Similar to my experience so far with Destiny 2: Beyond Light, I’ve only dipped my toe into WoW: Shadowlands but the art has blown me away.
A friendly comment on a random news post I made in 2010 may have just inspired me to ressurrect this blog from the dead. It has already spurred me to try and be more active in WoW (and get a class I actually enjoy to level 90), install DC Universe Online, and has me looking into Lord of the Rings Online’s latest incoming patch that’s dropping May 15th.
I may not be ready to commit to my old ways of only playing MMOs, but I’m curious to see if I can get back on the MMO-train while still avoiding the burnout that comes when you don’t just commit yourself to the idea of playing a singular MMO for the immediate future. I’m really wanting to get back into WoW, but I’m not going to rule out dabbling in other MMOs along the way.
So in the meantime, here’s a pretty cool Shadow Priest PVP video that I stumbled upon that helped convince me to transfer my level 49 Gnome Priest to my current server and attempt to make him my new main.
I go through WoW ups-and-downs like the moon goes through its phases. As sure as I am going to play it, I am going to get tired of it. You could say this about any player and any game, let alone any MMORPG, but WoW is always my go-to MMORPG when I need that MMORPG fix.
I had picked WoW up again a few weeks ago when I was dead-set on hopping factions and leveling a Horde Pandaren Monk all the way up to 90. To backtrack a bit; the week following the Mists of Pandaria launch, I played religiously on my (at the time Alliance) Death Knight, rushing to the new level cap of 90. I hit the level cap and was bored within two days (more on that later). Back to my allusions of Monk grandeur. I was fitted out with an entire kit of heirlooms I had gathered up before the MoP launch, in preparation for the inevitable Pandaren Monk I would make. We’re talking full leather agility set, the agility cloak, and 2x agility maces with +15 agility enchants on them. No way I could be disappointed, right? Well I got burnt out on the leveling grind by the mid-50s and was ready to go back to my faction-changed Orc Death Knight. Only to remember why I quit not even two weeks after MoP launch. To put it bluntly, and slightly hyperbolic, the MoP “end game” equates to grinding daily quests, daily.
Let me explain a bit and put it in perspective. If you reach the level cap in an MMORPG, you obviously like the idea of character progression (chances are, via gear and stat/power progression). So when you hit the level cap (arguably where the ‘end game’ begins) in an MMORPG you want a new form of character progression, and the most popular one by far is gear. People want the “phat lewts.” And why shouldn’t they? Makes a man feel good. So how does a fresh level 90 go about getting new gear? I could go into a deep explanation with the breakdown of your order of operations to properly gear up, via multiple facets of the game, but what it breaks down to is you need “Valor Points” and you need quest hub reputations raised to revered/exalted. All the Valor gear is locked behind Revered (at the minimum) and mainly Exalted, so you can forget all about getting Valor until you even have a single reputation to Revered. So, you need to get a reputation to Revered? I hope you like dailies because that’s all you’ll be doing for a while. Reputation grinding is nothing new to WoW, or MMORPGs in general. We’ve been handed end-game reputation grinds since as early as vanilla WoW. The problem is that there were always multiple ways to gain the reputation. My favorite has always been “championing” a reputation by wearing the reputation tabard and grinding heroic dungeons. Blizzard’s reason for removing this as an option calls back to their “we want the players in the game world” philosophy. They didn’t like people “just queueing for heroics and standing around the main city.” Oh, you didn’t like that Blizzard? Well too bad, your players did. They claim it “wasn’t good for the long term health of the game.” I am far from a Blizzard-hater, in fact I have loved every single product they have released (up to a point), but the more I read about their game design logic, and more importantly read their actual reasoning and excuses for the decisions they make, the more I think they are just kind of stubborn and want to do things their way, like it or not. I respect the hell out of Blizzard and hold them in the top echelon of game developers with the likes of Valve, but I disagree with a lot of their decision making. A lot of this stems from their recent transparency in game design (via developer blogs and twitter), so I’m not sure whether I should applaud them or tell them to stop giving people ammunition to use against them. Look at me; this topic sucks me into ranting. Hell, it’s how this entire post was spawned — I was ranting to a friend on Facebook about this very topic.
The point I’m trying to make is that all of this combined with my play-style and the facets of WoW I enjoy, leads me to and end-game where I am forced to do dailies, every time I log on, for at least two weeks. I hate dailies. I may be alone in this, but I suffer through the “quest grind” of theme-park MMORPGs so that I can get to the level cap and finally be free of it, not so I can unlock an entire new type of quest-grind! I’m not saying quests as a mechanic are bad, but the way WoW handles quests is dated and boring. Sometimes I miss the simpler days of MMORPGs where “leveling” meant finding the best spot to farm mobs for your level range and just grinding for an hour or two.
Blizzard has recently come out and said that there will be a way to gain reputation via heroics and tabard-wearing as a “once a day” thing. But, unless they tweak the numbers so much that one of those a day will net you as much as doing every daily quest in a single reputation quest hub, I’m not even going to bother. It’s like if they decided to limit daily quests to one or two a day. No thanks. If it’s not equal, it’s not a viable option, and you’re still forcing players to “go out into the game world.” So, yeah, I think I’m done with WoW until they give people a real, viable option to the “rep grind” that doesn’t involve a explanation marks and question marks over NPC heads.
My short-lived rampant addiction to The Secret World faded after about a week or two. I definitely got enough out of it to warrant the price of the game and the first “free month,” so I’m not bitter about it, but I can definitely say I’m shocked my desire to log in came to such a screeching halt. I think I logged about 40 hours in just the first few days of having it, so when I, all of a sudden, stopped logging on it was peculiar, to say the least. I think the first thing that might have put a dent in my momentum was the fact that I rerolled away from my first character and server, in order to be able to play with a friend of mine who I had convinced enough to buy the game. I won’t lie, I was kind of looking for more excuses to reroll my character, because I was unhappy with how his face turned out (little things like that nag the hell out of me in games) and I was already thinking about trying out a more offensive/dps build, as opposed to my purely survival-focused blade/chaos tank. Besides rerolling, the Steam sale didn’t help the cause at all, as that reminded me that I have a gigantic Steam library that doesn’t get enough of my attention. Before I knew it I had forgotten about my Templar comrades and I can pretty much say I’ve moved on. For now at least. I can definitely see myself coming back to TSW if Funcom sticks to their promises of monthly content patches. There was a lot I loved about TSW and I still truly believe it’s one of the gems of MMORPG launches in the post-WoW age of MMORPGs.
So here I find myself with a dozen-or-so freshly installed Steam games, looking for an MMORPG I can log into when I want that “lose myself for a few hours with a podcast playing in the background” type of game. I tried hopping into Rift since they reactivated old accounts for the weekend, but it wasn’t seeming to grab my attention. Maybe when the expansion’s launch is a bit closer? After Rift, my mind wandered to Final Fantasy XIV (probably due to the recent ‘A Realm Reborn’ 2.0 news), Star Wars: The Old Republic, and World of Warcraft.
My deal with FFXIV is that I feel like I’m still just better off waiting for the glorified 2.0 patch to go live. I already picked up the game for ~$10 a few months ago, so I’ll be able to side-step the inevitable price increase that comes with the relaunch and version 2.0. The FFXIV I tried a few months ago, while definitely improved, was still too much like the FFXIV I played back in the beta. I’m afraid this would still be the case if I reactivated any time before 2.0
SWTOR and WoW are kind of pulling the same strings for me when I try to analyze why I am getting an itch for both of them. Both have similar theme-park experiences, class mechanics, and talent-tree layouts. Both (now) have an automated “LFG” system. Both have similar end-game experiences of either “PVP or PVE” being the baseline options. What SWTOR has going for it that WoW doesn’t is that more of it is fresh to me. The idea of starting from scratch with the Reddit guild is really appealing to me. When I try to think of what I would jump into in WoW, it all kind of starts out hazy and then goes downhill when I think about server transfer and faction change fees — all due to the fact that I just don’t know if I want to stick to my level 85 Death Knight who is a recent Horde-faction-change-victim or if I want to go back to my home of Alliance, that just feels more natural and normal to me.
Besides these heavy hitters like SWTOR and WoW, I feel like I’m somehow overlooking an MMORPG that could hit the spot just as well as these. Lord of the Rings Online? It’s never really lasted long for me in the past, and with an expansion launch on the horizon that’s just an added cost, so an added barrier of entry. Guild Wars 2 launches in less than a month, but the client’s lack of optimization throughout the beta weekends has really turned me off, and besides that, I need something now, not a month from now. Planetside 2 beta is said to start in just a few days, but how do I know I’ll be in the first wave of invites? I’ve played a bit of it during the tech test (thanks to a lucky friend of mine who got in) and that engine could use some optimization too. I’ve thought about hopping back into Diablo 3, but having done all four acts, three to four times each speaks for itself. I’m tired of repeating content in that game for such little reward. What the hell, it’s not an MMORPG anyways.
Working this all out in my head as I’m typing this post has actually helped a lot, and I’m honestly leaning towards SWTOR at this point. Rerolling a Jedi or Smuggler could be fun, and I feel like I can fill my head with a “to-do list” in SWTOR way easier (and cheaper) as opposed to WoW. After all, setting goals (both big and small) in an MMORPG is what keeps me playing them. What’s an MMORPG without a carrot-on-a-stick?
Blizzard has just released the World of Warcraft Mobile Armory iPhone app. Mark this up as more proof of why the app store is 90% of the reason to even own an iPhone in my opinion.
With the WoW Mobile Armory you can do pretty much everything you can do on the official WoW Armory website:
- Search for and view any character, item, guild, or Arena team in World of Warcraft.
- Access your in-game calander of events.
- View achievement-point leaderboards.
- Plan out talent specs using the fully functional talent calculator.
- And much more!
To view a nifty video presentation of the app in action, screenshots, and even a download link, just head to the official WoW Mobile Armory page. How much is the WoW Mobile Armory you ask? How about free!
I woke up to the discovery that Darkfall has finally moved into the 21st century with a legit looking website and news that the North American launch is schedule for July 13th. I normally wouldn’t give this any coverage because I was utterly disappointed with the European launch of DF, but the first “free expansion” is coinciding with the North American launch and it looks like it is a pretty expansive update.
In the same sub-genre of “sandbox, classless, hardcore” MMORPGs, Mortal Online pre-orders are finally going to be begin this week.
The Mortal Online shop will open on Monday 13th of July 20:00 GMT+1
We have separated the initial shop page from the Mortal Online main site for better performance. On Monday you can go directly to the shop on www.account.mortalonline.com should the main site be slow or unresponsive. Save the link and keep it in handy.
On Monday before the shop opens we will post more information about the first beta phase as well as the current system requirements for Mortal Online.
Hope to see you on Monday!
If Darkfall‘s sales and shop traffic around pre-order and launch are a gauge of the internet’s interest in this niche of MMORPG, then expect Monday’s pre-order allocation to sell out easily within an hour and the site to hammered with traffic, causing page time-outs and frustration. I probably won’t be able to be there amongst the others F5’ing, but I do want to get in on the Mortal Online beta at some point, and pre-ordering looks like the only guaranteed way to reserve a spot so far.
And as the post title implies, I’ve been sick all week with some sort of cold/fever deal. I’ve actually been so achy, sore, and stuffy-headed that I haven’t felt like playing anything besides when I can lean back in my chair with a blanket over me, pop a cough drop, take some NyQuil, and play some World of Warcraft until the drowsiness starts kicking in and summons me to sleep.
I’ve been trying my damnedest to find a way to enjoy WoW the last few months, mainly because it’s the only MMORPG my friend is willing to play (yep, it was his first). Yeterday I decided to hop on my 67 Death Knight, Crypticill, and see if I could bump him to 68 quick enough and jump into the Northrend content. Success, as I played for a good 8 hours at least on my day off yesterday and then another few hours this morning before class, achieving levels 67-71. Only time will tell if he has rejuvenated my interest in WoW.
And check out this mechano-gnome, coolest NPC I’ve ever had to smack down in any game. Ever.
Haven’t had too much time to jump into any MMOs the last week or so, besides some Lineage 2 here and some World of Warcraft there. I’m still facing the dilemma in WoW where I can’t pick a damn character to stick with even having pretty much one of every class, most above level 30. Lineage 2 is fine and I usually have fun when I find a time to play. I hammer out a quick “kama” and try to find a spot to grind in, but I usually have time constraints and find myself having to log off by the time I get out to a grind spot and start to get in a flow.
My “real life distractions” have just been normal blips like car problems (needing an oil change and new tires badly), school (9 A.M. class doesn’t agree with late night gaming sessions, my usual habit), and monetary issues (needing to work more). Oh, the life of a college student struggling with student bills and keeping a roof over my head and food on the table. But, wait, this has nothing to do with gaming or massively multiplayer online roleplaying!?
Hey, look – I got a haircut.
This picture pretty much sums up both how I feel about World of Warcraft now (after about five years of playing on and off) and also how I spend my time playing it. It’s actually less “playing,” and more just trying to get back into it. I still feel like the “good old days” of WoW for me were when I was raiding stuff like Molten Core and Zul’Gurub on my Druid in “vanilla” WoW. In The Burning Crusade era, I eventually had a 70 Shaman who I did some minor raiding with (Karazhan), but I was bored of him after only a month or so of end-game. Since then, I just haven’t had that fire for WoW as I once did before. I’ll reactivate every couple months, but never get a character into end-game and never really feel that spark I once felt. The result is the character select screen pictured above, and that’s only one server. I have a handful of other mid-level alts on other servers as well.
Is it that I’ve overplayed the “old world” content too much? Is it just WoW burnout that’s inevitable after 5 years? I’m not really sure. My latest endeavor has been my Night Elf Druid that I took from level 1-43 in a matter of two days, but he’s really just been a last-ditch effort and a somewhat entertaining time-sink for me.
The MMO-fiend inside me loves following the WoW news and keeping up-to-date on all the happenings in the community and end-game, but it seems like I enjoy these accessory things more than the actual game at this point. So, WoW, I fear I will not be reactivating you when my subscription runs out later this month. It’s been fun, and I’m sure you’ll lure me back in a few months time, but for now it’s au revoir.