Where is the WoW I remember

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It hasn’t left.  It’s still there, and yet it’s not the same.  And maybe that is a good thing, or maybe it’s just good for the gamer’s of the future.

I think that anyone that has played for more than a few years can attest the game is not the same as it was many years ago when we all started playing.  They have streamlined leveling, reduced the time commitment to get to cap, to gear for what ever content interests you.  Have improved the looks, taken time to make the game playable to as many as possible.  Unlike PlayStation games you do not need to buy a new console every couple of years just to keep playing current games.

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And perhaps that is a part of it.  Although I was in my mid 40’s when I started playing WoW, I have grown up, my reaction times are slower, the amount of time I care to commit to playing a game has decreased, my eyesight is not what it was years ago.  And the game(s) continues to evolve.  To suit the desires of the players of the future, it is adapting, it is growing, becoming more competitive, no longer more about exploration, adventure, and discovery, it is now more competitive, more sports focused, more challenging.  And that is the future.  eSports is a thing, it will continue to pervade more and more of our culture and become as common as baseball or cricket.

I can either choose to continue to play what I can, or walk away.  I asked yesterday if anyone felt that they, being Blizzard, didn’t care about us, because we only play one game.  A lot of times I ask questions if there is something in my head, to see, Is it just me, or I may write a blog to put thoughts that are bothering me to paper.  Rather than let it stew in my head, nagging away, I will write it down, sometimes even go back and read it again for typos, or bad grammar.  But mostly, just to put the thoughts to paper.

The game is not the same as it was 6 years, going on 7 for me.  There have been a lot of changes, some worked out well for me, others end up causing me grief.  I know that I am not the type of player that they are focusing on.  I play 1 of all of their titles, I have no interest in Hearthstone, Starcraft, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, or even Diablo, though I spent a great deal of time years ago playing Diablo, when I picked it up as a bonus for the preorder of the next WoW expansion, I played it one evening, and then set it aside, and have not been back.  It was not the same game to me as it was years prior.

I have made an attempt at several games that have come down the road these past years.  None has had the draw for me that WoW has.  And I know that what I may find not appealing now, may change for the next expansion.  When I see people I follow on Twitter posting about all of the games they are involved in, games they are in Beta testing for, or even the Alpha testing for Legion, I look at myself, and wonder why am I not doing that too.  And then the adult in me yells and throws a temper tantrum about spending $60 on a game we may not like, when will we have the time to play, the grass has to be cut, the gardens weeded, the pool taken care of, an endless list of chores around the house, then there is work, demanding near 12 hours of my day from the time I wake up in the morning at 5am, to when I come home at 5pm or later.

There is plenty to do in WoW for me still, in fact, its a bit overwhelming at times.  Finish the Argent Tournament, finish Draenor fishing, finish all of the Draenor reps, Dungeon achievements going back to Cataclysm that award mounts, trying to get myself into raiding, somehow finding the time to just send out missions on 2 alt’s.  There are days it is overwhelming how much stuff they have added into the game to give everyone something to do.

The WoW I remember, the one when I first started and had no clue how to play, that I would rush home to eat dinner to log in and squeeze in 4-5 hours a night during the week, and even more on the weekends, is long gone for me now.  The direction it has taken if different than when I started, it may be subtle, but there is a difference.  And that’s ok.  It has to change, it needs to be better.  Is it frustrating seeing friends made year after year leaving?  Absolutely.  Of those I initially played with all those years ago, there are 3 left. Yes, I have made other friends through the years, and have lost as many again.  It is the reality of getting older.  Our lives change, our responsibilities change, our desires, what we feel is fun.

There may be some day in the future that I just look at the screen one day and decide that yes, this is the point where there is nothing compelling me to log in for.  Nothing that gives me a few hours of joy.  I’m not there yet, and I am sorry if some of these blog posts tend to have a negative aspect.  Mostly it’s me working things out in my head.  I am taking a Twitter break on Marathal, it is too easy to fall into the rabbit hole of negative thoughts when you start to feel that you are not anywhere close to being an equal to those you talk to daily, and that you are not worthy of interaction.  We all have times of self doubt, seeing others do so much more than ourselves can add to it.  I still like WoW, I just feel that the game has been designed now to go on hiatus after a certain time to allow you to play other games, and come back for the next.  I could be wrong.  Just how it feels.  It might help if they talked a bit more about what the next 5 months holds for us, but I suspect the movie is putting a cone of silence on a lot of stuff they would like to tell us.

So have a great weekend, enjoy some fresh air, WoW will be here next week, next month, when ever you want to come back.  And I will be here, probably sitting on the front stoop yelling at kids to get off my lawn, and recalling the old days when we had talent trees, and had to run everywhere, uphill both ways.

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2 thoughts on “Where is the WoW I remember

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, I can identify with a lot of points made. I do think that being part of the long time mostly happy/quieter WoW fans has meant that Blizzard doesn’t really need to cater for us (or started to think about it too late) as they will have had our sub anyhow. It did begin to feel to me as though there was a certain expectance for everyone to move to the Overwatch hypetrain to flll in the waiting time until Legion.
    I understand that we all grow and change, yet usually the lure of guildies/friends had always kept my interest even during dull frog grinding: even Pandaria we felt we were in it together.
    Not sure about you but World of Garrisons just felt more about segregation and singular players, which might have been good for some but I feel somewhere along the way, comradeship got pulled down with the ships too. Although this way of playing does seem to be good for the usual crowd who finish every expansion early anyhow and then trot back in time for the new expansion – only this time, i understand why.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ironically, if you look at the activity of some of the top WoW raiders, they are still raiding and playing every week (on Live, not just on the Alpha), despite having finished Mythic a year ago.
    So, if the game is trying to get these hardcore players to consume the content quickly and go play some other game instead, it isn’t working. As top raiders they still have content they wish to do. The rest of us– not so much.
    To some extent what you are describing is the old tension between the “world” of warcraft — crafting, leveling, exploring, loremaster — and endgame. Warlords has been called the “raid or die” expansion because, aside from its raiding endgame, it feels like all that remains are Garrisons. Combine that with the nerfing/gutting of LFR and you have a lot of casuals feeling like what they used to enjoy has been, like them, devalued.
    The professionalising of the game, its currently more competitive nature may be one cause of all these changes. Level fast, and get into instances/raids, preferably timed ones — and sprint sprint sprint until you are done.
    But, I’m also open to the possibility that some of this is the result of WoW’s having taken on people who used to make Diablo, a decent game, but one which is entirely instanced with no “world” to speak of. Since the backlash against “raid or die” and against Garrisons has been so strong, it is possible we could see a change in direction, back to what made the game fun for many.
    I don’t disagree that this has gotten mixed up with the suspicion that current WoW is catering to a self-styled “hardcore” which demanded the nerfing not only of LFR, but of all activities that slowed down the race-to-the-finish of endgame. I don’t know the answer myself. But I do know that it hasn’t worked. The real hardcore never cared if casuals could get purples from LFR and professions, or mounts from holiday achieves. They won’t be lost because all they care about is the quality of top-end raiding, which tends to be good. What we need to get back are all the non-raider friends we’ve all lost in an expansion that gave them nothing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

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