Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Pondering, End Game Motivation (WoW)
I've been thinking about endgame lately, I've not been really doing much of it. I was pondering why and really it's just a lot of reasons. I wanted to share a few thoughts. I am enjoying the game but I'm not really working towards any goals at 85. Why? I apologize for the long post ahead of time! Takes a deep breath.
I find myself a recluse these days in WoW. Cataclysm is fantastic, leveling alts is fun but still I really only group with my husband as a duo, recently. Its quite fun really but sometimes it feels like I have no real goals to aim for in Cataclysm. Besides working on my newest alt, then what? Our guild is small and we are very casual with no raiding. I don't think we could even if we wanted to. So, that leaves casual group play.
The game is so highly polished and wonderful while you level. Better than ever. Once you get to the top, especially if you've played it for as long as me, you can get a bit weary from all the changes. The way of thinking is constantly changing. It's like a blur, just when you get comfortable it all changes again. Developers are constantly trying to reinvent the game.
First off, I find myself very wary of pug groups. My guild is small and in most cases it is only me on for most of my play time, depending on the time of day. It's really nobody's fault that I don't enjoy the community as much. LFD doesn't offer the chance to make friends or recruit guild members, it feels so random and lackluster. Plus, I've had more than my share of nightmare random groups to come to this conclusion. This expansion pushes us towards working with guilds- Are we to randomly invite people, not getting to know players on the playing field? I suppose that's how it's been since LFD was added. The content is suppose to make us work together harder.
While I think harder content is cool, I don't think spending more time doing a long dungeon is fun. Or working on harder content with a PUG is fun. I don't really want to spend more than half an hour, an hour tops, in an instance, anything longer should be kept to raids. Unless it's a static xp group... which does not exist in WoW (think of setting up camp in EQ or DAoC).
In Ghostcrawler's latest blog post, 'Wow, Dungeons's are hard!', he states: In fact, we think the game is more fun overall when you play with friends, which is why we put so much effort into encouraging players to join guilds for Cataclysm. Running a hard dungeon with friends tends to be a much better experience. Communication feels less awkward, and everyone is generally more supportive of mistakes. You learn the strengths and weaknesses and nuances of players that you run with regularly. There tend to be fewer loot arguments as well. PUGs have their place -- don’t get me wrong. But we don’t want to sacrifice dungeons being fun and challenging for organized groups in order to have everything be conquered by any possible group. Make sense?
Learning things is something that you do (to enjoy) with friends and guild members not random strangers. You can, but there is a reason PUGS have such a bad name. That's why we raid. We do groups for casual fun, or rather... we did. Now they're just stepping stones [almost exclusively in WoW] we turn our noses at because we're too uber once we over-gear them. So why penalize small guilds because they lack the numbers or casual guilds? We must be in an active, large guild to really enjoy the game, even casually, at this point in time?
Is there a place for the casual player? The casual guild? What about people who can't find a solid guild at odd play-times? Other parts of his post continue with; '...There are only a few level-85 normal dungeons. For a level-85 player who isn’t ready for Heroics but wants to run dungeons, these can get old pretty quickly.' Which led on to talk about heroics and heroic-heroics... Seriously? I suppose we wait it out and continue to PUG along until we get there. Maybe a little slower, maybe a bit burnt out by then.
He also writes: 'We do understand that some healers are frustrated and giving up. That is sad and unfortunate.' Blah blah... Still wondering why you sit in LFG for half an hour? Last time I queued I waited 40 minutes (as dps) for a normal instance and logged before one popped up. While they want to take the pressure off healers for 'covering' for other people by flinging out tons of heals- it still falls on the healers as they sit OOM holding the group up. Even if the dps was too low they will still get blamed in many cases. It's not a fix. It's not fun. It's not harder, its wasting time. It's the reason I'm playing as and not healing. Sure, things will get easier when people are over-geared. By then it's back to the same cycle. It was also said- In Cataclysm, the Heroic dungeons and raids are intended to be challenging -- and they are, at least until you overgear them.
The whole post sounded as if it were aimed at raiding but it's just the group scene. ITS HEROICS!! What about casual shorter instances for non-raiders? Longer time spans in instances make them harder? Harder to get done I suppose.
I don't really think ANYTHING in WoW is truly hard. That's why so many people play it, honestly. Polish and accessibility those are the keys of success with this game. Once you learn mechanics and are geared properly [well] it's really quite easy.
[I'm not saying the game doesn't take skill for some aspects and hard work from guilds- there's just a lot of jumping through hoops and fire. And I do see plenty of monkeys in the best of the best with gear and guilds who are some of the worst players I've ever encountered]
'Ultimately, we don’t want to give undergeared or unorganized groups a near guaranteed chance of success, because then the content will feel absolutely trivial for players in appropriate gear who communicate, cooperate, and strategize. ' You may as well throw LFD out the window then! That's all LFD is- an unorganized group of people thrown together randomly. Shall we plot things out for several hours of learning and wipes? I've had friends tell me how they've done this. I thought that was raiding! Sorry but I'm not wasting that kind of time on five man instances and pretending it's something special- on group content.
You could tell me to go find a bigger guild, there you go no more LFD. But what about the little guilds, do they suffer and fall apart, friends get left behind? I'm more casual than ever, with WoW, and I don't want to leave my friends. So I suppose for me it's the little things to focus on, the solo game. If I don't feel up to raiding, at least group content should be enjoyable. Right? I might give PUGS more of a shot in the future, just not at this point in time. I don't want to totally burn out this early into the expansion. I don't like the developers outlook thus far.
On top of that, I suppose I feel I may as well not get attached to a specific play style. That's a big thing that has me bummed. I feel like the rug is constantly being pulled out from under my feet. The classes change too much, I don't like relearning a class I've been playing for six years. I adapt and get accustomed to things but it does dampen my urge to play certain classes I worked hard on and enjoyed before those changes.
Maybe I've just been burnt too many times, maybe I'm too old school, maybe I'm just not giving it enough of a chance? Whatever it is, it doesn't feel like it should. Maybe it's just me?
In conclusion, I suppose I sometimes wish LFD used Horde and Alliance for random groups, at least being able to play with your own server population- creating a closer community. But mostly I wish game play and class mechanics, we've had in place for years, weren't discarded on a constant basis. I think the rest would fall into place and the community would be better off for it. I wish the goals of the developers didn't change like the tides rolling in and out...
The moral of the story? There is no working as intended, we simply don't know how we intend it to work so we keep changing it! Ok, there is no real moral of this story. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts thus far in with a casual guild and a casual outlook: Sometimes playing WoW feels the equivalent of screaming on the top of my lungs in a crowd where nobody hears me. If you've read thus far, thank you for keeping up with my insanely long post and ramblings!