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I hear what you're saying about the kids. It is difficult to avoid the flirting and those who want to be mothered by you--or grandmothered. I've not found the solution but I *did* discover, as did you, that if I tried to discourage the flirting by telling them my age, next thing I know I have a bunch of kids wanting to tell me their troubles, etc. IRL (in real life), that happens a lot and I don't mind. However, when I'm paying almost $15 a month to play a game, I usually have less patience. My "solution" so far as been to keep quiet and mind my own business. It's easy in some ways since I have a legitimate reason for not responding to guild chat, etc. I'm ADHD *and* dyslexic, so I really can't follow scrolling text, nor can I do something else and chat.
I'm very glad I'm past my teens and early 20s. What a *dramatic* life those folks live. When I'm flying from place to place on a flight path, I do watch chat and think how hard it was to be that age where the smallest thing is life-shattering. Hiding your age is one thing--sometimes hiding your gender is a good idea, too, though I've never really been comfortable with a male toon. Not sure why. Recently I started a gnome warrior (I've never been the melee type) who is male and I have to admit fewer players try to flirt.
It has certainly changed a lot since the early days. Some things are a bit hard to get used to, but I've done so. Though I quit for a year or two, usually I only quit for months at a time before I play again.
I've played a bloodelf before (mage I think), but not in awhile. I wonder how much the starting areas have changed? I've started (though by no means completely leveled) almost all of the classes over the years. Some I just can't maintain interest in and so I usually wind up deleting them. My son had a paladin and was fantastic at it, but I never managed to maintain interest in paladins or shamen past level 30. Might try again. Some classes are just HARD to play in the first few levels.
Glad to meet another mature player. Good luck with your lock and hunter. Pet classes are fun to solo.