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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nostalgia vs. reality

There's an interesting post on the forums that's become a catalogue of what old-time players miss most about classic WoW. While it's become a pretty thorough compilation of iconic moments, there are admissions that, well, maybe some of the stuff that's fun to look back on wasn't actually that much fun at the time. The examples include trying to get past a 40-man raid of the opposite faction into Molten Core, the boredom of raiding as little more than a glorified Decurse-bot, the countless guilds who broke up on Vael, and the fun of Tarren Mill/Southshore PvP that had the ancillary effect of making leveling in Hillsbrad such a nightmarish experience.

I'm seeing the first glimmers of such nostalgia for BC content start to emerge, and hearing a Sunwell PuG advertised as a "fun run" the other day left me speechless for a moment. It's equal parts compelling and unnerving; part of me misses the struggle to down bosses in Tiers 4, 5, and 6, but I also remember ugly M'uru wipefests. Everyone likes looking back on the first boss kill, nobody likes remembering the 45-minute trash respawn timer in SSC, and I like to think that as the game has "grown up," it has also gone resolutely forward.

But then, I'm not an old-school WoW player on the level of these forum posters, and I'm also not sure that the nostalgia for BC content will ever approach that for classic content. Is, say, Black Temple going to be looked upon as fondly as its classic counterparts like AQ40 someday, or is the classic "classic" and irretrievable for a reason?

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