In a move reminiscent of that “No flying” announcement we got a while back, Blizzard decided to drop a bombshell via a fan interview again. Today’s bombshell? 6.2 is it! No more raids after this!
What are my thoughts on this? Well, I’m thinking about a couple of things. Firstly I’m thinking don’t be surprised if Blizz drops a sudden mini-raid like they did at the end of Wrath, because Blizzard.txt. Secondly, I’m thinking, um… Blizzard… you guys do know you haven’t announced a new expansion yet, right? Which I’m assuming means it’s not anywhere near alpha or beta yet, right? So uh… what is everyone going to do until the next expac?
I mean, for me personally, I think I have enough to keep me occupied for a little while. This is because I was unsubbed for a long time and I like poking around at old content and leveling alts, so I have a lot to catch up on. So I’m not terribly disappointed myself. Like, I think I’ll be fine.
But, seriously. Blizzard. Maybe throw us a bone here and announce the new expac so we at least know it’s coming? Eh?
Overall I’m happy with the patch. I think it added just about the right amount of new stuff without going overboard or anything. There are two things that are less than perfect, however, and those are:
1. WHATEVER THE HECK BLIZZARD DID TO MY POOR SALVAGE YARD – Oh yay… more scrap to sell for 50 silver or whatever…
2. BOAT MISSIONS THAT TAKE TWO DAYS. – I get that Blizzard is trying to be “realistic” here but come on. Two days, really? Especially when I only have seven boats in my fleet? I love boats and I want more of them and I want them doing more missions. MORE MISSIONS.
So yeah. I like the rest of the patch, though. I’ve heard some people say that Tanaan feels grindy but it really doesn’t, to me? It feels like just the right amount of daily quests and things to do. And of course I am IN LOVE with Timewalking.
But those damn two-day boat missions and my poor, poor salvage yard.
Since basically Vanilla, hunters have always been the class that is stereotyped as easy to play. The AFK/Autoshot class, the Spam Buttons class, and so on. When I first made this blog waaaaaay back in the day, I liked to focus on the idea that this wasn’t entirely the case. Things like trapping and pet control and rotations were actually very complex and required a fair amount of practice to become skilled at.
These days, a lot of this stuff has become very streamlined. Trapping is rarely needed and when it is it lasts much longer, can be launched with trap launcher, and so forth. Rotations are priority based and no longer have to be carefully timed and woven inbetween auto shots. And so on.
So this raises the question: is the modern hunter class easy to play? Is there truth in the stereotype?
Maybe. The basics feel easy enough to me that I don’t know if I need to write any guides anymore – but then again, this could very well be me being biased due to the simple fact of having played one class in one video game for a decade, so it comes easier to me by default.
Beast Master Hunter, at least, does have some subtleties to it, though. I went and wrote a guide about the nuances of using Focus Fire because it’s actually pretty complex. It’s one of the more complex hunter mechanic thingies that I’ve seen in a long time and it makes me happy. There is also the whole thing with priorities and when to use what, which, again, I personally feel is pretty intuitive but it may just be me because I have seen some people with questions about it.
So are hunters easy to play? I don’t know. I do think that they’re a very forgiving class right now because they are very strongly tuned. But I don’t know if forgiving equals easy. Maybe it’s not even an important question. Maybe the actual important question here is “Are hunters fun?”.
And the answer to that is going to come down to you, personally, but for me, well…
Recently a Blizz dev made an offhanded tweet that kind of bugged me a little. The gist of it is that someone said “I’ve played all the Warcraft 3 missions and played WoW for years and I still don’t get the plot of WoD,” and Blizz replied “DON’T WORRY, JUST WATCH THE COOL CINEMATICS!” or something to that effect.
Now I’m sure it was meant to be a joke. But it still kind of irked me a little.
Because you see, I’m probably in the minority here, but at this point I’m mostly still here because of the lore. There was a time when I was in this game for the raids and mechanics, but I don’t think those will ever quite return to how I liked them back in the TBC/WotLK era so now I’m here because these characters and this story have been a major part of my life for well over a decade.
As geeky as it is, this stuff is important to me and I’d like to see more of it. And I’d like to see it well cared for and carefully crafted for myself and fellow lore nerds. I certainly don’t think it needs to be shoehorned into everything, or made mandatory – like I said, I know I’m in the minority here. But more side quests with neat unlockable lore gems. More little flavor events. And freaking updates to the draenei and blood elf starter zones for crying out loud (yes, yes, I know, that would cost ten million raid wings or whatever, but come on, can’t I have this one thing? [puppy dog eyes])
So yeah. Dear Blizzard, feel free to continue making those cool cinematics because I know you’re really good at them (no sarcasm here; this is one of Blizz’s strong points). But like. Some of us turbonerds want the real nitty-gritty, too. Kay? Kay.
I’m sure the people on Twitter or blogs who don’t care about E3 are tired of hearing about it by now. And you know, it can be a draining couple of days for everyone. But at its core is something really exciting to me. A certain spark. A certain passion. Because sometimes something really special comes along and the people in the audience start crying or cheering because games are important to us.
I’m really glad that I love games. I’m proud to be part of a community that loves games. These are my people, and for a few days we can band together and freak out about them as one glorified united whole.
…and also annoy the heck out of everyone else, but.
It looks like Blizzard has had a change of heart (or a change of sub numbers, perhaps…) and flying is coming back. Not long after the next patch, too. Granted, in order to earn flying you have to do a sort of weird grindy runaround which hearkens back to previous grindy expacs like TBC (getting revered with a faction before doing their heroics, anyone?) but on the other hand I already have Loremaster of Draenor and I’ve already done the vast majority of the bonus objectives so I don’t think tearing down the rest of the busywork will be that bad for me.
I feel like it’s kind of unpopular these days to like garrisons, but so far the love affair that I’ve had with mine over the last six months has yet to wane. I do not feel that it keeps me away from the rest of the world in any way, shape, or form – I’m only in it for twenty minutes a day, or maybe thirty if there’s an invasion – and it’s just a fantastic hub to return to every so often, spend a minute checking on and sending out missions, and then run back out into the rest of the wide world.
I love everything about it; I love that my pets are running around, I love that my followers (who I’ve grown strangely attached to) are in it chatting to each other, I love that I can make it play a variety of in-game tunes, and I love that because of it I don’t have to pay real world money for WoW anymore. That’s some GOOD STUFF right there!
Oh, and it’s also excellent for dancing.
Are garrisons perfect? Nah, I wish you could have like five more activated followers at all times and I wish you could have more buildings. Further, I wish that the buildings were customizable because I figure my blood elf is getting tired of this Warcraft 2 orc campaign BS. I mean, he has a very strong sense of style, you know?
But other than that, nope, I still love my garrison. A++++ would love to see it again in more expansions.
I said in a recent post that, unlike many MMO players, I’m here for the characters more than I’m here for the social aspect of things. And I definitely wasn’t exaggerating when I said that. I love me some characters, and I don’t mind spending much of my MMO experience alone or maybe with one friend.
But I would be very remiss not to talk about the friends I’ve made through World of Warcraft. No matter how much of a loner you are, MMOs are at their core about a social experience, and eventually you will befriend people. And if you do any sort of endgame, then chances are at least some of those people will become important to you.
For me, it was a group of people who I fell in step with during a Zul’Farrak run in our early-40s back in The Burning Crusade. We stuck together and eventually formed a guild, and moved on up through the instancing ranks doing first dungeons, and then eventually heroics and a couple of raids. We were all friends; we talked to each other frequently both in guild chat and in Ventrilo and I’m pretty sure in some cases we probably spent more time with each other than we did with our “real life” co-workers.
We stuck together through the first third or so of Wrath of the Lich King before slowly the little group began to drift apart. People were logging in less and less or were playing on other servers. For a while we kept in touch outside of the game, but then that petered out as well. And so, we all went our separate ways.
Sometimes I think about those people who I once counted as good friends. I still look back fondly on most of these people. Theoretically, I could get back in touch with them, too, if I wanted. I have most of them added on Steam. And yet we never talk to each other – I feel like it would be awkward. “Hey, remember me from eight years ago?”
I suppose in these ways the game kind of mirrors life. How many old classmates or co-workers of yours have been reduced down to people you occasionally wish Happy Birthday to on Facebook? Quite a few, I’d imagine. That’s just the way life goes. Time goes on and old faces are replaced by new ones.
The memories will always be positive ones, though. And hopefully, if my old friends ever need me, they’ll know where to find me.
Well, it’s been a few months since the WoW Token rollout, and I’ve gotta say I’m a fan. When the price tips low, I can cover my entire subscription just via gold… and I’m a casual with one single garrison and not a whole lot of skills in the capitalism department.
I think making money in WoW is pretty easy these days. Between garrison mission rewards, salvage, dailies, LFR rewards and selling things like gathering materials and Savage Bloods, I feel like I’m making out like a bandit at all times. The times sure have changed from a decade ago when I was spending days farming and selling Briarthorn so I could afford the 600g required for an epic mount.
What does everyone else think of WoW Token so far? How many have YOU bought?
Anyone who has been reading my blog for any length of time probably knows that I’m kind of a big nerd who comes up with stories and backgrounds and personalities for each of her WoW characters. That’s just how I’ve always been, and in fact, I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s often one of the major things that keeps me playing a game. Perhaps even the #1 thing.
Yes, it’s true! Oftentimes long after I’ve found a certain game satisfying from a gameplay standpoint I’ll continue to return to it, again and again, because there’s something nice about seeing a character again. It’s like seeing an old friend. Like going back to a book that you’re emotionally invested in. Without that connection to a character, I’m usually not inspired to play said character – or game – very often.
I frequently hear people talk about how they’re in WoW because of their friends. I’m in WoW because of my friends, too. My friends are polygons, though. And I love ’em.