It’s been quiet around here for a while, so I’ll make it official; I’ve decided that the World of Warcraft chapter in my life has ended.
I’m hanging it up now for a few reasons. First, I feel that the game has moved in the wrong direction. The unified vision for WoW started to fade after the Throne of Thunder patch and has been replaced by a design-by-committee approach. Raids have continued to be excellent, but oddly disconnected from the storyline, which itself has been purely wish-fulfillment fantasies with cardboard characters. The kill-the-experience-with-convenience train is up and running full steam, despite some limited efforts to rein it in during Mists. Player skill matters less than it ever did for solo content, and group content has in many cases become less strategic and more twitch-focused. (This is likely a second-order effect of a design that allows so much gameplay to be “improved” via UI addons, but that genie’s out of the bottle.)
Second, the analysis that I used to provide is both less relevant and being done better by others. Yes, I’m an Excel nerd, but I loved calculating when/how ArPen was better then Agility, or how to best maintain the Mangle debuff, or what talents provided the best tradeoffs for DPS loss vs. utility gain back when bearcat was a thing. Now, things have pretty much been reduced to “get the best ilvl gear you can,” and sites/programs like Ask Mr. Robot, Icy Veins, or SimulationCraft can help you more with whatever optimization is left then I could ever hope to provide. (Not to knock those sites; I’ve been honored to work with Kihra, Zoopercat, Damien+Vlad, and many others.)
The most important reason is mostly mundane, though; family and work responsibilities have sucked up most of the free time I used to have. One of the biggest things that kept me active in WoW even when the game wasn’t very fun was the ecosystem: my amazing raid group, the great writers at WoW Insider (boo)/Blizzard Watch (yay!), the forum community here on TFD, Twitter friends, and more. Unfortunately, real life hasn’t been tolerant lately; I work in computer security for the military, which has been a pretty happening place of late, and last month my grandfather passed away. After returning from the funeral, I simply decided it was time to move on to other things then try to carve time out again to play on a high level.
I bought a year of time via tokens when they were launched, so I’ll pop into the game occasionally as a tourist, and I’ll happily do whatever’s necessary to support continuing discussion on the forums. I may also write something regarding Hearthstone from time to time. Mostly, though, this druid’s going to quietly fade into the Dream and let everyone else’s Azerothian adventures continue. May your connections be stable, your drops bountiful, and your /roll’s large. :)
Chase Hasbrouck (Alaron)