World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Features for PC

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World of Warcraft screenshot
World of Warcraft screenshot

Maybe it says something that at thirty-five thousand feet off the ground in a commercial jet, with a vista shot of hundreds of miles of farmland just underneath I think "this is almost as good as Westfall". This is the honest truth: WoW has been my travel partner for the last seven years, in spirit anyway. Now when I look out a window or at tourist landmarks it's on my shoulder making these comparisons for me. Vancouver, France, Mexico, New York, London, Montreal, Stormwind, Duskwood, Ironforge, and so on.

I travel a lot. I flew from Canada to England for the singular reason that I was bored, and now I can say I've spent twenty two years on one continent thousands of miles across the ocean and two years between Leeds, Southampton, Leeds again, then a suburban block in Guildford. I can't even blame wanderlust for that; I'm restless not because I want to see the world, just because I already see most of the world through a spectacular mist of boredom.

Maybe that's why I prefer fiction. Because growing up in Coquitlam, a tiny geriatric suburb lodged on the side of the Canada's West Coast and roughly an hour away from Vancouver or any locale more exotic than a video store, developed in me an urge usually reserved for animals stuck in snare traps. At least I always had a virtual hobby.

WoW was the sensible way to burrow underneath a tedious small town, and go down into the gastro-intestinal centre of something slightly more interesting. This is what I was doing in high school for four years. While teachers argued like children over my fate, I just stood around yawning, wondering when I could graduate and leave already. But WoW wasn't boring, it was travelling. Stormwind, Duskwood, Ironforge, and so on. This is how I could yawn while on the verge of failing Maths.

Now my homes are spread across two countries separated by some water and thousand-pound plane tickets (a side-effect of the travelling), but between the continents the one constant factor is the home I accidentally made on a Blizzard server, which is something that's constantly in reach.

This is the nostalgia-lathered relationship I have to WoW, with all the same navel-gazing sentimentalism I have to any memories I've associated with growing up. The feelings I have about the first time I listened to OK Computer when I was 15, pictures of my old dogs, or Die Hard at Christmas are as strong as my first character, my first alt, or the first time I hit level 60 in Vanilla. My memories of holding up a walkman in my dad's car so the CD didn't skip as we went over speed bumps on my way to school every day are as relevant as the first time I referenced Mankrik's Wife in a public conversation, receiving a knowing nod in response like we were both part of a secret cabal of basement dwellers, sharing a common language. And it feels as legitimate as being reminded of this time I spent in a game when I see those panorama views out of a window every time I travel.

So thanks World of Warcraft, and happy birthday. You've been a reliable home away from home.

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clangod's Avatar

clangod

I've never tried WoW either. It's never really appealed to me. But that was a great read. Cheers.

+ what Lee wrote.
Posted 11:11 on 27 November 2011
draytone's Avatar

draytone

How long has WoW been going now? I first really remember it when I was at University and I made the decision that I wasn't getting into it because of the amount of time it ate up. I was also still playing Day of Defeat at the time and liked that too much.
Posted 10:47 on 26 November 2011
Darkr8zor's Avatar

Darkr8zor

Hmm, the two main reasons I still play WoW? The guild chums I've made, and the back story - and that's mainly Gnomes.

Many find them annoying and twee, but I can't help but smile when turing my foes into chickens, using a shrink ray and flying about in a gyrocopter.

I'll give SW:TOR a go, as I did Tabula Rasa and Rift. Let the fun reign on! :0)
Posted 00:36 on 26 November 2011
Geraface's Avatar

Geraface@ BC_Animus

As a defensive measure the editors have us chained to our desks in case of escape.
Posted 10:30 on 25 November 2011
BC_Animus's Avatar

BC_Animus

They ARE great aren't they... but - don't praise the VG staff too much guys - we need to keep them in the dark. The moment they wake up to the fact that they are actually good writers, they might end up leaving for bigger sites. :(
Posted 10:17 on 25 November 2011
IndoorHeroes's Avatar

IndoorHeroes

What CheekyLee said. Great work Gera.
Posted 12:51 on 24 November 2011
p0rtalthinker's Avatar

p0rtalthinker

@CheekyLee: with you 100% on that mate. I enjoyed this article, and like you I've never even touched WoW. Great article Gera and I'd love to see stuff like this on the site more often!
Posted 20:24 on 23 November 2011
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee

I love WoW because ... Actually, I've never played it. Not even the trial. I probably should, but, you know ... I'm terrified of it!

Loved this piece. Pieces like this, and Martin's recent "Changed a life" one, are the reason I come to this site and none of the others. I can get NEWS anywhere, but for me, games journalism should be about the personal journeys. Less dull facts, less deconstruction, and more about the REASON WE PLAY THESE THINGS in the first place!
Posted 18:20 on 23 November 2011
BC_Animus's Avatar

BC_Animus

Around the same time I started playing WoW my social life was pretty much non-existant (still is heh), due to all of my real life mates and childhood friends moving overseas. I had very little else going in my life, as a result for 4+ years I spent pretty much all of my free time lost within the world of Azeroth.

Looking back, WoW was probably bad for me, socially, mentally and physically, and it was probably what had turned me into this pale, skeptical, anti-social creature you see typing before you.

I left WoW a couple of years now, and I will probably never go back to it. But I must say it was home for me for a long time, and part of me still aches every time I hear it mentioned. One thing is undeniable - the years I spent there held some wonderful, bittersweet memories for me, and no matter how bitter and skeptical I become, I wouldn't take those years back for the world.
Posted 12:14 on 23 November 2011
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

I love WoW because it's done absolute wonders for me socially, i've met people from it, fell in love (girl in my college and i got close through it), went on a MASSIVE night out with swedish pros, dundee players, launch party madness with Wrath when that came out and of course, (my fave actually) "FOR THE HORDE!!" screams when downing shots.....fun times and for these reasons, WoW is my favorite game of all time.
Posted 11:31 on 23 November 2011
Geraface's Avatar

Geraface@ Woffls

Well, directly in between Southampton and Portsmouth to be specific: http://dreadfulblog.wordpress.com/20...elated-update/
Posted 11:23 on 23 November 2011
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

You lived in Southampton? I'm sorry to hear that :p

I could probably have done with playing WoW when I was younger and desperate for some escapism, but by 2004 I was playing so many games that I already had enough worlds to keep my mind from wandering back into reality.

Great read, as usual.
Posted 11:20 on 23 November 2011

Game Stats

Release Date: 07/11/2010
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Genre: Fantasy RPG
No. Players: 1 + Online
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 980 19
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