Sep 032015
Sleeping Druid, by Hengenvaara

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 The unified vision for WoW started to fade after the Throne of Thunder patch and has been replaced by a design-by-committee approach.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)


 Posted by at 4:34 pm

  19 Responses to “Old druids never die; they simply begin to dream.”

  1. Thanks for all you have done. You were part of the reason why I started to blog. And the community that you were a part of creating (if not the creator itself) is fantastic i.e. the forums. It’s sad to see you go but I wish you all the best Alaron.


  2. Thank you for all you have done for Druids around the world. Don’t forget to stock up on fish before you hibernate :)

  3. Chase, I work in the same field with the military as well but on the reserve side of the house (AGR). I’ve been playing off and on since 2007 and agree with a lot of your observations about the game. I’m also on Moonrunner and raid with Failsport, main characters are Silvrwind and Stelgar if you ever pop on again and need a hand with anything. Take care and thank you for all of the great information, discussions on all things druid over the years!

    David Needham (Silvrwind, Stelgar)

  4. Will be a shame to see you leave Alaron. You were the first Feral blog I followed and love the community you managed to gather on the forums.

    All the best!

    Asgard-Tarren Mill EU

  5. Well, imho most of the “veterans” are only playing the game anymore because of their mates, raid grp etc etc. At least thats what kept me playing and returning again and again, even when I thought it was over. But well, everything comes to an end and it feels like finally after so many years people are really quitting and moving forward. Which is not a bad thing. I will stick around some time longer, I will check out legion, but yeah…who knows what comes after that.

    You will be missed, you did an awesome job here and helped me and probably a lot of other kitties a lot in many different ways. Wish you all the best… ;)


  6. Thanks for everything man, it’s been a journey. I know everyone who still visits TFD on a regular basis has always appreciated having a great home.

  7. […] Druid: Sunday, though the column is currently on hiatus while we look for a replacement for Chase Hasbrouck, who’s stepped away from the game. […]

  8. Oh maaaan… I go offline for two weeks (moved house) and come back to this… I shall miss you, Alaron, although I completely get your reasons for leaving, and you’ve certainly earned “WoW retirement” after all you’ve done for the community over so many years. Thank you, and best of luck for whatever real-life raiding you may endeavor <3

  9. […] Druid: Sunday, though the column is currently on hiatus while we look for a replacement for Chase Hasbrouck, who’s stepped away from the game. […]

  10. Very sorry to hear of your grandfather and life stresses…
    Your light will continue to burn brightly…

    Lyrae the Insane

  11. I can’t really express how much it saddens me that you stop writing for us.
    It’s not only the raw number crunching through exell that have made your role among the ferals. It’s also the simple fact that you have a nice way to provide that info to the rest of us.
    We certainly have other great ferals here to tell us how to push our buttons at the right time, but the way you’ve told us through the years has just been interesting enough to catch among ferals across continents.

  12. I wonder if you still feel the same way, seeing all the new changes coming to WoW in Legion?

    • Dave,

      My initial impression is that the developers are finally giving the community everything they’ve asked for, which may or may not turn out to be a good thing. I’ll write up a full post with some more impressions once I can fully review all the recaps.

  13. May all your dreams be Tranquil!

  14. See you in the Emerald Dream my friend! You were always one of the druids I would read up on the most when it came to tips/tricks etc. Thank you for all the work you put in over the years. From one druid to another, rest well!

  15. Oh snap! I just fell in love with Druid and found this awesome site this week. Even though you stopped already still a big thankyoupawsup from me. Is there some equivalent druid community somewhere atm?

  16. Hey man, sorry to hear you are not interested in doing the blog anymore. Just came upon seeing this as I took a long vacation from wow. FD had to of been the best feral help site on the net since I can remember. Certainly helped me a ton :) I can’t blame you for being disinterested in the direction blizz has taken. They slowly chipped away at everything imo that made the game great. I loved noticing when someone was using claw and laughing, miss our talent trees and having the ability in a raid being able to be the saving factor in a group by going bear and standing a chance of survivng more than 30 seconds or popping tranq…miss being able to feral charge and be able to talent for faster running…etc. I deff have some great memories from back then. I know one could argue you could still heal using hotw but its just not the same. Soon im sure they will have the game simplified down so much that it will be 3 buttons. And every class will be able to do what every other class does – they are already well on thier way with that. I feel like most classes had things unique to that class, reasons for wanting to do something specific and as time has gone on it feels less and less that way. Now they are giving out legendaries to everyone. Its the equivalent of giving everyone a trophy. Even if they suck. Im deffinatly not the only one that feels this way about it. It used to be fun to play and not just becuase of wanting to play with friends. Anyhow take care man, im sure we will all catch ya on the forums here and there.

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