A Logical Dead End – Blaugust 26

834 words.

Island Expedition tutorial

I just went ahead and cancelled my World of Warcraft subscription today. It was largely a formality. I can’t imagine a world (of Warcraft! Har!) where this expansion would have been so great that I’d have played for more than a month.

Incidentally, no other MMO makes it so easy to cancel its subscription, I’ve noticed. You just click the “Cancel” link and that’s it. No questions, no guilt trips, no nothing.

Now I need to figure out what to do in my remaining time, if anything. I did in fact “finish” the Stormsong Valley zone yesterday after another hour or so. While I wasn’t particularly entertained by the story, I was pleased to see Azshara’s name mentioned once or twice, to connect the game with the Warbringer cinematic. Kind of.

I put “finish” in quotes up there because finishing the main overarching story throughline of the zone, the one that starts at the Big Map On The Wall and ends in a dungeon, only represents about half of the zone completion achievement. I don’t remember it being like that in Legion.

I seem to recall some significantly better zone storytelling in Legion. There was one story that I recall being quite moving, but of course I can’t remember any specifics now. I think there was a dragon involved? I didn’t write much of anything about my experiences in Legion to refer to later, and the handful of videos I recorded were lost in a USB hard drive crash, so that’s gone forever.

This time I think I’ll write a post summarizing the Battle for Azeroth zone stories for posterity. I have videos of every moment I’ve played so far, which at this writing totals 20 1/2 hours. I won’t be uploading those videos, though, unless there’s someone out there dying to hear me saying “I don’t remember why I’m doing this quest” over and over again.

As a general rule, WoW is quite boring to watch in video form… the only opportunities for a broadcaster to add anything to the base game is during the reading of the quest text. Between quest NPCs, there are long periods of mindlessly killing mobs during questing, and there is zero gameplay strategy to talk about during that time. (The same video production problem occurs in most MMORPGs, actually-overall it’s a terrible genre for making compelling game videos.) It might be fun to put together a short compilation video though, just to commemorate my time in this expansion.

This is the "Big Map On The Wall" in the Harbormaster's Office, in case you don't know what I'm talking about. It's where you pick the order of the zones you want to explore.

Anyway, after finishing the quests in the Stormsong Valley zone, Taelia (the only recurring new character that spans more than one zone so far) gave me a quest that led back to the Harbormaster. I thought maybe it would lead back into some story elements related to Jaina, but all it did was dead end in the Harbormaster’s Office. I guess I need to do the three dungeons I skipped? Or finish all the unrelated side quests in all the zones? Who knows? The game sure doesn’t tell me.

Except for the “war” quests the game hands me every two levels. This time, I did the introductory Island Expedition mission that you get at level 116. I guess in “real” situations there would be Horde and Alliance players fighting each other on what I presume would be randomly-generated islands for Azerite. I didn’t find the tutorial very fun. I feel really badly for all the people who will be stuck grinding that way for the next two years, if that’s the only new thing this expansion has to offer.

My Heart of Azeroth is level 8 now, by the way. Again, I feel badly for the people who will be stuck collecting Azerite for the next two years to level that thing up. It just seems like such a meaningless Mcguffin in the game. I’d rather have increasingly powerful gear drops, personally. I’m not a huge fan of “leveling my gear.”

Regardless, I’m at a point where I feel like I’ve hit a logical dead end, and it would be super easy for me to leave and never come back. The prospect of dungeons doesn’t appeal to me. The prospect of chasing down every random side quest in every zone doesn’t appeal to me. The prospect of mindlessly grinding to finish leveling up to 120 doesn’t appeal to me. The prospect of Island Expeditions doesn’t appeal to me. The prospect of Garrison-style “Missions” doesn’t appeal to me. What’s left? Pet battles? I’ve enjoyed them in the past but I’m not terribly interested right now, certainly not with a ticking clock on my subscription.

The only thing that does appeal to me is finding out what happened with Jaina and her mother, but I don’t see any pathway to get there right now.

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