Cataclysm was a great World of Warcraft expansion. Under the pretense of the return of the mad Dragon Aspect, Deathwing, Blizzard gave themselves a chance to update an old game.
Cataclysm was released in late 2010, making WoW six years oldat that time. And that made it a very old game indeed. The MMO genre was moving on. Grind-heavy MMORPGs like EverQuest were out of fashion, replaced with games that were becoming ever more story-driven. Star Wars: The Old Republic was just around the corner, and it promised to make questing a fun experience, driven by your story, not y the whims on some guy who wanted some rabbit’s feet. It was about you now.
And WoW, with it’s reliance on old-style quests and gathering, was looking dated.
So Blizzard did want any sensible person would do. They threw a big-ass dragon at the world and started again.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Cataclysm. It was one of my favourite expansions for WoW, and it marked the first time I was able to reach the level cap (don’t judge me). I joined the PC Gamer guild and I took part in various raids – my first ever raids! I loved my time there. And as was usual for my cycle of sub – get bored – resub – repeat, I left WoW with the full intention of coming back some day.
About six months after I left, I wanted to go back to Azeroth. But I didn’t want to return for the new content, I wanted to return for the old.
I had spent a lot of time in Old Azeroth. I once spent the Easter holiday break sat at the computer, in a conservatory, in direct sunlight, with a sheet over my head so I could see the screen. I spent that entire holiday, sweat dripping down my face, leveling a Tauren Warrior.
|I could barely keep the women away from me.
But the Charred Vale as I knew it didn’t exist any more.
And that, as you may have guessed, was the root of the problem. I realised I didn’t usually resub for new content, I resubbed to revisit the places I remembered from my childhood. I had spent a lot of time in Azeroth, and they were fond memories of mine.
And it was all… gone. In remaking the world, Blizzard had destroyed everything I held dear. And it was gone for good. I could never go back and visit it in the same way.
The current Warcraft storylines look incredible. Utterly amazing. Blizzard have gone from strength to strength, taking the storyline through Pandaria and back into Azeroth’s original lore. They’ve made an engaged and thoroughly engrossing world.
But Azeroth holds nothing for me any more.
Blizzard had done what I had never managed to do. They had made it so I would never resubscribe to World of Warcraft ever again.
If you fancy playing World of Warcraft for whatever reason, you can find it over at the Battle.net website. Otherwise, download something like Hearthstone or Heroes of the Storm. They’s free!