What’s Up?

Have you noticed a general slowing down across the blogosphere?  Well, you’re not wrong in noticing it.  From extremely well known blogs closing shop entirely (Righteous Orbs, you will be missed) to a general lack of posts across the others, it’s there.  Larissa touches upon this issue, responding to something at The Noisy Rogue… essentially, it’s there, it’s slow, it’s quiet.

Saga started a new “20 days” blogging theme and links to a 8 other blogs following in her footsteps with the same posting program.  And that’s nice, but it’s not really WoW blogging like I’m looking for.  I mean, I still read them and comment some, get ideas from others, etc… but a posting schedule about why we blog, how we found wow, etc, is making us lean towards the social blogging scene more than the WoW blogging scene.  I hope I’m making sense with this and not butchering my thoughts and offending anyone accidentally…  that’s the last thing I’m trying to do here. 

Why? Why is this happening now?  We’ve just hit the first big patch of the expansion, the hardcore guilds clearing all content on heroic are extremely rare, most guilds are progressing nicely and at their own pace and seeing later bosses, and the very casual players are nearing or hitting 85 (I use my sister as a yardstick for the progress of casual players).  Our e-world is very exciting and deeply involved, so why the slow down among bloggers?

Adam (the noisy rogue linked above), states “A great many players who inhabit the blogging world are disillusioned.”  I don’t know if he means the bloggers are disillusioned with blogging or the players behind the blogs are disillusioned with the game and don’t want to blog.  That the writers are disillusioned would be nonsensical – what are they upset with?  Page views? Comments? No, makes no sense – so he must be implying that the players are tired.

For players to be tired, it must mean that somehow the current 80-85 content has grown stale and that it has very little value a second time around.

 

Grown Stale

There is no reasonable way to discuss a game growing stale when it has over 10 million players.  What is boring to me is exciting to you, what is extremely fun for me is ridiculously monotonous to you, etc…

That being said, let’s look at some dates and facts:

WOTLK:

  • November 13, 2008 – Wrath of the Lich King released, 10 levels of content, new continent, 10 new zones, 9 new dungeons, 18 raid bosses, 1 new battleground.
  • April 1, 2009 – Ulduar is released.

 

CATA:

  • December 7, 2010 – Cataclysm is released, 5 levels of content, 6 new zones, 7 new dungeons, 14 raid bosses, 2 new battlegrounds.
  • February 13, 2001 – time of this post, next content patch is not even predicted yet.

 

What we have is 4 and a half months between Wrath launch and the next content pack.  4 and a half months for players to gain 10 levels and explore 9 dungeons and kill 17 raid bosses.  Yes yes, I know, Naxx wasn’t new, but for all intents and purposes the bosses still dropped new loot.  And Strand of the Ancients was a –new- battleground, new concepts, new design.

We now have 2 months from Cataclysm release.  That’s about half the time of wrath-ulduar, and we’ve had about half the content to get done exploring/levelling wise.  So roughly the same time frame, and it would make sense there is some sense of boredom setting in.  The two new battlegrounds are simple re-skins of the old battlegrounds, so you can’t claim they’re entirely new.  I guess in a way the recycled battlegrounds in Cata balance out the recycled Naxx from wrath.  Also, Sinestra is part of the 14 new bosses but it’s fairly certain 99.99999% of us won’t see her.

Is it time for new content?  Raid-wise, definitely not.  From every other angle but the raiding one, definitely.  I know 2 months isn’t an awfully long time and Blizzard probably hopes players can squeeze out a little more from an expansion, but they gave us 5 levels and 6 zones, c’mon, we devoured that in a week.

 

Is it playable again?

The above silly dates and numbers would not be so bad if Cataclysm had any kind of replay.. umm… ok, I don’t want to use the word “replayability”, so let’s say “second wind”.  Or let’s just ask the question, “is Cataclysm exciting on an alt?”

There was a lot of talk about the new questing mechanics, the new cutscenes, the new ways to tell a story.  I loved it, myself.  Loved every moment of my questing.  I adored Uldum and the Twilight Highlands.  Hyjal had me salivating at all the pieces of lore being presented, Deepholm was gorgeous, and that water place was fun (beautiful but like, I don’t know, I don’t like swimming in-game, awesome stories in there and the ruins took my breath away for a moment but I rank it lowest out of the new zones).

So, quests? Great.

But I’ve been doing them on an alt, and, well, it’s boring.  It’s 100% the same path.  There are no multiple quest hubs, there are no multiple story lines, there is THE ONE.  If I try to deviate from THE ONE, I get nothing… in fact, I literally get nothing as I will usually find myself phased out of the world without completing THE ONE questline.

On Latus, on my main, that was excellent.  I wasn’t worried about missing something important because Blizzard was always there to remind me that, “hey, buddy, hey, psssss, hey hey hey! Hey, listen! There’s something weird behind that tree over there I think you should check it out!” OH LOOK A MYSTERIOUS BONE I SHOULD BRING IT BACK TO THE QUEST GI… wait, there’s a quest pop up right here, ok, cool!  I finished all the zones, all the quests, loved the stories.

On Panolviel or on Cowtch? Not so much.  I mindlessly plow through them on the path to 85 and simply hope to get there as soon as possible.  Why, though?  What am I running for?  Is there nothing exciting that I can be doing from 80 to 85 to enjoy the game?  Well, personally, no.  I’ve explored/seen/done everything on Latus, there is no alternate route I can take.  It is different from pre-Cata leveling where I could roll a new toon and not once do the same quest that Latus did and still hit level 60. (Badlands, I’m looking at you.  You’re still a mystery to me!”).  With that in mind, that there’s nothing new for an alt between 80-85, and without wanting to be sort of level 84 twink in battlegrounds, so it’s just a race to 85 to appease my desire for completion when looking at my alts.  It’s the same reason I got to 525 Archaeology. I NEED COMPLETION IN MY TOONS!

So, quests? Great… the first time around.

The achievements for completing a zone?  That’s what they are now, simply a sticker you get for having followed the trail of bread crumbs from one end of a zone to the next.  The low level zones are the same.  There is no more hunting for obscure quests, no more travel around the world trying to figure out where a quest line started that you haven’t completed… it’s just… there.

 

Simplicity

I guess that’s all part of Blizzard’s grand design.  Easy, easy, easy except for a few very hard things.  This isn’t bad, this isn’t good, it’s just the game design. And it works beautifully, look at their revenues.  They’ve decided to simplify the whole game and make it more of a one player game.  You don’t –need- anyone from 1 to 85 while questing.  You only need groups once you want gear from dungeons, but that gear isn’t relevant unless you plan on actually raiding or doing more dungeons.  So the very casual players who simply enjoy the game have the 1 to 85 experience to themselves, and the hardcore players who then crave gear have the 85 end-game experience.

That’s the reality of WoW as I see it now, and I can’t say if it’s good or bad, just that it isn’t what it was in previous versions of the game.

 

Why I don’t post that often anymore

I’m honestly just at a total blank of what to post.  I thought of joining Saga’s 20 days, but it’s really not my style.  Perhaps I’ll do some condensed version of it because I really like the concept. Hmm.  And, well, there’s nothing to write about that’s geared for Warlocks because just about every other site has covered it.  It’s not a complicated thing today.

The urge to write is definitely there, about the game, about game theories, about gameplay, about lore… it’s the execution that’s lacking once I sit down at the computer.  The words start trickling out of me and I catch myself after a few sentences and realize that a) it’s something stupid b) it makes no sense c) it’s irrelevant.

One thing is for sure though, the more I find myself with everything done in the game on a given day, the more I start writing drafts and putting down ideas on paper for future posts.  So who knows, maybe I’ll pick up again seeing as I do Tol Barad dailies and then have nothing left to do unless it’s raid night…

Anyhow, toodles. 

 

Fiery toodles, of course.  With a dash of death and suffering thrown in.  Like all good Warlocks.

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8 Responses to “What’s Up?”


  1. 1 Tania February 13, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Leveling from 80-85 on an alt was not exciting, but if boredom sets in they have really revamped so many quests from the old world that doing those (whether on yet another alt or a main for “Loremaster”) is a good waste of extra time, if you have it. I really want to make a new undead alt, for example, to see all the new Forsaken questlines, but I barely have time to raid. *shrug*

  2. 4 Zinn February 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I agree with you on the “20 days of…”. Although I love them, they’re as you say, more aimed toward the bloggosphere than WoW. I’m quite new to the bloggosphere so I haven’t noticed much of a slowing down though, don’t have much to compare with simply! But you made some good points, and I have noticed bloggers saying “yeah I’m not posting much because I don’t know what to write about”, so I guess you’re on to something.

    • 5 latusthegoat February 15, 2011 at 11:16 am

      It is also entirely possible there is no slowing down and I am merely carrying my temporary boredom of wow onto the blogs. Possible. 😥

      Also when you said new to blogging, I somehow didn’t think I would find 300+ posts to read!

  3. 6 Saga February 15, 2011 at 5:39 am

    I sometimes feel like I overplayed myself the first couple of weeks. Getting to 85, grinding the reputations and everything. Now I can’t even be bothered with the Tol Barad dailies, even though I would actually quite like the mounts.

    I’ve played some alts, but the 80-85 stuff really does get kind of boring after a couple of playthroughs 😉

    So for the time being I either play alts (boring or not), force myself to do dailies/HCs or I just PvP. Or look at the Auction House (now if only I could get good at that!)

    It feels like a lot of people don’t quite know what to write about because for the last few things you’re doing the same thing (I know I am) every day.

    • 7 latusthegoat February 15, 2011 at 11:05 am

      That is probably the best observation I’ve seen about the current lull: we are all doing the same things… For raiding, for completion, for whatever reason.

      On the plus side, actual roleplaying is becoming appealing. When the game temporarily loses its appeal but the world itself remains fun, just create your own game! Because while moderately bored with wow, I have lost none of the inexplicable joy I feel at simply seeing Azeroth, weird…

  4. 8 Cynwise March 9, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I found that a curious inversion happened over the past few months. Real life picked up, family got sick, there was a vacation to take, and my free time in general diminished. I didn’t have as much time for WoW as I did before, either playing or writing.

    The inversion is that, instead of blogging more about WoW than playing it (which I was doing before the Shattering), I’m now playing more than writing about it. I *like* what I’m seeing in game, but I’m like…. I have an hour tonight to kill, I’m going to log in and do some PvP, not write about it. I have to be pretty hot and bothered to write about something at this point, precisely because it’s taking time away from playing.

    It’s an odd time to be blogging about Warcraft, to be sure.


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