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MMOs: Why WoD was a 3-monther for me

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Ouch, that's a steep drop

Ouch, that’s a steep drop

I briefly touched on why I am not playing WoW at the moment. When I purchased the expansion and started playing WoD, I expected it to be similar to MoP, which I played from its launch day in September 2012 pretty much consistently until late December 2013 when Siege of Orgrimmar and general fatigue set in for me. That’s a decent run. WoD on the other hand I played from November until late February, early March. Three months. I have to say, I wasn’t surprised when I heard about the steep decline, losing nearly 3 million players. Now, I am certainly not saying that I am the typical WoW player, but I can at least explain why I left.

WoD’s leveling experience is probably one of the most refined and enjoyable experiences out there. I enjoyed most zones (I ultimately didn’t care for Nagrand much) and thought WoD made it easy to have your character feel involved. That was until I experienced the Garrosh finale, which was disappointing, to say the least. Effin’ green Jesus. Now that I have played FFXIV where your character is the shining superstar, no question, WoW’s approach to have you be the underling to NPCs who will always inevitably be greater than your character seems a bit grating. So, for what it’s worth, the 6.0 content was quite stellar. My shameful secret: I patched 6.1 but didn’t once login to play it. Not a single thing in the patch notes had me excited in any shape or form. Not a single thing.

I am not playing WoW anymore because WoD’s approach to endgame failed to appeal to me in the long run. Leveling alts is a chore because of the garrison. Focusing on a main and not having alts has me ending up twiddling my thumbs. My average WoW playing day turned out to be: log in Kadomi, my warrior who sadly didn’t work out as main. Do garrison stuff. Log in Yatalai, my MOP main. Do garrison stuff. Go farm traps in Nagrand for Savage Bloods to pimp my main. Log in Yacoran, my WoD main. Do garrison stuff. Do the weekly campaign quests. Look at the apexis crystal gear, roll my eyes in disdain. Half-heartedly farm legacy raids for transmog gear. Btw, farming legacy content for transmog and mounts is not my idea of brilliant content. Two nights a week get excited about being able to raid with the guild. Once a week deal with the pain that is LFR. Done.

5-mans are a joke. Not because they are faceroll easy, but because aside from achievement runs they offer ZERO incentive to run them. They’re entirely obsolete as a step in the gear treadmill, and they’re not enjoyable enough to be happy to run them with strangers for the fun of it. Hell no. Have you ever done Grimrail Depot as healer with a group that had no idea how mechanics worked nor cared? Have you ever been forced to wall-jump in the Everbloom to skip trash because that’s all everyone wanted to do?

I do miss my shiny cow. Holy paladins are my favorite healers since TBC days.

I do miss my shiny cow. Holy paladins are my favorite healers since TBC days.

Pike, who is back to WoW blogging (read her blog, her posts are so enjoyable and make me wish I enjoyed WoD as much as she does without lecturing others about it), wrote a post that reverberated with me, about lack of goals to chase. My only huge exploration was to achieve the Ahead of the Curve cheese for the first raid tier. Yet I didn’t have the patience to stick with it. Apologies to my guild. It’s not because I didn’t enjoy the WoD raiding. I thought Highmaul was fun. It had a nice difficulty curve culminating in Imperator Mar’gok, one of my favorite fights ever to heal through. I love mechanics-based encounters and Imperator certainly was. I got to kill a couple heroic bosses in Highmaul too, and overall really enjoyed my time as a healer. Not so much as a melee DPS, I’ll tell you that. But if all you have left that’s enjoyable in the game are 5-6 hours of raiding and the rest makes you loath yourself for wasting your time idling in your garrison when you could be doing so much else that’s fun (watch Netflix, play other games, read a book or even the newspaper), that’s not time and money well-spent.

I killed Gruul in BRF, and none of the other bosses. It didn’t feel as fun as a zone to me as Highmaul was. Maybe that was just me.

When I stopped playing WoW, I didn’t mean for it to be a permanent break. I wanted to be back for more content. Quality content. Just a short break until 6.2 brings the goods. I changed my mind however. Let me quote the sentence that settled it for me from Wowhead’s 6.2 guide to Tanaan Jungle: Tanaan Jungle, an improved version of the Timeless Isle, is filled with quirky treasures and rare spawns that drop toys and gear. No. Just no. I realize this is not my first farewell to WoW post. The last time I whined and bitched about why I was done with WoW in 5.4, I stated that I cannot stand Timeless Isle. Never has a concept bombed as much for me as it has on that blasted isle. I realize that WoD is full of Timeless Isle content. All the treasures and rares, it’s Timeless Isle all over again. But while leveling, and even later, it’s optional. It’s not all there is. It’s not compelling content. Within a short amount of time, you will have a Handy Notes update that will lead you to all treasures and rares. There is no more true exploration in WoW. I mean, there’s probably going to be a vendor eventually to buy a Tanaan Jungle treasure map from, for those who frown upon addons. From what I hear there’s another story campaign, so yay, one interesting quest a week. Really? Other than that, it’s grinding mobs to get more apexis crystals and a currency to do missions? Plus improved Timeless Isle style content. YAY! Except not for this girl.

Now you are just bitter and mean, Kadomi, some might say. I will say, kudos to you who are still enjoying WoW. It’s good that you still dig it. Surely, 7.1 million people still seem to do that, that’s a lot of people. Just don’t begrudge people who are not having fun with the streamlined, bloodless world that is Draenor, once the nostalgia wrapper is peeled off. This Reddit post lists several other great reasons why I am not enthralled with WoD.

If you are interested in reading more takes on the subscription drop, the outstanding Rohan is always a good read, and so is Azuriel. I never thought he’d go back to WoW.

Which leads me to a final point I want to make. We don’t know when the next expansion will drop. Knowing Blizzard, they will hype everyone up for it at the next Blizzcon, making it the biggest brainwashing cult hype train in the world people actually pay money for. People will be so pumped for it, they’ll happily cash out another year until the next expansion launches. In the meantime, Blizzard always comes up with a fancy trick to keep people paying for game. I really resent that. I probably shouldn’t, but it feels like playing dirty with loyal customers, offering very little at high gain for themselves. First, it was the Annual Pass, tiding people over from the Cataclysm BlizzCon until MoP launched. It kept people distracted with a mount and free D3, and I had TONS of friends who went for it. Between MoP and WoD, they dangled the carrot with the pre-order offer of the boosted character. Again, I know tons of people who immediately went for the pre-order for the character boost and then stuck with it. Why? I really don’t know. I pre-ordered about 2 weeks before WoD for the boost as well, but at least I didn’t raid Siege of Orgrimmar for a year. The dangling carrot from WoD to whatever’s next for now seems to be the WoW token. I have enough gold to buy like 12-15 tokens, and I still might pick up some, for later use. But why, really? If the final patch is already in sight with 6.2, and no other plans have been revealed, I’ll pass.

I really feel when it comes to content cycles, Blizzard should really take heed of what Square Enix are doing with FFXIV.

I will say, those three months, WoD? They were quite fine. You were a fantastic three-monther. Nothing more, nothing less.

7 Comments

  1. The only thing I don’t understand about your post is why all the things you don’t like about the game prevent you from doing the one thing you seemed to enjoy, raiding. You mention 6 hours a week of raiding were enjoyable, so why not just stick to that? Then with the rest of the hours in your day you can just do other things that you enjoy more than garrison chores.

    • That’s a good question. When I quit, I didn’t have time to raid at all, due to the accident of my SO who is still not on her feet again. Now I am two months behind the gear curve, and have gotten used to having those two nights to whatever I want to do. Sure, sometimes I miss it. But ultimately not enough that I regret not subscribing anymore. How about you, you still going strong?

      • Definitely makes sense to put important real life problems over raiding. I hope your SO gets well soon.

        I’m still playing although I do very little outside of raiding. And some of that stuff outside raiding is actually more raiding (raid achievement night with guild managed Highmaul in one night, but BRF we’ve burned 2 nights on and still haven’t finished). Have a 5 man achievement night coming up as well. We only kill a new boss every other week or so, but the progress is enough to keep up people’s spirits.

        Can you elaborate a little on what FF14 does that Blizz should copy with content? I played FF14 for a little while, but I couldn’t stick with it because the combat just felt so slow. Wildstar combat has probably spoiled me forever.

        • You should go check out FFXIV’s (major) patch notes and release dates. Or, watch the videos for each major patch – it will be easier to explain…

        • What Dan mentioned, but I am also coming with a link. FFXIV patches every month. Some content patches are bigger than others, and they are diverse, adding something for everyone. They are proving that you can actually have faster content turnover. All we have from Blizzard are empty words that they want to release content faster, then never do.

          FFXIV content is very slow, and fairly dull, at least in my very limited experience. But it’s a slower game in general and I fall down the crafting rabbithole quite a bit.

  2. Five mans were my biggest daily draw in the past. Without any reason for them, waiting around for raid nights seemed like a waste of time and money. Good post!

  3. Firstly, thank you very much for the shout-out! I am glad that a few people still enjoy reading my blog.

    Secondly, this was a very good and well-thought out post. I’m sorry to hear that you aren’t having much fun with this expac. Even though I am still having fun with it personally, I do definitely think it has some flaws. I hope that you find the fun you seek in other games 🙂

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