I’ve not played World of Warcraft for quite a while. Having found the higher level Pandaria zones so crowded when MoP released I had a little dabble with a baby monk, which was fun, but then real life caught up with me again and I left Azeroth behind for a while.
Life’s hectic. Juggling two children, working part time, running the house, blogging and podcasting regularly doesn’t leave much play time, unfortunately. However recently I’ve taken some steps to improve my work/life balance, and I’m starting to find the odd hour in the evenings for gaming again.
I’ve tried a few other games. But I keep finding myself playing something and thinking “I’d rather be playing WoW”. So a couple of weeks ago I took some tentative steps back into Azeroth. I started gently – a baby monk on a completely new server, as I didn’t know how my guildies would react to me coming back. I wanted to be sure that I would be playing reasonably regularly before going back to my old characters.
I found I was playing quite consistently, and enjoying it, so I took a deep breath and logged in to my old server. Thankfully I still recognised most of the names in my guild (although several of them have switched mains), and even better they all welcomed me back with open arms (and a few jokes about whether I was lost or not!). I noodled around on alts for a few evenings, and then plucked up the courage to log my level 85 Druid in to see if I could still remember how to play her.
It’s not quite like riding a bike, as several of the mechanics have changed since I last played – in balance spec I seem to have new mushroom things to play around with for example – but it is coming back to me. I’ve soloed myself up to level 86 without too much of a struggle. This week I braved my first instance run, with friendly and very forgiving guildies, my first attempt at healing. Most of it came back to me, although having re-installed the game from scratch I’ve lost all my key bindings, and I kept finding my fingers automatically hitting combinations that I hadn’t configured!
Some things I have forgotten though, and my most embarrassing moment was having to ask my group what my group heal was called, as it wouldn’t come to mind at all and I was struggling to recognise it in my spellbook! Thankfully they’re a very forgiving group, and could tell me it was Wild Growth without laughing at me
I lost the tank a couple of times, but we managed to scrape through with no wipes, so in my mind it was a good start. More importantly it was fun, and reminded me that I really do love WoW and want to carry on making the time to play.