I am a perennial blog browser much more then I am a blog poster despite running this small out of the way corner. Recently I ran across a post by Larisa over at the Pink Pigtail Inn, in which she decries the problems associated with the generation gap of when you joined or started playing MMO’s. More then the different mindsets her article made me wonder about how much people can adapt and accept change.
Like Larisa I am what she calls a TBC-Baby, and I am proud of it, to this day Kara still remains a favoured instance.. and steping through its doors and hearing the pipe-organ music start up brings back some good (and some horrifying) memories.

I joined shortly after the release of TBC so I have since joining been hearing about “how great classic was”, and here I will admit that when I was doing Naxx with people who had joined in Wrath I probably mentioned (often) how much more challenging raids and dungeons were in TBC compared to now.

People will point out why Classic was better then TBC and how TBC is better then Wrath, but overall I think WoW is improving. Yes, there are some things you will always look back on with fond memories but in general they are making the game less like a job and more like a game which is what is needed. I know this, yet I will still sit there and say things like “rep grind you called Sons of Hodir a Rep Grind?” when they complained how long it took.

In a naxx run just after release with 3 classic raiders, 4 TBC raiders and 3 fresh Wotlk players I can tell you that between capability and friendliness there wasn’t a lot of difference between the 3 groups.Since classic WoW we have experienced 20 extra levels, dozens of new rep grinds, a number of new raids with varying challenge, over a dozen new zones and hundreds of new quests .. and over the course of doing that it has changed from a game that required an almost work-like timeframe to make sure 1 character was at its peak to a game where even those with a few hours a week could experience everything. Even if they were not able to tackle ‘hard modes’ they can still see the Lich King

Already I know in Cataclysm I will be decrying how much better things were when Cairne was alive and Thrall was warcheif, when mana was more then efficient and Trees of Life Were a force to be reckoned with .. yes I know come raid time in Cata I will be extolling how much better healing was back as a tree. At the same time in Wrath at the moment after playing the game to death since the last expansion I (who am not a huge altoholic) am running out of steam, its been so long since I saw solo content updates that barring raids there is little reason to log on .. I am craving change, even if what is coming isn’t all that I am after.

The fact is Nostalgia, Rose Coloured Glasses, the simple fading of bad memories will all ensure that it doesn’t matter when we joined it will always seem that we joined when it was best.

My Grandfather spent his early teens years in Nazi Occupied Europe, he saw Jews executed in the streets, witnessed beatings of the local populace, was forced to dig up backroads for coal because resources were very limited, learn’t how to cook the old ‘roof rabbit’ and survive in a time that was filled with brutal violence and mass murder the likes of which haven’t been seen since. The other day he says to me “The world is so much more violent today then when I was young”, a few minutes of teh conversation later and I learn that until he was in his 20’s most of the news he ever heard was regional because no European cared much about what was happening in Africa, Asia or the Middle East. In effect the world hasn’t gotten more violent, but his perceptions of the world have grown while his memories of the worst things he has endured have softened.

Nostalgia is great, and hearing it expressed is fun .. to a degree, but with experience or age, wisdom does not necesarily come, yes there will always be something you miss from your ‘prime’ it doesn’t mean that things are worse now, nor that they are all better.. it does mean that things are changing and that things are evolving.

Change, and this is exactly what we need, after all if things didn’ change would you still really have been playing Warcraft since release/tbc/whenever you joined?