For a few months now, I have been wondering how to describe the feelings I have about World of Warcraft these days.
I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that I my feelings toward the game have changed. After all, my last post here was called “The Aion Experiment”.
I have been playing WoW since ‘vanilla’ – since the days of 40-man Molten Core. And I have loved it. Seriously loved it. What a totally immersive game (apparently, ‘immersive’ is not a word – which is a shame, let’s make it one). Not only have I played it as hardcore, casual, casual hardcore, and altaholic, but I have met brilliant people through it. My whole family has played. I have plushy murlocs sitting on my desk, I have Figureprints, and I have Pandarens.
But, like I said, in the past few months, since before Cataclysm’s release actually, I have started to feel … differently … about the game. Without being able to accurately define that difference.
This morning, I woke up knowing what it was:
With each expansion, the game has begun to feel smaller. The world of Azeroth actually feels smaller to me now than it did in Vanilla.
Counter-intuitive, huh? But not really. When I first started to play, there was soooooo much to learn and explore. And it took forever to level. And you had to work really hard to learn ‘everything’ there was to know about your class and professions. And when you had exhausted it in one class, you could try another.
Well, now, I feel like leveling is super-fast, the professions don’t give me anything when I level, and you fly through content at lightning speed. It does not feel like a game that could take you forever to master, but one that is merely a matter of weeks and a few very very quick levels to get to the ‘end’.
There are numerous reasons for this, and not all of them are Blizzard’s ‘fault’ or game design issues. Some of the reasons are simply the result of me having played for years and years. The fact that the game has kept my interest for this long alone is AMAZING. But some of it is game design. I really don’t think that with the release of Cataclysm they needed to speed up the leveling process to such an incredibly break-neck tempo. Nor do I think we needed zones that you fly through. I mean, I barely have time to pick herbs enough to level my skill as I level.
The World of Warcraft has, in effect, shrunk while expansions keep coming out.
Does this mean I now hate WoW and will cancel my account? No. Not yet. A 6-year relationship is not given up that easily. But it does mean that I am starting to learn to say ‘we might say goodbye’ and looking at other options.
I miss a game that I WANT to log into every day. I log into WoW on weekends mostly. Occasionally I will do a daily in the middle of the week, but not often.
So, I’m putting feelers out. I tried Aion and I tried FFXIV, but I came back to WoW both times.
I’m going to try Rift. It’s downloading right now.
But I have a feeling I will have to wait forever for Blizzard’s new top secret MMO to come out to really feel the immersion again. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe The Secret World will be good? Maybe Rift can do it? Maybe they can fix Final Fantasy?
I don’t know, but I’m ready and waiting and willing.
So, for now, as you’ve probably guessed, I won’t be updating this WoW blog much. I can still be found lots of places in the Meta. @strumpet101, www.strumpetslife.com, www.strumpetsvoice.com, www.flickr.com/photos/strumpet101 and a few other select places. You can check http://www.about.me/strumpet101 for most of them.
See you in Azeroth sometimes -because there are times when it still is a LOT of fun – and I will always love the World … of Warcraft.