I just bought the game yesterday and started playing for the first time. I have all the expansions up to Mists of Pandaria included by default. What I can't understand is whether things are different for me right from the get-go because of events in the expansion packs.
For example, a certain town called Auberdine was supposed to be a questing location for my night elf druid character, but for me that town is destroyed as a result of events from Cataclysm and I instead quest at a nearby town on the coast named Lor'danel.
I am playing basically the same quests, regardless of the superficial changes, right? Given that I have not "experienced" the plot of the expansions yet, it is confusing that I can see their effects already on the world, because I'm not there yet in the story.
Also, this also means that, in this case, there is literally no way now for me to ever experience the original Auberdine, the way it was before the expansions, right? I, and every other new person will always be sent to that other town instead.
How this works out in World of Warcraft is confusing to me and I was hoping someone can offer some perspective.