I feel that it has become a hallowed, if somewhat pathetic, Aspect of the Hare tradition that for every new expansion Pike resubs for a month or two and then unsubs until the next expansion. This time around I’m a little behind because I don’t technically own Warlords of Draenor yet. I do, however, currently have one month of subscription time thanks to a generous gift from a Twitter friend.
Logging in for the first time in several years was initially very disorienting, perhaps like returning to a building or town where you once spent a lot of time but then moved away from. I kept my sessions short and to the point until I managed to acclimate to the new game after a few days. And now I’m plinking around and doing Loremaster achievements and running old raids because there’s little else to do without the expac.
I will, in time, get the expac. I will, in time, level up to 100 and I’m sure I will enjoy the journey. And yet, somehow, I highly doubt that I will stay after that.
I can already hear you asking how I may know this.
I guess you could call it a hunch.
In many ways, I feel like I identify a lot with Scotty in the Star Trek TNG episode “Relics”. In this episode Scott, the brilliant engineer from the Original Series, is revived in TNG’s future after being in stasis for 75 years. He is eager to jump back into things and put his engineering prowess back to good use, but it turns out that too much has changed and that the skills he was once such a master at were now no longer needed.
He retreats to a recreation of the original Enterprise – “No bloody A, B, C, or D.” – in the holodeck, where he tells Captain Picard “There comes a time when a man finds he can’t fall in love again. He knows it’s time to stop. I don’t belong on your ship. I belong on this one. This was my home. This was where I had a purpose…”
Hunters have changed drastically and it no longer feels like the class I once knew and loved. Any sense of rotation timing or finesse is simply no longer there for me. It all feels like frantic button-spamming – just spamming Arcane Shot and then waiting for the next glowy yellow light to pop up and tell me what to press next. It’s difficult for me to find that “zen” that I once had while playing the class. And after many attempts and false starts through the years, I don’t think I can find it again.
I’m not here to put on nostalgia goggles or knock WoW, because Blizzard has in fact made a lot of good quality of life changes throughout the game. Pet battles are fun. Battletag was a good idea. Putting toys into a toy box was a great idea. Letting hunters have a ton of pet slots now is a blast.
But as Scotty said, “When I was here, I could tell ya the speed that we were travelin’ by the feel of the deck plates.” And I can no longer do that. And I think Blizzard took a way a lot of the class mechanics that allowed me to do just that.
I could, of course, roll up a new class and start fresh. See if I could fall in love with something brand new. I’ve thought about it, and decided not to do it for a few reasons. Firstly, I’ve been a hunter for so long that the thought of playing something else just feels weird. Secondly, do I really want to fall in love again, and risk everything changing again the next time an expansion is released?
No – Scotty was right. There comes a time when a Pike finds she can’t fall in love again.
And so, this will probably be my only blog post here for another two years or until Blizzard makes a new expansion. Tawyn, Tux, Lunapike, Althalor, Tamaryn and all the others will get into a shuttlecraft and fly out into the great unknown. Maybe someday they’ll be back in full battle regalia – but probably not.
To everyone who still enjoys the game and the class – I am genuinely happy for you, and I hope you continue to enjoy it.
To Blizzard – make it so gnomes can be hunters already. Also, please offer legacy servers.
To the four or five people who still have me on their blog reader for some reason – I’m basically always on Twitter or Steam if you want to chat.
Live long and prosper!