WoW Classic: The Return to Azeroth

Posted by CardinalSpawn September 17, 2019 in Esports


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The levelling to 60 was about to begin…again.


I have to admit that as I write this I had left World of Warcraft (WoW) just after the end of Mists of Pandaria and before the launch of Warlords of Draenor. I’d come to realise the enjoyment and “love” for the game I once had was no longer there.

I was aware that WoW Classic (or Vanilla WoW as it was affectionately called by its player base) was coming, but I hadn’t considered returning to World of Warcraft. Although it was a great “tribute” to those who had played from day one.

The Seed was planted.

I recall being told about Method’s race to world first where they took down Queen Azshara on Mythic (super tough) difficulty, in what was the closest race I had seen in a long time. I think it was seeing the passion and determination to take her down and finally achieving this that made me think “what if I go back, even if it’s for 30 days”.

It was at this point I’d chosen to, 1: Buy Battle for Azeroth and 2: Subscribe for one month only.  I was giving myself 30 days to find the “love” I once had for this game.

“I was giving myself 30 days to find the “love” I once had for this game.”

Grendler (my stoic Dwarven Priest) came out of “retirement” as I patiently began the levelling to 120 (granted I did use the free boost to 110 which I regret a little) but with each new level I felt no urge to yell “DING” it was as if there was no real sense of achievement anymore. Naturally, I was now wondering if I had made the right choice after all.

Thankfully WoW Classic was about to change all of this…

Welcome (back) to Azeroth

By this time my month of subscription was almost up, I had not set to renew automatically purposefully as I didn’t want to commit to something I was still very unsure about.

Midnight 26th/27th August and I couldn’t log on to Blizzard’s shop to subscribe because naturally, everyone was taking the same leap and subscribing to try out classic.

So, invariably the servers were unable to cope, with that in mind I headed off to bed. I was able to finally sub only to be met by an old foe…

The dreaded (and might I add forewarned) queues!!!

QUEUES! Stars above it had to be!

Never the less the queues were the ultimate buzzkill, I refused to take this lying down, “ok” I thought. “improvise, log in and wait in the queues it will be ok” little did I know how far from the truth that could be!

You see, after finally getting onto the server I was almost immediately disconnected. My heart raced as I quickly logged back in hoping for the magical grace period where you can get straight back in, but my hopes were dashed like a Kobold hoping no-one would take their candle.

The “WoW Classic Experience” hit me right in the feels again and put me at the back of over 22,467 people.

By now, my hair was falling out at an alarming rate and I don’t have much of it anyway! It clearly wasn’t working out for us on Shazzrah and to be fair it was foretold that the queues would be long and bothersome but in many of our troupe’s infinite (not the Dragonflight) wisdom, we tried to queue anyway.  It finally came to a choice of stay and hope to get into Shazzrah or select a less populated server and start anew there.

We made the latter and moved to Dreadmist which was the best call we had made thus far. Now it was finally time to join the ranks of the Horde and join my brethren in the ultimate battle once more.

I began with creating a Tauren Hunter but to be fair I just couldn’t get into the class.

Don’t get me wrong I loved my slow-paced walking side of beef, it’s just the class didn’t give me the “feeling” I was after. Now I know what your thinking, that poor cow! It’s ok my sources inform me that he took up a role as a banker in Thunderbluff and he’s a dab-hoof at it too.

Finally, I bit the bullet and created Grendler once more only difference was this time he was a little taller, a lot thinner and didn’t quaff ale like it was going out of fashion. The undead version of Grendler was a leaner, meaner type of chap who was ready for the world and so it began in Deathknell and I have never looked back.

Nostalgia…oh the memories!

The Nostalgia ride has been non-stop ever since the run from Deathknell to Brill. I am back in familiar territory where a simple run from point “A” to point “B” is not in any way safe at all. Everything (and I mean everything) that could attack you would be on hand to remind you.

There was one thing I had to do, and that was to go to Lordaeron (Undercity, the Undead Capital) and soak in the atmosphere. Believe me, nothing beats walking the path into the throne room and hearing the echoes of Arthas’ ultimate betrayal over his father Terenas Menethil.

However, there wasn’t any time for sentiment, I had come to stand face to face with my leader, my ruler of the damned, the commander of the forsaken. “The Banshee Queen” Sylvannas Windrunner and again it was just another moment for me that was making this whole experience that more…magical.

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“I mean sure, she’s had a few makeovers but Sylvannas is still my personal favourite leader of all Warcraft.”

The memories of the long run through The Barrens bought a smile to my face as I entered the crossroads once more. A quest hub that would bring hours of grinding some easy, some were time-consuming (Zhevra Hooves people!) but all the while fun and tough at the same time.

My first healing foray was in the dungeon The Wailing Caverns and I was immediately transported back to my old raiding days as a healer, I had to make sure I could keep up healing whilst managing my mana resource to ensure I didn’t go “out of mana” too often which at low levels is very easy to do.

It’s the Original crew! No Draenei, Blood Elves, Death Knights, Pandaren or Demon Hunters here folks!

Make every Copper, Silver and Gold count!

I remember when I finally hit level 10 after announcing to the world “DING LVL 10!!!” I ran to undercity to go and get trained, I was ready to take on the world, after all, I was a Priest and I was going to be unstoppable.

That’s where the “WoW Classic Experience” got me again each spell back in the day had ranks so this meant you constantly had to purchase the next level spell (i.e. Rank 1 to Rank 2 and so on.) but this naturally cost in-game currency and in a world where making money was still in progress you have to scrimp and save as much as you can.

It’s never easy deciding to leave certain spells out but as your levelling, it’s a necessity to ensure you have enough funds for such things like Food and Water (unless you’re a mage), flight path travel and inevitably the repairs you will no doubt need to make to your equipment.

Not forgetting that this was all before you took into account any professions you may have chosen to take up and learn, in which case meant you also had to factor this into your ever-decreasing budget.

” There are no mounts here folks, no chauffer driven bike and sidecars, no easy route. It’s always treacherous walk anywhere and I loved every second of it. “

A Guild is Born.

One of World of Warcraft’s biggest attractions is guilds. A social gathering of like-minded players who unite under one banner. Guilds have always been a focal point whether it’s for people to meet and chat away as they grind or it could be a more Player Vs Player (or PVP as it’s known) guild that takes on the very enemy faction of Warcraft.

It could be a raiding guild that is there to progress to end-game raids to achieve that ultimate pride of saying we completed Molten Core or to stand alongside Onyxia’s corpse as you take down a member of the Black Dragonflight.

It’s here that our guild was finally created, we had a vision of how we wanted our guild to be and after a very humorous conversation (you can ask us if you chose to join) that the name of our guild was agreed upon…Booty Bayliffs. It’s a clever take on the popular location Booty Bay in Stranglethorn Vale run by the ever money-orientated Goblins.

The Guild has grown since and we stand at around 120-plus members and still growing. We recently held a guild event to bring as many members of our guild together in once place as possible but to also “advertise” our guild to the world if they wished to join.

We started our parade (ok, ok so it was a conga line!) and the entrance to Origmmar and paraded our way through the Horde capital. Eventually ended up at the Tabard creator where those in attendance created our guild crest.

This may sound trivial to you, but nothing beats being with your guildies and having a laugh and making new memories, even now find myself looking back over screenshots taken from the night and smiling because its just another thing that adds to the “WoW” experience.

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As I write this, I am a meagre 28 levels into my Priest. I have no intention of rushing this, I want to soak up everything that I did and didn’t miss the first time around.

My current questing is finding me between Ashenvale and the higher-level end of The Barrens and my flight is taking me from Orgrimmar to Zoram’Gor outpost in Ashenvale, I have passed through Azshara and its autumn feeling zone, it still hasn’t been reshaped by the goblins and Deathwing has yet to stir.

Home Sweet Home.

This is Warcraft at it’s very best and I’m loving every moment. I can’t wait to get to level 40 and pray that I have the 90 Gold for my mount and the training. I am saving every copper, silver and gold I can and it can be stressing at times but I don’t care!

There is so much more to come for classic and I think it is the perfect way for all those who never got a chance to feel what it was really like levelling a character, how every level felt like a real achievement, making enough money to buy your first mount and then having to go through it all again to get your epic mount.

Where taking down your first raid boss made you spin on your chair as you remember to breathe again after almost wiping, entering a battleground with your friends and taking the victory. These are memories that Classic WoW bought us once before and fair play to Blizzard because they’re doing it all over again.

This is the game I fell in love with all those years ago, and whilst it feels odd to know what the future brings but I don’t mind because right now that’s a long time in the future. I have the rare honour to say that I was there at the beginning all over again.

Yes, this is Warcraft and yes…I’m home.

All you need to try World Of Warcraft Classic simply make sure you have an active subscription. If you don’t then simply follow the link Here and remake history

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