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In response to the big shiny cinema offer, it’s now only possible to buy two games at the Blizzard store: Warcraft, or Legion. That means that all those expansions no longer exist as separate entities. We have one game, ironically under the pretty female Blood Elf banner, and those coming new to the experience via the offer won’t have to worry about buying multiple copies of anything to start from scratch. For some veterans, undoubtedly, this will be seen as a sign that the game is further being simplified to cater to a new generation, which is exactly what is happening. Eleven years of your life, reduced to the price of a cinema ticket.

Progress is inevitable, after all.

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Of course, for those of us here waiting for the Expansion, there’s plenty of opportunity to ensure the experience we have’s as worthwhile as we want. That’s what planning and organisation is all about. I’m in my element at present preparing for the inevitable, and I’ll be restarting my Guide series tomorrow as a result. As every day passes we’re closer to the pre-Expansion event, and as soon as the Movie goes live (which is less than a week for France) then I’m confidently predicting the advertising and information bandwagons are going to sent front and centre. This is the moment to remind people that a lot of new players are going to be arriving very soon, and initiatives such as the Warcraft Welcome Wagon aren’t just fanciful notions. We should all be nicer and kinder to people entering the Community for the first time. Except for some people, those words don’t exist in their vocabularies.

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What is your reward?

When you ask yourself why you play, or why you’re part of the game, there’s another question to be considered in all of this: what about everybody else? I’m continually encountering spectacularly selfish people, but for every one I find they are outnumbered undoubtedly by the generous and understanding. The fact remains that those of us who play this game solo by choice really are in the minority: to do everything well, you will need some help from time to time, even if you only encounter that from random strangers. Ironically using guides also counts as that help, because without other people you’d have to work out all this shit on your own. So like it or not? You never are truly alone, even though it might for angst and complaint purposes seem that’s the case.

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Alone is relative

In the end, complaining has consequences too. I’d urge everybody to read this short comment on how SWTOR has lost a vital part of itself. If you decide that a certain section of the player base is not relevant and should be ignored? There will be consequences. Activision Blizzard are doing a fantastic job of catering to a vast and varied selection of player abilities and styles, yet the community continues to decide what matters and doesn’t in such an arbitrary and often abusive fashion that really, it is no wonder people up sticks and leave so regularly. All of us have a duty of care to nurture, and criticism is perfectly acceptable if you’re careful to ensure that’s its always objective and never personal. Despite what some people might tell you, an opinion is perfectly legitimate as criticism too. Just be ready not only to defend yourself robustly, but take flak when you do.

This is a great time to be a Warcraft player. There are, I know, genuinely exciting times ahead. Getting ready’s one approach, but there are many others. I’d suggest that in the weeks that follow you try and establish what you’d like most out of the next six months and then just enjoy the ride. If you can help someone as you do?

So much the better.

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