Tobold's Blog
Monday, October 27, 2008
 
My WoW today and tomorrow

In the open Sunday thread Spinks asked "What about Wrath of the Lich King are you most excited about/looking forwards to? And which character do you plan to level first and why?". Good question, but I'd like to first tell you all what I am *currently* playing in World of Warcraft, before moving to my plans for the expansion.

My number one priority at the moment is to experience all parts of the world event leading up to the Wrath of the Lich King. The motivation behind that is simple: This event is only happening now, it will end with the release of WotLK, and anything I missed I will never have the opportunity to do later. Yes, there are parts of the event that are annoying: Logging on a bank alt and finding the banker having been turned into a zombie, or dying to a zombie attack myself. But then, I timed the respawn time of a flight master, and it turned out that he respawns in 2 minutes. 2 minutes! That is really a minor inconvenience compared to the greater good of making this event feel like a real invasion. I got more annoyed when it took me forever to do the new quests to gather necrotic runes and kill a shade of doom, because it turns out the shades drop epic gear, and as soon as a zone is under attack the undead there get heavily farmed, and the shades killed, which end the attack. The scenes at the summoning circles reminded me of the scenes at the dark portal when TBC came out: A horrible kill-stealing fest. Most annoying was when I spent 8 necrotic runes to summon a shade, and then somebody tagged it and stole it from my group. And these summoning circles don't respawn in 2 minutes, the timer seems to be over 1 hour.

When I'm not doing the pre-WotLK event, I'm enjoying the other new features of patch 3.0.: Inscription, achievements, and easier dungeons and raids. Big news: My warrior, who I nearly had given up upon before, is fun again. Before the patch he was stuck in a vicious cycle, where I wasn't invited to raids or heroics because my gear sucked, and I couldn't get better gear because I wasn't invited to raids or heroics. Now there are far more "casual" raids and heroic groups organized. And I'm doing some silly stuff, like tanking Onyxia, and finally finishing Magister's Terrace on normal, in case I ever want to do it in heroic. Plus I'm dealing more damage in solo play now, in spite of still being protection spec. So I went to Karazhan with both my mage and my warrior, and my "raider" priest even got to the third boss of Mount Hyjal. I got a couple of epic upgrades on all my characters, but honestly that isn't the most important for me right now. The important thing is playing in a group with strong cooperation, having fun. The gear is likely to be replaced soon.

Which brings me to my plans for Wrath of the Lich King. Because my motivation doesn't change, just because some expansion comes out: I still want to play PvE in groups, overcoming challenges that can only be beat by coordination of the efforts of several players. I'm looking forward to the new dungeons of Northrend, and I'm very interested how accessible Blizzard is going to make those first raid dungeons. From that motivation comes the answer to what character I'm going to play first: My priest. There is nothing to suggest that healers will be any less needed in WotLK groups. Maybe even more, if the addition of the Death Knight really solves the tank shortage there will be a healer shortage just behind. And I'm comfortable soloing and leveling up with holy spec, even if that might not be the fastest way. Given how many players who have a character who *could* heal will be using some non-healing build to advance fastest, I think I should be able to easily get into dungeon groups on my way to 80.

Most probably I will play the warrior and mage a bit in parallel, for example for their tradeskills, but the priest is certainly the first one I want to get to level 80. Which character will be the second depends very much on how things develop on the tanking front. I mean, if I hear a lot of shouts looking for a tank for dungeons, I'm certainly going to log my tank on and play. But if there are hundreds of Death Knights, and everyone considers them sufficient for tanking purposes, my warrior will be unemployed. That is the big disadvantage of preferring group play: It depends on what everyone else is playing, and who they want to invite into groups. That is especially true for me as casual raider, if I want an invite into raids although I'm not a regular, I have to be of a class / build that there is a shortage of.

I've played a Death Knight a bit in the beta, and it was great fun. The "phasing" nature of the first two levels, in which the Death Knight learns all of his spells and talents, in combination with telling his personal story, is one of the best parts of World of Warcraft. But it only covers two levels, and every Death Knight experiences the same destiny. And then he'll have to level up from 57 to 70 using content I know all too well, after already having played three characters to 70. In addition to that, Death Knights will be "flavor of the month" for a good while, and I don't foresee groups searching desperately for a Death Knight in preference of any other class. So I might make a Death Knight as an alt, for fun and for doing some tradeskills I don't have on the others, but I don't think I'll play that one very much, or level him to 80.

I don't know how long all this is going to entertain me. Probably several months. Which, one the one side, is great news, I'm having something to look forward for months. On the other side I'm pretty certain that Blizzard will not bring out a third expansion in 2009, and that I will get bored with WotLK before the next expansion comes out. I'm not really making plans what I'll play then. LotRO Mines of Moria? Warhammer Online? Some other MMORPG? Single-player games? I don't know. I'll decide that when the moment comes. In spite of what some other players think, choosing a MMORPG is not the same as choosing a religion. It's just a game, and the most important feature is to have fun. I'll play what is most fun at the moment. That might be WoW right now, but it won't be WoW forever.
Comments:
Who said choosing a religion had to be permanent? In Japan, most people are Shinto for the majority of 'living their lives', then get all Buddhist later in life, when Death is looming ever closer ;)
 
I'm in the same boat as you Tobold. I'm very excited for WotLK, however I don't think WotLK is going to keep me occupied for more then a few months. Prior to patch 3.0 The burning crusade got boring VERY quickly. I blame that on raids being TOO hard at the start of the BC. I've been hooked on MMO's for almost four years now. I've played all the other MMO's out today and the only two I really every enjoyed were WoW and Guild Wars. Warhammer and AoC were okay, but niether of them entertained me more then the 30 day free period.

Perhaps if I wasn't suffering from MMO burn out before, I am now. WotLK will be a band-aid for that burn-out. I think after I have my fill w/ WotLK I'm going to take a very long break from the MMO world. There is SO much I could do with that extra 30 hours per week. When I do come back, which will probably the next WoW expansion, I'm gonna probably really enjoy it again. With that said WotLK is less than a half month away, and I'm not logging on until then.
 
While you worry that due to so many death knights your warrior will have trouble finding groups, you have to remember, if you're leveling at launch it's going to take the critical mass of death knights at least a week to catch up with everyone else. Sure you'll have the fanatics that are there in two days, but if you're moving with the main glob of people, your warrior probably won't have any trouble finding groups.

PS. I love this imbedded commenting system.
 
Are you sure that you were the person who summoned the Shade? I summoned several yesterday and they always were claimed to my group when they spawned. However, when other groups summoned even if I spammed earth shock on them until they were attackable I would never get the claim. There were a few times that I thought I summoned and then checked my bags and I still had all my runes.


The epic items are nice. Be sure and check the quartermaster in EPL once you do all the quests as he sells additional epic items and some fun trinkets. A 1 minute consecrate trinket, another trinket that summons a paladin protector (he bubble hearths when the time runs out...well worth getting)


For these events I always try and grab the fluff items more than gear upgrades/sidegrades. The gear will always be replaced but the other things will only become more rare as time goes on.
 
I was leveling tradeskills on my alts yesterday. I guess I better focus on getting more involved on the Scourge Invasion since I can always level up enchanting/tailoring later on.

Also you get the Argent Dawn Tabard for turning in 10 Runes if you don't have it yet.

@Centuri thanks for the tip. I'll be sure to get my own pally!
 
Are you sure that you were the person who summoned the Shade?

Absolutely sure, because of the 8 missing necrotic runes in my inventory.

While you worry that due to so many death knights your warrior will have trouble finding groups, you have to remember, if you're leveling at launch it's going to take the critical mass of death knights at least a week to catch up with everyone else. Sure you'll have the fanatics that are there in two days, but if you're moving with the main glob of people, your warrior probably won't have any trouble finding groups.

You underestimate my ability to level slower than anyone else. Even if I did nothing else, half of the Death Knights will reach level 80 before my warrior.
 
Meh. No surprise that eventually we'll run out of things to play. Hopefully, it'll be short lived and the "next best thing" will appear.
 
I agree that playing a healing priest will get you into a lot of groups. But I think warrior tanks won't be out of business anytime soon. There will be so many bad deathknight tanks that they will develop a reputation, and groups won't be so eager to invite them to tank.
 
> "Who said choosing a religion had to be permanent? In Japan, most people are Shinto for the majority of 'living their lives', then get all Buddhist later in life"

According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinto), Shinto and Buddhism are very hard to seperate in Japan: "Because Shinto has co-existed with Buddhism for well over a millennium, it is very difficult to untangle Shinto and Buddhist beliefs about the world."

So this isn't so much a case of people switching religion as people practicing two complementary religions...

For me, when Tobold wrote "choosing a MMORPG is not the same as choosing a religion", I was thinking "choosing a MMORPG is not the same as choosing an editor"... I'm sure the Vim/Emacs readers understand this ;)
 
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