It’s probably been a decade since Kara and I played World of Warcraft. The last time I was really interested in it my kids were little and my life was very different. The game has changed a lot but it’s been interesting to see how much is still the same. It’s probably not much different from a man of my advanced age going back to an old neighborhood. The nostalgia is thick but generally you don’t want to go back and live there.
Nostalgia certainly got me in the door but the new Dragonflight expansion has kept me playing. Rather than try and re-learn our old characters Kara and I both made brand new ones. This also let us try out the new race of dragon people called the Dracthyr.
They come locked into a class called an Evoker that seems to be a bit like a cross between a Mage and a Priest. As you progress you get the opportunity to choose either a more damage focused role or one that focuses on healing. So far it’s been fun and I like the improved talent system that no longer makes unlearning skills a hassle.
The major thing that has me logging in again is the Dragonriding. They have created a huge, beautiful new zone called the Dragon Isles and soaring around it on your own customizable dragon is ridiculously fun. It reminds me of Pilot Wings honestly in how it captures the thrill of gliding, diving and flying.
So much has changed since I last played that it’s hard for me to know what came with the latest update and what has been around for a few years. Once I did eventually log back in with my old Mage “Dudefella” the game recognized I had not played in years and I was given the option of teleporting to Stormwind to start some new adventures. I did this and met a Chrono Mage who gave me the option of “choosing a timeline” which basically lets you pick any of the previous expansions to play. A major level crunch happened and all my crazy high level dudes are around 30 now. I’m still not sure what that all means and I’ve yet to dive into professions again which have also received an overhaul. There's a lot to unpack but flying is just too much fun right now.
Even in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty two, WoW is able to impress with its art direction. The new Dragon Isles look so good it’s easy to forget this game came out the same year my 18 year old son was born, 2004. I still have fond memories of playing WoW in the middle of the night holding Gabe in one arm. I have to admit It’s fun to be back riding Gryphons and collecting Elemental Ding-Dongs with Kara. Dragonflight is a killer combination of nostalgia and exciting new mechanics. If you’ve been on the fence for years like I was, I think this is a great time to hop back in.