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But MMOs are also made up of people and many of the friends I made in Wo W have So what would I say, to returning players or potential new ones?

For better or worse, the new World of Warcraft isn’t like the one I left in 2012.

There are other changes that don’t fit neatly in a slideshow.

Servers used to be unique unto themselves — if you played on Zul’jin you never saw or interacted with players from, say, Alleria. Player) system that grouped players on each server with a group of players on a specific set of different servers, called Battlegroups.

With Legion, Blizzard made significant changes to every class, slashing the number of spells and splitting capabilities to make individual classes feel more specialized.

A great deal of redundancy and secondary capabilities were cut, and former talents that were common to the class have been split and separated.

Now that Legion has launched, I’ll be diving into that content and getting a better feel for how the game has evolved in group play. my two main characters are a Paladin and a Warlock, and both have changed so fundamentally I feel like I’m playing an entirely different game, not the evolved or super-powered version of the character I signed off with back in 2012.

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I’d enjoyed Warcraft 2 and 3 a great deal and the World of Warcraft promised to extend these storylines in new directions while offering better quests, soloing, and an overall story that other MMOs at the time lacked. My guild was medium-sized, which meant we struggled in the days of vanilla Wo W, when progressing into the endgame meant moving from fielding 10 players at a time to needing 40 in order to fight bosses and see new content (these are referred to as raids in Wo W parlance).If you played on Server A, you’d Pv P against players on Servers B, C, and D.If you played on Server E, you Pv P’d against players on Servers F, G, and H. I say nearly because there are certain actions that you still can’t do — no cross-server trading, for example, and no cross-server guilds.I played the next expansion, Cataclysm, but didn’t really raid.Mists of Pandaria, which shipped in 2012, only held my interest for a few weeks. I envisioned going back to the game would be easy, like slipping into a familiar pair of pants.In many ways, however, the player base feels unified.There are practical advantages to this — it allows for easy grouping and ensures that zones feel “full” even when players on one zone may be mostly asleep.Instead, it’s been more like falling down several flights of stairs or waking up in an alternate universe.The scenery might look similar (though the graphics engine has been significantly updated since the old days), but the fundamentals of the game have changed.We’ve rounded these up in a slideshow, along with a few before-and-after screenshots to show how the game has evolved since “vanilla” Wo W, circa 2006.To be clear, while some of the functions I’ll be showcasing existed back in 2011 when I quit seriously playing, their functionality and capability has evolved significantly over the past few years.

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