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I just realized that I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks, and although it’s partially due to real life kicking us in the teeth, I also realize there’s another reason.
I’m just not having that much fun in WoW right now.
My feelings about this game cycle fairly predictably. There are periods of “OMG EVERYTHING IS AWESOME” where I just cannot get enough playtime. There are periods of complete and utter apathy; sure, I guess I’ll play for a little bit, but I’m just not that invested. And there are periods where I just can’t fight the feeling that everything is pointless, and those? Those are the worst for me.
And that’s what I’m mired in right now: feelings of futility. On an intellectual level, I really like the Cataclysm structure of increased challenge (whether the challenge is actually there or it’s just due to no longer being silly overgeared for most of the content), but in practice, it’s somewhat frustrating.
Right now, in order to further gear up my main toons, I need to run heroics. And not just any heroics – a couple of specific ones where there are still upgrades. However, due to the way that heroics run in our current gear, and the general terrible-ness of groups put together from Looking for Dungeon, I feel like I need to have a block of at least three hours where I don’t need to get my ass out of the chair for any reason in order to just run one.
Sure, some days I get lucky and happen to be available at the same time enough guildies are also available and not already running heroics, and can get a full guild group that runs smoothly. More often, I need to spend at least 45 minutes in queue (and god forbid I have an internet hiccup during that time – a disconnect dumps you out of queue and you have to start over), and then at least an hour in the instance itself at which point the group either falls apart due to it’s terrible-ness, or we actually succeed in clearing the content. The first happens far more often than the second, sadly. Either way, I’m left frustrated and grumpy more often than not.
All that just for a chance at one of the few remaining upgrades. I have no use for Justice Points right now, and I’m not getting Valor Points because I don’t want to spend those three hours doing something that gives no real chance of improving my gear situation. I don’t run heroics for fun like some folks do – they’re a means to an end for me. And while I don’t mind running a instance with no upgrades for me to help out a friend, I certainly don’t want to do it with strangers.
This leads to a couple of other problems for someone like me, who can’t help but over-think her leisure activities:
1) Achievement-chasing: Krikket already has an insane amount of achievement points, and while I’d love to rack up some more, I can’t bring myself to do it. I know I should be spending my in-game time preparing myself for raiding, not chasing NerdPoints. So I’ve been completely ignoring achievements because I feel so guilty about what I’m not doing, it sucks all the fun out of it for me.
2) Alts: Historically, I’ve been a huge fan of alts. I love being able to see how the other classes work, and seeing the content from all the perspectives of healer / tank / DPS. But when my Horde priest hit 85, I discovered one of the problems with alts now. Sometimes? When an alt gets leveled up, you find out that playing that class is actually a whole lot more fun than playing your main. Which has led to me not really wanting to play either one – grinding out gear for a character who – in a best-case scenario – will never see anything more of end-game than possibly a Baradin Hold PuG raid is depressing. For any character of mine, other than my two shaman, heroics are the end-game, and since they’re my least favorite part of WoW, I’ve sort of lost interest in getting any of my other characters to 85.
Right now, I log on to do a little farming here and there, to do inscription research on my DK, or to help someone else out with something, or if I have a scheduled raid. Otherwise? I’m not even a little interested in starting up the game.
I’m sure that this too will pass – it’s certainly not the first batch of WoW-apathy I’ve butted up against, but it’s certainly one of the longest-lasting that didn’t come on the heels of a big guild drama-bomb. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what it would take to bring back the fun. I’ve considered re-rolling some of my favorite characters on a PvE server somewhere and taking the time to really explore the revamped Azeroth. I’ve thought about hunting for a casual raiding guild for my priest and cutting back on my other obligations. I’ve thought about pulling out of the raiding game entirely and focusing on the parts of WoW that I used to really enjoy. But those all feel like big steps I’m just not ready to take.
In the meantime, I’m not logging a lot of WoW-hours. I have instead purchased the beta of Minecraft, which is way more fun than it should be, especially since I kind of think I might be missing the whole point. I don’t do a lot of building – I just do a lot of whacking at blocks with a pickaxe and trying not to die.
Disclaimer: I love my guildmates, both in Stands in Bad, and in Lunaris. The rest of Azgalor? Not so much lately.
And most of the time, that’s enough. I got through the second half of Wrath with only a couple moments of questioning the wisdom of transferring to a PvP server.
However, in the month since Cataclysm has been out? I have found myself not only questioning my decision but seriously considering rerolling on a PvE server, leaving all my hard work & dear friends behind, because if there’s one thing that can suck the fun out of playing this game faster than anything else? It’s people.
I say that thinking about every single person who thought it was hilarious to kill & camp someone 10 or more levels lower than them who was doing archeology. I say that, thinking about the mage* that followed my shaman on her herbing route, waited until I landed, then polymorphed me, picked the flower, made “some strange gestures”, mounted up, and waited for me to mount again, and just kept following me, no matter where I went or what flowers I was trying to pick. I say that, thinking of all the people who deliberately dip into the AoE of an opposite faction person to watch them get owned by guards.
A lot of the time, I don’t want to log on anymore. I don’t want to farm, or fish, or do dailies. I’d say I don’t even want to leave Stormwind or Orgrimmar, but then I remember the day that a raid of Hordies sat and camped the portal island in Stormwind, killing everyone who ported in before they knew what hit them or had time to react.
I get that part of it is that right now, resources are more dear. Everyone wants the same quest mobs. Just killing the person who is near what you want seems like a completely viable option. But that doesn’t explain the mass slaughter of lowbies leveling archeology, and it certainly doesn’t explain things like this, where a group of people decide that it’s TOTALLY fun to gang up on a bunch of people who are just trying to quest or farm.
I just don’t get it.
If you want to get in a big group and earn some honor, hit up a battleground. Fight people who are prepared and willing to fight back. Don’t gang up on people out in the world by themselves. Don’t kill characters so much lower than you that they have no hope of defending themselves. Otherwise, you’re not just an asshole – you’re a cowardly asshole.
A lot of people end up on PvP servers exactly the way I did – we hunted for a guild with raid times that fit our schedule, with a level of progression and an attitude we enjoyed. We understood that that opens us up to world PvP. What I didn’t understand is the extent to which some people have to do things to make other people feel bad in order to feel good themselves.
I honestly don’t know what I would do if I could go back to the days before we made the move to Azgalor, and make the decision all over again, knowing what I know now. We could have searched for months and not found people we fit so well with as the ones we’ve found here. But there are so many days lately where I feel the distinct disadvantage of being on a PvP server, in two guilds that are strictly PvE-oriented, and on those days, it really doesn’t feel worth it.
ETA: Some people clearly can’t handle it when someone tells it like it is**. A few hours after this post went I’m, I’m just hanging out in Stormwind when:
Stay classy, Brotherhood of Oblivion. With leadership that mature, I totally can see why forming a raid to kill people who are just minding their own business questing is a worthwhile use of your time.
*The first time? He engaged me in some good old-fashioned, fair 1v1. I lost, but it was a near thing. I don’t fault him for that. But I guess he was so upset at ALMOST dying, griefing me for the next half hour was his best hope of revenge? Fucker.
**This is, of course, the same GM who kicked me from his guild for advocating for fair policies. Anyone surprised? Anyone?
My boyfriend loves when there’s a new expac, not just because there’s new content & so much to do, but because it means we do a lot of leveling together. Normally? I’m a level-by-myself kind of girl. But being on a PvP server, I like the idea of safety in numbers.
We managed to get both our Horde & Alliance mains to the new level cap in about a week of questing. Now that we’ve had a couple of weeks of grinding up professions, making some extra money due to whack prices on Cataclysm mats, and getting a couple of shiny purples crafted, we’re ready to start leveling some of our alts.
After much discussion & debate, these are the pairs we’ve decided to work on next:
That’s right – both sets have a DK and a priest. We’re thinking double-DPS for questing, and tank/healer combo for whatever instancing we do as we level. Our Alliance pair is slightly delayed as I still have a couple of levels to get on Koraline (via archeology*) before she can wear all her shiny new gear. I don’t think I’ll do so well in the new Cata zone in my level 70 tanking crafteds!
We’ve been busily cleaning up bags & banks, making sure our professions are up-to-date, and trying to remember how to play characters we’ve barely touched in weeks to months. This time? We’re not rushing – we plan to quest just enough to maximize guild rep gains, and to still spend time gearing our mains up for raiding. I’m planning to find out if I feel as underpowered healing as discipline as I’ve been hearing people complain about, and hoping I can remember how to play my DK as unholy.
I might actually be looking forward to this more than I did the first batch of post-Shattering questing because there’s no time-pressure on it whatsoever.
*Yes, archeology is haxx for leveling. Someday? I will actually post about this instead of just making reference to it.
(A real entry will be posted early in the week when I’m not ZOMGLEVELING 2 elemental shaman.)
The Shattering and Cataclysm itself have brought some amazing quests, but my absolute favorite so far?
About half an hour ago, my boyfriend bundled up, and headed out to pick up his brother, and the two of them were planning on standing in line for about four hours at the midnight release of Cataclysm at our local Gamestop. Apple will be meeting up with them later. I’ve spend the last couple of week gloating about my digital download, and how I could spend those hours sitting at home, all warm and comfortable.
Of course, when I was doing all that bragging, I though I would be desperately trying to finishing SOMETHING before the level cap went up, and there were a million things I felt like I HAD to do, instead of just half a million I felt like I wanted to.
That’s a little harsh, I know, but I think it’s put a damper on my excitement. In fact, the prevalent emotion I’ve been feeling is a pretty serious case of DO NOT WANT.
Am I exaggerating? Yeah, I am exaggerating a little bit. Despite the fact that there’s no way in HELL I’m staying up to log on right at 3 a.m. my time, I’m sure once I get over my initial trepidation and just dive into it, I’m going to have a great time.
Seriously now. I don’t care if you’re hardcore ALLIANCE4LYFE, or if you think trolls are dumb, or ugly, or whatever.
If you have not played a brand new troll character since the Shattering, I implore you, go now. Create a new troll. Create whatever class you like, I don’t think it much matters. Play through the first five levels or so – it’ll take you less than an hour. Don’t worry about bags or heirlooms or training money – if you need to create a character on a totally new server to do this, that’s ok.
I really enjoyed playing the revamped Dwarf starting area, but I fucking LOVED the troll one. Go. Go now.
When it comes to professions, I’m a bad raider. I say this because I don’t choose my professions in order to min/max my character for raiding. I choose them because either (a) they look interesting or (b) it’s something I want for convenience. Very rarely do I choose a profession for its money making potential.
Except this one time. When I first moved Alix to Azgalor, she was an RaF toon with no gear, and although she robbed all my other Shadow Council toons blind, very little money. She also had no professions. I had read a few places that with some time & determination, playing the glyph market was a way to make a lot of money in a very little bit of time.
Since my Horde guild is amazing about profession sharing, I figured I could, just this once, do it for the money. And it worked. I’d spend about an hour every two days on the glyph market, and go on a once-weekly herb-picking binge, and neither myself nor my boyfriend wanted for anything on Horde due to my diligence with it.
Of course, the perma-glyphs in 4.0.1, combined with the increased cost of crafting, made inscription somewhat less profitable than it was (after a very brief period, at least on Azgalor Horde-side, where everyone was buying up glyphs at ridiculous prices), and the change to the ink trader and the ability to buy enchanting vellums from vendors in 4.0.3 was the final nail in the coffin for any last minute attempts at money grubbing before the expac proper.
I’ve read that a lot of people have already dropped inscription and started power-leveling other, more useful professions. Not me, I’m planning to keep inscription both on my Horde main, and on an Alliance alt. Yes, a big part of that is the ability to make my own Darkmoon Cards, and the cheap shoulder enchants are nice, sure, and it’ll be great to never have to buy glyphs for alts.
But what I’m really intrigued by is the new fun stuff that inscription is getting in Cataclysm.
These are just toys – and I really hope they’re not BoP. I’d love to be able to gift Apple a stack or two of each. They’re cheap and easy to make, and if I can level off them? You bet I’m going to.
Then we get these: Mysterious Fortune Cards. Not only are they like a WoW-lottery ticket (when you flip them, they’re a vendorable item, worth anywhere from 10 silver to 5,000 gold!), they’re a cooking reagent.
Once my cooking is leveled, I’ll have some pretty decent buff food (90 stamina and 90 in “some other useful stat” – I’m guessing probably intellect for my casters) that’s cheap to make. The cards are STILL vendorable after you eat the cookie, so these are basically going to cost one flour to make. There’s no excuse NOT to have them.
Scribes will also be able to make Forged Documents, which start a quest that rewards a Bulging Sack of Gold – which is rumored to be about 10. Small sack, I guess, but it’s a nice way to make sure that ink prices don’t bottom out completely. I have no idea if the quest is going to be completely repeatable, or just a daily, and if there’ll be a cooldown on the documents.
Finally, inscription will be making relics (those silly things that fill the ranged weapon slot for paladins, druids, shaman and death knights) and offhands. This will likely be a limited market, and not terribly profitable, but if Blizzard follows suit and continues to drop higher level recipes as we progress through the tiers of raiding (and doesn’t make vastly superior ones buyable with valor points, let’s say), this has the potential to be profitable through the expansion.
Finally, we can still make Runescrolls of Fortitude – updated for level 85, and scrolls of stats, which now count as Battle Elixirs (sorry alchemists!).
Sure, inscription will likely never be the money-maker that it was in Wrath, but I don’t think the state of the profession is so dire as to be no longer worth pursuing.
There is a great post up on Elitist Jerks with some very viable pre-heroic / pre-raid gear to aim for while questing, as well as some crafted blues and epics you might want to start saving for.
The thing I was most excited to see was probably the Elementium Stormshield – which for elemental shamans is basically a hit/haste/spellpower shield. I will pay whatever it costs not to wander into my first raid wearing a staff or carrying an offhand. Krikket’s days as a staff-shaman are about to come to an end.
One thing they don’t mention, that I expect I’ll be willing to do just about anything to get my hands on, is the Darkmoon Card: Volcano. I haven’t actually checked out Cataclysm stat-weights, but I cannot image a better trinket than one which brings over 300 mastery rating and a 1600 intellect proc. I’m very glad that Alix is a scribe now, and I’m seriously considering leveling Koraline before Norrah, simply for access to Cataclysm herbs & the ability to make my own Darkmoon Faire cards.
Honestly, I’ve done very little with my level 80 toons since the Shattering.
What have I been doing instead?
Meet Sabreena. She’s already level 22 with less than 8 hours /played. I’ve flown through Coldridge Valley, Dun Morogh, and a very much changed Loch Modan.
I am absolutely loving so many things about the changes. From the increase in available flight paths, to the new flow of quests, to the fact that I don’t have to do ridiculous run around quests for minions anymore, I am just thoroughly enjoying every minute of playtime.
It’s almost enough to make me wish the expac proper was further away than it is – I’d love to spend more time in low-level, post-Shattering Azeroth before the pressure to make the sprint to 85 is on.
Things to do now that 4.0.3a is live:
1. Check “Load Out of Date Addons” box and cross fingers.
2. Roll troll druid.
3. Roll dwarven warlock.
4. Log on Rick & go tame a dancing fox.
5. Respec all four of my active 80s. Twice.