There have been a lot of tough things about coming back to WoW after a long layoff. Adjusting to all the class and mechanics changes, trying to figure out where old instances/raids I never did are located, and just playing the catch-up game, in general.
But recently I feel like probably the toughest part is that the community I once knew, and was once a part of, has largely disappeared. No one plays the game anymore; it’s passé at best or “for kids” at worst. People are moving on; either with “life” or to other games. So here she is: Pike, still pluggin’ away at the same old eleven-year-old video game. Look at her and marvel!
Now, I’m no stranger to pouring tons of time into old video games, as one glance through my Good Games That Are Good series can probably attest.
But WoW is, somehow, different. Perhaps because it’s an MMO, which is social by definition, or perhaps because I really threw myself into the community via things like blogging and Twitter. It was a little island that I became a part of. And now I get to watch, one by one, as more and more people leave the island. It’s a really weird feeling.
Ultimately, I will continue to do what I find fun and play what I want to play, of course. Because ultimately, that’s the point of games. But that doesn’t stop the weirdness that sets in every time yet another person says goodbye. Is this what I am doomed to, stubbornly playing an aging MMO? Is this all a part of the cycle? Maybe so. Maybe it’s what I signed up for.
In that case, I guess I’ll be over here on my island. Dreaming dreams like the one I dreamed last night– about old guildmates long gone.
I’ve played a lot of classes in WoW fairly extensively. Hunter, of course, and druid. Recently I’ve been putting a lot of time into my mage and paladin. In the past I’ve leveled a warlock up to the 60s, a rogue up to the 40s, and a warrior into the 30s or so.
But you know what class I never did figure out?
Nothing against them, mind.
But anytime I’ve ever tried to play one, I get confused. They have totems, I think? And… thundering and lightning (very very frighting)? Do they even do the totems and lightning thing anymore? Who knows!
Very peculiar. Very peculiar indeed.
Granted, there’s a very good chance that they’ve changed considerably since the last time I tried to play one (which would’ve been like, eight years ago or something.) But the fact remains: I’ve never gotten a shaman past level ten. I’ve gotten everything else past level ten. I’ve even gotten a monk past level ten.
(I might be more inspired if blood elves could be shamans. I mean, uh, just saying.)
(Also it has occurred to me now that I’ve never gotten a Death Knight past, like, level 60. So, I guess there’s at least one more class out there that I don’t understand!)
So now we have a little while to wait until the next expansion. How long? Not sure yet. But, I can’t lie, I’m fine with a bit of a lull.
I know many people will probably disagree with me, but for a while I actually felt like WoD was going kind of fast. Oh here’s Highmaul! Oh here’s Blackrock Foundry! Oh here’s Hellfire Citadel and a whole new zone! I kind of felt like every time I got caught up on something, a new thing opened up before I could finish whatever previous thing I was working on. And you know, that was fine back when I was raiding and doing hardcore stuff back in TBC and WotLK.
But these days, I’m playing a lot more casually. As such, I enjoy lulls between content. It gives me time to do casual things (like play alts), or even better, play other video games for a bit.
So yeah. So long as we don’t get eleven months or whatever the last lull was, I think I’m good.
(Granted, I am excited for Legion. Elves! Elves everywhere!)
One of the things that I find really fun about new expansions is the evolution of the login screen.
The classic screen was the Dark Portal, and you know, after three Dark Portals… I’m still not sick of it. I like the Dark Portal. It’s iconic and it feels like you’re stepping into another world (of Warcraft.)
Picking a favorite is tough. I might have to go with TBC for maximum nostalgia (and Dark Portals). Although, who can forget Wrath and its big dragon roar?
There probably won’t be a Dark Portal involved in Legion, but who knows, I guess!
Between Brewfest, Harvest Festival, and this Pirate Thing, it’s a busy time to be in game. So many holiday events! So many achievements! So many little items and toys and costumes and junk!
It got me thinking: do you care much about the holiday stuff in online games like WoW? For me, it usually comes down to badly I want the title or associated little toys and stuff. For example, I recently did the whole Fire Festival brouhaha just so I could give my baby mage the “Flame Keeper” title. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have bothered.
What about you guys? How do you like your holidays in your MMOs?
So the other day I figured I’d do some Spring (uh, Autumn) cleaning and delete a couple of old characters that I haven’t played in years.
Then I made the mistake of logging in on them to see if they had anything cool.
Hunters with intellect gear!
Hunters with quivers and arrows!
But what really got me were the pets. The above troll hunter had a snow leopard from Dun Morogh, so presumably I ran her up through Stranglethorn Vale at level ten all the way up to Ironforge. I also had a tauren hunter, similarly low-level, with an owl. From Teldrassil.
Now I suddenly find myself loathe to delete these two characters. I’ll probably never play them again, no. And yet they remind me of a time long, long ago, when hunters had mana and arrows and when I’d take each one on a weird little journey to find the most unusual pets for them.
Do you have any characters like that, who you don’t want to delete?
These days it feels kind of… well, not really embarrassing, but weird to admit that I still play it. It’s like saying “I still write checks” or “I still have a VCR” or something. Isn’t WoW that game that everyone’s moved on from by now? Aren’t all the hip and happening gamers playing FFXIV and Dota 2 and Hearthstone and all that other stuff?
And yet eleven years after its release, I’m still here in WoW. Why? Well, I imagine everyone has a different answer to this question, but for me, it comes down to four main reasons:
1.) WoW Token
For me, this is definitely the biggie. If I still had to cash out real money for this game, there’s a good chance I would be either on hiatus right now or heading to hiatus very soon. But since I can make enough gold to pay for my subscription just by doing garrison stuff every day… why not stay subscribed?
2.) WoW is a Theme Park Game
In a way, WoW reminds me a lot of those games that were big in the late 90s. Stuff like Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie. The gimmick in those games were that there were a bunch of mini-worlds inside a big overworld, and you could go to whichever mini-world you wanted to go to.
WoW is similar. It’s been around for so long and there’s so much to do at this point that it just feels like its own mini theme park. Even if you don’t raid, there’s stuff to do. It’s a lot of entertainment for free (if you’re using the WoW Token).
3.) I Like the Lore and World
It’s probably a little silly but it’s actually one of the things that keeps me invested in the game. If I didn’t find the lore and characters as interesting as I do, I don’t know if I’d still be playing.
4.) It’s Just Comforting
Because I know all the little nooks and crannies of this game, I can sit down at the end of a long stressful day and shoot stuff without thinking or worrying. It’s pretty nice to have a ready-to-play comfort game.
So yeah. It’s 2015 and I’m still playin’ WoW. Hey, I’ve also still got a CD player in my car and I still wear a watch. It’s all good.
Aaaaaahhhhhh I’ve been so busy lately. Day job work! Freelance writing work! Work work!
Finally it’s time for some video games though. I think I’m going to continue leveling some of my alts in WoW (I’ve got three that I’m cycling through who are in their mid-60s!), try to actually get some FFXIV done, and work on my new seasonal wizard in D3 (because I can’t stop playing wizards now). There are other games I want to play but they’re not a top priority so we’ll see how things go.
So yeah, them’s my weekend plans!
Sorry there haven’t been any particularly interesting posts here lately. Just, ya know, busy.
Have you ever had that problem? Have you ever had a game that you find really fun, but there’s a “but” attached?
That’s kind of where I am right now with FFXIV. I’m having a lot of fun with it. But… work is busy, and I’ve been playing other games, and if I had to drop something right now it would probably be FFXIV. Not because I dislike it. But because, well, my time is limited. And right now I’m feeling other games.
So as it stands, I’m not so sure I’ll subscribe once my free month is up. Granted, I’ve got two weeks left on my free month, and a lot can change between now and then, so nothing is final. But right now I’m not seeing at as something I’ll play long-term. Not right now, anyway.
Meanwhile, I’ve been playing absurd amounts of Diablo 3. Especially wizards. At some point I’ve gone and gotten myself addicted to wizards. It’s magic, I ain’t gotta explain nothin’.