Thursday, February 10, 2011

Du Hast mich, Du Hasst mich



We are all limited to some degree by our likes & dislikes. After all, if you dislike coconut, it's pretty much standard that you will avoid it. And if you love chocolate, well, we know where that leads.

But there are more complicated emotive situations... such as my current state with WoW. I really truly love(d?) the game. And I hate it.

If you're reading this, then I'm sure you know exactly what I mean, and know exactly how I feel, at least to some degree. The myriad variations of fun to be had... playing the auction house, levelling, raiding and blogging, are all part and parcel of the enjoyment. They also compliment my always evolving and moving obsessions.

One week (or month) I'd be playing the AH like a fiend, the next it's farming rep to get that next mount or achievement followed by a run at the Lich King.

But, at the core of my enjoyment was a foundation of relative stability: Balth the Ret Paladin/quasi tank. The gear might change, the slight tweaks to character balance with nerfs & buffs may buffet him slightly, but at his core he was who he was. For 18 months he was the window through which I viewed Azeroth and the "Waldo" with which I interacted there.

Even still , I was getting a bit tired, though the coming Cataclysm promised new vistas and challenges. But there was this small, niggling issue that had been creeping up along with Cata: the class restructuring.

As the paucity of my writing may indicate, that change proved fatal to my enjoyment of the game.

Many folks play WoW for the challenge, the evolving hurdles that appear and dispatch them with extreme prejudice. The revamp of their toons was just another challenge, on the boulevard of beat downs. For me, however, the game is a place of escape and relaxation, with challenge thrown in as a bit of spice, not the main course. The class changes, however, felt like being yanked from the comfort & knowledge of the university/adult life, and being dropkicked back to the crazy insecurity of middle school.

Sadly, Balth and the class of Ret Paladin as they existed through patch 3.3.xxx was the game and class I enjoyed playing, and the way I enjoyed playing it. Holy power stacking? Not so much.
But still, my enjoyment of the WOW universe, and the peoples that inhabit the blogosphere in particular, is a place of enjoyment, camaraderie and comfort as well.

Except that it too is changing, though not all to the bad. I do wonder though... is there a net (double meaning intended) migration out of WoW, by the more established playerbase? I'm not sure, but I definitely hear some unhappy rumblings from many sides, and Cata seems to be part of that.

Is this just another ripple in the biorhythm technorhythm of a game moving through the stages of a new expansion? The Burning Crusade hit Azeroth long before I arrived, and the ascendance of the Lich King occurred when I wasn't really aware (or playing much) so I don't recall that either.

Or has the game essentially reached its zenith, and now progresses towards it nadir, as one new blogger (but long time WoWer) seems to think roguegogo.

What's the lifespan for a mature, advanced MMORPG? Are MMORPG years like dog years? If so, then at seven years old, the upcoming trip to the "netrinarian" for a tearfilled euthanasia is not that far off. But if WoW lives in cat years, well, then there's another decade of enjoyment left, and it's only now entering it's more sedate, mature phase.

I'll sit by, peeking in occasionally, though my focus will likely be in Rift, as I mentioned the other day... I'm interested to see where the road will take WoW. Balth is still there, sleeping somewhere in Dalaran, and Ignomeminy is sulking in Ironforge, waiting to lace the ground with fire, so I may yet ake them out to stretch their legs. But the biggest truism of life even holds true in the life virtual: you can never really go back... it's never quite the same.

In the mean time, this place will likely be filled with the musing and teethgnashing of me trying and learning the ropes of Rift.

8 comments:

  1. You might like to try unholy DK dps before you permanently deactive the account -- I've not done very much, but it has a very old-ret feel to it, IMO -- there's almost always a button to push, and it's very "fast" in the way that new ret (particularly post-4.0.6) isn't.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey!!!! Glad you stopped by!

    I'll have to give the UH DK a shot. I have hardly done anything on a DK, and I do miss the Ret "feel".

    My friend (at roguegogo) is trying to keep me involved in WoW, so we shall see.

    At the least, I don't see me deleting Balth & co, simply because of all the blood, sweat & tears that went into getting him where he is. I'd be more likely to give him away to someone that wants to play. Destroying him/them would just hurt too much.

    That, and my subscription is renewd for 4-6 months (I lost track) so they're not going anywhere...

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