I have played for 5 1/2 years, no where near as long as many, and yet still longer than some. I use to be anxious to get home and eat dinner so I could log in to WoW for a few hours, go explore some new area, work on things and enjoy the game. Somewhere along the journey that magic disappeared. I don’t know if it is the push and focus on get to max level as fast as you can, here, have a free boost to 90 so you are almost there. Still want to do it the old way? OK, well we reduced the XP required to get to the end.
In that I think WoW has failed, at least me. The pure focus on getting the the end, to get you into the raids as fast as possible has been lost on me. While I have always jumped in to help others when I could, I have never really been one to seek out help to do things. If I cannot do it right then, I would go on to other things and come back a bit later, better geared, higher level, and tackle it myself. I always enjoyed going back to older dungeons to explore around the passages and hallways that were always skipped as we power cleared the dungeon or raid. If an artist took the time to detail things down a hallway, and it was put into the game, surely there must be a reason for it to be there. Doing so has found me a few rare recipes I would have never found, has seen some fantastic Blue gear that at the appropriate level would have been huge to have. It has also just lead me down empty halls with nothing there.
For the first 2-3 years of playing there was so much wonder in the world to see, and we were encouraged to go out and see it. But then things became more streamlined, more focus on go here, do this, proceed to next area. The exploration aspect was removed. Yeah there were quite a few bottlenecks prior, areas where you would be lost trying to figure out where to head for the next quest. But taking some time on my second Alt that has been sitting alone in the earliest part of the garrison has shown me some of that old WoW. I just want to unlock the initial profession buildings. This alt has never been one I play, just my Inscriptionist, he has been collecting resources and doing daily research for quite awhile, but has not gotten the level 1 Inscription building. So I looked up on WoWhead where I needed to go, vaguely remembered the area, and waded in, only to become hopelessly lost. This did not look the same. Oh yeah that’s right it was phased progression, I have to do some things here. It took some time to wade through Ogres but I finally unlocked the hub, and tried to move on, until I hit one guy I had to kill and proceeded to die many times. Why is it tougher this time? Oh that’s right I was not alone before, there were dozens in the zone before. Now it is empty. So after some time I went back to the Garrison and logged for the night.
I think in some respect WoW is failing me in its push to get me to the end, get into raiding, raiding is fun, you should do it, a lot. But it isn’t for me any more. My focus is changing, and that is not WoW’s fault. It is me. I no longer want to rush to get to the end, I want to go back to that old player that first stepped into the game and wanted to explore it all.