Tobold's Blog
Friday, September 17, 2010
WoW on ice

As previously discussed I do believe that how much fun you have in any given game at any given moment not only depends on how good or bad the game itself is, but also on your personal history. Having said that, it is evident that the personal history of many players is rather similar in some cases. In the specific case of World of Warcraft today, it is clear that there is a large number of players who ran out of things to do in Wrath of the Lich King, and are all basically just waiting for the Cataclysm expansion.

I'm pretty much in the same situation, having run heroic dungeons often enough to equip 4 level 80 characters in full epic gear, and having seen (if not completed) all the raid dungeons in the game. I could still level my druid to 80, but from what I hear from the druid community that class has been seriously nerfed in Cataclysm, and anyway I never planned to use the druid as my "main", so it doesn't really matter whether he reaches level 80 before the expansion.

I am not in the Cataclysm beta, and even refuse to play patch 4.0 on the public test realms, as I predict that I'll run out of things to do in Cataclysm as well before Blizzard releases the expansion after that, so spoiling my fun early would not be a good idea. I'd just burn out faster. So right now World of Warcraft is pretty much on ice with me, playing only one or two hours per week nowadays.

The Cataclysm expansion is rumored to be released on November 2nd, but that doesn't mean nothing is happening before that. Already the first events in preparation of the Cataclysm happened, series of quests about how the gnomes and trolls are reconquering their homelands, in preparation of these classes in the future having their own starting zones instead of sharing a newbie zone with the dwarfs and orcs. There will be further events foreboding the actual Cataclysm. And of course we will get patch 4.0, already on the PTR, which will change many of the rules of the game, especially the talent trees for everybody, presumably in October.

One advice: If you still have emblems, consider exchanging them for heirloom items now. Patch 4.0 will transform your old emblems into the new token currency "justice points", or into gold for the older emblems. And you *can* still buy heirloom items for the new justice points, and you'll be able to gain justice points after patch 4.0, and before the Cataclysm expansion release. But from what I read the exchange rate is not very good, thus a heirloom item that costs lets say 40 emblems now will cost *more* than the justice points you get for 40 emblems in the future. Also justice points are capped at 4,000 on Cataclysm release day, so hoarding too many of them before the expansion won't be possible either.

Thus taking it slow right now, or taking a break from World of Warcraft, is probably a good idea if you ran out of things to do. If you are still having lots of fun, or started late, or are still working on something that is important to you, more power to you. But overall a certain lack of activity in World of Warcraft in the last months before the expansion is only to be expected. It's the calm before the storm, the expansion will probably bring news of new records in player numbers (aided by the recent release of WotLK in China), and phenomenal sales in the first week. WoW might be on ice right now, but it'll be a hot topic again by christmas.
I've been playing for 5 years now, with the occasional break. I do get the pre-expansion blues. I'm not into raiding anymore, I don't want to level any new characters and I also don't want to gear up my current 80's.
However, I found some entertainment in getting the achievements I really want on my main and levelling my chars that were stuck in outland. I'm also starting to use the AH more with all the stuff I'm getting while levelling and it's quite profitable when it comes to gathering proffessions.
Tobold if you haven't experienced the Lich King fight I strongly advise you to try it - I participated in my guilds first LK kill yesterday, and it was of the most exciting moments in my whole WoW history - for 2 hours we wiped in phase 1 or 2, doing worse than usual, then got him to 25%, decided to have one more go despite it being after our raid end time, and managed to kill him. Considering that I got my first Onyxia kill just before the LK fight, it was a night full of fun.

Now we'll be starting hard modes, but with so little time left until cata comes out I doubt we'll manage to get far, still they are something to look forward to, and I certainly don't regret keeping my WoW subscription running for the whole summer.
I started trading in my emblems for the special shards (can't remember what they are called right this second). They go for for anywhere from 1500 to 2000 gold on my server. So whether a person wants an heirloom item or to make some money, now's the time to do it.

I too never tried the LK fight. I got so sick of not progressing that I became uninterested in it. I have helped the trolls in their preparation for taking back the Echo Isles though. I have a level 45 horde (highest horde I've ever had) that I'm only doing dungeon runs with since I never did those when I leveled my main.
I took this time to start a new raiding guild. We did BWL and AQ! Hardcore.
I have only been logging in for raids the past few weeks. Everything else in wow is on ice for me. We only have LK hardmode left so hopefully we get him down before Cataclysm. Raider retention definitely sucks right now. There's a revolving door of about 2-5 raiders every week. Considering we get 11 out of 12 hardmodes down with relative ease I don't think progression is the issue. People seem to just be losing interest as we get closer to the expansion's release.
Been thinking about taking my warrior on a tour of the old world to finally finish up the exploration achievement before the big change but I have been having fun of late in Aion so I am still not sure if I will bother.

I do need to check out those gnome and troll events though.
What's the point of playing? gear rest, Achievement reset, crafting resets, etc. All your effort is a waste of time.

I've been trying out F2P offerings lately to fill the gap but to be honest, I am not all that excited about Cata. After 5 years, they are still not even updating the graphics -- an no, water effects don't count.

It will still be the same ol' kill ten rats problem, the same ol' trinity combat mechanics, the same ol' world of Azeroth, just with some cracks and boulders thrown in.

Now GW2 on the other hand, that's something to get excited about.
I'm with Don. 11/12 25 man heroic ICC down on Tuesday, only to have slagging numbers for our other two raid nights as we try to work on Heroic Lich King. I still really enjoy raiding but I wish fellow guild members were as similarly enthusiastic so we could finish out the expansion's content.
Level your druid! Most nerfed just means first to be buffed!
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