When I originally started playing World of Warcraft
, things were different. Priests were still waiting on their first big class patch. Regular mounts required level 40; most players couldn't afford the 100ish gold fee without a loan from their guild. Epic mounts were so prohibitively expensive as to be considered rare. Raids
required the dedication and skill of 40 players, and only a couple of guilds per realm actually even bothered to run high-end content. WoW
was, as they say, srs bsns.
But that was eight years ago. Since then, World of Warcraft
has seen four enormous expansions (Burning Crusade
, Wrath of the Lich King
and Mists of Pandaria
) and countless minor content updates. Edges have been softened, skills refined, classes reinvented. Subs have ballooned to a peak of over 12 million, waffled up and down for a few years, then fallen most recently to 9.6 million
Some would argue that the World of Warcraft
of 2013 bears only a passing resemblance to the one we played in 2005. Others would claim it's still the same excellent/terrible game, just gussied up with fresh paint.
As a longtime WoW
lover but recently lapsed subscriber, I ventured into Mists of Pandaria
to sort it out for myself.