Those of you that play WoW, and probably quite a few that do not, will know that tomorrow marks a big day in the history of the game. That’s right, everyone, the Shattering is coming tomorrow, and it’s going to be big.
Since this patch will effectively destroy every place that I have fond memories of my wasted time and youth tied to. Thus, I thought that I’d take this time to recall some of my favorite places and the associations tied to them, as well as I can. Feel free to join in the comments section!
- An obvious one: Orgrimmar, a name that I still can’t get right on the first try. This was the home of many newbies, especially my thousand alt. It wasn’t as pretty as some of the other cities, definitely, but it fit. However, Org is nothing compared to…
- Undercity. My first character was an undead warlock, and I still love him dearly. Walking into Undercity, trying to navigate to the elevators, /sit-ing on the king’s throne (as all must do)… this was basically my home through level 50 or so. A lot of people didn’t like it for reasons that I wasn’t too clear on. The design was efficient, it was relatively difficult to raid straight through (as far as I can tell) and it hosted the Forsaken! What could be better!
- Hellfire Peninsula, immediately post-WotLK. I was one of the poor saps that was leveling my lock main through BC during the Great Death Knight Explosion (Yes, I was a late bloomer). I will never forget searching for people to group with to run the instances and seeing page upon page of nothing but that infernal red text that indicates a Death Knight player.
- Ulduar: Not for a feature of the dungeon itself, not at all. I’ve never been an instance that got farther than XT. However, that dungeon was the reason why I went from a new recruit of a fairly large, established guild (That I can’t remember the name of, it has been a while) to raid leader in less than two days. Personal record? Hells yeah.
- Hall of Lightning: I swear to whatever dark gods govern my life, I must have run HoL a thousand times when I was trying to get to 80. I can still play through the entire thing in my head. Before LFG you had to take whatever group you could find, and EVERYONE always wanted to run HoL…
- And while we’re in Storm Peaks, let’s not forget Boldercrag’s Refuge, where I went through the Level Cap. Note that I said “went through”, not “reached”, because there’s a certain thought process involved with hitting the level cap:
- “Holy shit, I finally did it! Level 80! I finally get to train my top-tier abilities, and I never have to grind quests for experience again”!
- “What should I do now? Train my abilities, of course!” (You train your abilities)
- “Okay, let’s do one of these ‘raids’ that I’ve been hearing about!” (PM a raid caller, get turned down because your gear is shit) Here is where you hit what I affectionately call the Gear Wall, the gap between hitting the cap and having decent enough gear to get into bigger instances. Now that the auto-LFG system lets you power through emblems this wall is much easier to break through, but pre-LFG it was a bitch and a half. I actually stopped playing intensively because of the wall, for a while.
- “Well, I can’t raid, quests don’t do anything for me but give me more money, instances are a pain in the ass to do… now what”? And that’s the last stage of the Level Cap.
- Western Plaguelands: Any Undead-area-leveler knows exactly what I’m talking about. There’s a border between the Western Plaguelands that leads into Tirisfal Glades, which is what, a 40-level difference by conservative math? If there’s a single newbie that didn’t stumble in there and get insta-killed by the Level Death bears, I will eat my hat.
- The Barrens. Oh, the Barrens. I know WHY they are changing the Barrens. I have to admit that it isn’t exactly the most interesting place to level, what with the gigantic open plains filled with nothing but mobs, but c’mon, it’s the Barrens. Every Horde player that wasn’t Undead had to go through there at some point, and the shared memories of the torture of the torturous fetch quests and Barrens Chat is something that the Alliance will never hold over us. And who could forget Mankrik’s Wife?
Oh, the list goes on and on. Some of these aren’t changing, but so much of it is, and we can never go back.
Farewell, my sweet, sweet Azeroth. You may be ravaged by the flight of a dragon, but your spirit will never be broken. And I guarentee you one thing: your citizens will have their sweet, sweet revenge someday. I promise.