I spent my might roaming around in Mulgore some more and knocking out the various newbie quests from Bloodhoof Village at my own prodding pace that very much fits the animation cycle of the Tauren Male. So the weird thing about World of Warcraft Classic is that I know there is no capturing the feeling of roaming around in Azeroth for the first time back in 2004. I was 28 at the time and the launch of the game was a magical moment that happened to enrapture all of my friends that were MMO inclined at the same time. It was a weird amalgam of people I knew in real life, folks I met through Everquest, the few of us that played Dark Age of Camleot together, a bunch of people that we picked up from City of Heroes and some that came from the larger community of Horizon: Empire of Istaria (now just called Istaria). Everyone was going to be playing the same game at the same time and it was freaking awesome… the only hitch was that the game was divided into two halves and some of us were dedicated to playing Horde and others playing Alliance. I wound up joining the Alliance group and let the horde side of me largely atrophy, but from the beginning I found this to be a very artificial choice as I have never really bought into the faction war storyline.
I cannot fully explain why I am enjoying myself in World of Warcraft right now. I most definitely do not enjoy the current state of Battle for Azeroth, but for some reason playing Classic Beta feels more simple and pure. I am roaming around, surviving on nothing… getting legitimately excited any time I see a copper node or get some linen drops because it means I can advance my crafting. I got a bag drop during the first part of the newbie zone and was absolutely excited to see it… and still several levels later I am hoping to see another one drop. Everything feels to be boiled down to is purest form, of do some quests… kill some monsters… actually read some quest text because otherwise I cannot remember for the life of me where anything is located. I am present in the world because I keep my head on a swivel because one bad pull… one add at the wrong time… and I end up doing a corpse run.
The truth is that I have probably died more in the last two nights than I have died in the entire time questing since the release of Wrath of the Lich King. I am of course not counting raid and dungeon deaths because those are rather “accident prone” settings, but just in over world questing… most of the time I manage to level my way through almost the entirety of the expansion content before I actually take a death. In Classic I sorta wish that I had been keeping a death count… because seriously I have been dying a lot as I have had to adjust to the realities that we dealt with in Vanilla. I am having to re-learn the dark art of slow body pulling camps… and dragging them back at a safe distance while watching for any roamers. I am having to keep track of the spawn times and as I clear keep moving to what is now guaranteed to be a safe spot for awhile. All of these were skills that I went into World of Warcraft with having developed them in the precursor MMOs… but that have completely atrophied over time.
During Battle for Azeroth I played a Tank Demon Hunter… and on that character if I was not pulling entire camps at a time I was legitimately playing the game wrong. If I move forward to Classic however… if I get more than one mob at a time… I am straight up going to die. There is no safety net for me to fall back on… no Ignore Pain that I can lean on heavily to bring my health back up to full. The in combat regeneration rate is prodigiously slow meaning that I basically cannot do anything to better my situation apart from a healing potion during the fight… and even then that is just a temporary salve to a likely inevitable end. There is a part of me that thought I wouldn’t be as into this as I apparently am. That said I am having a blast and while I know there is no recapturing the things that made World of Warcraft Vanilla special… I am finding that it also still strangely works for me.
All of that said… I am contemplating some nonsense. I want to build a casual Dungeon and eventual Raid guild in World of Warcraft Classic when it releases in August. I realize the futility of naming something when I cannot actually register the guild… but I want to go with Decades Behind because there is a story there. Back during Wrath of the Lich King a bunch of us on the Argent Dawn Forums started a guild called Years Behind when patch 3.2.0 introduced the ability to lock your level at a specific level. I rolled a Gnome Warrior and for a short period of time we ran a bunch of the Vanilla raid content while artificially level locked down to 60. This was fun… but also not exactly true given that most of us were equipping Burning Crusade greens rather than relying on what was actually available back during Vanilla. With the advent of Classic I want to try and do something similar… and given that it has been over a decade since the launch of World of Warcraft I opted to update this name. In the months between now and the release I figure we will sort out information. Right now however I am targeting the Horde for two reasons. First… Grace is a die-hard Horde player and is super sad anytime she is playing something else… and in order to make this work I am absolutely going to need her. Secondly… I remember several bosses that Horde had a way easier time fighting than Alliance (and of course some that horde struggled with as well). The big one… was that there just wasn’t a viable way to take down the Ooze in AQ40 as Alliance. Additionally Horde has bloodlust… and I am stacking the deck as best I can.
I will of course be providing updates as I know more information about all of this.