World of Warcraft is better than it has ever been

There. I said it. As a long time player, I’m well aware of the zealous adoration people heave on Warcraft’s older expansions, but I cannot help but think most of that fondness is inextricably linked to nostalgia for what an exciting and novel thing the internet was back in the day. World of Warcraft was an enchanting experience in the late 2000s not because it was a good game, but because the idea of jumping online with a group of strangers and exploring a persistent world was just something most people had never seen before. At the time, World of Warcraft struck a perfect balance between being immersive but also being accessible—a big change from the hardcore MMOs that came before. But as times change and we all grow older, Blizzard has had to recalibrate what “accessible” means, and the result is a game that is loads more fun to play for shorter periods of time. The tradeoff, unfortunately, is that World of Warcraft isn’t exactly that immersive and coherent world we all remember—largely due to the fact that our expectations have also grown considerably. So while the “World” in Warcraft isn’t as spellbinding, 28-year-old me appreciates that this is no longer a game that requires eight hours a day to play and the time I do spend is usually doing something meaningful instead of sitting in Stormwind trying to get a full group together to run a dungeon.

— by Steven Messner: What’s the most unpopular gaming opinion you’re willing to stand by?