December 31, 2014
Warlords of Draenor is not yet two months old, and I find myself settling into a routine already. This is way early for me, as I normally only get to such a point in an expansion at about the time everyone else is whining about there being nothing to DOOOOOOOOO. And I can’t decide if the routine is boring or comfortable.
Let me first explain that I am a goal-oriented person. Process usually holds way less interest for me than the end state. If an activity is very process-oriented I usually invent a goal for it. That way, I actually enjoy the process because it leads to attainment of a goal. Example: In Mists the Sunsong Ranch routine very quickly turned into drudgery, especially with 8 maxed alts. Even if it took only 10 minutes each to complete your ranch chores, that was still an hour and twenty minutes of game play every day. I would have quickly given it up if I had not set a goal for myself to amass one million gold on my account. Sunsong Ranch then became part of the means to the end, and it stopped being drudgery. (For the record, I did not get there — I am not much of an AH goblin — but I did have fun trying.)
The point is, what had been a boring routine became a comfortable one for me once I was working towards a goal. Another example: I do not generally enjoy soloing old content, but I did it in Mists for a couple of goal-oriented reasons. One was that it provided gold both directly and through selling of loot, which furthered my million-gold goal. Another was that I was looking to score the rare Astral Light Bow for my Worgen hunter, so I actually looked forward each night to running and resetting Drak’Tharon Keep the max number of times. The anticipation of eventually getting that bow was fun. (I did finally get it, although not from running the instance. Someone posted it in the AH for an insanely low price of about 100g, apparently not realizing many hunters would pay thousands for this unique black bow.)
All this is just to explain that a routine can be either boring or comfortably exciting to me, depending on whether I am working towards a specific goal.
I have settled into a routine in WoD. I log on to each of my characters who have garrisons — two level 100s, a level 92, and a level 97 — and do my missions, gathering, new work orders, and profession cooldowns, mailing mats as necessary to the appropriate alts. In the case of my two hunters who have level 3 barns, this includes a trip to Nagrand to trap elites. Only after these chores are done do I consider things like joining groups — world boss, garrison apexis daily, LFR — and I really only do so if I absolutely have to for things like the legendary or to get gear. Otherwise my only activity beyond garrisons is raiding with my two guilds and slowly working to level alts.
So far, my routine is not exactly boring, since I still have goals. I do want to level all 8 of my characters, and I have 6 to go. I also want to gear them as quickly as possible, so that makes mat gathering and profession cooldowns somewhat interesting still. So I guess I would say that I am comfortable with my routine for now.
But not for long. I can see that very soon it will just become drudgery. I have a hard time imagining managing 8 level 3 garrisons, it will be just way too time consuming. My Mists strategy of using them to make gold will not be viable, as by then the excess mats I have will be fairly worthless. Blizz has ensured that crafted items are profitable only when no one but AH goblins has the mats for them — by the time normal players can craft enough to sell, gear levels will have moved past them. Not to mention only 3 total crafted items can be equipped, an insane limitation obviously designed to further devalue crafting professions. And the soulbound restriction on critical mats is ridiculous — there is no reason whatsoever to not at least make them BoA. I get angry every time I receive SB mats on a character that can’t use them and have to vendor them for almost nothing, when I have alts with the appropriate profession in desperate need of them. Another great idea brought to you from the geniuses in Blizz’s Screw With the Players Department.
With the demise of valor points, running raids/instances quickly becomes useless once you have the gear you need from them. (It’s another inexplicable design “feature” that Blizz went to all the trouble of denouncing and removing VP as a gear currency only to replace it with Apexis Crystals, with very limited ways to earn them and insanely high numbers needed to redeem them for gear. WTF, Blizz, if gear buying is so awful why did you remove one kind of currency only to replace it with another?)
Absent some pretty dramatic and timely patches, this expansion seems to be awfully shallow and devoid of content. Speaking as someone who was never bored, even at the end of Mists, I think WoD is already boring.