So far, so good

Some bits and pieces of my thoughts over the last 24 hours on the no-flying reversal.

As soon as I finished work yesterday, I logged on to the game to check my achievements and see which ones I might be able to knock out quickly. It was fun, from a couple of perspectives.

First, I was excited to have a goal again, and it made me actually WANT to dash about all over Draenor. Over the past couple of months I had tried to set myself some artificial goals — get X amount of gold; do Achievements a, b, and c; gear up various alts — but it just fell flat for me. For one thing, I really do not care about 99% of achievements, they do nothing for my self esteem, and since I do not care for the result that means it is very hard for me to get interested in doing them. Gearing up alts seemed similarly pointless, as my guild has stopped raiding until 6.2, so there is little chance we will get to the point of having alt raids any time soon. Gold — meh, I need so little of it that amassing huge amounts seems silly. Plus, honestly, as I looked forward in the game all I could see was an endless stretch of failed expansions, of grindy garrison-like busywork, of solo play in a supposed “MMO”.

But then we had the HUGE carrot of flying dangled in front of us, if we meet certain gates, and suddenly there was a goal I actually wanted. I happily galloped all over Frostfire to get my final exploration achievement, knocked out my last quest line in Gorgrond, and chased a few treasures (the easy kind, not the jumping ones). I even did the apexis daily, something I had not done since when I needed apexis crystals for the legendary ring. Because — why? The gear you get from them is crappy, not to mention it costs far far too much, and the dailies get very boring very quickly. Kill stuff, watch the bar fill up, turn in quest. Not the most engaging activity I have found in WoW.

The second reason last night was fun was, well, because it was fun to have fun again, if that makes any sense. After months of slogging along doing garrison chores and a few necessary LFRs, last night felt like that first glorious spring day after a long hard winter. (If I could draw cartoons, I would draw my gangly night elf cavorting naked through the daisies, a big ole silly grin on her face. That’s what it felt like.)

I think we will see a slight increase — at least for a while — in available groups in the custom raid finder. It should be easier to get groups now for the apexis dailies. Similarly, I think we will see an uptick in guild participation for a bit. Might even see enough guildies on to run some guild 5-mans through the apexis stuff. However, if we do not see 6.2 drop very soon, then the increased activity will go away.

I have not been too excited about 6.2, in fact have been pretty critical of it, seeing it as Blizz doubling down on the worst aspects of WoD — more garrisons, required level 3 garrisons to even see the content, more galloping around for no real reason except to get bogged down by annoying little weeds and other gnat-like mobs at every turn, the awful apexis crystals becoming more ubiquitous, etc.

But last night I found myself, if not exactly looking forward to 6.2, at least dreading it less. Mainly because I see it as the last thing needed (in the form of 3 revered reps) to get to my goal.

There is, unfortunately, still a big unknown in The Promised Carrot — how long before we can expect 6.2.x once 6.2 drops? Personally, I think anything more than a month would start to smell like deliberate foot-dragging from Blizz. For one thing, Blizz has claimed repeatedly that WoD was in fact designed fully for flying, it’s just that they had this, um, scruple about implementing it. So if all the flying mechanisms are already built into the expansion, it doesn’t seem like it should take very long to put them into 6.2. Another reason that taking more than a month would be a very bad move for Blizz is that by a month into the patch, nearly everyone who wants flying will have completed their reps and will be essentially standing around doing a virtual hands-on-hips-toe-tapping thing.

Which brings up the point that as far as I am concerned, Blizz still has a very long way to go before my faith in them is restored. The no-fly reversal was a start, but it needs to be the first of many actions on the road to building back the trust. Rapid implementation of 6.2.x would be another good action. Honesty and transparency about 6.3 and 7.0 will be other actions that will tell me Blizz has learned something from this whole WoD debacle. One thing I will be watching to get a clue about this is the June 13th Q&A with Watcher. Granted, the question of flying has been answered, but there are a lot of other 6.2 and Blizz customer interaction questions I will be waiting for him to address. If I hear what has sadly become their “communication” norm of arrogance, sarcasm, and dishonesty, then I will know that the no-fly reversal was really only a blip on the corporate bottom line radar.

So, yes, I was almost giddy last night, and I think I will remain engaged for a few more days. But 6.2 needs to drop very soon, and 6.2.x needs to follow very shortly thereafter. And I want to know what Blizz’s flying policy will be for future expansions — not necessarily because flying is a requirement for me (I don’t think it is), but more because I want to hear some refreshing honesty from them.

After all, as I have mentioned before, I come from a long line of hard-core believers, and I really want to start believing Blizz again.

5 thoughts on “So far, so good

  1. There’s another reason for Blizzard to want to release flying quick and you mentioned it in your last post: FFXIV.

    The thing with FFXIV is they are making their requirements streamlined (basically, you have to finish the A Realm Reborn storyline in full before you get to enter the expansion, quest to earn a flying mount, and then attune to the area) by taking almost all of the grind out of it. Thus a new player only needs to focus on the story which wll probably take three days to a week (depending if you are DPS and how casual you play) to get to the new stuff (especially with newbies getting priority queues) compared to Blizzard’s implementation of it.

    All of the requirements may backfire too because there won’t be much left in the overworld to do while flying that isn’t part of the old content people were complaining about.

    If they aren’t careful, that carrot might taste rotten or be an orange painted stick.

    1. I haven’t tried FFXIV yet, waiting for the Mac release on the 23rd. I made an attempt to do the free trial on my Fusion (virtual) Windows machine, but could not really play it because I could not get beyond 6 fps. From what I saw and read, though, I do think I will try it this summer after the initial hype has died down.

      But you are right that Blizz needs to get 6.2 out before the 23rd because of the FFXIV new xpac launch. My bet is they will release 6.2 that Friday before the 23rd, but that is just a guess.

      1. The question isn’t just when 6.2 comes out but when they will release 6.2.X. Because as I said, a week is the most likely longest anyone will have to wait to get to flying content starting fresh from level 1 in FFXIV.

        This means anyone starting then can expect to be flying by around the thirtieth which is counterproductive to their release.

        And, then there’s the amount of time it actually takes to get to the reward. Will people really be okay doing all that just to get flying or will they look at FFXIV and hear that all you have to do is easy dungeons, a main story, and explore an area that will have places specifically for flying afterwards?

        I really think they need to “lighten the load” so to speak – what’s the point of flying if all of the relevent content for the expansion (in the overworld anyway) is finished? Half of it just sounds like a way to give flying in old content beore anyone realizes it’s old content.

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