March 11, 2011 – 10:27 am
So I’m rather tentatively back in WoW right now, leveling my hunter and really having a good time exploring the new zones. But at the same time, several people that were part of my “greater WoW community” have left the game – either for other games or for other pursuits.
I’ve resorted back to my old playstyle, which is very single player oriented – something you can do easily as a hunter – and there’s something about Cataclysm that’s niggling at my brain.There has been a greater trend – starting definitely in Wrath, but a little in BC too – towards a differently constructed world.
Here’s what I mean:
In the old Vanilla WoW zones, you did typical adventurer quests, encountering various groups and cultures who needed help. Occasionally you did a Big Important Thing, but most of your helping was as a subordinate to the leaders of those cultures. When you were in Eastern Plaguelands, you helped the Argent Dawn. The leaders of the Dawn directed your quests, and though you knocked out some big bads, by and large your questing there was as a helper to that group. Same with Desolace, Winterspring, and Stranglethorn. Even Burning Steppes had a presence that made you feel like you were “joining up” with an established group and pitching in your hand.
(I’ll mention that during this time reputation was a very different beast, and you didn’t have 14 factions per expansion to gain reputation with either.)
I’ve now completed Vashj’ir, Hyjal, and Deepholm, and in each one I was coming into a situation not as a subordinate helping a greater group but as a savior bailing out an inept group who couldn’t do it without ME.
I was THE CHOSEN ONE. I SAVED THE WORLD. There are PROPHECIES about me. I’ve single-handedly turned the tides of war and bailed out various groups who screwed it up or couldn’t hack it in the first place. And my leveling in the newly redesigned lowbie zones has been similarly flavored. While things are much more streamlined – which is nice (I didn’t really like the great cookie crumb trails all over the world more than anyone else) – there’s a feeling of my little dwarf warlock as Important (with a capitol I).
And that is a very different feeling.
I’ve always been an altoholic. There were various zones of various flavors to go and level and each one could be connected to the character – or skipped if it didn’t make any sense. My hunter did Borean Tundra, because that kind of adventuring makes sense to her, and she spent a long time in Sholazar Basin. Aely did most of her early leveling in Howling Fjord and Dragonblight, and put in a lot of time in Stormpeaks out of fascination with the Keepers.
But that was harder to do in Wrath than it was in Burning Crusade, and harder in BC than it was in the original game. Annie Mae ran her tiny level 1 gnomebutt down to Elwynn Forest, and was a “Southern” Gnome. Those choices are harder now, and it’s much easier to level on one straight path that ends up being THE one path later on.
And now that Angoleth has saved Hyjal, a zone that has a lot of meaning for her, I don’t know that Annie Mae will really make all that much sense there.
Angoleth already saved it. She didn’t help the various groups involved, she actually was THE CHOSEN ONE. So there’s no real motivation for me to take Annie Mae through the zones, with the possible exception of throwing baby bears onto a trampoline. The replay value is different, and the feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself is gone.
Cataclysm has introduced an extremely linear, extremely heroic, personalized leveling scheme that uses “silly” quests as flavor instead of relying on what was, in my opinion, the greatest strength of the early game. The world itself.
And that’s after completing the content up to level 83. Somehow, I don’t expect 84 and 85 to be much different.
I’m starting to think that’s why so many people are “done” with Cataclysm already. They’ve been the savior. They’ve bailed out the Earthen Ring and saved all of Hyjal. So when they go through to play it again, it feels like just a re-play of the same old single player game they’ve done so many times before, instead of feeling like they’re bringing up a new adventuring character who is part of a bigger, more dynamic world.
Which, you might say, is accusing people who don’t RP of being roleplayers. But they do call it a MMORPG for a reason. *wink*
February 7, 2011 – 12:02 pm
Blogging is a very strange thing. Sometimes it can be impersonal, or seem that way, like you’re putting words out into a void. Other times, you meet amazing people. Arrens is one of the (many) amazing people I’ve run into on this crazy blogging thing. Over time, that’s turned into amazing RP, both in game and in writing. He’s announced today that he’s closing up shop at his blog, and I understand. But it’s still a little sad.
And, as Bricu put it, as one of his (2) readers, I will miss it and am very glad I’ll still get to see him around in game and such.
January 31, 2011 – 3:39 pm
I’ve been trying pretty hard, for the last few weeks, to get a post up here. I hate using the “Real life is taking over” excuse, even when it’s true, because it sounds so… trite? I don’t know. Like I’m copping out of blogging or something.
Because the thing is?
I really like blogging. I really like this blog. I like the people who read and leave comments, even though I’m sure that’s only about four of you now.
But there are bigger things that I have to deal with, and one of those things is making sure that I can continue to do the “importants” (go to work, take care of my husband and cats, and take care of me). Sometimes, when bad things happen, that’s all you have to turn back to – and right now, most of my “good” days are defined by whether or not I simply make it through the day and do what I have to do.
Unfortunately, that’s not left a lot of time or energy for WoW. When I have had time to log in, I do a bit of banking, do a bit of leveling (usually on my warlock, to whom you guys have not yet been introduced), and that’s about it. Aely hit level 85 at some point, entirely through Archaeology. I’ve done exactly 8 quests in Hyjal with my hunter. I’ve not been inside an instance (other than a run-through or two on the warlock) since before 4.0 hit in November. I have officially stepped out of raiding for Cataclysm, at least for now – maybe when things get better I’ll want to raid again and can sub into one of the 10-mans that are under the TRI umbrella.
Still, I’m not here to apologize for not posting. I made a conscious decision that, right now, there are other things more important to me (and to my health) than keeping up with a regular blog. I can barely manage one post a week over at Seven Deadly Divas, and that’s with Hillary sending me reminder emails and helping me come up with ideas!
I am working on changing things, on getting better, on getting back to being able to do the things I love – but it’s not something that happens quickly or easily, no matter how frustrated I get. This is something I have to deal with now, because not dealing with things doesn’t make them go away.
So I’m trying – and that’s supposedly half the battle. The rest, well, that’ll just take time. I may post occasionally, I may not. I’m not shutting down or closing the doors, but I don’t know when I’ll be back, or what form “being back” will take.
But I do miss you guys, and writing. You can still find me on twitter, via email (toomanyannas at gmail), or even in game.
I’ll see you around, and may the loot-fu be with you,
December 21, 2010 – 7:31 am
“Pssst. Wot!” **
Wot peered up and down the hallway of the University, blue eyes scanning warily for the source of his name.
“Wot! Over here!”
After a moment he spotted Ben, the other squire’s sandy brown head poking out from the entrance to Arrens and Aely’s apartment.
“How… how did you get in there?”
“I asked Aely for the key, told her there was something Bricu needed for the wedding. Get in here.” Ben’s lanky form disappeared into the apartment. The other side of the door rustled loudly.
“Are you sure… are you sure that’s ok? Isn’t that their private apartment?”
“Yeah, but I need the keys to his motorcycle shed!”
“You’re going to steal his motorcycle?” Wot’s eyebrows shot up, settling somewhere around his hairline, as he stood in the doorway.
“Of course not, why would I do that! Someday he might even let me drive it! I’m going to decorate it. You know, for the wedding!”
“Dec… decorate a motorcycle?” Wot stepped very tentatively into the apartment, leaving the door half open.
“Sure, haven’t you ever heard of that? You fill the panniers full of rice and put streamers all over it and bells and a big sign that says JUST MARRIED so everyone that sees them can yell and celebrate too!” The rustling noises moved over to the bookcase, where Ben was pulling random books off the shelf, opening them, and then closing them again.
“No, I’ve never heard of that on a motorcycle. Though I think I saw it once on a horse buggy. Why are you … what’s in the books?”
“Looking for a spare key, I know he has one in here somewhere.” Ben moved on to a row of variously sized canisters, finding in one a collection of bookmarks and paper clips, and in another, nothing but some dust and a dead silverfish. He crowed as he opened the third – “Finally! Ok, let’s go.”
“Go? Where are we…”
Wot followed after the exuberant Ben, who bounded down the stairs three (or maybe four) at a time, headed out to where the Professor kept his beloved motorcycle. By the time he caught up, the taller boy had managed to get the padlock unlatched.
“Don’t you think he’ll be… upset? When he sees it?”
“Nah, he’ll be too happy to be married. Haven’t you seen them together?”
Ben opened the door to the shed with a whoop and disappeared inside. Wot stood looking at the door suspiciously. A few moments later Ben poked his head back out again.
“Well? Are you going to help me or not?”
Wot hesitated. “You’re sure he won’t be mad?”
“Of course he won’t be mad. We’re not going to hurt it. Just make it all festive for when they leave from the party tonight.”
He glanced around the University green, making sure nobody else was around. “All… alright. Sure.”
Wot followed Ben into the shed, looking admiringly at Arrens’ blue and gold motorcycle. He’d obviously had it cleaned for that evening’s getaway. Mr. Bricu had a motorcycle too. Maybe someday even he would have a motorcycle. Some paladins did drive them…
Ben’s voice startled him out of his momentary daydream. “WHAT?”
“What’s something that’ll make lots of noise if we tie it to the bike. These stupid bells are too quiet. That goblin said they’d be great for a Festive Winter Holiday, but I don’t think he planned on a gas engine.” He was carefully tying a sign to the back of the bike; it was painted with the words “JUST MARRIED” in bright red.
“Noisy… Uh.” Wot thought for a moment. “What about… Didn’t Mrs. Reynolds make soup last night?”
“Yeah, so what? What does soup have to do with anything?”
“Broth cans. Tin cans, I mean. Will that work? It should be really noisy on the cobble streets.” Wot shrugged.
“Hah! Tin cans. Perfect! Go see if she’ll give you any. If she asks, tell her we’re working on a project for the Crusade.”
“But… for the Crusade?”
“Just go, it’ll be fine.” Ben went back to attaching the sign.
Ten minutes later, Wot returned, carefully carrying an armload of lidless tin cans. The motorcycle was almost unrecognizable, decked out in white streamers with red and green tinsel. Ben had found some kind of soap to write on the windshield and had drawn little lopsided hearts all around the edges.
He was visibly pleased with Wot’s delivery just long enough to pick up a can and look at it. “Ooh! These are great. Ok. Uhh… how do we get them on the bikes?”
Wot grabbed a pair of hammers off of the workbench, handing one to Ben.
“What’s this for?”
“Take a big nail,” he pointed at the neatly labeled jars of nails on a shelf, “and put a hole in the top of each can. Like… like this.” Wot punched a hole in the first can. “When we get a bunch, we can… can tie them together like a … a ….”
“A tin can bouquet?” Ben grinned.
Wot grinned back. “Yeah. A really noisy tin can bouquet.”
** Ben and Wot are Aely and Bricu’s Argent Squires, respectively. Really, they should’ve been assigned in opposite…