Slow and Steady, but mostly Slow
I’m not sure what the “average” time to max is for this expansion. In the last expansion, I believe I hit 85 on my first toon within about 48 hours of release; I wasn’t anywhere near the first paladin to max on my server, but I was in the second wave. I rushed to max then because of the hope I had in my new guild; a group of my friends had reunited after time apart from a previous guild split that sent many of them offline for years. We’d been very successful in BC and were going to rock Cata. Two weeks in, we were killing our first raid bosses (for a non-hardcore guild, 2 weeks is pretty good, I’d say) while simultaneously climbing the PvP ladders.
We’ve covered before how that ended. Lack of (sober) leadership, disparity in the PvP and PvE groups helping one another, and a return to school and work marked the death of that guild. With that, I spiraled into the second round of WoW depression, aimless drifting, and disgust that I was so close to having found what I wanted.
This time, there’s no rush. There’s no big excitement warping backwards from the future of what I can’t wait to do. I can wait. 90 means little to me; I find myself spending at least as much time doing pet battles and fooling around on various characters to check other server’s auction houses than I do leveling. My wife is much the same.
I’m not sure exactly how I feel about this very different approach to an early expansion. I didn’t like having missed the middle of Wrath. I didn’t like missing the end of BC. Still, I don’t feel bad about not being 90 and raiding. I don’t think I feel good, either, but that’s still progress. I think that this sort of auto-pilot neutral that’s driving me forward is a response to breaking all the should be’s of the raiding world – which I’m happy about – while also feeling a bit directionless. In other words, I don’t really feel neutral; I feel simultaneously good and bad. Again, that’s progress over where I was through most of Cata.
I’ve found, somewhat to my surprise, that I’m greatly enjoying pet battles. It’s more the collecting, to be honest, than the battles at this point. The battles – for now – require little strategy. I use my rare quality pets and simply detonate the other team. Then again, I’ve yet to raise a pet to level 10; mostly I’m flying around to starting and early leveling zones to fill out my collection. I always liked the collections, so for now the battling is a means to an end. Perhaps as it becomes more strategic my interest in the battles themselves will latch on to the inkling of curiosity I feel for now.
I’m not too sure about the farming. I suspect it will become more interesting, as there’s so many people who are enjoying it. Pre-90, though, it seems pretty rote and unattractive. Perhaps they should have opened up Tillers rep earlier than max level; I’m not sure why an out-of game number prevents the people who I’ve already helped with local tasks and saved from invasion from the Dread Wastes from talking to me. I’m returning to Halfhill daily but feel no real progress in doing so other than collecting cooking mats for later. I suppose we’ll see how that turns out.
So I’m taking my time and enjoying the experience. It’s been a long time since I really did that – maybe the first time, ever. My first time through was more about learning the game. My second, perhaps, was about taking time and experiencing the wonder of the digital scape around me. Since then, it’s all been about class mechanics, getting toons up to raid on new servers, and rushing through the 10×85 challenge. This is a nice change of pace. It seems as much as I’ve criticized my buddy for swallowing games without chewing or tasting that I’ve been guilty – lesser so, but still guilty – as well.
Stubborn (and innocent, this time, in this one way, at least)