It had been more than two years since I last logged in to my World of Warcraft account. I had enjoyed playing with my brother and my exe, but never made it all the way to the top – the best I ever managed was around level 51, but recently I’d been feeling the urge to get back into it so I bought myself a three month game card and went to see if I could still remember how to play!
Two weeks later, I’ve got a level 31 Gnome Mage (obviously) for solo play and a 22 Night Elf Mage for running with my brother and am definitely back in to it again… obsessively checking my auction lots and reading up on lore and everything!
Quite a lot has changed since I last spent time in Azeroth. The game is certainly easier and quicker to get started in than it used to be; levelling feels faster thanks to no longer needing to visit class trainers for new abilities and the addition of quest info on the mini-map makes for a slicker and easier experience, though I do wonder if this will make game-play feel less epic and rewarding.
My hope is to stick with it this time and level sufficiently to be able to join a guild – something I’ve never done before. The idea appeals more now that I am single and living alone. Since striking out on my own just over a year ago, I’m less lonely than I imagined I would be, but I still find myself struggling to fill my spare time, especially when I’m at home in the evening or at weekends. My activism, PhD, work and social life are in a good place at the moment, so I’m feeling fulfilled on that front, but towards the end of last year I found myself watching hours and hours of Netflix in the evenings and not really having anything to do when I got in from work and needed to unwind. My hope is that I’ll be able to find a reasonably casual guild of more mature players to run with and begin exploring parts of the game that I’ve not previously been able to access. I’m not sure if I’ll manage to stick with it- there’s a good risk that I’ll end up getting bored and letting my subscription fizzle out, but at the moment I’m really enjoying myself; it feels like meeting up with an old friend after some time apart, comforting and familiar and that’s no bad thing!