Nothing gets my skin crawling quite like seeing the infamous Dark Portal log-in screen with the accompaniment of rolling drums that anticipate war. Unfortunately it isn't a site typically viewed by the current generation of gamers in the World of Warcraft (unless they only own vanilla and BC or have been playing on private servers). While this isn't a problem and is good in the sense that the game is progressing, it makes my heart a little heavy.
Yeah. I am one of those guys. I miss The Burning Crusade and everything that came with it; from chilling in Shattrath to farming for primal elements. But mostly, I miss the nostalgia and how it felt to walk in the Outlands for the first time, being terrified of everything that so much as looked my way (Also, cluster mobs amirite?). I enjoyed the sense of conquering what was behind the Dark Portal as an endgame and learning of the world that was once Draenor. It had seen much better days, no doubt, than when Kael' Thas was sapping energy from the Netherstorm and when Illidan's Temple stood as a bastion housing the game's final boss. But these days were the days I adventured during, and I wouldn't change it for anything. I gamed relentlessly, only to stop when the first trailer for Cataclysm was released.
That's the thing about being so engaged in another world. It changes.
Now when I log in WoW, which I have only done a handful of times since Mists of Pandaria's release, I don't get the same rush of excitement. I haven't played all of the content Mists has to offer, but I am sure it is just as enjoyable as Blizzard's new content has been (I mean that in both the good and bad sense. I am by no means a diehard fanboy). Regardless though, the game has changed. Be it for better or for worse I know not, but it is noticeably different.
Again, not a bad thing. It just isn't the same game I grew up with. I could launch into the nitty gritty specifics of every class mechanic that has changed and other game mechanics but that isn't the point I want to make.
World of Warcraft is sort of like my childhood home. I have a very fond memory of it and can name countless adventures I've had there, but then came a time when I had to leave. It was a while before I was reunited with the place, a couple of years, but it looked very different. Bushes were gone, benches were placed to form an outside sitting area, and the exterior boasted a new vibrant blue paint job. However, it was still the same house I had grown up in. I had my time to love and appreciate it the way it was and could now recognize that it was somebody else's turn to do the same.
Sure, I don't think that blue was a good choice for that house, but somebody else does. Shoot, it's his house now. Just like it is your World of Warcraft. So, enjoy it while it's still yours.