Saturday 21 February 2009

Nostalgia is better than I remembered it to be.

I’m wondering what Bartle type I fall under when I enjoy myself the most these days when I’m running low level quests in old world Azeroth.

I’m finding myself poking at a few daily quests in Northrend in order to try to get Reins of the White Polar Bear and Reins of the Ice Mammoth, because mounts are the only rewards that interest me at the end game: they’re one of the few things that you take with you into the next +10 level expansion and actually remain useful. Other than that, I’m generally wandering through the starter area quests for all of the home factions that I haven’t visited, my aim being the Ambassador of the Alliance achievement, with a vague thought to try for the Loremaster and Seeker achievements.

As I run around all these areas, gleefully one-shotting any enemy that finds itself in the unfortunate position of being part of a quest goal, I find myself genuinely smiling at the fun of it all; I also find myself becoming quite nostalgic when visiting old areas again and discovering, through the joy of the recent Low Level Quest tracking ability, all of those quests that I left behind when I originally levelled my character, either because they were too hard, too out of the way, or even bugged. Yes, Blizzard had bugged quests back when the game was first released, I know this is tantamount to blasphemy to the Fans of Warcraft, but it did happen.

The character that I’m playing was one of the first characters I ever created, and although he was abandoned in the mid-forties when I had switched to my faithful anti-altaholic druid, I did eventually pick him back up and get him to level sixty well before the Burning Crusade expansion was released. So the nostalgia is strong with this one. I’m vanquishing old foes, still finding new places and quests, and generally just enjoying adventuring again.

I guess this sort of play falls somewhere between Achiever and Explorer, I hadn’t thought to revisit many of these places until there was an achievement for it. My sense of joy comes from neither though, it’s very much the nostalgia and the sense of satisfaction that comes from finally putting to rest old demons – places and monsters that have haunted and mocked my character for all these years.

I can’t really see myself getting the Loremaster or Seeker achievements though, the problem being that they tend to turn the happy, light-hearted, simple joy of low level questing into a mundane and tedious grindy job of the sort that is often used to occupy those many players who are at the level cap, because they got there two days after the expansion was released and they’ve completed all the dungeon content.

For now I’m going to keep visiting the Old Places all the while that the happy content feelings remain; I think I’ll classify my Bartle type as Comfortable Pootling Nostalgic.

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