It turns out even casual players can "complete" the game these days... which is probably a bone of contention for some, but it kicks ass for me!
I haven't seen an end-of-expansion boss since good old Illidan (who I now stand with to fight?!) and Archi back in the TBC days. Remember them? There were many, many deaths and lots of frustrations from guildies on teamspeak. "WHO THE F**K STOOD IN THE FIRE??" and other such remarks were relatively common at the time. It did make the actual killing of the bastard a lot more of an achievement than tonight's killing of the Big Bad Deathwing, though!
But since then, my marriage broke up, and my two sons and I moved, got to know people in our new home, and they needed me more than a game, so I took a step back. A big step back.
For the last three years I've been a *very* casual player, or not playing at all. And I didn't really miss the game so much anyway, with the whole having family and friends around all the time.
Now that the kids are that bit older, though, I have some free time again.
I've been staving off WoW for the last six months or so by playing Dragon Age (helloooo Fenris!), Mass Effect (Garrus! Kaiden! Vega!) and the odd few months of SWTOR (not as good as it was hyped up to be) and Rift (just not quite what I was looking for).
Then I started to catch up with people from my gaming twitter account, and was getting more and more intrigued by WoW again.
MoP started to look interesting after all (I was sure I wouldn't buy this expansion... nay, positive that I wouldn't be bothered about not playing!), and after chattering to Jaedia on twitter, I figured I'd resub, and have a wee play on her server, joining Harvest Moon while I levelled my 80'd up rogue (from a Scroll of Resurrection I'd sent to a friend a while back) to 85. I had some fun with her, and then summer came around, so on the back burner WoW went again.
Until the kidlets went away to their dad's for a whole week at the beginning of August(first time in a loooong time!), and after a few days? I didn't know what to do with myself. So back to WoW I came.
And so Ghostlands is now where my characters live. Simple as that.
You know, when I think about it, all the best times I've had in game have been thanks to being a part of a brilliant guild that made me feel welcome, and part of the team.
Even though I'm social, for now, I get to join in with the fun runs, we group up together, guild chat is fun, and with the LFG and LFR tools, I get to upgrade my gear and actually be in the same league as the other people I play with. Well, more or less. Most of them are geared to the nines, but I can at least stand on my own two feet without feeling like I'm being carried (finally!), and that didn't take too long to achieve.
So although some of the more hardcore people may get annoyed that the encounters are too accesible these days, I for one relish the ease of gearing up.
It's something I've never been able to do before. Always feeling like I was lagging behind everyone else in game (ha, see what I did there!), and never able to catch up.
To finally be able to see all the content, without having to be raiding three nights a week, for hours at a time? I'm able to do it on my own terms.
And that's what's made my return to WoW so enjoyable.
First and foremost, of course, it is, and always will be, the people I play with. They're what make it all worthwhile. To be able to gear up quickly enough to be able to play with them on their level?
Well... that just makes it that much easier to get back into enjoying the game I've been playing since my druid captivated me just after release nearly eight years ago.
And that makes it totally worth my free time again!