Last night I logged into World of Warcraft for the first time since 2011 (according to my account page).
Was it all the excitement around the new expansion that made me do it? Nope. I paid no attention to the expansion announcement. I know it’s called Legions and saw some squeeing on Twitter about a Demonhunter class and that’s the extent of my knowledge of the expansion. It was in fact beer that caused me to log in.
See Lola and I go hiking on Saturday and yesterday saw a particularly long and tiring hike as well as a couple of shorter walks (the weather was damned near perfect yesterday). By the time we were finished for the day it was 5:30 or so and I had a powerful thirst so I cracked a beer and it was gone in minutes, so I had another. Angela was taking a late afternoon nap so Lola and I continued relaxing on the couch and in due time a 3rd beer was open. I wasn’t up for any gaming so fired up Hulu and noticed they had a Gaming section. Curious I poked my head in there and they had this documentary about World of Warcraft called Looking For Group.
And in the course of watching (and having a 4th beer) I was overcome with a wave of nostalgia. I paused the show and ran upstairs to start downloading WoW “just in case.” About half-way through the show Angela woke up and I stopped so we could have dinner but as soon as that was done I was back to watching. And when it was over I ran upstairs and logged in.
I could, and did, log in with sub-20 characters for free, but noticed I had mail that I couldn’t open, being a freebie character. I also noticed that the character models didn’t seem like the ‘new’ models I’d heard about (though it turns out they are). One thing led to another and I remembered something about Blizzard reclaiming names and to save my names I had to log in my characters (again: 4 beers…in the bright light of morning I’m pretty sure this has all already happened) so I said to heck with it and subscribed for a month, and as long as I was subscribing (and with a vague hope it’d improve the character models) I’d better buy the latest expansion because I want it all! So there went $55.
Then I spent an hour or so logging into every character across the dozen or so servers I have characters on. Because saving our characters that we’ll probably never play is IMPORTANT!
I didn’t actually PLAY the game at all, but walking through Stormwind did feel pretty good in that ‘scratch the nostalgia itch’ way. At least it did until I saw all the changes. I’d forgotten about the cataclysm and that the Azeroth I remembered and at one time loved was gone forever. I was also dismayed to see that (as far as I can tell) the friends lists have been wiped in favor of friending via the battle.net accounts so even if any members of my old guild happen to still be playing, I’d never know it.
It’s true what they say: even in video games you can’t go home again.
So this morning I’m sitting here with a slight headache and a big old truckload of buyer’s remorse. It’s not the first time alcohol has lead me to make bad buying decisions but I hope it’s the last. Of course in the grand scheme of the universe $55 isn’t going to break me.
But now I have a month of time on my account. I can’t decide if I want to play (and potentially ruin all my good memories of the game) or just eat it as a bad decision. I did prod Angela at one time with “You should come play WoW with me” (As an EQ 2 fangirl she’s never played much WoW) and she actually said “Maybe I will.” If she does maybe we’ll roll a couple of panda people or something, and see where that takes us.