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Last night, there was Classic Materials Farming.

I began, as I always do, in the Burning Steppes.

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For those of you not around since Vanilla, this spot above was significant if you were a Warlock. Here you would come to buy your reagents for the Class Mount quest line in Dire Maul, and I remember having to work particularly hard to earn the reagents required. Now, however, it appears to have become a generic Warlock hangout. One assumes they like to just be here for the ambiance, as the giant sacrificial altar remains untouched just opposite. The Burning Steppes hasn’t changed that much over the years, of course, its still full of dragons and Orcs, and only their modus operandi has changed.

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The redness is the real constant. That sky ingrained on my memory, mostly because I spent so long here farming, late at night whilst my daughter fed, or slept next to me. The spots where the chests spawned, and where the farmers would do their circuits. The piles of Dragonscales being turned into armour. Mostly, the memories here are of a time long past and a server that I loved, for all the bad and good that existed on it. Now things are a lot quieter, and the feelings have changed.

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Vámonos, love ^^

I met this young lady in the Swamp of Sorrows, and her behaviour reminded me of bots long past (or perhaps not so long) but without proof? Difficult to justify. She gets a mention for the reference back to a show I used to hate with my kids growing up, mostly because it took formulaic to new levels of depressing. However I realise that’s exactly what I was doing last night, so I’m really not in a position to judge. The Swamp’s a shadow of what it once was, a fabulous place to farm for high-level items, where chests would be uncovered and you’d rarely find Thorium, but now its pretty much the go-to place in the Eastern Kingdoms to farm now that the Blasted Lands lives under a Bronze Dragonflight spell. Mostly I found myself missing Elementals in the Misty Valley that were killed for a quest, and the dragons that lived in the valley opposite that had a chance of a pet drop that back in the day could make you a rich woman overnight. Now the Blood Elf in the cave is a distant memory.

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Now I understand, better than I have for some time, why some people get really upset over the changes that Cataclysm wrought, because once you associate places with memory a peculiar thing happens in Azeroth, that I’m sure isn’t as prevalent in the Real World. The concept of time is vastly different between the real and virtual, and that means the emotional responses change too. The memories of change do odd things to the brain whereas in the real world we would simply accept this as a normal part of life. Maybe it is because gaming creates persistent worlds that don’t change in situ, you just end up with another sequel in a different ‘place and time.’ I’m not sure, it probably needs more investigation.

I’ve not sorted my bags, but I fully intend to do a week’s worth of flitting from zone to zone picking up stacks of everything so I can have at least 200 of every material by the weeks end (so that’s mining/herbing covered) However, if I’m looking for items such as Essence of Undeath? That means mob destruction, and so I’ll need to ascertain where those drops now happen, because many of the places I used to frequent for such things have long since vanished (looks fondly at old Azshara.)

That’s a plan to do over breakfast, actually.

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