Quite by accident last night I was online in World of Warcraft when Mists of Panderia officially launched. It was a rather subtle thing – a small entry in the chat box in a pinkish colour that said simple “Mists of Panderia has launched”. I didn’t actually stay online all that much longer – just long enough to see someone get a Realm First for Herbalism. It was a curious experience. I heard from a work colleague of the massive crush of people diving into the new content and new Pandareen, but I just toodled along in my own little journey almost oblivious. Officially though I suppose I can now say that I was present at an expansion launch. Go me, or something.
Given this event MMO Roundup has a post collating some farewell thoughts on Cataclysm, and I have to say that Tzufit’s write-up “Did Deathwing Win?” hits the nail spot on the head with the following: “We returned to our homes to find that they weren’t the same anymore, that beloved friends had died, and favorite places were forever ruined.” All in all there is a great deal there that correctly describes all the reasons I stopped playing Warcraft before Cataclysm even launched.
In my own playing for the last few days I have been reminded of both good and bad points regarding Warcraft, and regarding Blizzard. In particular I dislike the way achievements have now become shared over accounts. It seems to me to be a “Blizzard way or the high-way” scenario when I cannot honestly imaging separating out account-level and character-specific achievements would have been all that difficult. Very much the same attitude as the whole Real ID fiasco, even if not of the same severity. On the whole so far I am enjoying being back so far.