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The Shattering: Enough to Lure Me Back?

As you’ve no doubt heard, as of today, the WoW we once knew is gone forever. Replacing it is WoW: The Re-Imagining, which brings with it new zones, updating questing, and all that blahbittyblah — you’ve heard it already. The important thing to take away is that this is probably the most exciting thing to happen to WoW, well, ever.

With all of this content, I’m tempted to go back and start the new character I’ve been waiting on. I’d wanted to roll a Goblin Druid, but they’re not allowed, so there’s not much point in waiting for Cataclysm to get started. Instead, I’ll probably roll troll because “once you go troll, you never re-roll.” And that I want a class I can change roles with. I don’t really feel like being shoehorned into filling a certain spot. When raid time comes — IF raid time comes for me — I want to be ready to play whatever I feel like at the time.

Something strange has happened while I’ve been gone, though: I really don’t want to pay a monthly fee. At least for something I’ve already experienced. A year ago, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash at re-subscribing for this. Now though, it’s like, even with this fresh coat of paint, WoW is still WoW. It’ll be fun, but is it really that much better than all of the things I could play for free? I have a lifetime subscription to LotRO, another free month in FFXIV, and a bevy of non-MMO style games just waiting to be picked up – Assassin’s Creed 2, Brotherhood, Darksiders, Black Ops, Just Cause 2, Mass Effect 2. I have no shortage of non-committal fun right now and it’s all built up a pretty big wall against that — ugh, I hate this expression — 800 lb. gorilla we call WoW. By the way, did you hear they’re re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?

For as much as I love WoW, distance this time hasn’t necessarily made the heart grow fonder. Instead, I think I’ve matured a little bit and this hype train isn’t quite getting to me like it used to. Is this how MMO gamers age?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be back without a doubt. I just thought it was worth noting that WoW is veering away from this “get it as soon as it’s available” place for me. Maybe it’s just a result of being stuck in the stagnation that’s been MMOs for the last year and “more of the same” for the two years before that. The truth is, even though I still play them and have fun with them, I feel further from MMOs now than I have since I first started. FFXIV is so different that it almost stands apart from other MMOs, right down to how it impacts me as a player I guess.

Ironically, it may be WoW that changes that. I don’t hold much doubt that leveling a new character in Cataclysm will elevate MMOs back into the top of my gaming roster. Leveling a character in WoW is one of the best solo experiences any MMO player could ask for and I enjoy it. Add into that the November and December updates for FFXIV and I feel that familiar feeling brewing. It’s really a question of when I’ll get to break this funk.

What do you think, guys. Are you going back for the Shattering, waiting till Cataclysm, or taking a pass on all of it?

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