It’s almost enough to get me blogging again…
It’s almost enough to get me blogging again…
More posting when I've had time to explore a bit more throughly…
I hear tell that the EU servers are up already, post-Shattering. But, before I plunge into the brave new world, I wanted to pause for a moment for a reminder of what we've lost:
Guess what I spent my last evening in old Azeroth doing. 🙂
In reverse order of importance:
When a screen came up like this four years ago, I was filled with excitement. WoW 2.0 was on its way, heralding the immanent release of The Burning Crusade – and the arrival of tree form for resto druids. And now that screen is back, and I stare at it with melancholy (and a little over-tiredness and over-whisky consumption when you come to that), because it marks the beginning of a profound change to the restos. We are trees no more, now the druid who heal in caster form, and get to show our full arboreal glory only once in a while.
It’s a new world. It’s WoW 4.01. And I’m not sold on it – yet.
I screwed up yesterday. This post was meant to go up before yesterday's post, but I scheduled that one and then saved this as a draft and then got distracted by…
Actually, you guys don't care about that. I just wanted to post a little about why I go quiet every December and why I've been quiet this one. Look, last December I only managed three posts in total! (And I was only 73…)
For instance, most of last week I was at the annual Le Web conference in Paris, and those of you with a general interest in the social media world might find my posts from there to be interesting reading. And work tends to be hectic in the run-up to Christmas, as does my social life. And thus, I play less WoW, and I blog about it less. C'est la vie.
However, I do want to take you back, back
to the future to the days before Patch 3.3.
When the world was Young, and Emblems of Conquest mattered…
Do you remember those long ago days? When there was an LFG tool? When there was a set daily quest? When we cared about Tier 8? Those were dark, dark days. We knew they would end, but we wanted to make the most of them. Each morning, we would login, and check, hopefully, for the daily Heroics that we'd yet to do. Late the week before the patch, I finally found Cyanigosa hanging in the magical viewer, and dragged my guildies into Violent Hold to grab that one (and two oh-so-precious Emblems of Triumph). And then I waited. And waiting. And then, finally, the weekend before the patch dropped I got this:
Yup, Anub'Arak had finally come up. It took us 7.3 minuted to clear the instance (this is an exaggeration, but not by much). And so, I was happily able to see the Proof of Demise achievement become a Feat of Strength with 3.3. Some of my guildies were not so lucky – but they've been consoling themselves with grinding out complete sets of Tier 9…
Oh, and in the "things I screwed up last year" stakes:
Yeah, I logged in so infrequently this time last year, I never got around to drinking my Beer of the Month for December – The Lord of Frost's Private Label. And so, I had to mount rams (steady…) until I got enough tokens this year to rejoin the club. It was worth it. The one Brewfest Achievement I lacked is now mine. Hurrah!
So…what's this I hear about the dance of Seven Winter Veils or something?
My guildmate Dale has also plunged into the debate, with a lengthy and, I think, quite insightful post from the perspective of someone who is pretty hard-core in his game time by anyone's standards:
And… I am not bored with WoW yet. Ok, I go through phases lasting 2-3 days where I might just "not feel like playing", but not because I am bored, rather because I want to do a different kind of activity. (ie. non-computer)
So why am I not bored, while less "hard core" players like Lissanna are?
I think it's because for Lissanna, and many of the people who commented on her Blog, Raiding is the main reason they play WoW, and they have run out of fresh raid content.
I play far more broadly than that.
I think the nub of this issue is that WoW has become a lot less forgiving, over time, of those who choose to only concentrate on one aspect of the game. I went through a bad period of WoW ennui, similar to that being felt by the raiders now, because I'd run out of Northrend questing to do. That's my absolute favourite thing to do in the game: PvE questing, both solo and in groups. I enjoyed the Northrend questing experience. It was simply fantastic. And it was done. I had no more of it to do. No more questing, in fact, until the next expansion. I nearly quit then, because I realised I had precisely two choices: find something else to do, or quit the game until the next expansion. And that "something else" proved to be, well, everything. I craft, I raid, I do heroics, I do dailies, I grind reps, I pvp and I do Achievements. I mix them all up, so I don't get too bored of any one thing. If I get bored of all that, I still have alt levelling to do.
And perhaps that's the point I was really trying to make on Saturday. WoW is a game that, in the Wrath age, rewards a broad-brush approach to play. And which can be very unforgiving if you only have one or two aspects of the game that really appeal to you. Questers are faced with the knowledge that they have no major new content until the next expansion. Raiders can easily get bored or frustrated if a tier of raiding doesn't meet their expectations. Even PvPers get bored of fighting the same battles again and again. The trick for Blizzard, with the next expansion, will be to try and square this circle; to reward the generalist without boring the specialist to tears. Or maybe that can't be done, and both Blizz and each of element of the player base will have to make their choice.
1 Something of an aside, but this is one reason I stopped listening to Twisted Nether for a while. There was a whole succession of guests who were only interested in the raiding game, and I just got a little bored. Once there were enough other episodes, covering other playstyles, I listened out of order and caught up.
Blizz have just dropped a preview of some of the Tier 10 sets, and I think it's the best Druid set of the expansion, personally. Now, I don't have a hope of getting it (seeing as I'm rocking 1 piece of Tier 8 right now), but it does look awesome.
Update: It appears that others don't feel the same. I'll take yours if you don't want it, Sylly!
Our guild tankadin, Glaive, was quite impressed with his new, post-patch, spec. So he went to see if a paladin can solo a Fel Reaver.
The pic might just give away the result…
Update: He went on to do Durn the Hungerer as an encore