Once Upon a Time, I used to do a Warcraft Podcast.
The Starting Zone remains some of the most enjoyable times I ever had in the name of this MMO, and working with Mick Montgomery was, and still is, something I will never forget. A nicer, more honest and caring bloke you are never likely to happen upon at 4am. I still remember those days with fondness: this week, out of the blue, someone I’ve never met or spoken to before discovered my recorded history, and reached out to me as a result.
They sent what is an incredibly touching e-mail: having discovered all of TSZ on Spotify, and having listened from Episode One, they’d come across my introduction as a new co-host after the departure of Mick’s long time collaborator and friend Jesse. I’d inspired them with ‘a fiery beautiful passion for the game’ and now they’re reading my blog. Having played in college, they’re now considering a return full-time, and asked me a question:
What do you think about the prospect of returning to a game I so loved?
Ironically I know of several people who are returning to Azeroth with fresh minds and genuinely happy memories of the past. My mate Steve, for instance, keeps popping up on Twitter asking me questions like ‘should I take Professions or just sell the stuff I gather if I have limited playtime?’ It is quite easy to forget, mired in the negativity that sections of the Community now seem to wear as a badge of honour, of that simple, joyous wonder I once had when it was my job to encourage people to play. I miss that.
I think I need to try and get that back.
This isn’t the first time this has happened either: a lovely lady sent me an email a few years ago after happening upon my blog whilst her mother was being treated for Cancer. My written chronology kept her sane, after which she wrote an e-mail of thanks which literally reduced me to tears. It is moments like this when the significance of certain actions and your own decisions on a wider stage become abundantly apparent. It also makes a reassessment of your choices rather more significant than they were before.
Therefore, this blog will make it to ten years worth of content in 2019.
I absolutely encourage people to celebrate the good times they had in Azeroth. As of right now, I’m not making any judgement of whether that happens only with the ‘Classic’ client until there are some actual screenshots of the thing in action. I’m aware that it’s already downloadable pre-Blizzcon, but this year I won’t have a Virtual Ticket. It’s the first year that I’ve genuinely resented handing over cash for a lineup of acts and content that really, truthfully, I’m not interested in seeing. That’s a post for a different day.
That means, as we’ve discussed, my triumvirate of Allied Races are the way to go back through the past with fresh eyes. I hope my new fan (and maybe some of the old ones) will be able to see the passion that used to flow through me reappear, because I definitely still get excited about playing. Even if I am on my own, there’s still a lot of fun to be had. Looking past the cynicism of the past is pretty important. Reinventing yourself is important.
Let’s see if we can’t manage a bit of both in the months that follow.