Hello, Cenarion Circlers (and friends). Most of you will have no idea who I am, but I used to play WoW religiously. I started at almost the very beginning (~2005) and played for about six years (which seemed like a really long time - none of us could have imagined it would still be going strong in 2020!). It was a wondrous journey and most of it took place here. I took part (in peripheral fashion) in many of the community’s formative events, like the first Armistice Ball (I mostly remember the lag and the slideshow framerate pushed out by my vastly overburdened laptop, but the thrill of taking part in history as it is being made is priceless.)
This was my life. Then nine years ago, sometime in the middle of Cataclysm, I departed Azeroth. As had happened with many of us, the game had started to feel stale and empty to me and most of my friends had lost interest as well. I was concerned that the game had taken over my life, that I was an unhealthy WoW addict, and so one day I logged off and never logged back in.
Then all of a sudden, about a week ago, I started to get the itch. I’m not sure what prompted it, but I started reading up on everything I missed, which is quite overwhelming. And while the common consensus seems to be that the quality of both the gameplay and the lore have vastly deteriorated, what really kept me playing this game all those years was the community, and the wondrous escape that is roleplaying.
Upon perusing this forum for the first time in years, I was amazed to see a few names I recognized (Good lord, the AAMS is still around!). While I was never totally happy here or anywhere else, occasionally chasing greener RP pastures on other servers, I could never deny the closeness, loyalty, and most of all the shared history of this small community. That is what kept me coming back, and it still appears evident today. (And it looks like my other home, Shadow Council, has merged! Why haven’t the forums?)
So I’ve decided that I’m going to give Shadowlands a shot. (I wish I had found out about Classic a year ago instead of last week, but I assume I would mainly play retail unless there’s been a significant exodus of the RP community over to Classic.)
Now this is the part of the story where I have a few questions to ask.
First and foremost: much has surely changed in the ensuing years. Those who remember me at all may remember that I was a vocal critic of what many of us perceived from early on as a stagnant RP scene, held together with great effort by an inner circle of prominent individuals and guilds, but with very little spontaneous “walk-around” and non-guild RP. A cursory look at recent posts seems to confirm that this is still the case. While I haven’t been around to contribute and am thus in no way entitled to anything other than what I make of my experience should I return, I am nonetheless concerned, as I no longer have virtually unlimited time to walk around Stormwind trying to make things happen, nor to be an ambassador on the forums trying desperately to recruit RPers. I did those things for years; it drained the life out of me and ultimately drove me away from the game. If things have improved since I was last here, then I would be more than happy to make the effort. But if they haven’t, and if the last connections I have to this community from so long ago have been severed for good, then I may have to finally bite the bullet and start over somewhere else.
The consensus outside this forum appears to be that the most active RP servers, by an overwhelming margin, are Moon Guard (still the standard bearer after all these years, despite our efforts, no doubt exaggerated and a little mean-spirited, to convince everyone (most of all ourselves) that they were just a bunch of Goldshire ERPers and not worth the trouble) and Wyrmrest Accord, two servers with high populations and especially active Alliance and Horde communities, respectively. I’m no longer concerned with server pride and provincialism and just want to casually get back into the hobby that I’ve been away from for far too long. I’ve never had an aptitude for writing long stories or complex character biographies; I just want to immerse myself in this world again, to make the small moments as well as the big events count.
So please be as honest as you can - is there enough to work with here? And does anyone care to welcome back an old priest who never quite fit in (in or out of character) but always tried his best to do right by his friends and community (in and out of character), and may not exactly have an elegant or tidy explanation for where he’s been all this time (in and out of character!)?
(On that last point, I think I’ll reroll as a druid and change my name slightly, which I never really liked or settled on a pronunciation for. Luckily most just called me Tal, and I’ll never have a better opportunity for a bit of retconning!)
Anyway, thank you for reading all that. Regardless of whether I ultimately return to CC(/SoE/ShC/BwR), I wanted you guys to hear from me first. I will always treasure the memories and stories we made together. You were my childhood, and a part of me never left.