After I'd tried a few different routes into the WOW Burning Crusade Classic Gold game, though, my nostalgic worries began to seem fragile in the face of these facts. With Chromie Time - the time-warping feature, curated by an impish member of the Bronze Dragonflight - that I moved from Exile's Reach into Cataclysm's version of the first continents; into the outdated Burning Crusade; into Legion, my favorite of the more recent expansions; and finally into Battle for Azeroth, as planned. And I had to confront it: modern World of Warcraft is too large an improvement over Cataclysm as which has been over the original game. Probably bigger.
The worlds are so much more visually rich, more dramatically scaled. Just as my veteran soul may be stirred by the sight of the canyons of Thousand Needles or the Borean Tundra, there's nothing from the old game that can touch your first sight of this great, burnished ziggurats of Battle for Azeroth's Zuldazar. The storytelling is so much more assured, pulled from the pursuit text and to the action, though your advancement through the match is provided a solid thematic spine: base-building, a warfare campaign, a quest for a great artifact weapon. The world is less secretive but more bountiful, dotted with treasure and boss monsters to draw you off the beaten path.
Naturally, there are some oddities. Whilst the level scaling handles most scenarios perfectly well, it is sometimes evident that you're playing what was initially high-level material when not yet out of your teenagers: Legion's class-specific quests, for instance, occasionally set up enemy patterns designed for skills you don't have yet. The quests do not split, but you may see the joins. Chromie Time, meanwhile, is not clearly signposted and a little confusing at present.
This overhaul really does is change World of Warcraft by a game that's organised geographically, as a monumental odyssey by its numerous storied landmasses, to one which is organised . No, scratch that - narratively. WOW is no longer set over its whole history. It's set over the cheap TBC Classic Gold previous couple of years. It is possible to opt out of that if you need, but the game as great as things out for you that you're bending the rules to do so and carrying an unwarranted excursion to the past. Why look back?