The great big test of nostalgia in Azeroth kicks off in just 25 days.
At my end, there has been some interest from the old instance group. A few email messages have gone around, people have re-subscribed to World of Warcraft, and it looks like we will be giving it a go.
One of the problems starting off is that many of the communication channels we have used in the past have disappeared (Raptr) or become unusable (Skype, Yahoo IM). Re-establishing a coms baseline is under way. I think Discord might be our solution since it is pretty easy to setup, has voice support, and mobile clients. While my default Discord behavior is to join popular Discord servers only to leave in annoyance when the discussion ends up being lowest common denominator stuff (though that might also be related to the nature of EVE Online Discord channels), I have found success there as well. I didn’t have to rejoin the Blaugust Discord this year because I never left. So Potshot and I are tinkering with that. With a small group it ought to be manageable.
As for WoW Classic itself, my baseline goal is just to run Deadmines as a group once again, with anything after that being gravy. Others are more ambitious, but there will be plenty of comedy along the way I am sure.
We shall see.
Among the changes we face, we will be about 13 years older than we were the last time we set off on this same venture. (I posted about the humble beginnings of the instance group as it happened.) A lot of things can change in that time span. Jobs, kids, health, geographic location, and the simple ability to stay up late all come into play. In 2006 it was a chore for me to get up before 8am. Now I can barely sleep past 6am. Earl, who used to stay up into the wee hours of the morning on the east coast in order to play with us likewise reports that age has made an earlier bed time much more of a thing. Also, he might be in Japan.
Anyway, I have that to look forward to, which is good, because I have otherwise pretty much fallen off the Azeroth wagon.
I was ready, really ready, for the 8.2 update. The Rise of Azshara was going to bring some new content as well as the ability to unlock flying in the Battle for Azeroth expansion. I had my main all set to go.
Then I didn’t log in the day the update dropped.
Things were busy in EVE Online for a start. I put off getting dug into the expansion for over a week, until the first weekend in July. At that point I got the quests, went through the new zone intro, then was distracted by Darkmoon Faire for a bit. And then I stopped logging in at all.
Rather than being well on my way to unlocking flying in Battle for Azeroth, I pretty much just have a camel that can walk on water at this point.
And that was thanks to the fact that, having done the work to earn the Azure Water Strider mount back during Mists of Pandaria (best mount reward ever from the most underrated of expansions), I was given the mount gear for water walking with the8.2 update, an item which applies to all my mounts. It isn’t just camels walking on water.
Otherwise, I have been pretty much neglecting WoW.
I wouldn’t necessarily blame my current Azeroth malaise on Battle for Azeroth. As expansions go it is mid-pack. There is a lot there to love, but also a lot that really isn’t all that exciting. It has many of the usual problems of expansions. Blizz changed enough things to annoy a segment of their core fan base, but not enough things for the game to feel fresh, new, of different. So some of the core is (loudly) annoyed by BFA but there isn’t anything that would bring back a lapsed player. And so it goes. As I noted back in February, expansions mean change and there is a balancing act as to how much or how little change will lead to success, and the margins within which a company can find success seem to narrow with each successive expansion.
I don’t think the expansion is necessarily my problem. Time has shown that I just tend to be cyclical with my WoW passion. I play for stretches, then fade for a while, only to find renewed interest when I return again later.
I will probably be back to BFA later. I have not forsaken the flying unlock yet, having managed it in every expansion so far. But that will probably be at a later date. I suspect that my next login will probably be for WoW Classic. I hope to be refreshed and ready for that in under a month.
But if I want a sampler there is always that last stress test event coming up next week, open to everybody with a live account. Also, name reservation day is on the 13th I understand it. And I still need to consider which class to roll up for the big day. Maybe it is good that it is still about three weeks away.