You can tell the Burning Crusade has been keeping me busy. I've hardly posted since it was released.
I wonder if I should rename my blog, because the Outlands have been keeping me busy and and you can tell its been keeping other players busy too. I rode through Ironforge (IF) a few times this weekend (only because quests brought me back to Azeroth), and it was like a ghost city!
I haven't been putting anything up for auction so I haven't had the need to come back for that. And my class trainer is literally right beside the portal in IF. So I'd immediately hearth back to the Outlands to continue doing whatever I'm doing at the time. I never noticed how dead the once bustling hive of activity had become.
Its sad really. I remember, being late to the MMORPG scene, trying to play games like Anarchy Online, Horizons and Star Wars, which were well past whatever prime and no longer had anyone in their starter areas. It was lonely and definitely not the experience you'd want to have in a multiplayer game. Sure there were always a few diehard players trying to keep dying games going that willing to welcome newbies but there wasn't that feeling of "we're all new here and in this together as we explore undiscovered lands" type of thing. I wonder if that's what new players that aren't choosing Draenei or Night Elves are feeling?
There will never be another Ironforge. Ironforge was not only a major hub, but due to the slow release of a new expansion, it was a place to hang out when you didn't have anything to do. Which was the case for alot of veteran players. It feels weird that a place where so many players would just hang out now only had enough to count one troll hand. Shattrath City is Outland's major hub, but if Blizzard releases expansion within a year instead of two years as is rumored, I doubt players will reach that state of "nothing to do but hang out in Shattrath".
I got this feeling of "I remember when Ironforge was the place to be, what happened?" I remember when IF lag was commonplace! When players wouldn't even set their hearth there because the lag was so bad. There was a spot right before I got to the bridge that my character would freeze before it continued running. Sometimes I would fall into that pit (?). Of course they added new auction houses to all the major cities eventually, but Ironforge still remained populated. Because it was the hub for all the top end instances too. And now its not. And as I ride through, only because its on the way to something newer and "more fun", I can't think of anything that will make it that way again.
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"I don't *need* to play. I can quit anytime I want!"
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