Part 2 is a work in progress. Or more of an essay in progress. Maybe essay is too short and suggests coherence. War and Peace. Working title: Warcraft and Peace.
One of the conditions I'd figured out has been met: a free trial. Not merely a two week, minus download time, trial, but a whopping 20 levels. This just screams "play all the cool new starting zones and then leave before the not-quite-as-impressive later levels". So, once I get intertubes (Wednesday!), I'm going to give it a try.
My goal is to evaluate it from two perspectives. First, I will try to approach it with an open mind, as a new player, just seeing what this "world of warcraft" thing is all about. It is possible that I will be unable to do this. Second, which I should note that these are not in any particular order, hopefully they will be simultaneous, will be my current perspective. By which I mean, cynical and jaded, filled with nerdrage and nostalgia, seething at the very idea of this abomination that they pretend to call an expansion. These two perspectives have very little overlap, so I expect it will create a broad picture.
First up will be the Goblins with their love of bombs and forced heterosexuality (little Republicans?). Last will be the Forsaken, which I expect to be the most fun. I've already played the human and dwarf starting areas. That leaves, in possibly this order: gnomes, orcs, trolls. Or perhaps gnomes, trolls, orcs works better. I'd flip a coin, but that doesn't work as well with three possibilities because then I have to use multiple flips linked to a formula to push the overall probabilities toward 33% each, which isn't exact and requires a lot of flips to be anywhere close to a decent approximation.
I'm scared. What if I like WoW? Or worse, what if I log in and a GM is like "hey, we were trying to contact you to hire you but you don't check that email account, so we were waiting for you, but then you didn't log in for months and we gave your job to some guy we found spamming in trade." That would be awful!