I plan to make a post about my first impressions in a couple of days at some point, about the quests, the layouts of things, and how they feel to me so far, but something popped up in my head tonight that I have to get down in words before I lose it somewhere in my mental toybox.
Ask yourself two questions. First... how long have you played this game? Secondly, how does this new world affect you, as a player and as a person? How has The Shattering, how has this Cataclysm changed your outlook on the World of Warcraft, of Azeroth, of everything you thought you knew?
It's no secret that Blizzard wanted to bring back the old players to a new world and rekindle their care about it.
I got to thinking about the new players... the ones who've been drawn in to this new world without ever experiencing the old one, the first one. I also got to thinking about the casuals, the ones who've never been completely enwrapt in the game because of real life, not ever finding their niche, or what have you. I even thought about the ones who just play for the sake of it, who don't care about the story or anything... who just play and don't give a good crap about things like the lore.
How does someone like me express to them how much my World of Warcraft has changed? Would they understand it?
For all the videos on Youtube, for all the Wiki stories, for all the screenshots posted on a Photobucket account... there'll always be a disconnect, in a way - a missing element. Some people will understand to a degree, some people will not.
A perfect example of all of this came from my Twitter. A friend of mine has played for as long as I remember, though he doesn't play often and plays on different servers. He's said his highest level is a 65. He's never leveled through Northrend, he's never gone on an at-level raid. He plays with his son more times than not, kind of a nice perk I wish I had myself. He plays Tauren mostly, if not completely, as far as I know. He commented on Twitter about my previous post. "You're making me want to start a Tauren from scratch again." In all truth, that makes me feel good. The interest and the fire that's been rekindled in me from all the changes is spreading. I believe each race, with the exception of the Blood Elves and the Draenei(as their worlds were not as affected, personally), owes it to themselves to go through the motions one more time, and reaffirm themselves of their choices, to be truly sure they're resolute in their faction and their nation.
And finally, for tonight's update on the leveling progress... level 45, 5 levels gained, mining is at 275, had been doing smelting while writing this. Time to do some hammer bangin'. Me and the warrior partner went through Thousand Needles. I won't give away any spoilers, but I will say this. There was one point where I finally got annoyed at a line of quests. It was bound to happen, and it did, but they're over and done with now. In truth, this is another crucial zone, and like I said, no spoilers, but the Tauren at heart will feel frustrated, they will feel a twinge of guilt, and they will feel powerless, but when you do what you have to, all you can do is resolve to make up for it later on. I know, at least, this is what I feel to be true.
Ish-ne-alo por-ah, may the Earthmother smile upon you, always.