I will admit it. I have been playing World of Warcraft for a long time. I might have mentioned this a long time ago, but I can't remember. This year, I picked up a new, very small, very compact Toshiba Netbook, to replace the Toshiba laptop that I have been toting around since I was a freshman in high school. I will say the netbook can't do much, but suprsingly, it will run WoW. After finding this out, I decided to give my free 7 day call back to Azeroth an Activation, and, since they were running a sale on Wrath of the Lich King, the second of their expansions, I picked up the game as well.
Now, I will say that at one point I was a die hard World of Warcraft player. It got to the point that in high school none of my friends actually wanted to get together to hang out anymore because it was more fun to go home, get some grub, and meet up online on WoW. We were all playing it, so it gradually replaced out RPG time. However, this time around, I can already tell that I won't be getting that involved. Most of the friends that I played with at one point, that really made the game fun, have either moved on from the game, or we have lost touch in the real world (living in another country will do that to you). With the exception of my best friend (he was the best man at my wedding) I actually don't know anybody that is even playing the game at this point.
I had a two year break from the game. I stopped playing before Wrath made its debut, and it looks like I started out again before Cataclysm goes live in about 5 days. The World is a lot different than I remember it. The UI has been improved. The talent system works differently. Also, because of the new expansion, the world has actually been drastically overhauled and physically has changed (It took me just over half an hour to find the Zepelin in Ogrimar).
You may ask, if this is a Pen and Paper RPG Blog, why are you talking about world of warcraft? Well, returning to WoW has changed the way I think about 4e. I think most people know that warcraft drew a lot from D&D and other fantasy role playing games. However, now, I really think there are some things that D&D could do, or simply bring back, that WoW is doing, which could really help both the feel and the style of the game.
With that in mind, I have a small series of blog posts coming out which will be an analysis of both WoW and D&D 4e, likes, dislikes, comparisons, and contrasts. Also, I will make some new entries in my Genesis Journal about WoW, its setting, style, and feel, and how those aspects of the game could be used in a pen and paper RPG setting like the one I am working on now.