So with the introduction of the 4.3 content, I’ve had to check some of my WoW values against some of my WoW burnout. My usual six-month or so cycle of vacationing to another MMO came and went without me choosing another MMO to stay with; you may remember the “experimentation” period where I tried many of the well-reviewed F2P models out there. I also have played a few co-op games with my buddy (which I will review later this week), which all means I never really took a break.
The release of the new content creates some issues, too, because I don’t want to end up even further behind in gear; for god’s sake, I’m raiding Deathwing’s raid in a blue helmet and shoulders because I didn’t want to grind ZA/ZG for a teeny-tiny upgrade and the few times I finished BWD, the paladin token didn’t drop. The new dungeons have very nice hats and shoulderpads in them, but I won’t grind those, either, and I haven’t been blessed with getting either yet.
I am “grinding” valor, though at this point it doesn’t seem that way. With your choice of any random for equal rewards, Blizzard addressed my biggest concern with the valor grind, which pleases me. I did cap out last week and plan to for the next few weeks, so hopefully my pieces will drop in that time, too.
Quite a few bloggers have pointed out that gear resets are casual unfriendly, and I tend to agree. I skipped the raiding in Tier 11 in favor of taking a break from WoW, and when I came back in T12, I was woefully behind in gear. Even now, I’m stuck with a feeling of obligation – of “should be” again because I don’t want to fall further behind, but at the same time I want to do Dragon Soul, so I’m a bit torn. I don’t like feeling obligated to play, especially the same dungeons over and over (though like I said Blizz mostly fixed that), but I want to play in the end game.
Sid Meier’s now often-quoted saying goes (I’m not sure if this is a direct quote) that a game should be made up of a “series of meaningful choices.” I don’t feel a meaningful choice here. Sure, speaking for the Part-Core Gamers, we could go raid Firelands or Tier 11 content. We could go do Darkmoon Faire until we’re bored. We could do other things, but that’s not why we play. We’re bursting with talent, knowledge, and opportunity; we want to play the end game, and thus we must get geared, but then that’s not really a meaningful choice any more.
This doesn’t surprise me, though. I’ve said for a while now that WoW is not a game. It’s transcended (or descended, perhaps) that into a hobby. The primary difference I see between the two is the preparation time outside of the core element. You might have a hobby that’s gameless, and then your core element might just be showing off your pieces or selling your crafts, but let’s take hobby gaming as an example. To hobby game (like Warhammer or Necromunda (look it up) or something), you have to prepare your team, buy your models, potentially paint your models, make your terrain, etc. When all that’s done, you game. In WoW, you may be doing all these little chores within the digital world, but you’re still preparing for the core element – PvP or raiding or whatever avenue you pursue – with research, gearing choices, spec choices, material farming, expendables crafting, and so on.
So if WoW’s not a game, but a hobby around a game, then maybe what Part-Core Gamers need to accept is the preparation time – the one thing we don’t have, in which case there’s a slew of clichés to address us: If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. It’s time to nut up or shut up. A stitch in time saves nine. L2P noob.
So that’s about that, then. If we really want to play in the end game, we just have to do our chores, first.
Stubborn (and his alter ego, FatCyborg the Sith Knight, with whom he’s arguing. Don’t worry, FatCyborg won’t be staying.)
P.S. Regarding the Morchok issue (i.e. me being 1 shotted with 300k hits), I found a forum today (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3657279829) that described the same problem I was having with a WoL link (http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/30ktrass82nykdjj/deaths/?s=4917&e=5352) that seems to back up my suspicions. Anything I’m overlooking? Thoughts?