As I anxiously await Blizzcon (I’ve got my virtual ticket purchased already) and the announcement of the next World of Warcraft expansion pack, I often reflect back upon the previous World of Warcraft expansions. Even more so as I am an “alt-aholic” and therefore frequently level through previous expansions with new characters. I would love to have done a Top 5 for this, but since there are only 4 expansions so far I’ll do a Top 4. Well done Blizzard, all your expansions made it onto my list!
As it turns out when writing this I kept changing the order of the top 4. When thinking back over all the content every expansion was my favourite expansion. In the end I’ve decided just to list the expansions in the order they came out. Woman’s prerogative to change her mind and all that.
Illidan Stormrage. That guy. *swoon* I know he’s evil and all but by golly he makes my Blood Elf’s ovaries ache. The Burning Legion was and still is a formidable force to be reckoned with. I do certainly hope we see them again sometime in the future. I’m unsure if, lore-wise, Illidan is dead dead or just dead but I think I would really love to see him back again too.
I only got into World of Warcraft during the Burning Crusade expansion pack and was raiding Karazhan at the time. To this day I still go into Karazhan every week in the hope that the first boss will drop the Fiery Warhorse Reins, and I’ll be honest, I’ll be sad when I no longer have to go there. Despite the fact that the mount I want drops from the first boss, I still proceed and kill everything up to the Chess Event (we won’t talk about my failings there). I love the atmosphere and the music.
Of course Karazhan wasn’t the only raid, there were others, but even the likes of Black Temple (where I see my beloved Illidan) and Tempest Keep just don’t give me the same chills as Karazhan does.
Wrath of the Lich King
Back on Azeroth Arthas was being a bit of a dick and we all had to go sort it out. I didn’t enjoy the levelling zones in Wrath as much as I did in Burning Crusade, but that’s not to say they weren’t good. Dragonsblight and Icecrown is where the best part of the story happens. The Wrathgate quest line was truly magnificent and the Battle for Undercity that followed was really fun (certainly from a Horde perspective). Unfortunately the Battle for Undercity is no longer available in the game. Favourite raids here was Naxxramas and Icecrown Citadel. I’ll be honest, I never finished Ulduar, but I don’t really see what could top killing the Lich King. Perhaps I’ll go back and solo it one day.
We have a new Lich King now, one who promises to keep the scourge under control, but will it always be this way?
I think the general feeling amongst the WoW community is that Cataclysm is the least favourite expansion pack. At the time it felt pretty epic to me. Watching the opening cinematic and seeing the Horde watchtowers in the Barrens fall, I’ll be honest I shed a tear. I felt a real anger towards Deathwing for what he did to Azeroth, my home. The entire game world changed forever. Every zone was scarred in some way when Deathwing burst up from Deepholm and caused the cataclysm, some far worse than others, however this made for a refreshing levelling experience for 1-60.
Blizzard also introduced the Raid Finder feature in this expansion which would help more casual players see raid content. While many elitist pricks thinks this ruined the game, I for one was thankful. It was the first time I got to kill an end-of-expansion big bad guy while that expansion was current content. Getting to smack Deathwing in the face was fun, really good fun.
Mists of Pandaria
Something beautiful came out of that Cataclysm. It was always there but we never saw it before. Emperor Shaohao decided it was time to lift the mists that covered Pandaria and unfortunately we brought war to the shores of this peaceful continent. The Pandaren are a wonderful race and I just can’t stress how gorgeous Pandaria is. Travelling with Chen Stormstout through the Valley of Four Winds was a joy. Anyone who thinks that the Pandaren race is a joke should really play through this expansion. If you’re opinion hasn’t changed by the end of it I’ll eat my helm of almighty awesomeness+1.
I had a major problem with Garrosh prior to his rampage throughout Mists of Pandaria. He killed Cairne Bloodhoof, the former Chieftain of the Tauren, for that alone I would never forgive him (really it was Magatha Grimtotem who unbeknown to Garrosh poisoned the blade that Garrosh used to fight Carine, but still Garrosh is a hot headed moron).
In a week or two I will get my revenge when the final wing of Seige of Orgrimmar unlocks for Raid Finder. Using the Raid Finder I will join a group of 24 others to bring this pinhead to justice. Then I will repeatedly pound his fugly butt every week until the new expansion, and perhaps beyond that.
So what is next? There are so many possibilities. Will we finally have the Emerald Dream Expansion even though the Aspects are now mortal and no longer have their powers? Will Turalyon and Alleria who have been missing for years return from Outland? Will we have the Burning Legion knocking on our door just as Wrathion predicts? Just what has the oh so absent Azshara and her pesky Naga been up to? Hopefully in just under one months time we will find out.