If you are anything like me, if you see a low level character running around, you instantly assume it’s an alt. Oh, now there are heirloom items that are a dead giveaway, but even the characters without said items still convince me. They don’t have to say anything. They just instantly register in my head as “alt”.
You can’t blame me, really. And I’ll bet a large portion of you do the exact same thing. And there’s nothing wrong with that– you just sort of get into that mindset.
Back in the day when I was leveling Tawyn, my first character, people assumed I was an alt as well. I’d get people telling me about what they were doing in Eastern Plaguelands, sprinkled with phrases like “as you know…” and I’d nod my head and smile even though I’d never stepped foot in Eastern Plaguelands because I was level 40. It amused me that people assumed this about me, but it never bothered me, because I felt terribly new to the game.
Things first started to change when I did have a max level character, and my alt, the druid Tamaryn, was level 50ish and healing BRD. This was about, oh, a year ago. I was in a group for BRD and it didn’t take long before the truth came out that not only was I was the only person there who had been in the instance before, but I was the only alt. All four other people were people’s first characters, discovering WoW for the first time and seeing this amazing, sprawling dungeon that is Blackrock Depths for the first time. Suddenly I felt very… old.
Things would, of course, continue to change as Wrath of the Lich King came out not long after that. Months went by and as they did, I found myself more and more in that position I’d been in when I was healing BRD. Suddenly, people didn’t understand when I said “This fight is like Romulo and Julianne” or “This fight is like Gruul”. Suddenly, people didn’t laugh at my “HOLY FIRE ON TAWYN” jokes anymore when we got to the chick that looks like Maiden in Halls of Stone. Because suddenly I wasn’t the token WoW newbie anymore. Suddenly I was a veteran who had done raids “back n’ the day” that other people hadn’t.
I’ve had people on Twitter were tell me they’d never tried Beast Mastery before because it had never been raid viable in the time that they’ve played the game. Now, Beast Mastery didn’t stop being “viable” (quotes because I could go off on a giant tangent on this, but I won’t) until a good chunk of time after people were clearing Naxx. There are people who started playing after that? I mean, it’s obvious when you put it like that and think about it– of course there are new players– but this absolutely blew my mind.
You may be wondering where I’m going with this little ramble. I suppose where I’m going is a sort of– ponder that has been on my mind for a while. I don’t like to think it’s a rant or a QQ, just a ponder.
Namely, I can’t help but think that where the game is at this point, WoW newbies are being rushed into content too fast. And I’m not talking about a “skill” thing here, so much as I’m talking about a “skipped content” thing.
We have all this shiny new badge gear and shiny new heroics that drop stuff that has completely obsoleted Naxx, OS, Malygos, and a good chunk of Ulduar. Now I don’t know, maybe this is just the servers I play on, but nobody runs Naxx anymore. Ever. Remember back in Burning Crusade, those of you who were there– people were running Karazhan up until the night before Wrath of the Lich King launched. And yet Naxx is already dead. I’ve tried putting characters in LFG for Naxx and there’s nothing. People aren’t even doing badge farms of it, because everyone has all the Conquest badge gear by now. There are nights where I’ll do a /who Naxxramas just to doublecheck and make sure I’m not crazy, but I’m not– “0 players found.”
And so I find myself wondering– in Blizz’s bold attempt to get “everyone to see content” in this expansion, did they forget about the people who are just hitting 80?
Or the people like me who were late in the “join a raiding guild” game, and who are now toting around level 232 and 245 gear and yet have never cleared Naxx25?
No, I’m serious. I’ve never cleared more than two wings of Naxx25. And at this rate, I don’t know if I ever will. And I love Naxx.
The badge gear and the stepping stool into higher content is great for those of us who will finally get to “see it all” or for our alts, but not everyone is an alt, and not everyone got to 80 the same time that everyone else did. And I worry that those people are missing some really great content because as soon as they hit 80, it’s “get the badge gear and get into ToC”. You know?
The impending “weekly raid quests” are a step in the right direction, but think about it, how many people are going to stick around for a Naxx full clear after killing Anub’rekhan or Patchwerk? Yeah.
Aaaaanyways, I guess that is just what’s been on my mind lately. As I was saying, this isn’t a rant or a QQ or anything. This isn’t something I’m particularly angry or emo about, nor is it something that would make me ragequit. No, this is just food for thought. Something that’s been on my mind that I’d like to toss out there into the “thinking ring”. I’d love to hear your thoughts as well (or hear that your servers are awesomer than mine and are still doing Naxx >_>)… I’d especially love to hear from you newer people; do you feel rushed into endgame, or am I just completely nuts? (It’s okay if I’m completely nuts; it wouldn’t surprise me =P)
But even if you disagree with me or come to a different conclusion, what I suppose I ultimately want you to take away from this is to look around and realize that some of those newbies running around actually aren’t alts. Feels weird, doesn’t it…?