Blizzard sent me an email with a "Come back to WOW, 1 week for free!" offer. I sat on it for December but on the 31st I figured I should cash it in since it was about to expire. After a remarkably quick patching process, aided by the fact that I am patching several months after everybody else, I hopped back into the game to see all the new shinies. The moment I did so I was greeted by a few old friends who I raided with back in TBC and got immediately invited to a heroic group. This sounds good, thought I, I would enjoy doing one of the new heroics with some folks!
Unfortunately when I actually got into the heroic I realized that I had no idea how to swap to the spec I said I would play, no idea how to get into the appropriate gear and very little idea of how my new spells and talents worked. After trying for a minute to reorient myself I had to ditch on them to get my mods working, read my talents and cast some spells on myself in town to get myself sorted out. It felt really strange being in a game that was so incredibly familiar and yet so utterly foreign at the same time. I have the raiding subroutines still in my brain and avoiding fire and monitoring health bars is still something I can do by reflex but I have lost all the particulars. I saw buffs appearing on my character and had no idea what they meant and I looked at the new graphics for my old abilities and was confused. Thankfully when I did get into another heroic with my old friends my old skillset of watching the screen, watching health bars and casting either a big heal or a small heal was sufficient to win the day.
I like the new features of Void Storage (long term storage for old item sets and seasonal gear) and Transmogrification (making your gear look like any gear you own) a lot. It was great to be able to do real content in any particular look and having a ton of extra storage is always good. The new instances were fun and after only a few runs I was almost ready to go try out Looking For Raid to see just how bad or good a pickup group doing the final raid of the expansion would be. The trouble with doing that is I have no real desire to do go and do it. Sure, I find it odd that there are fights I have not done and there is content I am not familiar with but I just don't care to get back in there again even when I can do it so casually. It isn't particularly different than the old days; the dungeons were fun and well done and there was plenty to do but somehow I have no desire to go back even though it is free.
I often wondered what it was like when people quit WOW. Often they quit screaming mad about some feature or other or complained that the game was too easy, too gimmicky, too different or too much the same but regardless I always wondered why they didn't want to do more. If you like doing dungeons once, don't you like doing dungeons again? Now I am one of those who has quit and won't go back and since I have little enough to complain about I wonder what it is that has changed. I am not so different, WOW is not so different. I find myself wondering how I could have made that same choice and yet not fully understand what it is that has made the choice so certain and so final.