity event. Nonetheless, I enjoyed playing through the quests. But since I didn't want to return to the daily quest and emblem grind, that was pretty much all I wanted to do with my mage.
- Off I went in search of something else to occupy my time. Where I landed was with my blood elf paladin, the one I was saving as my original content character (which I talked about way back in April 2009). I wanted to experience the original end game content that rarely anyone uses anymore. And I was successful up to a point. I was able to solo most of the group instances by overleveling them. And I picked up some great gear that I never saw my first time through, like some Dungeon Tier 1 and 2 set and the epic Runeblade of Baron Rivendare. However as Cataclysm approaches, I could see that everything that I had come to the end of the line. The old world is going to be remade and my nostalgia tour was about to hit a brick wall.
- But if the old level 60 content was going to be remade, the level 70 content was sitting there, just as unused and unloved. I took my paladin to Outland and I'm seeking a new challenge.
- The Burning Crusade occupies such a strange place in the game now. When the next expansion hits, this will be the oldest content in the game. Levels 58-68 are the ones everyone sprints through now so as to reach Northrend faster. And everyone seems to hate Hellfire Peninsula.
- But when I started playing WoW (just after patch 1.12), TBC was the promised land. Everyone was excited finally move on to the new content. And I still remember running around with my paladin, still around level 30 when the expansion launched, and dreaming of the day I would join everyone in the new world. It seemed like such an exotic place to adventure. And over the last couple of years, I've actually come to miss questing in those zones.
- So far, my paladin has just completed all of Hellfire Peninsula and has moved on to Zangarmarsh. I was able to solo my way through Hellfire Ramparts, but I got stuck on the gauntlet event leading to the second boss in The Blood Furnace. It is amazing to me how long some I've been able to hold onto my level 60 dungeon gear into the expansion. I have been so used to getting massive upgrades with each quest because I always took soloing character through the Dark Portal with green equipment. It's nice to see that the gear reset wasn't so dramatic as I feared. (Of course, my mage was able to carry her raid gear well into the second tier of WotLK zones.)
- To sum up, I'm back in WoW and I'm enjoying myself. I can tell that the game isn't going to eat my life like it once did. But I'm looking forward to Cataclysm and whatever new adventures I can find.
© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.