I returned to World of Warcraft earlier this year on the encouragement of a few online friends. I hadn’t played since the release of Mists of Pandaria in late 2012 and hadn’t paid attention to the game’s systems since the end of Cataclysm’s life cycle. It was an odd experience; a game that I find in some ways intimately familiar, made strange through numerous small changes. Not bad, just different.
I’ll be feeling that again come October 14th, when the pre-expansion patch for Warlords of Draenor – called 6.0.2: The Iron Tide – is released and everything is different again. These patches bring the systemic and mechanical changes of the expansion to the game, and set the scene for the new expansion’s big bad with new world events.