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.

4 Comments so far

  1. Alex (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 12:26 am

    My English isn’t the best, so don’t blame me! ; )

    I’m in the same situation. Reached LvL60 some weeks ago and I really don’t see a chance to take as much time to make a big raid. I try on weekends, but till now, I only did UBRS with ten people.
    I have 4 out of 8 pieces of my first dungeon set and every time I try to get another piece, something different drops.
    Frustrating is the right word.

    I’m really looking forward to spend some time getting LvL70, when they release BC.

    For the moment I think starting with a all new charakter could help me ; )
    Maybe a shaman…
    My mage is very cool. Especially since I spend some time to find the right skilling, etc. But I don’t see a fluid gameplay. Always waitng to get into a group, praying not to die all the time. . .

    BUT I love the game.

  2. Donald (AKA Dreadmoon) (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 10:51 am

    Just a couple of thougths:

    1) The way the game is designed, when you reach 60 there is not many new areas to explore nor possibilities to keep levelling up. This will change with the BC but the same principle will apply to level 70.

    2) Because of 1, most people tend to start gearing up, as that seems to be the new challenge/ objective. Dungeon Set 1, 2, Tier 1,2 and 3. Obviously, each piece of these sets requires repetition, just because is:

    a) a random drop on a certain instance boss
    b) those bosses can not be soloed.

    I imagine that all these going to the same place over and over again may become tedious, but except for PvP there aren’t amny other venues for level 60s at this moment.

    Final note, I am currently level 51, what I am looking forward at 60 is using the getting gear excuse to play with friends, even if its always the same instance/ ;-)

  3. Marshall (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 11:06 am

    Maybe what you need is a better guild.

    I see lots of posts about the endgame from people, and have had friends tell me about their endgame experiences with raiding guilds, and if I had to put up with some of the boring/annoying/melodramatic shit they had to put up with, I would have probably quit at 60, or rerolled.

    But my guild rocks. It’s sort of a hybrid between casual and hardcore, in that we have scheduled raids every week but there’s no mandatory attendance rules. You sign up if you want to go, or not. People are always willing to help you with quests, getting your keys, whatever, even without the potential for phat lewt for themselves. Despite the lack of compulsory attendance, we never have problems filling raids.

    From what I can tell, the guild you’re in will determine your enjoyment of the endgame more than anything else. If you’re in a guild where they force you to raid once a week, where they have some DKP system which means only people who devote their lives to raiding get all the loot, and where your guild leader yells at you in raids, you are not gonna enjoy being a 60. Find a new guild if this is the case.

  4. Michael Sullivan (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 3:07 pm

    You’d think with 12 authors, this blog wouldn’t go a day without at least one post.

    Some of the authors haven’t posted in weeks.

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