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Someone save me....
How is the game these days?
I'll let you know...
... I'm resubbing in like an hour. lol
GF and I resubbed back in December after a 6 month break.
Things aren't all that bad. Populations are decent, but you'll probably never see anyone except in cities. Very few quest anymore, except 80+ zones. Leveling is done by running randoms. Server populations can be imbalanced. I moved my Horde toons off my preferred server because there are so few Horde the economy is a joke.
Groups are a run as fast as you can zerg fest to get xp and gear. CC is hardly ever used in anything lower than 80. Healers usually have trouble keeping up because there's zero downtime for mana breaks. Tanks are always in demand, and can be asses in groups because they know they are in demand (2 minutes que for a tank, 10 for healer, 20+ for everyone else). Personally I refuse to heal or tank. I'd rather wait in que than deal with the anxiety. Nobody ever griefs DPS. "Hi"... kill stuff... "Thanks, bye" is a typical run.
If you haven't played since before Cata, tons of things have been "streamlined" for faster play. Leveling is crazy fast compared to BC. Cata gear made a HUGE jump. Once you hit 77 you'll need all new gear (item level 272 or better) to have a chance in 80+ content. Expect to drop 4,000+ gold to gear up.
In my opinion classes are a bit goofed. Hunter, DK, Warlock and Mage are all quite OP in PVE. I struggle on my Paladin doing DPS but it's a kickin healer. I rolled a Shaman and it was so under powered on DPS I deleted it at level 30 (higher level might be okay). Druid is now super-healer along with Priest.
No info on the PVP side. I'm not one for BGs or arenas.
Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security. I don't Forum PVP. If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident. When I don't understand, I ask. Such is not intended as criticism.
The game is what it is. I felt some nostalgia and recently resubbed. Nothing magical happened in my absence. It's still the same "Get to max level and grind for gear" thing. If you want to revisit an old character and play around, I say go for it. It's nice going back to familiar territory every now and then.
It's still a great game despite what the doomsayers say, it's the best you can get for a themepark MMORPG currently. As other poster already mentioned it's a great thing to return and get that nostalgic feeling but I would suggest waiting for the panda expansion because that expansion surely is going to raise the overall quality of the game.
If you are thinking of re-subbing, you are best getting someone to send you a scroll of resurrection, you will get 7 days free to try it as well as a free boost on any one toon to level 80 and a server and faction transfer, as well as a free copy of cataclysm if you did not already have it.
I resubbed and started a Worgen Warrior on Winterhoof (US). I'm having a blast going through the Worgen starter area, though I wonder if I'll still be having fun once I get to the stuff I've already done.
It's still the best MMO on the market, for sure, however.