Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's the End of the World (of Warcraft) as We Know It

Like I wasn't going to link this... :D

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Apocalypse is almost upon us. Knowing that Lenny Bruce is not afraid is little comfort in these last remaining moments of sanity, and I find myself thinking that if we were all to check out, I think I'd like less ID4 (in which this song appears in one of those reverential nod type moments) and more like Knowing (which does apocalypse really well.) After all, in a world where Instagram is a major player, you want your end of all things moment to look good, to have a decent filter and to make a beautiful icon to boot.

This is your last day in the game. Tomorrow it will no longer exist, and there'll be no Customer Support to moan at or Devs on Twitter to complain to that you'd not finished your Tier Gear in time.

What do you do?

I'd begin in Stormwind, just because. I blame Reginald Windsor for that.

I know I'd put the flying mount away to begin with, and I'd travel on my favourite ground transport. Right now that would probably be the Klaxxi Scorpid, and I'd make the journey to the Dark Portal via road. That way I'd pass through zones I came to know and love over the years: Elwynn, Duskwood, the Deadwind Pass and the Swamp of Sorrows. I'd stop and remember what has changed since the Sundering, sparing a though for the bag quest clue you'd find under the bridge in the Swamp. Then I'd ride to the Nethergarde flightpoint and fly back to Ironforge and repeat the process from the gates of Ironforge all the way up to the Eastern Plaguelands. These places are ingrained in my memory from levelling countless alts, the roads and the shortcuts. Then I'd travel to the Hinterlands and ride down the Plaguewind Ravine one last time to go sit by the lake and stare at Scholomance, which I think probably qualifies as my favourite instance in the 1-60 bracket: not the new version, however, the old one before they made things easier and compressed the entire place down. Whether it was for the Paladin Mount quest, or farming for Trousers, or going to make Alchemy Flasks in Vanilla, I think this place beats UBRS, Strat and the Dire Mauls.

After that I'd go set up a cooking fire in Loch Modan, by what is left of the lake, and remember what that place was like pre-Sundering too.

After lunch I'd head into Outland on my Flying Cloud and do a tour, after which I'd move to Northrend, doing the same: stopping at places I have particular memories of, seeking out specific NPC's to recall the times I spent there. I'd spend more time than I could really spare hanging around the Storm Peaks too, in one last pitiful attempt to make the Time Lost Proto Drake spawn next to me. After that, I'd rub my HS and return to Pandaria to the huge party that I'd organised with all the people I've ever known in game, who'd all be there for the last night of fun. There would be some fun runs to the old instances: AQ20, Kara, Naxx and ICC, and there'd be lots of reminiscence on the times past and the awesome things that we all got up to over the years. We'd also spend a moment stopping and remembering those who were no longer with us, raising mugs of ale in celebration of a life lived well and dedicated to the business of enjoying the game for what it was: a game.

Finally I would slip away from everyone else and find the portal to Stormwind, after which I'd travel to Uldum and say one final farewell. After that it would be a Hippogryph to Ferelas and my last trip out to Feathermoon Island (or what is left of it) where I'd spend the last moments before the lights went out forever. There's something about that place in the game that makes me just feel happy: whether it was my levelling time there, or the number of days I'd grind leather... I'm not sure. Maybe it's odd that a Dwarf could find such calm amongst the forests of the Night Elves but I feel as if the place is a home I would want to return to at the end of my existence. It simply feel right.

Feathermoon, Pre-Sundering. Perfect

Even if the place that I remember doesn't exist, this is where you'd find me, sitting by the water's edge in my Fishing Chair, staring back towards the coast, thinking of the Water Elementals and the Giants and the demanding Goblin by the dock. Many things have changed in eight years, but it's good to know that the Goblins remain the money-grabbing, opportunist gits they have always been.

If by some miracle we all survive past tomorrow without Nicholas Cage giving us 'that look', we can continue to enjoy the World of Warcraft we've come to know and love. However, why not take a moment today to consider what you'd do if the game was no longer here, and maybe spend some time considering what you've been through to get to this point. A lot has happened in eight years, and you may be surprised at what you remember when you do so...

Oh, and one last thing. Leonard Bernstein!

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