World of Warcraft

Little Blogger Lost

In old news, the Activision-Blizzard investor call has revealed that World of Warcraft lost 1.3 million subs since February. Then there is the Newbie Blogger Initiative Anniversary round up. Depending on the blog and the way they determined which blogs are active (Many round up posts included Healing Mains as active, for example, but the latest post is in fact a closing down notice), roughly 25% of the 111 blogs that officially registered this time last year are still active. That means 83 people who loved MMO’s enough to write about them have either quit blogging or, more likely, have quit playing. Even this blog has been affected by how little I play. Looking back at my annual report, I wrote 71 posts between May and December last year. This year? I have only managed 15 posts, and lately they have mostly been about my future in WoW.

The Good Ol’ Days

World of Warcraft is old. I can see that every time I log into a different game. I was sick last week and I didn’t have the mental fortitude for TERA or Neverwinter. Leveling in those games requires some degree of attention span, since you need to dodge and aim attacks. So I played some RIFT instead. I lasted one level before even that was too much for me. Next thing I know I was creating a Blood Elf Hunter on Dath’remar.

The very first thing that struck me as I was running through the beautiful area pew-pewing Mana Wyrms and gathering research tools was that this zone has not changed since I rolled my very first Horde character back in The Burning Crusade. A wave of nostalgia washed over me as I remembered my excitement at finally having the expansion, how gorgeous the zone was, how amazing the chocobo Hawkstrider mounts looked and the friends I made in that zone (/greet Bullet).  Symbolically, this zone represents how happy I was about a fresh start both in-game and in my personal life at that time, and revisiting it brought all those feelings back.

For the first time in a long time I was happy to be playing World of Warcraft.

AIARIA

Reflections

There must have been something in the air last week, because a few days later the lovely Navimie wrote about World of Warcraft nostalgia and then my good friend Beaves asked me to help him create an Alliance version of Concur back on my original server. I found myself rolling another Hunter, this time a human, to sign the charter (Massive thank you to Navi and Prinnie for helping out!). I was back in Northshire on the server where my love of WoW really started back in Vanilla. However, there was no nostalgia this time…

The Human starting area is one that got a revamp during Cataclysm. There is no denying that World of Warcraft desperately needed that update; but by changing the starting zone it has, in my opinion, lost the magic that it had all those years ago. The location may have been exactly the same as when I rolled my Rogue back when I was 19, but the story is so different to what it was back then that my Human Hunter didn’t have anywhere near the same impact on me that my Blood Elf did. The thing is, I know that it will take more than nostalgia to keep me interested in my Blood Elf. Once I am out of the starting zones and levels take a little more time to gain, I will sink right back into the monotony that has me logging in less and less these days. Revamped or not, leveling characters is something that I have done a thousand times before, and the thought of getting the ding ninety times is quite a daunting one, regardless of how quickly most of them can be smashed out.

You know your nation is in trouble when a guard can't even handle a level 2 Wolf...

You know your nation is in trouble when a guard can’t even handle a level 2 Wolf…

Fresh Start

Perhaps that is the reason why people are leaving World of Warcraft. In the current incantation of end-game as I left it, reaching level cap is a fair amount of work, and gearing that character is still more again. If for whatever reason you decide to change class, role or play style, you are faced with a mountain of tedious, repetitive chores that you have possibly done a thousand times before all in the name of getting yourself back to that point. All MMO’s have that element, true, but with so many new titles on the market, perhaps players feel that if they’re going to start fresh, they may as well do so in a different world where everything is new again?

For me, that is certainly the case. While I am in no rush to get to end game in any of the other titles I am currently playing, I am greatly enjoying the fact that the journey to level cap is not a chore. Neverwinter offers a different combat system, various ways to level and rich lore derived from its Dungeons and Dragons roots. Every quest I accept offers something that I have never experienced before; it offers a new piece to a story that I don’t know the end of.  And yet, none of these games I have been flirting with feel like a replacement. None of them feel like home.

Could this be the new place I settle in to?

Could this be the new place I settle in to?

Lost

That leaves me in a gaming no-man’s land. I still have a subscription to World of Warcraft and I log in once a day to list auctions so I can continue to be my husband’s in-game sugar-mama, but I don’t really play. I have handed off all responsibility of running Concur to my officers and they have been incredibly supportive and understanding of the fact that burn out happens and sometimes we just need a break. I have had a great time playing Neverwinter, but I made the mistake of only playing with my husband, whose schedule is insane and leaves very little time for us to actually play together. TERA is great, but the going is slow when you’re playing solo and I am still working through content that I have already done before with Disconcur (I’m sensing a theme here!). RIFT is great, but the combat is very similar to World of Warcraft and I enjoy the newer action combat systems more. I even tried playing Bioshock: Infinite on the PS3 but it turns out I get Simulation Sickness. Ugh.

I can understand now why 83 people called it a day on their blogs. It is hard to write something — anything! — when you can’t even figure out what game to launch. Personally, I find myself spending more time watching television, writing for Mama Needs Mana or learning new things like how to knit and sew. However, I still really, really love MMO’s and I know that the passion I have for writing about them is still there. It is just very hard to write when I haven’t found my new home yet.

If you are a blogger who also happens to be one of the 1.3 million people that have quit World of Warcraft since February, I strongly urge you not to delete your blog. You never know when nostalgia will hit you and your blog is a great way to remind you of the good ol’ days without having to re-roll. Besides, there is no rule saying that because you started as a WoW blog that you can never change the blog’s theme! Chances are, your readers like you as a person just as much as they liked reading about your adventures in Azeroth 🙂

26 thoughts on “Little Blogger Lost

  1. I sometimes feel ungrateful, I appreciated the makeover Blizzard gave the world but I still find the zones I love the most are those that changed the least. I know, when I think of moving on I’m not sure where I’d go. All the many games I’ve visited and enjoyed, not a one felt like home as WoW has.

    • Azshara was my favourite zone for the longest time. Dead or not, I much preferred the old to the new! I don’t think it makes us ungrateful to enjoy the older zones more, we’re just vintage 😛

  2. When I start getting that burnout on my higher level alts – I just get on a lowbie and try to revisit some of the nostalgia – nope, not quitting yet and hope to hang in there until they close the servers in a few years.

    Hang in there, things will get better 😀

    • lol I can’t even remember the last time I did anything on my level 90 toons and yet I am still here. Alts have been great for keeping me around so far 🙂

      • LOL I think my alts help me keep what little sanity I have left sometimes – those 90s are great, however, give me a relaxing few hours on a lowbie and I’m a happy camper.

  3. Since my pre-Cata days were exclusively Horde-side and few in number, I have absolutely no nostalgia for the old zones “the way they were.” I only went through Forsaken, Tauren and Troll starting areas, and I have extremely limited memories of them:

    1.) Questing for beartongues on a PvP server and getting my wimpy tiny Forsaken rogue corpse camped (which caused me to ragequit until Cata, as I think I’ve mentioned)
    2.) Cow of unknown class, most memories consist of me hurling the poor thing off tall places like Thunder Bluff and Thousand Needles (I do have a screenshot of her dead in what I presume to be Wailing Caverns). Possibly an engineer. Remember cow in goggles.
    3.) I appended “belg” to the end of all my troll names for unknown reasons

    Even now, I have zero nostalgia for any starter zones, most likely because I have so many damn alts – I’ve done them all more than once. Without nostalgia to save them, the new zones are a barrier themselves: I am more likely to groan and avoid rolling an alt if I have to go through the Cata or Panda starting areas, because I hate being on a freaking island with no freaking way off for freaking ever. Pandaland ESPECIALLY kills me because I can’t even join a dang guild until I pick a faction. URGH.

    These days I tend to be happier with the mainland starter zones BECAUSE I CAN LEAVE WHEN I WANT.

    As far as the human starting zone goes, it just adds to my pile of evidence that the Alliance and Horde aren’t ever going to really GET ANYWHERE because of MMO mechanics. Ok, sure, let’s have ninety million high level NPCs patrolling the roads while the rest of the zone is infested with thieves, orcs and goblins and while the breadbasket of Westfall lies unused. If this were reality, of course, this would not be the case, and Varian Wrynn would be covering his bases at home because Stormwind needs the food and the money. Ok, let’s waste the numbers in Elwynn while we let former human fortresses rot in the hands of silly lowbie mobs and orgres. MMO inertia at its finest! Humans could Get Shit Done if they weren’t trapped in an MMO where such moves would destroy faction balance. Actually, it’d help too if such moves had any importance whatsoever to the main story as it stands. Right now? Never gonna happen.

    As a primarily Horde-side player who has zero pre-WoW Warcraft experience, my thoughts were:

    1. Garrosh is sending the morons to burn all the wine.
    2. Holy crap, these goblins are dumb. There’s so much more cash to be made elsewhere.

    I actually debated making a “Garrosh Hellderp Needs You!” poster of some sort, until somebody pointed out that Blackrock orcs are actually there because of Lore, and not because we’re sending the stupid out to the farm so they don’t reproduce.

    • Haha, oh man, I guess no matter how bad we may perceive politics to be, we need to all keep in mind just how terrible Varian and friends would be if they were in power! 😛

      I totally second you on the panda and goblin starting zones. I cannot stand either of them; especially the panda zone with it’s lack of guild invites, as you mentioned.

      It’s funny that you mention your army of alts, and it’s something that I mused about when I was doing the Blood Elf starting zone. At one stage most of my characters were belfs and I have done the zone plenty of times, but nostalgia still got me. I guess it’s just been that long since I created a new toon.

      I love that your cow used to get thrown off Thunder Bluff! I may or may not have done that plenty of times in the past, and not deliberately :/

      • Yeah, it’s really true of all the leaders. So we think Garrosh is horrible and Sylvanas is nuts? Thank the stars that they’re in an MMO, where they’re constrained by considerations that wouldn’t be in play in the “real world.”

        I started my warlock as an orc and race-changed her just to avoid the starter zone. I guess being in such an “enclosed” area has its benefits – say, not getting camped by griefers on a PvP server, or not having to listen to Trade if you don’t know what you’re getting into – but I find that I don’t enjoy the zones more because of it. I just want to get them the eff over with so I can actually DO WHAT I WANT WHERE I WANT. /hint hint Blizzard

        I can’t guarantee that all the cow tosses were intentional, but I know for sure that a good number of them were totally on purpose.

  4. I’m glad you got all the guild issues sorted out! 🙂

    I know what you mean about WoW feeling like home. I’ve tried a few other MMOs and it always feels like going on vacation. I think part of WoW’s homey feel is familiarity, and some of it is the friends I’ve made there. But it really is like how you get tired of your hometown and the same ol’ boring routine and decide to go on vacation… and then two weeks later you just want to get back to your own place, with your own bed, your own bathroom, your own couch, and your own computer because no matter what, home is home.

    • Very good analogy. As much as the shiny new stuff has been holding my attention, there is always that niggling that I would be so much more comfortable back in WoW. I think I need to just force myself to get through all the stuff I hate (My Shaman is stuck at level 88, for example) so I can try new things. I haven’t touched Isle of Giants, Brawler’s Guild or even the new BG’s that open up at 90, but I can’t bring myself to.

      At least I know my toons will still be there when I do decide to man up and cut through the drudgery 😛

      • I INSIST THAT YOU GO TO THE ISLE OF GIANTS.

        Yes, this is so important THAT I MUST SAY IT ALL IN CAPS.

        It’s like Jurassic Park.

        It’s like the Land Before Time (except everything will kill you).

        There are only dinosaurs, troll Dinomancers and one kinda iffyish questgiver who will totally give you awesome things for lots of bones. And Oondasta, but you don’t want to say hi to him unless you’ve got half your faction’s population with you. It is safe to observe his cannons from a distance, however.

        You can get a DINOSAUR COSTUME!!

        Sadly that thing only works on the island. Or maybe not sadly, because that means you have to go there.

        You know what I really want?

        I want Blizzard to make one more five man dungeon – SET ON THE ISLE OF GIANTS.

  5. I thought that it was really cute that an alliance Concur was happening! I didn’t realise, however, that it was not all stars and sunshines that you were expecting – with the nostalgia thing not quite happening. I know that I often wish I had taken a picture back in the day of this or that (eg AQ opening event) or had a memory of what has been, and I think that’s why I blog now – to remember. And of course, there are those who don’t play anymore or don’t blog anymore, but I will always remember those who touched my game and blog life with my crazy stalking navispams 🙂 You included Neri! So I’m glad this means you will never delete your blog – because of all the memories you will lose. It’s kind of like throwing a photo album away, I reckon.

    • Alliance Concur wasn’t actually my idea, one of my officers decided to put it together. I just happened to be online when he was hunting after signatures, and my friends are much more awesome than than his and are willing to help! ❤

      I think the reason why the nostalgia was in part not sunshine and roses was because I had only created my belf a few hours earlier, so I still had that fresh in my mind. Having just played through an untouched zone, the contrast seemed a lot more pronounced and perhaps that squashed what little nostalgia there was.

      Ah, I do get a little sad when I think of all the screenshots I have lost (Or never took in the first place!) over the years. I found an old photobucket account with snaps from Wrath a few months ago, and that was incredible. I really do wish I had more.

      The photo album analogy is absolutely spot on. It's a living memory of a fantastic time in my online life. Throwing it away is just absurd.

  6. I’m currently on a WoW hiatus, (it started out as a I’m never ever ever coming back but as it turns out Gnomes are addictive) and I totally agree with not deleting your blog. I’m having fun indulging my bad side with Swtor but I don’t see it holding my imagination for much longer. A total lack of mini pets for one thing, which I suspect will end with me returning to WoW at some point, possibly via Guild Wars 2 and a few other mmos.

    • Heading home via the scenic route sounds like a wonderful thing to do. I imagine that by going “cold turkey” on WoW, it will be all that much more amazing when you do finally make it back.

      I’m not sure about this Gnome addiction, though. You may wanna get that checked out 😛

  7. I miss World of Warcraft! I stopped in November last year to spend more time with my 1 year old, but I’m itching to get back on soon and finish achievements hahaha! I was going for the Loremaster title, as lame as that is. I know what you mean about happy feelings and memories in certain zones. Eversong woods always makes me feel happy and excited. I just can’t seem to attach to other mmorpgs. For now I’ve gone back to console games.

  8. Pingback: Moving On From Subscription MMO’s | Mama Needs Mana

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