Nov 182012

(x-posted on TFD and WoM)

One of the perks of an enforced hiatus to any activity is the ability to gain some perspective. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve logged in or done any writing. I expected to feel compelled to come back; oddly, though, I’ve felt almost relieved at the lack of pressure. Why has WoW (which, y’know, is supposed to be fun) become funless for me?

Well, no matter how I slice it, I keep coming back to the same point: it’s a multiplayer game. (Duh.) While the game offers tons of singleplayer endgame content (and I include things like random 5-mans/LFR as singleplayer, because you’re not really interacting with anyone there at any serious level), let’s face it; most of those experiences are nothing more than time grinds to obtain stuff. Sure, it’s stronger stuff, or prettier stuff, which is nice, but that doesn’t change the fact that the gameplay itself to get there is mostly an exercise in tedium. Repeating content is fun once or twice, but that’s it.

The worst part: it didn’t have to be this way. Unfortunately, in the name of “fairness,” Blizzard has elected to balance single-player progression solely on time invested, and not player skill. Gone are the group quests, soloable by a good, determined player. Gone are the large gold rewards earned from running dungeons solo (yes, AoE looting compensates slightly, but only just). Etc. The only difficult challenge I’ve had this expansion has been rare elites, and their non-scaling nature means the difficulty curve for those drops off quickly as well. I’m holding out hope for Brawler’s Guild, but unless they do a complete 180 on their current stance, I won’t be seeing that content for some time.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m perfectly okay with Blizzard taking this stance, and agree completely that it’s my erratic schedule that’s at fault, not Blizzard, for why I’m not “playing like I’m supposed to.”  I’d love to do a few challenge modes, for example, but I’m still not at the point where I can agree to set aside 1-2 uninterrupted hours to learn and do one. And no, this isn’t an “I quit” post in disguise. I still enjoy racing the clock in scenarios, outDPSing people who outgear me in LFR, and, quixotically, farming. I also think I’m going to take another stab at battlegrounds (now that I have a good connection and a good PC to play on) and probably mess around with pet battles. The things I don’t enjoy, though, such as powerleveling professions on alts, VP capping every week, or random 5-mans; I’m going to stop feeling like I “have” to do them…because I don’t. Seriously. Dailies? Dailies can kiss my human/elven ass. The Shado-Pan can hate me, and I’ll go on hating them right back. (P.S. your monastery sucks too.)

In writing terms: I’ll still be kicking around, writing about what interests me, and I’ll still write the occasional guide post from time to time. My dreams of being the pre-eminent analyst for  druids and monks, though, died next to a hospital bed about six weeks ago, and I’m surprisingly okay with that.  I’m just going to keep on keeping on, probably making things up as I go.

Then again, I’ve been doing that for the past two years and it seems to be working.

 Posted by at 9:57 pm

  33 Responses to “Reformulated Expectations”

  1. Does that mean you are leaving WoWinsider?

    • You never really leave, you just fade away… ;)

      No, I’ll continue to write articles for WoWI, they just likely won’t be as frequent as in the past. If they ever decide that they’re hiring more class columnists, though, I’ll recommend you in an instant.

  2. I feel the EXACT same way. I want to come back to play with my friends, but I don’t feel particularly compelled when I think about all the single player nonsense I’ll have to do in order to be pulling my own weight.

  3. I also completely sympathise an agree. I was HC Raiding in Cata, but since MoP I haven’t had anywhere like the amount of time (or inclination) to get my toon to a level where I could raid, let alone hc raid, and the grindiness of it all to get there is so off putting that I’ve found myself logging on less and less. I haven’t even managed to get myself to 90 yet, but when I do will be doing similar stuff to you!

    I miss the raiding hugely – the community element of it – being part of a team, but the barrier to entry seems so much higher in the expansion and is growing ever greater as I fall further and further behind the progress curve, and even most of the single player stuff seems to require more time / regular play than I have to give right now.

    I am relieved to hear that it’s not just me in this, but I hesitate to write that, knowing the horrible circumstances that have lead to your schedule change. I wish you and your family the best and look forward to your musings on our similar play style, whenever you come to write them.

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