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I miss Northrend. There, I said it.

This happens from time to time, normally accompanied by periods of high stress. Once upon a time, when Azeroth was my escape and a sure fire way of assuaging the pressures of the Real World, I’d hop on an alt and happily repeat the same content, over and over. In fact, it was the familiarity that soothed so much. Valiance Keep, pushing into Dragonblight, knowing where to go and what to do. There was no need for a Guide because everything was in memory, and not too much required to be recalled anyway. It was the equivalent back then of picking up a familiar, much loved book and simply starting from page one. Maybe because the narrative was so strong, that the Death Knight story drove so much of the action. I never played a DK past 60, but that starting zone is ingrained on my mind.

I can totally grasp why so many people now love Demon Hunters as a result.

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It also helps that this was the time when I first understood I wasn’t happy just talking about this game in Guild, and that I needed a wider stage to discuss what I did and saw. That determination hasn’t diminished either after all these years: when I could very easily have given up writing about the game for good, still there remains this desire to share. Once upon a time being there first really did matter, sometimes to the detriment of others’ thoughts and feelings. I wasn’t a great person sometimes, back in those days, but that’s being fixed and improved on every single day. As has been the case since the first time I challenged others assertions, people try and imply the use of arrogance and sarcasm as a way to derail me or dismiss such beliefs, and I just end up laughing.

Now I truly grasp the significance this past has played on making me a better person

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If all you can do is your best, Wrath taught me how to unlock that potential. It proved that people were interested in an independent and objective view of Azeroth, away from the traditional and more mainstream commentators. Most importantly of all, it allowed a release of creativity that reignited my desire to tell stories. My first spontaneous fiction for many years, which never saw the light of day, was directly inspired by the events in the Battle of the Undercity. Thanks to that, a whole new slew of possibilities reappeared: I plucked up the courage to begin a creative writing course, and am now in the process of creating a new career path for myself with words as the foundation.

Without Northrend, I doubt any of this would ever have happened.

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I worry sometimes at those whom seem to see nothing in their lives except Azeroth. Immersion is all well and good, but the best thing I ever did was step outside of the game, with increasing frequency. Obsession with anything is dangerous, but especially if you cannot see that to be the best you can, a single minded devotion to cause is never always the best approach. I’ve also learnt the lesson that telling other people what I feel is best for them is often the easiest way to start an argument… that to pitch your concepts is a broad, easily accessible middle ground is a better bet. That’s my home now, and I’m perfectly happy to stay there, but there are still occasions I’ll wade into a discussion without thinking through my exit route first. Sometimes, in that regard, I am sadly predictable, but that’s part of what remains my core. Adventure, excitement and entertainment matter. I was reminded of all of this in Northrend, and I think that’s why I continue to miss it so much.

I think I’ll go back there this week and do some Legacy farming.

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