When the Cataclysm comes, will we know what was before? Will a new player buy the expansion and never know that Desolace was a barren, demon-scarred land, the graveyard of the kodos? Will they know that we had to save the world already from the Scourge? Will they ever see pictures of the blighted lands and horrific armies? Will they know the dangers we faced entering Stratholme to purge it a second time?
I know it sounds silly, but I do feel as if we have been part of history. It has been human history of a sort and to lose it, I feel like that would be losing part of ourselves. If we cannot show other players what we experienced, can we entirely show them who we are? I know that my play is still shaped by the past.
Will new players know of an age when only warriors tanked? There were no badges, no heroics, only 5-mans with extremely rare epics. Would they believe if we said that we once had resist sets and they couldn't even be made purely through crafting? Would they understand looting hounds?
Will they have heard of the massive gathering of resources for the most recent war against the Qiraji and their Old God master? Will they know that a fire lord threatened the world once before and we had to beat him back? Will they care that we once flew in a frozen wasteland to save life itself?
Is it all going to be lost? I used to think not, after all, we could so easily reenact the events. It wouldn't be perfect, but we could show someone the Barrens and Azshara and Desolace. After the Cataclysm, all that will be left is the screenshots we took and the ideas in our heads. The new stories won't advance the plot, they will drive out the old. A new generation will grow in WoW which will not know of what came before, they will think it was always as it is.