Getting up to speed Part V
In response to Getting up to speed, part I, 5000! wrote:
Every time I read one of these kinds of things it makes me want to stop playing. I’m never going to have the time to play at that level!
I can certainly see where this is coming from. What follows is an exploration of the first couple of weeks of being 60.
While I have enjoyed the, as friends have described it, whirlwind tour of end-game instances, I’ve stalled on Blackrock Depths and Zul’Gurub. There are still a bunch of instances I haven’t been in, and I will enjoy seeing the new content. However, a couple of things have happened that has caused an unfortunate level of boredom;
- BRD is specifically designed to force you to return four or five times, minimum. Which, stupidly, I’ve done without doing anything new in-between.
- The raiding group I’m with appears more interested in something described as “farming status” than exploration and socialisation.
The thing I find most appealing about World of Warcraft is playing with my friends. A close second is exploration of the world. The thing I find least appealing is grinding the same content in the hopes of equipment upgrades to progress one’s character. Now, I’m not judging this in any objective way. In fact, I’m specifically using the “How much fun did Chris have?” scale. But grinding trivial, yet time consuming, trash mobs just in order to perfect the same boss battles each week is not my idea of fun. With friends on the other end of the chat channels and TeamSpeak it’s close, but something is lacking. When I helped take Ragnaros down, I felt very little sense of accomplishment. Similarly, taking down the first three bosses of Zul’Gurub for the first time, while interesting, was hardly euphoric. Taking two of them down again this week left me with little sense of accomplishment. It could have been that I don’t really feel like I’m helping. I’m assured I am, but how helpful is mashing maybe half a dozen buttons if everything’s going well or maybe a dozen if things go badly? It could be that I had put a lot of work into my character, which was now laying down a lot more healing a lot more efficiently and we didn’t do as well as the week before. It could be that I felt like “we killed these guys last week, can’t we move on?” Or it could be that boss encounters are like Pacman: You just keep dying until you learn the pattern.
It’s not unusual for me to wonder if it’s worth continuing with WoW every so often. I’ve only reached the end of a 60-day pre-paid card once without planning the break I intended to take. I know there’s heaps of content I’ve never seen, but the amount of time required for prep and then the size of the blocks of time where I have to basically ignore the real world while I work in a group — at least for raiding — is fairly disruptive to one’s life.
Now, I fully expect comments along the nature of me being too picky, or not yet knowing how to play endgame stuff, or whatever copy ‘n paste sentiment has recently replaced “whaaambulance”, but for recreational activities I always apply my very simple test of “How much fun did Chris have?” and for the last major encounter, even while we were being successful, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I do just chatting with friends outside of a game, or watching a few episodes of Buffy.
As it happens, I’m nearing the end of a 60 day card now. Over the last few days I’ve been trying to decide if I want to hold off until the expansion, or just take a few weeks break and come back. I think what I need to do is steer clear of BRD and ZG for a bit and aim for exploring some new content before the game feels too much more of a grind.
Or maybe I just need to get more sleep.