This is the Way the World Ends: Cracked Like an Egg

As I’d indicated in my last entry, I hit the land of Azeroth for the first time since…gee…June ’07.  Figure nothing’s really changed in over three years, right?

Logged in my 60+ characters for the first time, and was not horribly surprised that there was a full talent reset.  What was a surprise was that the talents mutated hugely; couldn’t take bits and pieces from other trees.  My warrior, for example, couldn’t take bits of Arms and Fury if he was going mostly Protection spec.  That was a “oh, wow” in my opinion-and not a good one.  Still, in spite of this, I soldiered on and got him set up.  Then went to try to kill some things.  Oops!  It was horrid-no idea what I was doing anymore, couldn’t recall what half my abilities did, and-ack.

And don’t get me started with the attacks.  See, there was this invasion of elementals hitting the capital cities, as I understand it; which didn’t bug me as a concept.  It’s a terrific one, really-but when a guy’s trying to see his trainer so he can get his abilities updated…not good.  Because all the city services were interrupted completely-including flights into the city.  I’m not even going to comment on the minor detail that all the elementals were at level 80; God help you if you’re a lowbie in town.

Needless to say, I felt like I should start a new character to relearn what I had learned.  I wasn’t enthused by the idea, though-because, after all, I only had seven days.

But then something else happened that made it worth it.  The Patch That Broke The World hit; while the Cataclysm expansion isn’t due to hit until next week, the event that actually breaks the planet hit.  The world is transformed!  Nothing will EVER be the same!  Except…well…not so much, maybe.

One of the big deals of that patch was the spread of classes to races that had never had them before.  So I was finally able to use a different server to create Coreth as he should’ve been originally-a Human Hunter (just like a few hundred thousand, from what I could see).  This would give me a few things to mess with.  First, I could run a character from the beginning of a type that I hadn’t played much; second, I could see the changes to the low-level experience.  Well, there really wasn’t much.  The tutorial area is changed a lot-the grape patch (pretty sure it was a vineyard) being the most dramatic example, as it’s being burned to the ground, when originally you had to deal with those bloody bandits to get the grapes.  But outside of it?  Goldshire hasn’t changed much, and the low level quests haven’t changed much at all.  (Although the Princess hog graphic has gotten a LOT bigger.)  Admittedly, this was a very small sample space; but even Stormwind didn’t look all that devastated; the auction house moved a bit, and there’s some broken statuary, plus the gates look like they need some repairs-but I didn’t see a city broken by a major cataclysm.

Didn’t see drastic changes from the air, either, when I finally logged in my high level guys again to get them back to town.  (Was REALLY irritated to lose the portals in Shattrath; not happy about that one bit.)  The trip from the Burning Lands to Stormwind didn’t exactly showcase major changes to the world, either.  Regretting not having rolled Horde; I keep hearing about the changes in the Barrens and in Thousand Needles.

It’s probably not a surprise to say that I wasn’t motivated to renew my sub for WoW (although with a 10 dollar sale on Wrath of the Lich King, I admit to having a tiny temptation-but since I didn’t have any characters even at level 70, what would be the point?); things have changed a helluva lot, and while it was nice to return for a short visit, I just couldn’t get into a frame of mind that says “yeah, this is what I’ve been missing”.  Besides, got some good stuff coming in the very near future with the games I do play.  Season 3 should be hitting in about a week and a half for STO, and CoH just released Issue 19 today.  I expect to have comments on both in the near future.

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