With Blizzard letting me cancel my account outside the short window between the expiration of my annual pass and the point of automated billing, I was off the hook. The account was cancelled and would no longer be a worry. Around 5am today it was closed.
But last night, when there were still a few more hours left to go, I decided to log in one more time and bang out one last achievement.
The Hallow’s End event was running. As the blog tag will indicate, I as an individual, and we as the instance group, have spent a chunk of time doing things around Hallow’s End over the last few years.
A year ago I was left hanging on the “A Mask for All Occasions” achievement, not having noticed that there was a vendor selling the damn things. Back in my day, you earned you masks by hitting up an inn keeper every sixty minutes and hoping against hope you would get something you needed.
Anyway, the achievement was undone. I needed two more masks.
Which is actually kind of funny, because two years ago I started Hallow’s End two masks short. Back then it was the two blood elf masks. And I ended still missing one. But since then they added worgen and goblin masks, setting me back to six masks.
As I logged on, I was a bit worried. Were there going to be more masks to collect? Was this going to go from an amusing whim to a chore?
Fortunately, there were no new masks on the list. I found the vendor outside the gates of Stormwind. He needed some candy for currency, but the Hallow’s End daily quests are also right there as well. I grabbed the stink bomb related set, cleaned up Stormwind and bombed the Undercity, collected my quest rewards, took about four steps and bought the masks.
Achievement complete. Ironic that it should feature a blood elf mask.
That left my achievement balance… and I think these are now combined achievements if I understand the changes that came with Pandaria… as such.
Clearly I am not challenging anybody for achievement supremacy, but it does indicate where I spent my time. A lot of it was spent with world events. I would probably have even more there if the Children’s Week activities did not include those battle ground achievements.
Exploration is everything up through Wrath of the Lich King and some of Cataclysm. Dungeons are all the standard five person instances through WotLK, not including the final three they added after we complete Utgarde Pinnacle… just a little over three years ago.
I regret that we never got back together and ran those final three dungeons. That would have nicely capped off what was clearly our peak in Azeroth. But there is no going back. Well, at least not on Blizzard’s servers.
I finished that final achievement so quickly that I fished around a bit to see if there was another one I ought to knock off. And certainly I was close on a few.
In then end though, I decided to leave it with the masks achievement. That was one I had been struggling to get, so it seemed fitting to end on that.
My annual pass was at an end.
For me, it was a wash. My math is like Green Armadillo’s, I paid for the year in the most economical way possible. I would have purchased Diablo III on day one at full price if it had not been for the pass. I probably would have spent about as much on WoW, though I would have likely cancelled earlier. And I got a mount. So aside from Blizzard annoying me with their cancellation policy, it was a net neutral.
Honestly, how many things in life even turn out that well in the end?
And what of Azeroth going forward?
I think, fittingly enough, that WoW is now about in the same position that EverQuest was when I started this blog. EverQuest was seven and a half years old back then, Blizzard is just shy of eight now.
I have fond memories of both games, and those memories are about a time when the game was considerably different from the way they are today. And, with both, I have looked for ways to go back and recapture a bit of that past; Fippy Darkpaw for one, Emerald Dream for the other. I can get a taste of things there, revive and relive old memories, and wander among the ghosts of the past. But it is, in the end, still all in the past.
Azeroth is officially a place of nostalgia here.
And so I bid Stormwind farewell and flew off into the sunset.
I will be back to visit I am sure.
I just do not think I will ever really be a part of the game again.