WoW Classic: Finding purpose in the slog

I’ve found that once I’ve gotten past the initial 10 or 15 levels of WoW Classic, there’s a definite drop-off in that “fresh start feel” that drives a lot of the initial engagement and enthusiasm. After all, this isn’t a new game to me, nor is it right at the beginning of the WoW Classic craze. If anything, the atmosphere feels dormant and in semi-hibernation, waiting to be woken if the Outlands emerges through the Dark Portal this spring.

So to continue my journey, I’ve had to find something to replace that fresh start feel in order to keep my engagement up. Once you’re just going through the motions, it’s just a matter of time before you quit. Or I quit.

I’ve grasped several things that keep me logging in over my lunch break every day to continue my crawl up in the levels (now level 20 and counting!). In no particular order, they are:

1. Being an observant tourist of old Azeroth. WoW Classic continues to unlock those little nostalgia-loaded memories at the most surprising moments, and so I do enjoy just puttering around the landscape and trying to remember what it was like to see all of this the first time around.

2. The slower, more deliberate pace is very relaxing and familiar, and whether I’m questing or grinding, I feel like I’m “farming” an MMO rather than trying to rush to the next objective or get dailies done or whatnot. I’m on a long journey (with guide in hand), and I’m cool with that.

3. I celebrate over small milestones and acquisitions. A new green item that gives me +2 more spirit than I had before? A new level with its precious talent point? A questline that gives me an additional pet? Something drops I can sell on the auction house? These things matter all the more because of how slow and stingy the game can be with them.

4. I’ve gotten plugged into a very vocal and supportive guild. Everyone is quick to help each other out or share loot that they don’t want but someone else might need. I’ve never been in want for bags, for example, because I’ve had 12- and 14-slotters tossed my way with no expectation of recompensation.

Of course, it’s still a long road from 20 to 60, and unless Burning Crusade Classic offers an easy onboard to level 58, for example, I still have a ways to go. I kind of hope that TBC won’t come too soon because it’ll really ramp up the pressure to get to 60.

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