Rejoining World of Warcraft after a 14 year hiatus. 2020 is surreal.

xMAGIUSx

n00b
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
55
I played World of Warcraft from launch through the Burning Crusade before quitting because it was taking up too much of my life.

Fast forward to a week ago when my girlfriend casually mentioned she’d be interested in playing, and a fire has been lit.

Neither of us were aware of the big changes Shadowlands was bringing, and it feels like now is the perfect time to dive back in.

The game is so much more enjoyable now then when I last played, it’s almost like it’s not the same game. The graphics look better than I was expecting as well.

Anyone else here play? If so, what are some good resources for learning what is going on? So much has been added to the game since I last played that it’s tough to know what I’m missing out on.
 
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Starfalcon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
376
Ive been playing since vanilla, and the last several expansions have been like brand new games. Comparing to BC and it is a whole different game. The new game comes with exiled reach that walks new characters through how to play the game and their class. I played through it on beta and it seems they finally got a good way to teach players.
 

xMAGIUSx

n00b
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
55
Ive been playing since vanilla, and the last several expansions have been like brand new games. Comparing to BC and it is a whole different game. The new game comes with exiled reach that walks new characters through how to play the game and their class. I played through it on beta and it seems they finally got a good way to teach players.
I’ll have to start a new character and run through Exiled Reach.

We dove right in with some level 50 characters because we got boost tokens for preordering. I’ve got a Draenai Druid and a Blood Elf Mage so far. Not sure if we want to go horde or alliance, so we made one lvl 50 for each.

Having a blast but have only really done PVE exploring so far. Can’t wait to know what going on so we can find a good guild to join.
 

ochadd

Gawd
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
1,015
I played Wow through BC as well and had to give up on MMOs due to my obsessiveness. I miss it but can't risk falling into a time trap. I put the 40-50 hours per week of "free" gaming time towards side jobs, my business, and learning to invest and my life improved considerably. I'm convinced SWG and WoW cost me $250-350k to date and likely over $2 million by retirement. I still view MMOs to be as beneficial as a meth addiction.
 

xMAGIUSx

n00b
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
55
I played Wow through BC as well and had to give up on MMOs due to my obsessiveness. I miss it but can't risk falling into a time trap. I put the 40-50 hours per week of "free" gaming time towards side jobs, my business, and learning to invest and my life improved considerably. I'm convinced SWG and WoW cost me $250-350k to date and likely over $2 million by retirement. I still view MMOs to be as beneficial as a meth addiction.
I had similar thoughts, which is what kept me away for so long. I need a distraction from the monotony of working from home and not being able to go much of anywhere right now.

I wish I had some of your drive! I haven’t been nearly as productive with my time away.
 

Starfalcon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
376
I do not play nealy as much as I used to though, back in BC I was pretty hardcore, played 40+ a week on top of working 50 ish at work. Guild had imploded a few times over the last few expansions, until BFA where it died for good and me and my GM who were friends since BC are no longer friends or talking to each other. He and his fellow officer run M+ and I went full casual and just farm old raids for transmog now.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
9,773
I've played since Vanilla and in every expansion. I played a Warrior early on in Vanilla but then switched to Resto Druid and have just played that one class and spec ever since. In some expansions I've been more casual than others. I had a good time playing in BFA. I found a nice laid-back guild and this ended up being the first time since WOTLK that I put in more than 120 days of played time in a single expansion.

Overall I like most of the changes that have been made to the game. I like that you can get raid-quality loot from 5-man mythic dungeons now, but I hate the emphasis on the timer, forcing everyone to try and rush through the dungeon every time. It's annoying to have everyone sprint off to the next pull while I'm still trying to drink and get mana. And god forbid someone needs to take a break to use the bathroom, refill their drink, tend to their kid, or whatever else during the middle of the run. You can't pause the timer. It just adds a layer of stress to the game that I wish wasn't there, as I've always preferred the more casual aka take your time approach. Many other changes have been great, such as how Normal and Heroic raids automatically scale to the number of people you have, so you don't need a fixed number of people to raid.

For resources I'd check out https://www.mmo-champion.com/ and https://www.wowhead.com/ MMO Champion is more of a news site where you can always see the latest updates to what is going on in WoW. Wowhead is more of a database for just about everything in the game (quests, items, raids, dungeons, etc).

It's pretty amazing how much the graphics have improved over the years, considering that they never stopped and started from scratch, and it's just been a slow evolution. It went from being a game that you could play on a Voodoo3 or TNT2 to a game that uses DirectX 12 and Ray Tracing. Unfortunately the downside of still having legacy elements of such an old engine is that it is not very well multi-threaded. It can use up to 4 cores or so for some things, but as long as your CPU has at least 4 cores, it's the single-core IPC of your CPU that will ultimately dictate your performance in WoW.
 
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Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
57,018
I know several people that have done the same thing. I guess they have the time on their hands or something. I played Star Wars the Old Republic for about 7 years. I've had no desire to go back to an MMO. The only thing that kept me playing SW:ToR for so long was my raid team and raiding. I knew them all in real life which helps. That I like, but everything else about MMO's I rather despise. Plus, Star Wars.
 

Westwood

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
3,543
I've played since closed beta in 2004. Even have collector's edition Vanilla. About once a year I fall back into it. By week three I've cancelled my account. Just doesn't stick any more.
 

Jumpem

Gawd
Joined
Dec 1, 2000
Messages
749
Do you still miss out on the best gear if you play solo?

I played a Dwarf hunter that focused on pets a long time ago. I was inspired by the original cinematic. Here around 0:37.

 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
9,773
Do you still miss out on the best gear if you play solo?

It depends on what you mean by play solo I guess. You can't get the best gear just from doing things like questing solo, but it can often help increase your character power in other ways. You can get raid-level gear from mythic 5-man dungeons, and there is a vibrant community of people who run pug mythic 5-man dungeons. So in that respect it's easier than ever to get gear even if you're not in a guild.
 

Jumpem

Gawd
Joined
Dec 1, 2000
Messages
749
It depends on what you mean by play solo I guess. You can't get the best gear just from doing things like questing solo, but it can often help increase your character power in other ways. You can get raid-level gear from mythic 5-man dungeons, and there is a vibrant community of people who run pug mythic 5-man dungeons. So in that respect it's easier than ever to get gear even if you're not in a guild.
I meant without any forced grouping.
 

exlink

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
5,070
I've played every expansion since Vanilla except for Warlords of Draenor (which apparently was god awful so probably dodged a bullet). I thoroughly enjoyed the game and played all the content in Vanilla (except Naxx), TBC, WotLK, and Cata. Beginning in MoP things started slowing down for me and I quit halfway through. I came back for Legion and that was a pretty good expansion, better than MoP and Cata in my opinion. But BFA (latest expansion) sucked ass. I quit after 2 months and didn't look back. Grinding azerite power to level your neckpiece was an incredibly stupid concept. Azerite powers were also broken when I played. Instead I sunk my MMO time into WoW Classic which thankfully released during the shitshow that was BFA.

Hoping Shadowlands will be another good expansion and not a repeat of BFA!
 

FighterAce124

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
2,862
I have been unhappy with all the expansions since WOTLK, so Im skeptical of this one. I already ordered it, as I have with all the others on release, and will level and see, but I wont get excited or anything until I expereience it first hand. I just honestly dislike how the game has dumbed down so much. I kinda miss stat crunching and maximizing and other stuff of the earlier days.. And I *really* miss having real talent trees. I spend most of my WoW time on classic. I hope they do a BC classic server at some point, and maybe WOTLK. But at least BC, as that was my absolute favorite time.
 

WarriorX

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
2,100
I have been unhappy with all the expansions since WOTLK, so Im skeptical of this one. I already ordered it, as I have with all the others on release, and will level and see, but I wont get excited or anything until I expereience it first hand. I just honestly dislike how the game has dumbed down so much. I kinda miss stat crunching and maximizing and other stuff of the earlier days.. And I *really* miss having real talent trees. I spend most of my WoW time on classic. I hope they do a BC classic server at some point, and maybe WOTLK. But at least BC, as that was my absolute favorite time.

Min/maxing never went away. Maybe toned down with the removing of certain attributes but BFA had Azerite traits and required a website to fine tune if you were really hardcore about it. I do think they over did it with removing stuff, but some of the stats they removed really didn't add anything. It was just some number you had to get to be effective and than forgot once you did.

Shadowlands returns a lot of skills that got removed several expansions ago which is nice. I actually had a lot of new/returned abilities when I logged on my paladin. Plus there a bunch of new traits to use when the expansion is available so perhaps min/maxing will be closer to what it use to be.
 

Chelica

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 8, 2003
Messages
2,341
I jumped back in 3 months ago and have been enjoying my time. The latest changes in pre-patch is actually really good. Gives a really good cleaning to an old game. They can simply slap another expac with the same old stuff but the changes are welcomes IMO. Little things like being able to gender change in the barber versus using real world $$ is pretty cool.
 

FlawleZ

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 20, 2010
Messages
1,105
I had similar thoughts, which is what kept me away for so long. I need a distraction from the monotony of working from home and not being able to go much of anywhere right now.

I wish I had some of your drive! I haven’t been nearly as productive with my time away.
Pickup a project. I needed something since COVID as well so I've been restoring an old ATV since this summer.
I still play games but limit it to things that can start and end quickly to keep from being too much of a time sink.
 

polydiol

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
1,343
I play way too much WoW and I can see where the graphics have definitely been upgraded.

I use icy veins and wowhead primarily for resources and news, the regular WOW forums are good if you dont take it seriously and looking for a bit of humor.

My feelings on the overall state of the game - its certainly in a state of flux. There are problems with class design and it feels to me like there are not enough devs available to properly redesign and/or balance each class and spec available. Almost as if Activision is not willing to pay more than a handful and the ones that are working are probably stressed out and overworked.

I play/played a monk and I enjoyed it up until the latest prepatch as they took a severe hit and have not received any developer attention. I'm not upset about it, I've been spending time in game revisiting classes I never really played much this expansion such as Shaman and DK.
 

xMAGIUSx

n00b
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
55
I do not play nealy as much as I used to though, back in BC I was pretty hardcore, played 40+ a week on top of working 50 ish at work. Guild had imploded a few times over the last few expansions, until BFA where it died for good and me and my GM who were friends since BC are no longer friends or talking to each other. He and his fellow officer run M+ and I went full casual and just farm old raids for transmog now.
I was probably playing 30 hours a week back in BC when I quit and I don’t feel like I was making much progress. The game feels much more enjoyable for a casual player now. In pre-patch I’ve been able to solo level characters to 50 in just a couple of days.

I’ve been staying away from group content so far since I’m still re-learning how to play. It’s been a lot of fun so far.
 

xMAGIUSx

n00b
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
55
I've played since Vanilla and in every expansion. I played a Warrior early on in Vanilla but then switched to Resto Druid and have just played that one class and spec ever since. In some expansions I've been more casual than others. I had a good time playing in BFA. I found a nice laid-back guild and this ended up being the first time since WOTLK that I put in more than 120 days of played time in a single expansion.

Overall I like most of the changes that have been made to the game. I like that you can get raid-quality loot from 5-man mythic dungeons now, but I hate the emphasis on the timer, forcing everyone to try and rush through the dungeon every time. It's annoying to have everyone sprint off to the next pull while I'm still trying to drink and get mana. And god forbid someone needs to take a break to use the bathroom, refill their drink, tend to their kid, or whatever else during the middle of the run. You can't pause the timer. It just adds a layer of stress to the game that I wish wasn't there, as I've always preferred the more casual aka take your time approach. Many other changes have been great, such as how Normal and Heroic raids automatically scale to the number of people you have, so you don't need a fixed number of people to raid.

For resources I'd check out https://www.mmo-champion.com/ and https://www.wowhead.com/ MMO Champion is more of a news site where you can always see the latest updates to what is going on in WoW. Wowhead is more of a database for just about everything in the game (quests, items, raids, dungeons, etc).

It's pretty amazing how much the graphics have improved over the years, considering that they never stopped and started from scratch, and it's just been a slow evolution. It went from being a game that you could play on a Voodoo3 or TNT2 to a game that uses DirectX 12 and Ray Tracing. Unfortunately the downside of still having legacy elements of such an old engine is that it is not very well multi-threaded. It can use up to 4 cores or so for some things, but as long as your CPU has at least 4 cores, it's the single-core IPC of your CPU that will ultimately dictate your performance in WoW.
I’ll have a 10700K with a 2080. I’m hoping to be be able to get 61fps with ultra settings and ray tracing. That’s all I need for my 2560x1440 60hz screen.

We’ll see.
 

xMAGIUSx

n00b
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
55
I know several people that have done the same thing. I guess they have the time on their hands or something. I played Star Wars the Old Republic for about 7 years. I've had no desire to go back to an MMO. The only thing that kept me playing SW:ToR for so long was my raid team and raiding. I knew them all in real life which helps. That I like, but everything else about MMO's I rather despise. Plus, Star Wars.
The changes to the game have made WoW fairly enjoyable for my girlfriend and I. We like the story so we’ve got a ton of content to explore without it feeling like a grind. I’m not in a rush to get the best gear like I was the first time I played, I want to unlock all of the allied races and play through all of the expansions.

We both love Star Wars and I had honestly forgotten about ToR. Is it still around? I played for a month when it first released but didn’t get hooked.
 

xMAGIUSx

n00b
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
55
I've played since closed beta in 2004. Even have collector's edition Vanilla. About once a year I fall back into it. By week three I've cancelled my account. Just doesn't stick any more.
I’m paying a month at a time for sure. Right now I’m having a blast, but I have hit the wall in a bunch of MMOs before, this one included.
 

xMAGIUSx

n00b
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
55
I've played every expansion since Vanilla except for Warlords of Draenor (which apparently was god awful so probably dodged a bullet). I thoroughly enjoyed the game and played all the content in Vanilla (except Naxx), TBC, WotLK, and Cata. Beginning in MoP things started slowing down for me and I quit halfway through. I came back for Legion and that was a pretty good expansion, better than MoP and Cata in my opinion. But BFA (latest expansion) sucked ass. I quit after 2 months and didn't look back. Grinding azerite power to level your neckpiece was an incredibly stupid concept. Azerite powers were also broken when I played. Instead I sunk my MMO time into WoW Classic which thankfully released during the shitshow that was BFA.

Hoping Shadowlands will be another good expansion and not a repeat of BFA!
I have a character in pre-patch right now who’s at level 50 and has an azurite necklace. I boosted the character to 50 with a token I got for preordering, so I don’t know the deal with azurite, or the necklace, but I do know that any experience I gain right now goes into the necklace since I’m at the current level cap.

I think the Azurite system you dislike is still present.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
9,773
I play/played a monk and I enjoyed it up until the latest prepatch as they took a severe hit and have not received any developer attention. I'm not upset about it, I've been spending time in game revisiting classes I never really played much this expansion such as Shaman and DK.

Just keep in mind that characters in their current state are essentially incomplete by design. We're still stuck at 50 for the moment, but classes in 9.0 were designed and balanced for level 60 with covenant abilities and other Shadowland systems in mind that we don't even have access to yet in the prepatch. Some classes even have spells and abilities that they won't learn until they level to 52 or 60. So if you feel like something is missing or that your toolkit doesn't feel quite complete, that's probably why.

I have a character in pre-patch right now who’s at level 50 and has an azurite necklace. I boosted the character to 50 with a token I got for preordering, so I don’t know the deal with azurite, or the necklace, but I do know that any experience I gain right now goes into the necklace since I’m at the current level cap.

I think the Azurite system you dislike is still present.

It's not actually experience, it's Azerite Power. It's been an expansion-long grind basically. As you gather AP (Azerite Power), the item level of your neck increases and you also get slots to insert Azerite Essences, which are basically like a 2nd talent system. The expansion also uses special Head, Shoulder, and Chest pieces that have Azerite Traits you can choose from, which is basically like a 3rd talent system. The systems are still present because Shadowlands content has not been released yet. Once it is, we will probably end up replacing our neck, head, shoulder, and chest pieces with quest rewards or gear from 5-man shadowlands dungeons as we level.
 

TheToE!

[H] Brewmaster
Joined
May 17, 2005
Messages
7,494
I tried jumping back in a couple years ago. My experience was :
-Logged in
-DIdn't recognize anything.
-Had no idea where I was or what I was supposed to be doing.
-Everyone around me was doing there own thing.
-Had no idea what I was supposed to be doing
-Uninstalled
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
57,018
The changes to the game have made WoW fairly enjoyable for my girlfriend and I. We like the story so we’ve got a ton of content to explore without it feeling like a grind. I’m not in a rush to get the best gear like I was the first time I played, I want to unlock all of the allied races and play through all of the expansions.

We both love Star Wars and I had honestly forgotten about ToR. Is it still around? I played for a month when it first released but didn’t get hooked.

Yeah, it's still around but it hasn't had a meaningful content update in about two years. It had an "expansion" of sorts last year but it was about as much of an update as the periodic content releases every few months. The game is pretty much on maintenance mode. About all they do is add more crap to the cash shop.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
9,773
I tried jumping back in a couple years ago. My experience was :
-Logged in
-DIdn't recognize anything.
-Had no idea where I was or what I was supposed to be doing.
-Everyone around me was doing there own thing.
-Had no idea what I was supposed to be doing
-Uninstalled

Well with so many expansions over the years, the process of getting your character to max level and into current content became bit chaotic, especially for someone leveling up a character. You would have to go through content from several old abandoned expansions as you level and it wasn't very intuitive. They have now completely revamped the leveling experience and it's much more tailored toward introducing you to your character and helping teach (or re-teach) you how to play instead of the disjointed massive grind that it was previously. That new leveling experience is now fully in-place with the 9.0 pre-patch, so you might give it a try. It's a great time to be starting a new character, or re-learning an old one.

With that said, I would highly recommend playing the game with at least one friend. Better yet, join a guild that has people you know in it. It's much more fun and easier when you are learning the game and playing the game with a friend.
 

Mehphisto

Weaksauce
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
92
Wrath was my personal Favorite expansion, honestly and I know I will get crap for this, so was Warlords, My level 3 Garrison is perma decked out in Halloween decorations. My least Favorite was Legion....

The changes over the years have had different impacts for different people, I personally liked most except for the Artifact weapons in Legion. But story wise I am thrilled to see the game grow and looking forward to shadowlands.

I have an i7-9700k, RTX 2060, 32 GB ram and I run wow on the absolute highest settings with no issues, which for my noob self is awesome.
 

Starfalcon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
376
Wrath was my personal Favorite expansion, honestly and I know I will get crap for this, so was Warlords, My level 3 Garrison is perma decked out in Halloween decorations. My least Favorite was Legion....

The changes over the years have had different impacts for different people, I personally liked most except for the Artifact weapons in Legion. But story wise I am thrilled to see the game grow and looking forward to shadowlands.

I have an i7-9700k, RTX 2060, 32 GB ram and I run wow on the absolute highest settings with no issues, which for my noob self is awesome.

I liked legion a lot because of the artifact weapons, mainly being a rogue and needing 2 weapons to drop. In the start of BFA getting a weapon drop was super rare. I did most of the first raid tier with boes I bought from the AH as I couldnt get anything to drop and my dps was so gimped I didnt have much choice. After a couple months I got 1 dagger to drop from normal and didnt see another one until the last week we were farming heroic that a second one dropped. It really screwed over my dps and led to me mostly being dead last in dps due to this, and I ended up getting sat on progression a lot due to this.

On top of this, due to my poor dps they wouldnt take me with them to any M+, and would just get declined trying to pug anything. This really killed my enjoyment of this expansion, and my guild finally blew up during the zuldazar raid. Mainly due to the GM and officers believing they were mythic hardcore raiders, and failing to even get heroic bosses down. They slowly drove away the few good players we had with their arrogance, and eventually didnt even have enough people to make a 10 man raid group. They then tried pugging heroic or mythic raids, and ended up failing at that. They just ended up running M+ for the rest of the exp and leveling alts.
 

Chelica

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 8, 2003
Messages
2,341
I tried jumping back in a couple years ago. My experience was :
-Logged in
-DIdn't recognize anything.
-Had no idea where I was or what I was supposed to be doing.
-Everyone around me was doing there own thing.
-Had no idea what I was supposed to be doing
-Uninstalled
If you're interested, you should give it a go right now. I would suggest starting a new character altogether instead of jumping to ones you already created. They streamlined the leveling experience so you can just pick a specific expansion and level to 50 (current cap) within 1 storyline.
 

WarriorX

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
2,100
If you're interested, you should give it a go right now. I would suggest starting a new character altogether instead of jumping to ones you already created. They streamlined the leveling experience so you can just pick a specific expansion and level to 50 (current cap) within 1 storyline.

I think this is one of the best things they have done for the game. Being able to choose your adventure and even change it at any time is great. Get bored with one expansion's story content, pick another!
 

FighterAce124

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
2,862
I just wish I had more characters to actually level.... all my characters are already 40-50 and I have one of each class.. the only one thats still level 1 is a monk. Everyone else was a max level in some expansion or other, and leveled sporadically after that...

I really want to fully play through BC and WOTLK storylines again while also making progress.... I know I can just go do them (Except on the characters that leveled through them, which is probably about 75% of my characters), but thats not as fun as also leveling at the same time :(
 

dragon69

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
1,728
Wait, 50 is the cap now? Last time that I played, I think it was 120?

I have been getting the itch again to just install and see what’s going on and play Alterac Valley.
 
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