Lately I have been reading articles regarding Blizzcon and the predictions of what Blizzard may announce about the future of World of Warcraft. Even though I have not played WoW for two years I am still interested in the game. I started playing WoW in February of 2007 shortly after The Burning Crusade expansion was released. It was such a different game compared to the other MMOs I had played up to that point. I had only been playing MMORPGs for a little less than a year when TBC was released. The only other MMO that I had the most experience with was Guild Wars. In WoW my character could jump (a big deal compared to GW) and roam a large world without loading screens and instances. I also liked the mix of quest hubs (cities or towns where a number of quests could be started) and the quest-givers located off the beaten path. At that time the game was not a race to level cap and there was a sense of accomplishment simply by exploring new areas and seeing what was over the next hill or through a dark forest.
I have such great memories not only of the game, but also time spent on voice chat with guild mates and also playing with friends I knew in real life. All through TBC and Wrath of the Lich King everything that hooked me into WoW was still there, but something happened in Cataclysm that changed things. I found myself constantly complaining about the game and playing became a chore instead of entertainment. I am not going to attempt to conjecture why Cataclysm is the way it is and what motivated Blizzard to begin to drastically change the game. But WoW had changed for me and one day I realized that I could experience entertaining gameplay in other MMOs, especially those that were free-to-play.
Having never played Mists of Pandaria I have missed out on the features released in the expansion. But other than a new cross-faction race and class I felt that MoP did not add enough value to WoW for me. It seemed to me to be more of the same game mechanics along with the same mobs (hostile creatures) with different skins. Of course the game is somewhat different because of the addition of quality of life improvements, introduction of the pet battle system, and a revamp of the talent system. On a recent return to WoW thanks to 10 days of game time courtesy of Blizzard I was looking for that one thing that would draw me back to WoW. Even though it was nice to visit my characters, which was like visiting old friends, there was no spark of excitement when I tried to complete some quests that my rogue had in the quest log. That too was like visiting an old friend expecting there to still be the same connection as before, but realizing that a close friend is now a mere acquaintance and the friendship just a memory.
Blizzard announced a new expansion titled Warlords of Draenor and although I will always be interested in what happens with World of Warcraft I am content at looking back and not necessarily going back.