In real life, I live just 3 train stops south of one of the most densely populated places in the world, Mong Kok in Hong Kong. But, even around my apartment, the pace of everything when you are out in public is frenetic and, as one of my colleagues describes it, very much “in your face”.
Now, normally I would not seek out crowds of people. Wherever the people are, I am usually not. And that has worked just fine for my gaming in WoW as well. Because I am a very casual player, I just want to get on with whatever I am doing in the Game without fuss. No, I’m not going to race you to that mining node. No, I’m not going to see who can skin the grizzly bear first after its corpse has been looted. No, I don’t want to turn this way and that until I see an opening between crowds of toons to click on the mailbox. I’m not here for that.
I’ve also never inhabited top-level content in the Game, which, statistically, appears to be where 45% to 55% of the toons on each server are, until quite recently. I started playing shortly after The Burning Crusade was released. I got to Outlands for the first time several months after Wrath of the Lich King was out, so Shattrath has always been a ghost town to me. And, I finally got to see the glorious Dalaran (after the silly mages got it unstuck from the mud in Hillsbrad) just a few weeks before Cataclysm. So, except for late in 2010, the bulk of my servers have always been in distant lands, far removed from where my humble toons were running around.
And I liked this. I was tickled a couple weeks ago when I read another blogger (embarrassingly, I cannot remember who) writing with a similar sentiment. Now that Cataclysm is out and I’ve popped back into the game for another month, I’ve started a new Forsaken to experience that updated story-line. I’m also getting to grips with the new Troll warlock, which is a race/class combination that we should have had long ago, in my immodest opinion. However, I have not looked in on any of the high-level toons that slumber, either unknowingly stranded in Dalaran or mystically relocated to make room for The Shattering.
In the end, I am delighted that the majority of my servers have rushed off and are enjoying their game-time in locations that I am unlikely to see for another year. More power to them, and I hope that they write some good guides for me to read on the internet. But in the mean time, the other 95% of the map is mine now.