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The Unavoidable WoD Post

March 12, 2014

Dear Reader,

So, Warlords of Draenor, right?  Lots of changes.  Healing changes.  Class changes.  Timeline changes.  Big stuff.

I don’t know, though.  That’s my core problem, really.  I just don’t know what I want from WoW – and maybe from gaming as a whole – any more.

I had a good chat with my NWN buddy the other day about my feelings towards WoD.  To be fair, I started it, asking him if he’d pre-purchased, since he’d written on the level 90 boosts, and he said he hadn’t.  He returned the question and, again, I was faced with that answer: I don’t know.

WoW’s come a long way, and it’s impossible to deny the quality of the game, no matter how much people may try from time to time.  That quality has shifted, as well, and who enjoys which parts of that quality drives the ever-fluctuating churn.  WoW’s had a huge impact on me and my gaming; it got me over the “I’m never going to pay a sub for a game” hump, and it drove me to excel at my game play during my hardcore days.  But more than that, as I’ve written about recently, it’s left some serious scars on my psyche regarding the social aspects of large-scale games, scars I’m not sure I want to chance reopening.

Many, many years ago, when Zul’Aman was still a raid, I was tanking the firehawk boss and having trouble keeping the adds on me.  There was another paladin there, a retadin, who was criticizing the damage my consecrate was doing.  Hers was doing much, much more, as of course it would be as a retadin.  When I pointed this out, she somewhat nastily chided me with a “Psht – YEAH,” as if the point I was making was so obvious as to be unwarranted, even though I was trying to explain why her chiding me for having weaker consecrate ticks was stupid.  That “Psht – YEAH” has become a group joke; my wife and I do it to each other, my buddy and I, the same.

But today when my wife did it to me it made me have a thought that kind of bothered me.  Doing a quick mental list, I think I know more people from WoW that I dislike than I like.  I think that more than half of my overall interactions have been negative rather than positive.  Am I a factor in that?  Sure I am.  But regardless, it’s still there.  There’s been more “Psht – YEAH’s” than there’s been people I enjoyed talking to and just hanging around with.

To be fair, Pam – that was her name – wasn’t really a major factor in liking or disliking.  That guild had the two biggest bullies I’ve had to deal with – a husband and wife couple, no less – and still represents one of the most frustrating and probably mishandled (on my part as well as others’) guild encounters I’ve had.  It really set the stage, like an early formative experience, for how I’ve interacted with guilds since.  My hypersensitivity to potential guild problems stems from that first horrible encounter, from seeing similarities to the people involved and actions taken, and while I can intellectually say I’m aware of that and should be able to avoid it, often emotionally I’m simply not able or willing to.

All of this feeds into my decision to play WoD or not.  It’s not a money issue; my buddy rightly pointed out that I’d easily cover the “Ed Value” of the purchase, but to be “worth” playing in my eyes, I need to be doing something that challenges me, that engages me with the deeper mechanics.  I tried dps for this whole expansion, and got to a place that I’m satisfied with, though I’m sure it’s woefully beneath anything a hardcore raider would accept.  Dps just doesn’t interest me, though, so I’d likely go back to healing or tanking.  So it’s not really that the play itself is a factor, either; I’m sure I could find something “interesting” to do.

That only really leaves the social aspect.  I fit where I am now because I really only vacation there.  I know a few people, say hello now and again, and chat with my buddy regularly.  The people there seem nice, and those who may not have impressed me as “nice” still impress me as “fair,” “serious,” and “level-headed,” which are all good qualities for fellow raiders when “nice” isn’t on the table.

So I don’t know.  This post is as much me thinking it out myself than anything else.  I’m not sure if there’s others out there struggling with the decision, or who even think the decision is “big” enough to be worth struggling about.

But that’s where I am.

Stubborn (and unsure)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2014 3:49 pm

    WoD is now officially pre-ordered. You should join the club, it’s a pretty cool one.

    “It really set the stage, like an early formative experience, for how I’ve interacted with guilds since.”

    Yeah, and that kind of thing is exactly one of my biggest fears in WoW but applied a dozen-fold. Imagine if you’re told LFR is something you should do and you go in to find a madhouse of people being assholes and idiots and think you “Why the hell would people find raiding fun?” Or if you go into a random BG. Or if you join LFG dungeons in some cases.

    Or, back on “topic” with guilds, what if you are new and join one of the guilds that spam invites people because you don’t know any better?

    The whole starting experience for WoW worries me because the reason to play the game is the social relationships with people doing guild activies, group PvP, or dungeons/raids. Doesn’t necessarily have to be “BFFs” or anything but just people who you can get along with.

    And if you lose sight of that, the fun of the game severely diminishes. People can get scarred and either quit or swear not to get involved in the very stuff that makes the game great.

    P.S. I think cross-realm normals (aka Heroic in WoD) might fit your needs overall — can tank or heal in something reasonably challenging (considerably above Flex) without requiring the dedication and reflexes of heroic (aka Mythic in WoD) raiding. Likely going to shift the Wednesday Flex run to a “Heroic” run come 6.0.

    • Cain permalink
      March 13, 2014 7:54 am

      I’ve definitely found that adding people to realId from blogs or openraid runs has changed the social aspect for me. I don’t really interact with any people from my server anymore as all of the people I did know there have left. I also find they satisfy the “nice” and “mature” requirements a lot more than most. I am definitely looking forward to more cross realm raids come WoD.

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