What a N00B!
So as I got my new computer set up, I knew what my downloading priorities were. I knew I could get one game over night each night without interrupting my various other online activities which would have had to share bandwidth. Since I was expected to play The Secret World on Friday with my buddies, I knew that had to be first. Then I figured Guild Wars 2 would make the most sense, since I’m playing that pretty actively. Steam was a Must, too.
But then what?
WoW, of course.
I still have an active subscription, though I haven’t updated my account to Mists just yet. I knew I wanted to check out some of the changes, and additionally I wanted to try to meet up with Navi for a Navi-spam (which is becoming a reverse Navi-spam, if you think about it, since nowadays she seems to be sought out by others. More on that another day). So I downloaded it overnight one night and got ready to hop on.
The next day I had some free time, so I booted up WoW and plugged in my password and authenticator. The new opening screen is, well, a little boring, actually. Compared to the threat of Deathwing, Sindragosa, and the Dark Portal, two panda statues pretending to be the Argonath didn’t do much for me. I mean I get it, it’s supposed to be more serene after the constant threats of the past, but it certainly didn’t impress me the way Sindragosa’s entrance did the first time I saw it.
It was a moot point, though, because I happened to be trying to log on square in the middle of the 2 hours of downtime on Saturday (or was it Friday? I don’t remember). So in the end, it didn’t happen until the next day.
When I did finally get on, it felt strangely unchanged. As on our birthdays, where we’re told we’re a year older, WoW didn’t seem to have shifted that much one way or the other.
Until I looked at the mini buttons on the bottom.
What the hell? There were all sorts of new buttons down there. Take a breath, I told myself. It’s no big deal.
Then I opened my talent tree, and again was at an impasse. I realize that it was Blizzard’s goal to make us make difficult choices between our ability tiers, but they’re supposed to be difficult because they’re all so awesome, not because they’re all so bland – at least for my namesake druid, who naturally was first to get loaded up into 5.0. I didn’t check the others, because at this point I began to get a sickening feeling in my stomach, the kind a student might get if they realized 20 minutes into a lecture that they were sitting in the wrong class. This wasn’t what I was used to.
I realize that the concept of “teaching old dogs new tricks” really doesn’t hold true in the world, that it’s more a perception from within than a biological inability from without. Still, for one of the first times in my life, I started to wonder if it was worth it to learn all this new stuff. Pet battles. Scenarios. Menu buttons. Talent trees. I don’t feel like the game’s been honed, like the fat has been cut as Blizzard proports. I feel like it’s been lessened. Yes, things were added (pet battles, scenarios, etc) to make up for the lessening, so in the end it may be a better product. I’m not too foolish to admit that. But it’s lessened, all the same, and it could have been improved without the subtractions. Maybe it’s just me.
To be frank, I felt baffled, in the end, baffled, by definition – to frustrate or check by confusing or perplexing. It was a lot to absorb at once, and I don’t know if I even want to absorb it. I truly am an old man now.
In the end, I expect I will, at some point, but I’m certainly past my “look up the best spec” days where I’d spend hours pouring over web documents trying to decide whether one point in improved renew was better or worse than being able to cleanse magical effects. I don’t want to look up stuff. I want to figure it out, sure, play test it with my buddies, collaborate on cool combos, like Secret World allowed, but I don’t want to have to do research to have fun any more, and as a result I’m basically banned from end-game stuff. Fine; it’s self imposed, I’ll accept that. But to have to do it just to play my druid again, well, I’m just not sure I want to.
Anyway, I’m sure it’s simply a molehill of a problem that I’m busting out the pinions for, but that’s how I felt. I quickly added Navi’s battletag to my friends list and logged off. I haven’t been back on since, though I will check from time to time until I catch Navi and spam her. Afterwards, we’ll see.
Stubborn (and baffled, by definition)