I’m going to type this out, and then I’m going to look back on it, go “oh, how dreary…” and wonder why I didn’t write some dark poetry about the matter instead. I don’t intend to be so melodramatic, but the fact is that I feel I’ve been at this juncture many times before. Sure, the universe waxes and wanes; months or years pass; I’m on the wagon again, I’m off the wagon again. I don’t dislike World of Warcraft, or Blizzard, or generally most of what they’ve done with it, but like any long-term relationship, Azeroth and I are bound to hit some rough patches along the way.
That’s not to say that outside forces have not been actively intruding on our alone time, because they have — I’ve been working my day job a lot more than usual, while seeking to regain my social life several nights a week and dealing with lots of other more personal problems and stresses brought on by the rigors of just… well, trying to live. But that’s not the crux of it, and I’m not here to say that I feel my life is that much better for not spending a great deal of it plunked in front of my computer screen.
It’s more that I don’t feel that “alone time” is as interesting or valuable as it used to be. For all the content added in Cataclysm, I honestly find fewer and fewer aspects of the game that continue to appeal to me. Maybe that’s because so much of it has been streamlined — there’s a difference between increased convenience and catering to the lowest common denominator, a tightrope I feel Blizzard isn’t quite able to walk as well as it used to. With no challenge, no exploration, most content in a game (MMO or otherwise) is only fun the first time through by sheer virtue of its shiny newness.
This is the unfortunate downside of its current state: bulldoze through all the quests in a zone until you’re prompted to go the next one. There might be a lot of quests, but if you’ve done ‘em once, you’ve done ‘em a million times. I think the only entertainment I’ve ever really been able to squeeze out of leveling an alt is attempting to optimize my path to the level cap — how can I max out my XP bonus and what quests/activities will offer me the most experience in the least amount of time?
PvP? A big, fat meh. I enjoy competitive gaming to a degree, but I’ve never liked it enough in World of Warcraft for it to remain a selling point and my disappointment with the most recent additions to this side of the game is evident.
What else is there? Archaeology? Professions? Rare pet hunting (and, yes, I actually resorted to that for a couple of days recently, to no avail)? The one thing I hold any remaining interest in at the moment, raiding, is something I’ve been unable to do in at least a month. As much fun as a small, tight-knit guild can be, you’ve got to deal with the distinct possibility that losing just one key player completely destroys your setup. This person leaves, you can’t raid. You can’t raid, people lose morale, and even less start showing up. Eventually, you lose morale, too, and with it, all desire of playing World of Warcraft. Continue Reading