I’ve been playing World of Warcraft since closed beta in 2004. Many can say it but I have proof in pictures and the fact that I think it was just me and all of SoK in that push. I've purchased all versions of the games as collectors editions because I'm that much of a geek for the game. I've leveled many characters and played one of them at the hard core progression end game level. I've had many a 2s team in the arena, one season gaining the Challenger title somehow.
WoW has changed over the years. Newer players have no idea what its like to raid Blackrock Depths with 40 people. Not many remember having to to farm Scholomance over and over for that Tier 0 helm. Even fewer remember the original Tarren Mill/Southshore PvP wars. Sometimes we'd go kill the Alliance leaders just for something to do. It’s stuff people love to talk about but few who were actually there remain.
Alterac Valley matches often lasted days. You could join, fight for a while, go to work or school, come home and rejoin the same match. Before cross-server dungeons and battlegrounds your server was a community. You knew people from fighting them and competing with them. The hunter I play now was rolled to get to hang with the people I was killing in AV.
Questing has been streamlined. There are shiny arrows, turn-ins mid-quest chain and sparkly objects. It’s easy to get in a new zone and quest everywhere. Gone are the jokes of “Where is Mankrik’s wife?” Now she would have had a gigantic arrow floating over her poor lifeless body. Secret quest hubs don’t exist. When you finish a zone, you know it’s finished because the quest chains end. There is no secret Pirate Cove any longer.
The guesswork is out of the game now. Calculations are precise and accurate. There is a mathmatical “best spec” no matter how Blizzard wishes it wasn’t so.
Ranks of spells are gone. The game has a pop-up notification when you have new spells to train and new talent points to spend. You can teleport to dungeons without ever knowing where they are actually located and the dungeons have maps!
I miss some of the magic and feel of the original game. There's no real sense of server community, my dog can level to 85 in a week and there are no more surprises.
I know, I know. QQ Moar