I stopped playing World of Warcraft 3 years ago so I could spend more time writing my book. Now that I’ve finished the book (finally!) I can’t wait to start playing again. Worlds of Draenor here I come.
I logged on for the first time in 3 years. I knew it would feel strange at first and that I’d need to get used to it again, but I wasn’t prepared for just how tough it would be.
I don’t know why I was surprised. After all, I did miss at least 2 major expansions. But surprised I was. It felt like a completely new game that I needed to learn from scratch.
I thought I’d share my experience in case you’re also thinking of playing WoW again. By the way, I’m Zunrin on Kazzak if you want to look me up. Here’s what helped me ease back into it.
You’re essentially a complete noob, even if you’re level 85. Classes, talents, specs, glyphs, mounts and gear have changed. Hell, they didn’t even have glyphs when I played last.
That is A LOT to learn and it ain’t gonna happen overnight. Give yourself more time to adjust than you think you need. If you’re still in a guild, ask somebody to give you a quick run-through of the major changes.
Update World of Warcraft to make sure you’ve got the latest expansions and patches. Then update any addons you have installed.
Half of my addons were broken beyond belief, so it was easier to just disable them all. I figured once I got into the swing of things again I could look at which addons I really needed, activate those and delete the rest.
Check Your Bags and Bank
You might have been at max level when you stopped playing, but you probably aren’t anymore. The epic gear and mats you were saving to sell for big bucks on the AH could very well be worthless now.
I cleared out anything that was obviously useless. I saved the rest until I could do more research. I looked up everything online to see if it was still used or even decent, then I checked everything on the AH to see what the going rate was. I sold all the stuff that wasn’t that great anymore and saved the rest.
Phew. Empty bags for questing.
If you’re feeling really lost, you might want to set your old toon aside and roll a new char. Once you feel comfortable playing again, you can go back to your old toon and level him.
It takes months of leveling a toon from scratch to really hit your stride. It takes time to learn where everything is in the game, learn dungeon strategies, collect gear and all the stuff that made your old toon so great. So it makes sense that it’s going to take some time to build that back up again.
Starting a new character will get you used to all the new things in WoW. Then, once you’ve got all that stuff down, go back to your old toon so you learn how to play the class again.
Use a Leveling Guide
When someone in my old guild mentioned this to me, I immediately dismissed it. I played World of Warcraft for more than 5 years. I didn’t need a guide!
How wrong I was.
OK, technically I didn’t need a leveling guide. But having one made it so much easier to get back into the game. I didn’t have to waste my time trying to remember where something was in the Northern Barrens while also trying to remember how to play. I turned the leveling guide on and off as I needed to make my life easier.
This is the one I use if you’re interested.
Join a Guild
If you were a higher level, you were probably in a guild when you stopped playing. But chances are, that guild is now stagnant or no longer exists. If that’s the case, find a new one. Getting help and guidance from fellow guild members can help you readjust faster.
I was still in a guild when I logged back on for the first time. What was once a bustling hub of energy and raids was now a silent ghost town.
Luckily an old guild mate logged on when I was on and filled me in. He was in a new guild and had logged onto an alt (in our old guild) to grab some mats. He confirmed it was pretty much inactive and invited me to his new guild.