Yo-yo interest and the WoW Central Supply Depot

These days I find myself with what I like to describe as yo-yo interest in WoW. Some weeks I am tight with it, up near the top of the string, and some weeks I am dangling down at the bottom of the string, not really sure if I will make it back up ever again.

For the last few days I have been at the bottom of the string. I played only enough over the weekend to finish off my last two Mythic dungeons for the bonus event, and only on my main. I couldn’t work up enough interest to run them on any other alt, even though my alts are the ones most likely to benefit from Mythic dungeons and from the Heroic BRF reward.

Completely unrelated thought: Have you ever wondered what the organizational part of raids or dungeons looks like if you are on the other side? Is there, for example, a cadre of trash and a warehouse of materials that each boss can reserve in advance from some place like Central Instance Booking and Supply?

“Hello, Artie? Yeah, this is Witherbark over at The Everbloom. How’s it going? Good, glad to hear it. Listen, reason I called is that we’re doing another one of those damn ‘events’ this week, and I’m gonna need enough Dreadpetals for pretty much 24/7 operations. Can you make it happen? Terrific, I can always count on you, thanks.

“And I hate to bring this up, but can you try and get me ones that got something besides pollen in those stupid little heads of theirs? Swear to god, they just never seem to anticipate stuns. And if I had a nickel for every time they look right at a hunter trap then walk through it anyway…

“Well, do the best you can, I appreciate it, and I know there’s a lot of competition for your people. HFC alone monopolizes five trash supply companies full time, don’t get me started on those prima donnas.

“Oh, yeah, one more thing — send over all the Aqueous Globules you can lay your hands on, I’m gonna be going through a ton of those.

“Listen, wife sends her best, and we gotta get together for dinner soon, ok? Thanks again, Artie, I owe ya one.”

We now return you to your regularly scheduled post.

As I was saying, I did not play WoW much this past weekend. I was doing great early last week, all engaged with a couple of alts. But by Friday it was as if a switch had flipped, I was completely uninterested in the game. I logged on long enough to make a few thousand gold and like I said run a couple of Mythic instances, but that was it.

I did have a few things going on IRL, but really no more than usual. I think I am just resigning myself to these hot and cold swings in my interest in the game, at least until Legion.

It would help if there were any decent information coming out of Blizz about Legion, or honestly if a few more of the alpha testers would share their impressions beyond “This number must be a bug,” or “This trinket doesn’t seem to work.” But it looks like neither of those things is going to happen, so we hoi polloi are pretty much stuck.

Out of desperation, I played a bit of Elder Scrolls Online but realized I really do not enjoy it for a long term kind of commitment. I can’t get motivated enough with it to get to the endgame, which might be a bad decision on my part, but there it is.

Having noted that Square Enix claimed to have gotten its coding together enough to finally — after their 2015 debacle — put out a playable Mac version of Final Fantasy 14 Heavensward, I decided to give that one more try. I got a character — an archer, of course — to level 11 in one day. I was not pushing it, did a LOT of getting lost exploring and watching full cutscenes. It seems more engaging than ESO to me, not sure why. Maybe I am just motivated to get to level 50 for the possibility of getting player housing, maybe it is just that it is still new. I paid for the game and did a 30- day sub, so we’ll see. I admit I am intrigued by the idea that one character can eventually play any class, and I am anxious to start in on some professions now that I am beyond level 10. I am already sick of the long drawn out cut scenes and tedious NPC chat, though.

Mostly, I am just marking time until Legion.

Short war story. When I went to Airborne School, we frequently had to wait in line — for training equipment to be available, for chow, for gear issue, etc. One of the instructors’ favorite hobbies was to order us all to double-time in place, so that we could “wait faster.” Ah, yes, the good old days. 😝

So yeah, I am just waiting on Legion. Sometimes I wait slowly as I did this past weekend, and sometimes I wait faster by double-timing on my alts for a bit. But it is all just waiting.

(Yet another disjointed post. This is becoming a habit, I think. Note to self: Get your act together, Girl!)

Now what?

This will be a disjointed post, but it reflects my current feelings about the game. I really don’t know where I am in my enjoyment of it, if indeed I am even still “enjoying” it. I just don’t know.

Last night I stepped out of the morass that is Draenor and revisited some of my favorite legacy areas. Places like Uldum, Tanaris, and all of Pandaria. I got out my favorite flying mount and swooped and soared to my heart’s content, taking in what I believe were Blizz’s finest art designs. Designs that cannot ever be truly appreciated from the ground, designs that inspire and delight when viewed from the air. This, I thought, this was Blizz at its best. This was art and design made by passionate, creative, talented people who loved what they did.

I dipped down in Pandaria and traveled awhile on my chopper, and I saw that this zone’s design was so rich that it gave me an entirely different experience on the ground — complex, varied, and with unexpected visual rewards just as I rounded a corner or trekked through a jungle.

The Blizz that designed Pandaria knew how to deliver a product for all of its player base. That Blizz welcomed challenge and met it head on, taking joy in showing they were more than a match for it. They gave us visual content at its very best.

But ultimately visiting these areas was sad for me, because I knew that I would never experience any of it again except by revisiting legacy areas. I realized that among other things it has done to weaken the game for me, Blizz has killed the joy of anticipation. I cannot make myself get excited over 6.2 because it will be nothing more than an undisguised rerun of the worst parts of WoD. More slogging around on the ground even at level, increased garrison chore load, even less relevant professions, class imbalances so great as to make some specs unplayable, crappy gear that can be bought with gold at prices as exorbitant and ridiculous as the Apexis crystal price, and “new” flying mounts that will never fly in Draenor or any future content and are just reskins of old mounts anyway.

Worse, I am so demoralized over this last weekend’s in-your-face announcement that I am pretty sure I won’t be able to work up any real enthusiasm over the next contraction expansion either. Blizz has made it clear that they are no longer about proudly doing the hard things and making them look easy. Instead, they are about cutting corners, about designing Potemkin Villages and telling us over and over how “rich” and “complex” they are, about setting up mechanisms that slow us down so we won’t notice there is very little content.

I doubt I will be logging on much for awhile. When 6.2 comes out, I’ll go through it at least with my hunters, because I’m not ready yet to give up raiding with my guild. But Tanaan will be simply a necessary means to an end, something to get through rather than enjoy.

The sad thing is, the fun I used to have running old dungeons and visiting old content is gone now. I used to have fun running Firelands for the mount, but now really what’s the point? Even if I get the drop, all I will be able to do with that magnificently-drawn mount in any current content is waddle around on the ground with it. Whoopie.

So thanks, Blizz, thanks for sucking the fun out of not only the current content, but also past and future contents.

I have started looking into Final Fantasy XIV. The new expansion, Heavensward, looks very promising and launches June 19 for early play, June 23rd for those who do not preorder. I did download the free 14 day trial on the current xpac, but unfortunately was unable to make it playable on my VMware Windows box — could not get more than 6 fps. (Yes, I play games on a Mac, don’t judge.) But Heavensward has a native Mac download, so I am very hopeful. I will definitely give it a serious try.

I am debating whether to unsub from WoW in the near future. Part of me says it would make a (microscopic) statement of protest, part of me says wait until after 6.2, part of me says get real you know you will stay with this game until the bitter end so quit fooling yourself. (Sometimes I do talk rather sternly to myself.)

I am foolishly now waiting to see what Blizz has to say for itself in the June 6 “Q&A” which clearly will be Watcher “A-ing” bogus watered-down “Q’s” designed to show brief “concern” over the reaction to the no flying decision and then quickly moving on to how exciting and content-packed 6.2 will be. The most I am expecting regarding flying is some vague hand-waving semi-promising to “relook” it possibly maybe in the future in some limited fashion, in hopes that those of us who want it to happen will be gullible enough to hang on and buy the next xpac. (Hey, that approach has worked for over a year, no reason it shouldn’t keep on working.)

Like the little kid diligently searching for a pony when presented with a room full of horse manure, I am furiously digging through this game to find the fun I know has to be hidden somewhere. Sadly, it is that reaction that makes me exactly the kind of player Blizz has come to love. . . .