An Interesting Thing About the World of Warcraft Experience

I’ve been thinking recently about how with most video games it doesn’t really matter when you first play it – the experience is similar for everyone.  So, for example, you can play Deus Ex or Morrowind today and talk to people who played Deus Ex or Morrowind when they first came out over a decade ago and your experiences with those games will probably have been fairly similar.  You can talk about the story, areas of the game, obnoxious bosses and so on and have a lot of common ground.

But World of Warcraft is always changing, oftentimes a lot, and so you don’t always get that ability.  Imagine someone who played the game ten years ago talking to someone who is just starting out today.  They would have some common ground, of course – but how much?

People who started raiding in Cataclysm or Mists of Pandaria have a largely different view on the game than I would – I, as someone who did her raiding in Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King.  The bosses were different, the mechanics were different, and the memories were different.

look at this adorable Karazhan gear
look at this adorable Karazhan gear

Other than WoW I’ve never really been a huge MMO player so this is all a different and new concept to me.  Other games are constants, but WoW is more like life, where new generations are constantly rising to play an experience that is similar to – but certainly not the same as – what the older generations experienced.

Weird, huh?

4 thoughts on “An Interesting Thing About the World of Warcraft Experience”

  1. This is both the greatest weakness and the greatest strength of “live” games, I think. They can keep mutating, and hopefully stay fresh and interesting, but they leave a lot of history inaccessible. I find that I prefer being able to go back and play games as they were released, so MMOs aren’t my main gaming venue… but it *is* interesting to see how the design of a monster like WoW changes over time.

  2. As interesting as your main point is how quickly things turn over, in comparison to other things, but how much longer that turnover actually feels. There’s a time-compression factor going on with the release of each xpac. As each one has been so different than the one preceding it, my take is that it makes it feel like far more time has passed than actually has. Honestly, how long ago was in when BRK and the classic generation of WoW bloggers, if you will, were in their golden age? In BRK’s case at least, just seven years ago at this time, he was at his height. It was only six years ago when he had to lay down the mantle. And for those of us who’ve been playing the game at least that long, we’d probably look at that time as the Golden Age of WoW, never mind just the bloggers.

    Six years is nothing. Consider that comic books were in their golden age sixty years ago and more, and yet, in a way, BC and LK feel almost like they were that long ago. But think about what was going on in real life six years ago, and it feels like yesterday.

    To me, just one more of peculiarities of life that the advent of the mmo has revealed. Truly, they are wondrous, in their own way, revealing from time to time ways that life can be that we never would have before considered.

  3. Good ol’ Legacy and Steelhawk Crossbow. I don’t think there’s a hunter that played back in BC that didn’t have that axe as a stat stick. (Because H-SLabs hated me)

  4. Thank you for your thoughts, guys. You have both brought up some interesting points. Sometimes I do miss the ability to go back and see stuff the same way I did ten years ago.

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