Independence Day (?)

The past weekend was a holiday here in the U.S., July 4 being the day we celebrate giving the official finger to King George III by presenting him with an elegantly written document, the tl;dr version of which was we were as mad as hell and we were not going to take it any more. My weekend activities involved a lot of good burgers and good friends, and of course good beer.

Possibly as a result of the latter, I started to think about the importance of independence. Not the big lofty “Independence” of national self-determination, but the personal kind. The kind that means you as an individual are free to make your own decisions, embark on your own course, and either reap the benefits or suffer the consequences of your actions. I realized how important this kind of independence is to me. My perception of it permeates my life, from my choice of a career (I am self-employed), to my choice of spouse (early in our marriage he tried to “forbid” me to do something, then laughed when he saw my look and said, “That’s never going to work, is it?”), to my choice of leisure activities (music, pottery, gardening — things that discourage rules and boundaries and that reward creativity).

I did not play a lot of WoW over the weekend, because of various holiday activities, but also because I find myself in a kind of holding pattern in the game, basically waiting for flying. I spent the first two weeks of T2 grinding rep on my main hunter, and I got my Pathfinder achievement last Thursday night. The process held my interest, but I am not looking forward to repeating it on my other hunter or especially on my squishier alts. I enjoyed the first time because it was something new, but I could not shake the feeling that I was being herded down a cattle chute — there was a defined beginning and a defined end, and there was very little opportunity for straying from the prescribed course.

It all felt too linear. All of WoD has felt too linear for me, I realized, but the confined area of Tanaan just brought it home to me. Having had years of flying in the game, to be suddenly limited to two dimensions has felt stifling.

I don’t deal well with “stifling.” Being bound to two dimensions in the game has made me feel like I am bound to linear thinking in my approach to it. Linear thinking is not creative thinking. And it has made me more sensitive to other Blizz-imposed constraints in the game, such as their insistence that raiding is the end goal for everyone, and their recent trend of binding all other activities to raiding. It’s like when you are squished into a middle seat on an airplane, you suddenly blow all minor encroachments into your remaining personal space way out of proportion.

Independence. Personal freedom. An environment in which to be creative. This is what first fascinated me about WoW, but WoD has been that middle seat in coach, and every time Blizz scoots its elbow further onto my armrest I get angrier and angrier. Reinstatement of flying will be like a move to First Class, and having all the extra space will — I hope — make me less cranky about minor incursions.

So, back to my weekend in WoW. Even though I finished my rep grind for the achievement, I still need to do it on my alt hunter, because she is my jewelcrafter. (In hindsight, I probably should have done the Pathfinder rep grind on her, not my main, but by the time I realized that, I was pretty far along on my main’s rep and opted not to prolong the achievement by switching to my alt.)

As an aside, the whole JC thing in 6.2 is an excellent example of Blizz taking up the whole armrest. I resent having to do very specific parts of the game just to get recipes for gems, when every other profession out there is able to get recipes easily. I resent having to get Brawlers Guild rank 6, complete Mythic Skyreach, achieve a grindy faction rep, kill a world boss, and kill a raid boss, just to get gem recipes THAT DON’T EVEN LET ME CRAFT MY OWN GEMS. An even worse insult is the “chance” you can actually learn the recipes yourself by having the robot craft them. Please. More RNG torture just to be able to craft a few gems. I had the robot craft 4 Immaculate Mastery gems over the weekend. Want to guess how many personal recipes I got? Yes, you guessed it, none.

Anyway, I am waiting for flying before I do much more in T2. I am sick of the stifling boundaries of two-dimensional play. I am sick of the rat maze. I want to soar above it, find where I want to go, then go there directly and structure my own activities for the play time I have. I am hoping tomorrow is the day that will happen.

I am hoping that Tuesday, July 7, is WoW Independence Day.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

6 Responses to Independence Day (?)

  1. Lurking reaer says:

    As seems to often be the case, you’ve said a lot of what I feel. I’m pretty far behind on the Pathfinder achievement but when I’m on, that’s what I do plan to work on.

    One thing you said that really resonates is the linearity. I fully agree on WoD being really about bad about it but for me, I’ve noticed it most in the new races starting areas. The ones added since Cataclysm and when they redid the starting areas for Trolls and Gnomes (although much lesser there).

    On one hand, I liked the stories they were trying to tell. They were good stories that set the tone of what was happening and why, and I applaud that. But after the first time, I hated HAVING to do them. Not that I always minded them but that I didn’t have a choice. I love that you can make a dwarf and have them run up to Ironforge at level 1. I like taking a fresh character out if I want and starting in a new racial area or just exploring on my own. I think that lack of freedom for goblins, worgen, and pandarian is one oft he reasons I have fewer of those races than most others.

    I haven’t heard anything about flying on July 7 and I’m skeptical. But I’m happy to be wrong. I’ll be sad that I don’t have Pathfinder done, but perhaps it will give me the final kick to get it done.

    • Fiannor says:

      Well, I think flying on July 7 is a very long shot myself, and honestly it is more wishful thinking than statistical probability, unfortunately. As I said, I am really sick and tired of being run through a rat maze and now I want my cheese, dammit!

  2. Grumsta says:

    We were discussing in our guild after raiding last night when 6.2.x with flying might appear. I’ve seen a few posts on forums thinking (hoping?) it’ll be this week, but given that Blizz said it’ll be in a future patch, we thought it’d be pushed out to us well in advance and then made live, like 6.2 was.

    I did see a few posts on Reddit /r/wow about people “flying” into Tanaan using gliders etc and finding it empty when they got there. The reasonable conclusion is that Blizz need to sort out the phasing for that zone and that’s why flying hasn’t been enabled yet.

    The cynic in me also wonders if they’ll remove or adjust some of the treasures in all Draenor zones that flying would make trivial to collect?

    All opinion and conjecture of course.

    As for rep grinding on multiple chars: is there any need? Once one char has the rep for flying, mounts, pet, achievement, etc is there any reason to do it on other chars?

    • Fiannor says:

      The only two reasons I can see are if you have an alt as your JC, as I do, and if you are going to pursue the legendary on an alt. To get gem recipes for the robot you have to have rep with the Awakened, and for the legendary you have to be able to get the ship and naval equipment stuff from some of the factions in order to be able to complete the legendary shipyard requirements.

      • Grumsta says:

        Oh joy. Haven’t got the 715 yet on my main let alone any alts, and I have this to look forward to? Yuk.

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