What is this madness? World of Warcraft and a new patch and Syp playing again? Steel yourself, July, because it’s only going to get more crazy from here.
The last time I was seriously playing — and blogging — about regular WoW was all the way back in October 2018. Really? Huh. Thought it was a lot more recent than that, but now that I look back, it makes sense. After about two months into Battle for Azeroth (and two-and-a-half years of constant play prior) I was just not feeling it and drifted away. BFA was fine, but it wasn’t as gripping or spectacular as a lot of us were hoping, and there were other things vying for my attention.
So why back now? That’s probably due to a few factors: enough “fallow time” has gone by to rejuvenate interest, WoW Classic has me thinking about the game more, and the new patch seems to be somewhat well received. Plus I still had several more months of subscription time on my account, and I always hate the feeling of sub time going to waste. Felt like a good time to wade back in, in any case.
Getting back in didn’t prove to be that easy. With two major content patches and one in-betweener since the last time I played, a lot of the game had moved on while my character was frozen still. In fact, I hadn’t even fully finished up all of the regular zone quests, nevermind my war campaign and all of the newer stuff. I hadn’t been closely following the new systems and changes (heck, I had no idea what an essence was). And with a chock-full quest log and no clear direction, that first day back felt woozy and disorienting.
Right. I’m a pro. I know how to do this. The first step was to clear away the mess and concentrate on one goal while I got to relearn systems and figure out what was what. So I untracked every quest in my log save for one or two zone quests in an area and then started plugging away at those. After a while, I dusted off my memory of world quests and worked on the dailies and whatever ones looked like they had attractive loot or reputation. I know that I need tons and tons of reputation in all directions for flying and allied unlocks.
At least the pattern of questing felt familiar and gave me forward momentum. I was going to clear out my quest log before going to the new zones and get a handle on what I needed to do on a regular basis to make progress toward these meta-goals.
In a happy coincidence, on the third day back I bumped into my old guild (which I had been kicked out of due to inactivity). I was happily invited back in only to discover that three months ago the guild had suffered an exodus of a lot of players due to unspecified drama and was now in the rebuilding phase. That’s fine, I’m not picky. I just want some friends to chat with and occasionally join for dungeon runs.
All in all, this feels like a good move back for this month in gaming. A little out of left field, sure, but I see a parallel with LOTRO, DDO, and ESO — all four games offer a lot of recently released content to explore, and that’s more than enough to power me through the summer and beyond.