Reactions To WoW Legion

World of Warcraft Legion

World of Warcraft is so far off my radar right now that the announcement of the new Legion expansion* is about as interesting to me as a deer tick. Even that horrible analogy was more interesting to me. It’s not that I don’t like WoW when I play it. It just doesn’t hold my attention for very long.

There are two things I just don’t understand about WoW fandom: The first is how people can look around at all of the MMORPGs out there and decide that WoW is the only one they want to play, and the second is how anyone can follow any of the lore that happens in WoW.

The “Burning Legion” mentioned in the sort-of-kind-of trailer means absolutely nothing to me. I guess we’ve seen them before? It says they’re “back” so I assume we drove them off in a previous expansion or something. Wait are those all the demon dudes wandering around in Hellfire Penninsula? Hey, maybe I know more than I thought I did.

Before Draenor came out, I remember a lot of discussion about how we were going to be time traveling into the past, or something like that. I bought and played Draenor. I don’t remember one single quest dialog telling me that I was traveling into the past. I didn’t know why there were Orcs and Draenei fighting it out in that expansion. I didn’t know why the Orcs wanted to time travel. Or maybe it was the Draenei doing the time traveling. Maybe it was a cosmic worm hole. I have no idea. Maybe I should have known why Orcs and Draenei were fighting ever since Burning Crusade, when the Draenei first fell out of the sky or whatever. I leveled a Draenei priest through those starter zones, you’d think I would know their backstory.

But I don’t even know how to spell “Draenei” without looking it up, that’s how disconnected I am from WoW lore.

Anyway WoW fans’s heads are probably exploding with disbelief right now, but for a casual player who doesn’t follow WoW, it was not obvious what was happening there at the beginning of that last expansion or why it was happening. And I didn’t just click through the dialogs either. But even if I had, it should still have been obvious what was going on if time-traveling was taking place. You’d think maybe somebody could have said out loud in one of those cut scenes, “Where are we? More like when are we!” Maybe when I re-subscribe for Legion I’ll double-check to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I still haven’t used my free level 90 boost.

Speaking of boosts, I hope they give out another free level boost in this new expansion. They probably won’t, but it would be cool if they did. I think I said it for Draenor too: That level boost alone is easily worth the cost of the expansion, when you consider how much time it takes to get to 90.

The only thing I’ve seen about the expansion so far that might be entertaining for a player like me is the new class. But I’m very wary about WoW classes. One day I should write a post about how nonsensical and weird I find all of the classes. They throw the strangest abilities in there. And you only end up needing to use like four abilities out of the one hundred they give you. (No I haven’t done any raiding–I’m sure it’s more complicated at the high end.)

But despite all my personal feelings about WoW–or lack thereof–I’m happy to see Legion is coming. It’s good for the genre.

* It occurred to me that when I link to MassiveOP I should probably disclose that I did throw a few bucks at their Kickstarter. So yeah I have a tiny, microscopic self-interest in sending traffic their way. Though I seriously doubt that my traffic is making any difference to their business.

Posted on Blaugust Day 10. Read all of my Blaugust posts here.

Arbitrary Mid-January Status Update

I’m in a “bouncing around between games” mode at the moment, now that I’m done with Elite: Dangerous. I’ve been logging into two or three or four different MMOs a day, looking for one to capture my imagination.

Level 100!
Level 100!

WoW. My WoW subscription runs out on the 20th, and I won’t be renewing. WoW is a fun game, but I always tire of it pretty quickly. I did manage to reach level 100 with my Hunter and upgrade my Garrison, though. I have enjoyed my time in the game, but I simply can’t comprehend how people think the story in this expansion is the best ever. I guess I’ve never “gotten” the lore in WoW. (WoW might be the only game that I care less about the quest text than ArcheAge.) I thought there was supposed to be time travel in here somewhere but at no point do I remember anyone saying that I traveled back in time. (Except one quest to kill Banthar in Nagrand that sort-of referred to it, some five zones into the game.) There are Russian space goats and angry orcs everywhere, but then I was in a place with a bunch of bird people and giant crow gods or something. *shrug* I feel bad for people who will feel obligated to spend the next two years playing this expansion until the next one comes out. It’s okay to play other games, guys. You really don’t have to live in one game your whole life. :)

FFXIV. I still have my Final Fantasy XIV subscription, however I haven’t felt much of an urge to return to the game full time. I stop in periodically and level the Rogue class, but that’s about it. Not planning to cancel my sub though. (I noticed that FFXIV is now selling more and more optional cosmetic items in their store… I wonder if that might mean an upcoming change in their subscription model.)

ArcheAge. I still log into ArcheAge about once a week to pay my taxes. My property is still sitting there empty, probably making everyone else angry. Sometimes I think I should just push on through from level 48.5 to 50 before my Patron status runs out, but I can’t summon the energy for it. (I now have about 450 tax certificates stored up, by the way, which is enough to pay for my property for about… calculating… 22 more weeks.)

Rift. I also log into Rift every couple of days to pick up Minion rewards. I think I have about 50 million pieces of endgame crafting items now clogging up my inventory and bank, and countless numbers of Dimension Item boxes. I meant to do some of the Christmas event, but I never got around to it. It turned out I still had a sizable amount of Christmas currency from last year anyway. There’s a new recurring event now for

Guild Wars 2. I keep trying to get back into the Living Story of Guild Wars 2 but it only takes about twenty minutes of gameplay before I want to punch the monitor with my fist, so that’s been slow going. (See Aywren’s post for the exact reason why.) I’ve only just completed Dragon’s Reach Part 1, which involves trying to get Important People to come to some kind of Summit. I cannot emphasize enough how much I despise the GW2 concept of story being the reward for completing challenges. Loot should be the reward for completing challenges. Story should require no effort to consume. (In my opinion.) Not that it matters, because I play so infrequently that I have no idea what the story is anyway. There’s a new dragon somewhere I guess, and a bunch of annoying vines doing insufferable crowd-control effects, and some Asura prodigy doing something with waypoints. It’s all just random noise to me. It’s like how you do leveling quests without paying attention in WoW, except you’re not actually leveling so what is the point of even doing it other than to see what everyone is talking about. Also since the loot in GW2 is so impossible to understand, I really don’t know if I’m even being rewarded with loot either. Grrrr. It makes me literally angry with rage!

Landmark. I re-rolled a fresh character to see what a brand new player would see. It’s sort-of getting somewhere, but I still don’t get it. There still aren’t any real objectives. I couldn’t find any caves. There are newbie mobs standing right next to uber-advanced killer mobs that you can barely scratch with your sword. The combat feels weirdly like TERA, only a lot more limited. My hopes for EQ: Next plummet each time I play this game.

TERA. Speaking of which, I even tried to play TERA, but for some reason I can’t update the game any more. I suspect I need to un-install and re-install, but that’s too much of a bother.

WildStar and ESO. Waiting on subscription model changes, like everyone else. :) I think I have a 7-day “please for the love of God come back” free pass for WildStar that I might use. I’m actually looking forward to seeing what WildStar does in 2015 now that they’ve been crushed by the reality that casual players outnumber elite raiders by about a thousand to one.

SWTOR. Given my lackluster showing in the games above, I’ve sort of re-discovered Star Wars: The Old Republic again. It’s actually a pretty good game. :) I’ve probably spent most of my playing time in it during January. I even managed to play it successfully for a while without paying any money. But then I caved in and got a 3-month subscription so I didn’t have to worry about the restrictions. I expect by the end of 3 months (or maybe even 1 month) I’ll be ready to cancel again. I’m playing a Jedi Guardian Knight this time, and have so far gone from level 10 to level 22. (Previously, my highest level character was a Smuggler at level 28, but every time I try to play it now, I die horribly.) The Kira Carsen companion is hilarious.  (“Eat lightsaber, jerk!”)

Standing around in Nar Shadda, unable to remember to hide the FRAPS display.
Standing around in Nar Shadda, unable to remember to hide the FRAPS fps display.

Rift Enthusiasm Waning, Bring on Draenor

November is nearly over, which means NaNoWriMo is almost over for another year. As of this posting, I have some 1,500 words left to do before validating. (The story is nowhere near done, and I expect I will need to add another 40,000-50,000 words to actually finish the novel.)

I’m growing a bit tired of Rift. I finished the main story and got my main Mage to 65, and my Rogue, Warrior, and Cleric are all sitting at 60. I still enjoy playing Rift and sending out Minions, but it’s prohibitively time-consuming to farm Void Stones from 61+ Zone Events to upgrade one’s gear, and I’m not really in the mood for dungeons right now.

The Rift dwarven family of characters.
Ezarin and the Rift dwarven family of characters in Nightmare Tide.

With Rift fading from the limelight, I’m turning to Warlords of Draenor “full time.” The leveling game is crushingly easy as always. I finished the story in the first zone Shadowmoon Valley and reached level 92 in the process. I’m enjoying the Garrisons so far. They’re sort of like a slow-motion RTS. (I don’t much like having to wait for followers to finish their missions though.)

I haven’t yet used my instant-90. At first I thought I would use it on my 68 Mage, but lately I’ve come to the conclusion that Mages are the absolute worst class in WoW, and I have no more desire to punish myself by playing one. (Except I’m still determined to get my Mage to 90.) I honestly don’t know what they are good for (other than creating portals). They are terrible for soloing, and they are terrible in groups. The only useful ability they have in groups is a Remove Curse, and I consider that to be a healing responsibility, so I have no idea why the Mage even has it.

Hurray, I saved the world again!
Shadowmoon Valley saved!

Anyway, I think I might now use my instant-90 on my Warlock. Maybe. I haven’t decided yet. Who am I kidding? I’ll probably just hold onto it indefinitely.

In other news, I volunteered to write an article for Syl’s Bloggy Xmas Calendar. My article is scheduled for December 7, a date which seems to be looming a lot closer than I would like.

A November Kitchen Sink Post

Hi! You may remember that I used to write blog posts. At least occasionally. Unfortunately this month two things have happened: Rift Nightmare Tide and NaNoWriMo. Those two things, particularly the former, are way more interesting than writing blog posts. But I thought I would take a break and quickly write down some stuff about things.

Chatting with Akva near the end of Draumheim.
Chatting with Arak near the end of Draumheim.

Overwatch. Blizzard is making a role-based shooter (cough Team Fortress cough). This is probably a great idea that will make bazillions of dollars. I personally have less than zero interest in yet another shooter in a crowded, stale market. The only way I could possibly become interested is if they find a way to solve the ridiculously unbalanced gameplay that usually occurs between casual newbies and hardcore veterans. Most shooters are not fun unless you decide to dedicate your life to them and start on day one. I can’t tell if they are addressing any of that from the information I’m seeing, but I’m guessing that if it’s Blizzard, there will be progression in it, so they probably aren’t addressing it.

ArcheAge. Sorry everyone whose ArcheAge searches bring you to my blog, but I’ve totally lost interest in ArcheAge. I couldn’t care less about the new Auroria continent. I’ve seen a lot of controversy about the cash shop, but I haven’t been paying attention to it, and that’s not what will drive me away from the game anyway. (Aywren has great posts about the problems with ArcheAge.) For me, it’s basically too time-consuming to fully experience and enjoy the game. All I do in ArcheAge now is log in periodically to make sure my geese haven’t died and to pay my taxes. That is probably all I’m going to do until my Patron status runs out, which could be in a few days or a few months. I can’t tell by reading any of the information in the game or on Trion’s site. (That is another problem with ArcheAge.) After my Patron status runs out, there’s no reason to keep playing because if you can’t own land, ArcheAge has very few interesting features. (I mean, unless you want to run around with a guild doing trade runs for, I don’t know, bragging rights I guess.)

FFXIV. I’ve played a little bit of the new Rogue class in FFXIV. To me, it feels a lot like the Pugilist class, which is not really a selling point for me. I doubt I’ll play very much of it, although I will level it to at least 15 like every other class. But first I need to stop playing …

Rift Nightmare Tide. Pretty much playing this every possible moment, doing all the things, including the Harvest Whatever event. My mage is almost to level 65, but I’ve also spent a lot of other time leveling my rogue from 51 to 55, and building up his survival and fishing proficiency. I imagine this is what you WoW enthusiasts will feel like when Warlords of Draenor comes out. (Actually many of you WoW enthusiasts apparently already feel like this.) The only real problems I have with Rift are that performance is considerably slower than I remember, and there is a weird camera problem when you walk beside things.

My mage in his Ravens football uniform, standing before the junk pile of dimension items I've been collecting.
My mage in his Ravens football uniform*, standing before the junk pile of dimension items I’ve been getting from minions.

NaNoWriMo. I’m seeing a lot of people in my Twitter feed participating this year, which is cool. I’m on pace, which is better than I expected to do considering I didn’t have anything like a plot or characters when I started. My novel is a post-apocalypse story (but not a young adult dystopian or a zombie apocalypse). I’ve wanted to write a post-apocalypse story since I was a teenager (although this one doesn’t look anything like the Mad Max world I had envisioned back then).

Now to find some pictures! And then get back to Rift!

* Note that I am not a fan of the Baltimore Ravens (though I don’t particularly dislike them either). Also note that I do not have permission from the NFL to use the term “Ravens,” “Baltimore,” “football,” the color purple, or a picture of shoulder pads.

Ping-Ponging My Way To Nightmare Tide

I took a little break from ArcheAge and it turned into an unintentional gaming ping-ping-a-thon. Don’t worry, I still log into ArcheAge to gather the fruit from my trees a couple times a day. Also, I finally destroyed my Scarecrow Garden to make a Farmer’s Workbench. I hated to do it, though. I wish I could rotate my house to face a different direction.

FFXIV

First I dropped back into Final Fantasy XIV again because I had an active subscription. I didn’t really have a goal but it turned out that there was a Halloween event going on so I went through that quest line. Seasonal events in FFXIV are very quick and easy, so it didn’t take more than an hour and I ended up with some neat-looking scary barding for my Chocobo. (I think it’s the only barding I’ve gotten so far.) The rewards this year were far better than the silly ghost costume we got last year.

Speaking of FFXIV, an upcoming expansion and nailing consistently high-quality content every quarter reaffirms my belief that FFXIV is the best subscription game to have right now, if you have to pick just one.

WoW

Then I went and got 3 months of subscription for WoW so I could take a look at 6.0.2 and be ready for Draenor. My night elf looked only slightly different, but when he runs around now he sort of hops spryly instead of what he used to do, which looked a bit like someone running with scuba flippers on their feet (or maybe clown shoes). If I hadn’t known that they changed the models, I might not have even noticed it was different. It’s too bad they couldn’t up-res the textures on the armor, though.

My main hunter was 88 when I left him, so I quested around in Krasarang Wilds until I reached 89. (Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long.) Right away I noticed that my Serpent Sting DoT was gone, which caused some confusion for a while. I didn’t realize they were making class changes in this patch. Not that it was a big deal or anything since I can still mow through anything while questing. (Usually I don’t even have to do anything; my pet can handle everything by himself.) But I’m not sure what I’m supposed to use for a DoT now. I’ve never taken the time to “learn my rotations” with my hunter since it doesn’t matter a whit while questing.

Anyway the point is that I only have one more level to go before I get my hunter to level 90. I still haven’t bought the expansion yet, though. But I probably will. Probably.

Rift

Lastly, it came as a total surprise to me that Rift’s Nightmare Tide dropped! It shouldn’t have been a surprise, because I knew it was coming. It’s just that I didn’t realize that The Day was actually upon us. October has been flying by apparently.

I panicked at first because I thought that I wouldn’t be able to buy any of the Collector’s Editions any more, but thankfully they were still available. I logged in first to verify that buying one would be a good decision (the items cost a ton of some currency I didn’t have), then I went ahead and bought the $49 starter pack. I debated getting the $25 one, because I don’t actually need an insta-60 boost (I already have two level 60s), but it might be handy to boost my alt rogue or cleric from 50 to 60, and anyway I wanted to reward Trion for making new content.

Nice landscapes to look at.
Nice aquarium, but where are the fish?

So far I’m enjoying it. It’s nothing radically different, so if you didn’t like Rift before, you probably still won’t like it. I’m starting out with my Mage, who has always been my main, and I think I might create a new build with a mixture of Harbinger and Arbiter to see if I can make an even more indestructible soloing build. The mobs in the first new zone actually hit kind of hard compared to the level 60s in, say, Hailol, so it’s a good thing they gave us more health.

The Minions are nothing like what I was expecting. Somehow I had it in my head they would be similar to Battle Pets, but it’s not even close. It reminds me more of gathering resources in Star Wars The Old Republic. It’s also like the adventures you can send your retainers on in FFXIV. That is, you task your minion to do stuff and then wait for him to complete it. When he gets back, he’ll gain some experience and presumably he’ll bring you cool stuff. (I haven’t seen any yet, though.)

Now that Nightmare Tide is out, Rift is probably what I’ll be playing for a couple weeks. It’s too bad more people don’t play it. A game like ArcheAge, to me, can be played with a basically empty server, but Rift is much better when there are a lot of people on the servers to gather together for Rifts and Instant Adventures and Zone Events. So all you people complaining about the ganking in ArcheAge, go play Rift!

Warlords of Draenor Launches Nov 13, 2014

I don’t really have anything to say about it, though. I just wanted my cleverly-crafted post title to draw you into my blog lair. Ha-ha! I social-engineered you!

(I’ve been reading about copywriting and headlines today. Sorry.)

I will say, though, that I’m a little surprised Warlords of Draenor is shipping so early. I figured it wouldn’t be out until December. I haven’t heard anything but “it’s not ready” from beta testers.