The community blog topic at WoWInsider asked What are you doing from now until warlords? Now I haven’t been inspired by any of the previous blog topics but this one made me think, as actually it’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while. We don’t even have a date for the Warlords beta so we’re looking at several more months of Mists. How to fill that time?
At the end of every expansion there is always dead time and we’re approaching it now. Siege of Orgrimmar has been out three months. Based on the schedule Mists introduced us too we should have something new soon but there’s no 5.5, nothing until Warlords. It’s hard to put a life expectancy on a patch as people’s mileage will vary according to their goals. My personal experience is not the same as anyone else’s so it’s impossible to say. However, it’s my personal belief that if the beta isn’t announced soon, this month soon, then Warlords is going to come much too late. Beta lasts six months looking at history, so unless they break with tradition we’re looking at almost being in Dragon Soul territory already, only it’s worse as there’s a third lockout in flex every week.
At the end of Cata I wrote a bucket list, a list of things I wanted to do before Mists dropped. This isn’t the Mists version, I’m not too sure I’ll even write a Mists version, as I’ll explain below.
The current standing
My guild killed Garrosh a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t there for the kill so I’m still 13/14 but I feel like he’s down. I know that at some point in the next six months we’ll manage to kill him again and I’ll get my title/FoS/mount etc. We’re now moving onto heroic and made no progress whatsoever so far, but heroic is supposed to be hard so that’s ok except it isn’t. It’s not ok because I like fights to feel doable, I loathe Garrosh as it feels impossible, I know it isn’t as my guild did kill him but all I’ve ever experienced is wipes, quite often in the same brick wall of a place. I don’t have the mindset of a heroic raider, I don’t mind a challenge so long as I can see progress being made, I can see the possibility of a kill. With heroic there’s quite often no progress and therefore no possibility. It’s head meet brick wall time and I don’t like it.
I might be the co-raid leader but I have very little control over the direction of the guild. My guild leader is mad about raiding and wants to push higher and faster and it’s quite frankly exhausting. If I had my way I’d cut the number of raid nights. We currently raid four nights a week and I have never, ever liked that. I think three maximum is plenty but at this point I’d cut the raid nights down to two. We’d perhaps extend the raid lock over two weeks each time, so spend a night or two on heroic, then the following week finish the clear. One night a week I’d have a night for challenge modes, or a night for working on previous Mists heroic raids, or for the Mists raid meta achievements. Perhaps do all three but on alternate weeks. The game should be fun but quite often it feels like a job, like an unwelcome commitment that I have. I like raiding but it isn’t everything and with another six months at least of Siege I don’t see the hurry. I’d like to slow down otherwise we’re going to burn out or meet a brick wall we can’t pass, run out of content etc. It’s not a race and we have plenty of time anyway.
It’s hard to see what I’ll be doing guild wise for the next six months because I just don’t know. As I said above there’s things I’d like to do but it’s impossible to do them as there isn’t time in the schedule. Sure I could put up an event on Mondays, the only night of the week where there’s nothing currently scheduled but I’m not willing to do that. I suppose it’s my own fault then that I can’t do what I want, but I already give enough evenings a week to Warcraft, I’m not giving anymore, I can’t give anymore. I don’t believe it’s possible for us to carry on as we currently are for the next six months, something will have to give, I guess we shall see.
Well there’s a lot more to the game than just raiding. In previous deadtimes I’ve done a lot of mount farming, I’ve gone after achievements I don’t have, finished things up etc. The problem with achievement hunting is I have most of the easy ones. The easy ones that are left are just grinds in pet battles and archaeology, easy but boring. The problem with mount farming is there’s only one or two mounts left that I can go for that aren’t pure rng, I don’t like luck, it drives me mad as there’s no rhyme or reason as to why it drops. I ran Stonecore for the mount there a good few hundred times, my friend ran it less than half a dozen I believe and got the mount. The reward is just too inconsistent, as there’s no guarantee besides probability that it will ever drop. It sort of makes me wonder what’s the point, as the reward doesn’t equal the effort I’m putting in.
That means the problem with my old standby activities are that I’m fed up with them, I have no drive to do them whatsoever. I have over 200 mounts so that achievement is covered, I’m no longer #1 on achievements in the guild as I’m sitting at #2, but I’m still comfortably top 20 on my realm. I don’t even view it as a competition, I liked collecting achievements as I liked the whooshing sound it made, and I liked checking them off and completing things. However, now I’m just a bit fed up I guess, I just can’t bring myself to care anymore.
In the past I used to play alts. I’ve got eight of them to level 90 but I don’t play them anymore as Mists and LFR completely wrecked it. Before I’d feel the itch to play an alt and I’d jump into a dungeon with them. I’d complete the dungeon, maybe an upgrade would drop depending on where I was with that character, and I’d get justice and valor points on completion. With those points I’d eventually be able to buy the previous tier gear relatively fast, and better gear slower. There was a tangible reward and the dungeons were quick, easy and fun, sometimes I’d get achievements pop up. It was all good.
These days the gear from dungeons isn’t worth getting. Points don’t you get anything that’s really current, not unless you run LFR to get the rep to unlock the 522 vendor, so then you can spend valor on last tier (previously it was justice for last tier). Now there’s the timeless isle so you can get a set of 496 gear and then do what with it? You might get into a guild/friends wing one of flex but flex raiding is raiding, there’s nothing quick or easy about it. The less said about LFR the better as that doesn’t qualify as quick, easy or fun. I can race about the world on an alt but what’s the point?
I liked the dungeon system where you could play a little, slowly accumulate some gear so you felt more powerful, and lets face it feeling a bit OP is fun. Plus these’s alts weren’t then a million miles gear wise from raiding, so in an emergency they could be logged to fill a spot and it was less about the numbers. There wasn’t such a huge dependance on gear so if you were a few ilevels behind then it didn’t matter so much. I could log something and if I knew how to play then the skill outweighed the gear deficit. These days that just doesn’t work. I have a friend who was here at the beginning of the expansion and raiding in the first tier, they then had to take some time out and came back now. They are damn good but I had to say that they couldn’t come raid, not even on farm night, until they got some gear. Their skill couldn’t overcome their lack of gear and that’s just wrong in my opinion. All those different modes, extending the ilevel jump, making someone with first tier gear not cut it within the same expansion.
That’s another standby activity off the table, I won’t play alts anymore. How about levelling? I still have three classes that aren’t at 90 and I’m supposed to be levelling a new paladin for Herald. I also have a Horde character that I’d like to do loremaster on from the Horde perspective. The problem with this is I hate levelling in Warcraft. There’s a reason why most of my characters got boosted via recruiting myself, levelling sucks in my opinion in this game. It just can’t hold my interest at all, I get so bored. In my view the problem with the levelling experience in Warcraft is that it isn’t intended to be a big part of the game. It gets you from A to B, it’s not about the journey it’s about the destination. Warcraft is centered around the endgame, it’s all about level cap which is a shame as the game should be more than that in my opinion, but it is what it is.
What am I saying?
I think that what I’m going to wind up saying is something a fair few people said in the comments to the topic. I’m going to spend the deadtime between now and Warlords playing a different game. I won’t unsub as I have to stick around for my guild but I don’t think I’ve logged in once in the last month without it being for a raid. I’ve logged in to do confirms on the calendar and check supplies in the guild bank, but I don’t think I’ve done anything else in game since Hallows End where I ran the Horseman everyday.
I do still like Warcraft a lot but the bloom has come off the rose. When I first started playing the game I’d never really played any other game so I didn’t have anything to compare it too. Since then I’ve played a few games, I’ve always come back to Warcraft because of the friends I’ve made, because I do still like the game. However, it has come off the worst in a few comparisons and when I have the choice, do I play Warcraft or do I play something else? If I’m not going to be doing anything with my guild, or my friends, then no I’m not going to choose to play Warcraft. The draw Warcraft has over me now is almost exclusively social, as I don’t really play the game for anything else these days. Perhaps I’m a bit burned out and tarring the whole game with the same brush. We do raid a lot, and I do raid a fair bit when I’d prefer not too. I view it as a responsibility, I’m on a team and you don’t let your team down, so if they need me then I’m there. What else can I do?
What will I be doing from now until warlords?
I’ll be raiding with my guild. I’ll be playing Marvel Heroes and I’ll be questing in Star Wars: The Old Republic. That’s just game wise obviously I’ll be doing other things too, but this is just about game time really, or at least that’s how I’m viewing the question. I’ll probably be playing other games too, ones I picked up in the Steam Sale for instance. I might wind up not playing much Warcraft at all.
I really hope Warlords will make alts fun to play again but I’m not holding my breath.