No One Told You When To Run

Time keeps on slippin’ into the future, my friends.

World of Warcraft is almost alive, isn’t it?

The older it gets, the more it changes and grows, just like us.

Tanking is going to change. Oh noes! Worgen are going to get horsies. Oh noes!

Is it the end of the World as we know it?

No, it’s just another sign that as time passes, things change.

Perspectives change. Attitudes change. New information is obtained that, when added to existing knowledge and acquired experience, causes us to re-evaluate our beliefs and modify our assumptions, then act accordingly.

Or, we just assume we know everything there is to know, assume we peaked in the eleventh grade, can’t improve on perfection, lock our minds rigidly into stagnation and judge everyone and everything around us based on our own limited worldview. 

Of course I don’t mean you. No, I’m talking about those other close-minded people, and aren’t they fun to look at.

World of Warcraft changes all the time. Sometimes we don’t like the changes, sometimes we do.

You can accept things and adapt, try to make the most of it, open your mind to the possibility that things might be okay after all, or you can get the hell out.

There really is no option three.

The one thing I’m not sure gets across to some people is that no matter how loudly you bitch, piss and moan, the changes Will. Not. Stop.

There is no special freeze-frame timestop mode just because you like things just the way they are.

Improvise, adapt and overcome, or GTFO.

One way or another, be advised, if your way of dealing with every change you don’t like is to bitch about it, complain about it, whine and piss and moan and harp on and on about how great it was in the good old days, how much better everything was, how bad everything now sucks, how much you hate everything they’ve done or will ever do unless they wipe the servers and re-install Vanilla….

Then screw you, I’m turning you off.

While the game changed, you stayed exactly the same. Locked into a single-minded worldview that was not open to the possibility of change or growth. You had one thing, you learned it, you liked it, and now you’re rushing out there into the surf, hands outstretched to stop the tide. Nooo! Noooo! No dissassemble Number Five!

Here comes the hurricane, and no, it’s not stopping for you. Number Five is being scrapped for parts, Steve Jobs made a phone that’s smarter. Them’s the breaks, kid. Liked the articulation on those eyebrows, though.

The wise people may not like the changes, but instead of barking like walruses they go on the official forums and post intelligent, coherent and mostly POLITE statements concerning the state of proposed changes and how they either don’t work as advertised, don’t address the stated problem, or could stand to be improved. These people perform analysis, make recommendations, and then when that wave comes rolling in, they’re out there holding their surfboards saying, “Bring it on, bitch. Let’s shoot the curl.”

I am sick and tired of hearing about how badly the game sucks now, how terrible it is, how broken, how corrupt, how venal or self-serving. How it totally lacks fun.

hmmm. That’s all news to me.

Here’s a clue for you.

I have never, in all the years I have played WoW, ever had more fun in the game than I am RIGHT NOW.

Broken? Broken my ass.

I am playing with great people, simply GREAT people. I am leveling alts in different areas and in different ways.

Are you not having fun? Well, that’s your experience, and that’s certainly valid. But what you people continuously seem to do is forget that YOUR experience is only true for YOU, and you do NOT speak for ME!

Why can you not get it through your heads? Just because YOU’RE not happy doesn’t mean EVERYONE ain’t happy, it just means the only person that is really real to you ain’t happy.

I’m having lots of fun, and not just on my mains, and not just because I raid every once in a while with great folks. I’m having TONS of fun with alts, too!

Wait, what? Why yes, didnt you know? Back in Vanilla WoW you had to quest to level.

That was it.

But now, why look! You can quest in a streamlined system that doesn’t have any dead level zones at all that force you to grind mobs to get through levels 48-54, OR you can PvP through the levels getting XP, OR you can LFG through the levels doing nothing but cooperative grouping meeting completely new people in dungeons and getting bags of loot, just wow!

Wait, what if I’ve got a max level character already and I’m not interested in questing for the third (or thirtieth) time, I just want to get to max level fast so I can tank for my friends? Why, look at this shit, we’ve got Heirlooms all UP in your grill you can get to speed up XP gains, plus we’ve got Guild Advancement that increases XP gains PLUS lets you buy even more Heirlooms to speed that shit up if you don’t have the time or Justice Points to get them, and you’re also too lazy to do the Argent Tournament dailies to earn tokens to buy them. Oh yeah, that;’s right, three different ways to get Heirlooms, not counting doing PvP and then converting Honor to JP to buy your Heirlooms, OR competing in the fishing tournament for the Pirate Ring.

But wait, what if you never played before at all, AND you don’t care about seeing any of that awesome questing, you want to blow off the storylines and completely ignore the lore, that stuff is for geeks and freaks (like me), all you want to do is leap right in and rush as fast as possible to max level so you can go play with your friends with these raids and stuff fo’shizzle? 

Well hell, we’ve even got Recruit a Friend to give you and your buddy that you’re going to be playing with some SERIOUS XP gains fast!

Err, you DO have a friend that will play with you and be part of your Recruit a Friend, righty-O? I mean, that’s your argument here, right?

Oh, they just want you to get yourself, all alone, to max level as fast as you can so you can join them?


Cluebot: If they’re not willing to group with you and help you take advantage of Recruit a Friend to get you to max level so you can play with them… well, they’re not really a fgood riend, understand? They’re just people you know that said, “Hey, why not pick up the game and join us, it’ll be cool dude.” No, this is more about you wanting to get yourself to max level so you will be worthy of joining them in what they’re doing. Friends are usually at least a teensy bit interested in spending time with you, no matter the level, especially if it’ll help you get to play with them and their max level characters faster. 

The game changes, grows, adapts to the demands that we, the players, make. Marketing types sit around and try to come up with things to add or change that will entice new players, and delight old ones.

Transmogrification? I’ve actually seen people pissed that this will be added. “OMG, another gold sink” they say. “Why would I do that, what’s the point. Well, at least I can farm BoE items to sell to the idiots that want it.”

Spoken like a true “My character is just a bunch of numbers that I have no emotional attachment to whatsoever and I never came up with any kind of backstory at all for” player.

Oh, and a gold sink?

Yeah, like Reforging.

Oh, wait. Maybe they added other tools and content in game that made getting tons and tons of gold easy at max level, the only level in which you’d want to use Reforging in the first place. Or would be able to gather all those interesting old items to build a neat set.

Damnit, I don’t have time to Reforge anyway, I have to grind Hellfire rep so I can get the key to unlock Heroics in that zone. Oh wait, that was removed. Now I can just join a heroic, as soon as I find more in Trade chat to join my group, then fly out to the instance with enough to use the summoning stone.

Oh, wait.

But I can’t play tonight guys, I have to go farm all the mats for the Flasks that I’ll need for the raids, just like the other 24 members of the raid team, all grinding those mats all the time we’re in game that we’re not actually raiding…

Oh, wait. Cauldrons and Fish Feasts kinda cut way down on the farming needed, didn’t it? Just a few Flasks and stuff, and the whole raid is hooked up.

Huh. It’s almost as though the things that were massive time sinks that you simply HAD to do were streamlined or removed outright to allow you the freedom to leap right into the meat of PLAYING as fast and as much as possible…

And time sinks and daily quests were added that were fun, and helpful, but purely optional.

Choice. Freedom of, one each. Hmm, I like this concept. Please, give me more!

Would I like a lot more raids to do, tons more content, boss after zone after boss all waiting to be explored, five or six raids all waiting to be tamed, but each one having to be done before the next could be tried, like we had when Burning Crusade was released?

Well, sure. And more five person dungeons. More and more content. Absolutely. All the time. Keep it coming.

You see, with all of the barriers to getting stuck into the good stuff removed, all the attunements and gear grinds and rep grinds that weren’t helpful but were required all gone… the good stuff, the content, it just doesn’t last very long.

Boy, that sure is a problem. It really is. The easier you make it to get into raiding, the faster it gets eaten up.

Of course, they could always add a ton more attunements and rep grinds and such that have to be completed before you can unlock content. That’ll slow us back down.

Or maybe we can stick with what they’re doing instead, rolling out optional daily quest areas that will distract us temporarily while they work on the next content patch. Oh wait, that came with a new raid, didn’t it?

Huh. You don’t say.

Look, if you don’t like WoW, if all you can see are the things that have changed for what you consider to be the worst, if all you can remember of the old days were the things you thought were just great, if your rose colored glasses are just setting the past to glow all pretty and warm, if all you dwell on now are the things you cannot adapt to or that have ‘ruined’ the game for you…

Then stop playing. Leave. Put the damn game down, cancel your subscription, and go play Rift. Or pre-order SWTOR! Or try Guild Wars 2, or LOTRO, or Warhammer 40K, or World of Tanks, or any of seemingly hundreds of other options.

If WoW sucks that bad, then why in the name of Elune are you still playing it, and bitching about it endlessly?

I’m sick of hearing about it.

It’s not the game. It’s you. Grow up and look around you with fresh eyes, open your mind, no really open it this time, and maybe actually make an effort on YOUR part to find some friends and play with them.

Friends make a huge difference. Purging your head of the sick poison and bitterness you’ve got choking you will help, too.

Oh, it’ll help in seeing the game clearly for what it is, sure, but I was thinking more in terms of actually making friends.

I shall leave you with the inspiration for this post, and then I’m off to play WoW, and have a DAMN FINE TIME DOING IT.

Excerpt from Time, by Pink Floyd
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but its sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

42 thoughts on “No One Told You When To Run

  1. I understand you point of view. But I have two areas of disagreement.

    1) It is not quite black or white. The restaurant you have been going to for 3+ years makes some menu changes: it is quite likely you will not like the changes. As Dr. Bartle said
    If they’ve changed the recipe, though, it’s going to taste worse. (Note for younger readers: whenever anything is advertised as being “improved”, it’s like a code word for “made rubbish”.

    Just because the business made things worse, does not mean you quit going there as long as they did not make it bad enough. It doesn’t mean you have to be happy about it.

    2) You are absolutely correct that there is no value to being a whiner to fellow guildies about how the game has gotten worse. They are not going to change anything.

    However, the head of the CSM (CCP’s elected player representatives for EVE Online), who is also a member of Goonswarm and Something Awful forums, is urging the players to take it to the game press. I.e., game companies respond to game press. Game sites (and most modern press, unfortunately) want articles that get noticed to get advertising clicks. He phrased it more politically correctly, but essentially urged the players to criticize the game company in comments and provide links to articles that reflect that view throughout the internet. ( Ergo, it is in the press’ financial interest to write negative articles since that drive page views which drive Google clicks.) Not likely, but it could be successful.

    Look at the case of Activision Blizzard. Since growth is a significant part of what stockholders want, AB has to be worth a billion or two less dollars with Cataclysm subscriber loss than a year ago. Maybe a lot more since a growing #1 brand is so much more valuable than an over-the-hill brand in decline. Fair or not, people can lose their jobs when billion dollar mistakes are made. ( I think there were a number of mistakes in Cata that were going to lower revenue but that is irrelevat to whether people do get fired. ) Blizzard 2012 might be more receptive than Blizzard 2010. So if tens of thousands of players criticized Cataclysm in any press or investment site they could, would it cause Activision-Blizzard to change? Probably not. But it might.

    In keeping with the musical theme, I’ll go with

    And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
    singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an
    organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said
    fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and
    walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.


  2. Nice article. I left WOW about 7 months or so ago. I played it for over 3 years and enjoyed it greatly but as you said things change and so did I. It was no longer fun so I quit. I still try to keep in touch because , gues what? Things change and so do I. That means who knows I might be back. You quoted Pink Floyd but my leaving was more like Led Zepplin. Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You, especially this part:

    It was really, really good.
    You made me happy every single day.
    But now… I’ve got to go away!


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  4. Great post BBB. I especially loved the Short Circuit reference, although I’ll admit, it took me a few moments of memory indexing before I remembered where I heard the phrase “no disassemble number five.”


  5. @klepsacovic. I assure you that complaining to the tank or random dps in a dungeon or blasting in trade that “WOW sucks and X is better” does absolutely nothing towards getting Blizz to change tanking mechanics or whatever the new gripe might be.


  6. This:

    “Cluebot: If they’re not willing to group with you and help you take advantage of Recruit a Friend to get you to max level so you can play with them… well, they’re not really a fgood riend, understand? They’re just people you know that said, “Hey, why not pick up the game and join us, it’ll be cool dude.” No, this is more about you wanting to get yourself to max level so you will be worthy of joining them in what they’re doing. Friends are usually at least a teensy bit interested in spending time with you, no matter the level, especially if it’ll help you get to play with them and their max level characters faster.”

    Oh baar, you are so right and so wise. (No no not sarcasm. 😦 )

    But you forget that environments change people. The Stanford Prison Experiment wasn’t just a university experiment.

    I’ve had close, RL friends who are still my closest friends behave in ways, in WoW, that are so alien to what they are in RL it’s not even funny. Dropping people, betraying people, using people… all in the name of Progression, in the name of Guild Leadership, in the name of the Greater Good.

    Oh baar, you are so right. And yet… I wish life were that simple. 😦


  7. You stated the case very accurately. I have only been playing WOW for two years, now, but in that short time I’ve seen many many changes. I used to stress out learning the new abilities, and whine at the nerfs, but then I thought Hey I’m smarter than that. I have learned how to deal with change, and the greatest wisdom of WOW. Accept the challenge, and adapt to overcome whatever it is that you are up against. I completely agree with you that the joy of WOW is what is most important, and if it’s not joy you feel when you play the game, then maybe it’s time to move on to another game. There are so many options within this game, that no one really needs to do one thing or another if they don’t want to. I went from 75 to 84 without doing a single battleground, or doing anything more than Burning Crusade dungeons. If you enjoy doing one thing and not another you can still level doing it in the new and improved WOW. Not many games can boast that. I enjoy WOW, and I hope every player finds a way to get some joy one way or another. Life is to short to be grumpy all the time.


  8. @klepsacovic. The problem is. . . When do we stop making beaches? The point that bear is making, I think, boils down to this:
    This is a game. If you don’t enjoy playing the game anymore then you should stop. It is a very prepubescent attitude to have to think that if I can’t enjoy the game them I’m going to whine and cry about it and if that causes someone else to not enjoy the game as much. . . who cares. It is a game. Plain and simple. If someone doesn’t enjoy it then they should stop playing.


    • If you have a product that does what you want, then that product no longer does what you want, doesn’t it make sense to attempt to get the product changed to the useful form again? Whether a game or not, it comes down to that. It makes little sense for consumers to be silent, waiting around for something to hand out money for, when they could instead give opinions, positive or negative, and possibly hasten the speed of the next desired product, change the upcoming product to fit their needs, or possibly trigger the changing of the old one.

      Just imagine if you were selling something and then one day all your customers were gone, with no feedback at all. Even if we’re going to go with the false choice of senseless whining vs. silence, I’d rather have the whining, to have something to work from, even if it is imperfect information.

      We stop making beaches when there is insufficient profit to be gained from making a new beach compared to altering an existing beach or leaving out some customers. There is a chance that many quitting players are in that second category: customers who are not profitable to make beaches for. Maybe I’m one of them.


      • Part of the reason I think people are replying to you about this, is that you seem to ignored the part of my post, arguably the key part of my post, where the people i am tuning out on are not simply stating their objections or pointing out areas that drastically need improvement, but are instead bitching about how bad things suck, how much they don’t like what they’re doing, how the game is terribad… but play anyway. While bitching endlessly. Basically, being negative all the time.

        You seem to be arguing with my post, while at the same time nothing you said disagrees with what i said. I mentioned people who bring their constructive criticisms to the attention of Blizzard in the official ways we have been given.

        The people in my example, however, do not then bitch to everyone around them and spew venomous hate, as if to say that if they don’t like it, then the rest of us shouldn’t be having fun either.

        I’m going to cut this whole thing down to essentials.

        If you are bored, tell me that you’re bored with the game. That is your opinion, and I’d like to hear about your experiences and where things got boring for you. I can learn from you, see your side of things, perhaps even agree with you.
        What I don’t want to hear from you is a blanket statement that the GAME IS BORING. That THE GAME SUCKS. That is your opinion, but you stated it as fact. It allows no room for polite discussion. It puts things in a black and white perspective, and is confrontational. If someone else does not agree with your statement, then in order to talk about their opinion, they have to first challenge the baseline assumptions you made in your statement, and hopefully do so in a way that doesn’t spark rage. When people say something that others disagree with, often their feelings are hurt, and right or wrong, they seek to defend their position.

        That is why, instead of raging about how badly the game sucks, I prefer people that phrase things as they are… personal opinion. Relate their experiences doing X, and how long they’ve done y, and all of the things they’ve seen in Z, and how all of that leads them to feel meh or blah or grrr!

        Don’t take how YOU feel, and arbitrarily assign those same feelings to me, and everyone else out here. We’ve got our own thang going on.

        Hopefully, this clarification will end the back and forth.


  9. I won’t be using the transmogrifier until they add a “mog me into a baby tiger” option. I don’t give a damn about the reinvigorated and redesigned zones. I tanked just fine with the old threat multiplier. Do these changes improve the game for other people? You bet. Do they make it less fun for me? Not in the least. It’s childish to complain about other people’s shinies. Let them have their fun! Some people act as if fun is a zero-sum game, where every bit somebody else gets is less for them. My current favorite boo hoo QQ topic has got to be the threat changes, though. Threat was never an issue for top-end raiders. The tools for managing it were there. The ones complaining are those who considered their ability to generate threat as proof that they weren’t as bad as the lamers, and it’s their feeling of superiority that they miss, not threat being hard.


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  11. Thing is BBB you are preaching to the choir.
    We understand this and realize what to expect.

    If only we could get this out to the whiners and cryers.


  12. But some of us enjoyed many those things, and they were taken away BECAUSE people bitched and moaned and whined. I LOVED wrath, absolutely adored it, and I had to deal with everyone bitching that it was too easy, or that X wasn’t fun for Y reason (even though I LOVED doing X BECAUSE of Y reaosn!). But I ignored it and kept on trucking and had my fun while all the people around me cried and moaned and played their game that they didn’t enjoy but wouldn’t leave, waiting for it to get changed to be “better”. Of course, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and people are always squeakiest when they hate something and quietest when they are content. The game has changed in many ways I don’t enjoy. I did enjoy it, I never lost interest or tired of it. Instead, the game morphed into something that is simply not as good as it was previously and it did so specifically becuase other people, a very vocal minority, made such a stink that blizzard tried to “fix” it.

    So now it’s my turn to piss up a storm and whine and pout and throw internet tantrums like a child, becuase obviously that works. I wish it didn’t, I don’t necessarily like to be “that guy”, but you can’t argue results and cataclysm has been one big stinking mess of results in my eyes. There’s fun to be had, surely there is, but I have to go out of my way to find it now, and things I enjoyed are changed or completely removed just to streamline the game in ways I didn’t want streamlined or more challenging in ways I never wanted a challenge at, and some things were changed to take more time simply to take more time and artificially extend time /played. These things annoy me. They suck the fun out of the game. They make my time spent playing less fun. My chosen recourse IS the option 3 you didn’t think existed: to bitch till they “fix” it.


  13. You’ve left out the biggest game changing event to have happened during cata. They not only nerfed health and mana pots they gave rogues a self heal and gave mobs health pots that only rogues can use. You also left out the part that all servers will be reset and we’ll no longer have anythin but starter gear and be stuck at level one forever due to the reset of the emerald dream.


  14. I just love the guys who que for randoms and as soon as you arrive together he starts ragging someones gear. Those are the ones who I wonder why they still play. I’ve been at it since vanilla and I still have fun. I do think I got a little spoiled with the ease of gearing up in Wrath, but I got over it.


  15. Thank you for beautifully articulating what I’ve been thinking for quite some time, BBB.

    More and more as of late, I find I simply have no patience for the whining, snarkiness, and endless criticism that comes from some players. I used to get mad at these bloggers, commenters and posters that I loved (yes, past tense) reading, who slowly descended into the doom and gloom of complaints and claims of WoW’s demise. I used to go home and rage at my SO–“are these people dumb? do they remember what it was like in vanilla? do they remember the hours it took to pug a dungeon? the weeks it took to farm mats for sets?!” To which he’d shrug and simply respond “people like different things”.

    And that’s, I think, what so many people fail to grasp. The appeal of WoW, the net it casts, is huge. And so, I may not always like every single bit of content that goes into the game, just like I don’t walk into a supermarket expecting only food that *I* like. The amazing part about WoW’s breadth of content is that I don’t have to like all of it; hell I don’t even have to experience it if I don’t want to. I don’t need to farm if I don’t want to, but I can level a toon from 1-85 just picking flowers if that’s what I enjoy! How is that not a good thing? You don’t like LFD? Don’t use it. You don’t like dailies? Don’t do them. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure with elevnty-billion possibilities.

    In the end, I find that it’s incredibly easy to be critical. It’s incredibly easy to take pot shots at a large, successful company. It’s easy to whine about every small nuance that doesn’t delight your palate. What’s difficult is developing a larger perspective and the ability to move past nostalgia and start looking for something to enjoy. And if that search takes you outside of WoW, so be it.


  16. I’m happy you are still enjoying it. And I agree with you it’s still a very good game – and probably for a solo player in it’s best shape ever. Nevertheless there are 3 key reasons that made me quite the game

    a) LFD mechanics and especially removal of the server wide /lfg channel broke many social aspects.
    b) some mechanic changes (healing paradigm, tree form, shape shift breaking roots) made it impossible for me to play my old characters – would you play your hunter anymore if suddenly Blizz decided Hunters use pets on a 3min CD for 15s (and then your pet vanishes again)?
    c) the 1-84 road is essentially a solo adventure in an empty world – and you can’t even use chat anymore because of the 2posts/minute limit

    *very sad kitty*


  17. Strange, I never took you for the sort to give up in desperation, to throw up your hands, say “things change”, and not even consider the possibility of a dam, a canal, a levee. A tide is coming, but the tide is not invincible or unstoppable. Well, maybe unstoppable, but not unchangeable. So sure, if you’re into surfing, grab a board and ride the tide. What if someone wants to peacefully listen to the waves without drowning? Or do some easy wading? Boating? Fishing? What if the beach used to be good for all those things, but now it just gets perpetually pounded by tides and all the sand is washing away?

    Change may be inevitable, but the specific type of change is not.


    • @Klepsacovic:
      They they need to go find another beach to lay on. This one may not be best suited for sunbathing anymore. Such is life.


      • Of course they will have to find another beach. But it seems silly to have wrecked a beach with beachgoers who enjoyed it. Why not open another beach? Or have different sections of the beach. Of course that second one doesn’t work so well if you’re trying to have a nudist beach next to the church group picnic… I stand by my call for more beaches.


  18. It’s not the game. It’s you. Grow up and look around you with fresh eyes, open your mind, no really open it this time, and maybe actually make an effort on YOUR part to find some friends and play with them.

    I love you for this, BBB. Well said.

    I have found that when I get tired of one thing in the game, or when part of it goes south – I go do something different. So I don’t like endgame PvP and I’m making twinks right now, so what? They’re enjoyable little projects. Better than watching pre-season football!

    (Of course, most things are better than preseason football. Let’s be honest here.)


  19. Nice vent. Hope you feel better for that. 🙂

    Seems I’m one of the many who have left WoW for various reasons, but still enjoy reading your blog to share in the pleasure you get from the game.

    Personally I moved to Rift and found all the things I was missing in WoW, but I like to think that I’m still helping the WoW community. Nothing drives improvement more than competition. Trion have bought a few new things to the game, but the greatest IMO is the speed of release of new content. Here’s hoping it will push Blizzard to greater heights and we can all reap the rewards.


  20. Well said Bear.

    I tend to simply embrace the changes on classes and see what they bring. Most of the time, they’re are fine and you get used to them in no time. I’ve played the game with different intensity and currently not very intensely, but I still raid 2 nights a week. Having fun with a bunch of casual friends.
    For the rest? Waiting for Diablo 3 🙂
    And if that doesn’t work, I’ll probably have fun doing some WoW again ^^ Taking a small break tends to refresh one’s view on things 🙂


  21. LOL..I absolutely loved this read! x)
    while I am done with WoW for my own valid reasons (I believe), I also agree that people need to accept a new reality and that as a whole, we need to look forward instead of backward. we can lament the past forever or see reality for what it is; the MMO crowd is a much more mixed bunch today and it’s here to stay. so, what can we do about it, what can future games offer in terms of keeping us all under the same roof? because we are not enemies and shouldn’t have to be in games we all enjoy. we most definitely shouldn’t spoil other players fun (just because we have lost it). I have just written on this exact thing yesterday, it’s funny how much your post echoed my current thoughts. 🙂

    I also like how you emphazise the social factor; this is indeed where the decision is made ultimately. games rise and fall over whether we can have fun with our friends there or not (no matter how brilliantly balanced they might otherwise be). this is something devs need to focus on more imo.


  22. Apologies for the slightly rambly comment..

    This has absolutely completely summed up my thoughts on this.

    The game is better than it has ever been, more streamlined, more ways to get to where you want to be, more potential to get involved in high level endgame if you so wish. and more fun to be had if you don’t want to get involved there. Crafting has fewer log jams, no levelling dead zones, instance groups are easy to find, hell you don’t even HAVE to quest to level. You can just mine/herb/explore/dig for archeology instead (i intend to do this when i hit the wrath content on my characters now – I’m so bored of northrend – oddly i’m not at all bored of outland – maybe because it’s over much quicker (oh yeah and there’s fewer vehicle quests) maybe my northrend boredom will go away when the xp needed to level lowers after 4.3 and I can just cherry pick what I want to do.)

    I get so tired of whiny, intolerant, nostalgia ridden numpties complaining whenever something changes. I have been playing wow for 6 and a half years now. That’s since EU launch week. And I’ve never enjoyed it so much. Transmogrification – BRING IT ON gods I’ve waited for this feature. Now my lvl 85 paladin will ALWAYS be able to use his Hammer of the Naaru (My favourite weapon visual in the game by far). When I find a really nice looking bow/gun/crossbow for my hunter i can stick with that look. Or that perfect looking pair of daggers / dagger and sword combo for my rogue. That is a wonderful change.

    I’m a long time tabletop RPG fan. And these things matter – wow is meant to be an mmoRPG – not an mmoguyltwtlg (massively multiplayer grind until you lose the will to live game) Immersion in your character is important. and anyone who thinks otherwise is failing to see the point of a game like this for people who actually like RPG’s. If you don’t care, fine – that’s your choice, but see the point of it from someone elses point of view.

    I love seeing a character’s personality and story form in my head. And I always resist equipping new visible equipment if it doesn’t fit with the look I want. Yeah I’m a casual player, I play for the storywriting experience of roleplaying.

    (sorry for focussing on the anti Transmogrifying angle – but it’s something that’s been winding me up – thank you for giving me tho opportunity to vent without having to bother starting a blog of my own Bear ^^ much appreciated)

    The game is strong still. It’s wobbling a bit, but it’s still the behemoth it has been for so long.

    I’m looking forward to Guild Wars 2 – it’s rewriting the genre potentially. And right out of the gate is looking to fulfil more of the true potential of MMORPG’s than any game has so far. But I’ll keep playing wow I think as long as my guild is still there, we’ve been there since a month after EU release and still going strong – and why is that – because we change with the game. We adapt, when things change we don’t whine and bitch about it – we sit down and see how we can move with it. And it’s worked for us.

    You can’t fight change, be the willow in the breeze and move with it.


  23. Brilliant post, as always. Personally I felt that Cataclysm was pretty crappy but atleast I recognise that it’s just my own personal opinion, and I’ve never told someone off for still enjoying it. I ended up quitting recently because of boredom and because of dungeons. PvE was the reason I loved the game, but nowadays I’ve had too much rotten luck and met too many jerks in LFD. For someone with severe social anxiety disorder, judgmental pricks became too stressful.
    WoW is still an awesome game even if it doesnt suit my taste anymore, and I’m going to miss it.
    It would be interesting to know what your thoughts on Guild Wars 2 are, it seems to be throwing away the rulebook as far as MMOs go.


  24. Agree, so much. I don’t mind if Joe doesn’t like the game anymore and wants to quit. What I mind is if he DOESN’T quit and just hangs on, whining and moaning and complaining about “the good old days.” Or even better yet, the infamous (and so, so telling) snarky huff that “WoW is dead.” I feel exactly the same as you, BBB – every time I’ve ever heard someone complain about the state of the game, whether it be now, back in Wrath, or anywhere in between, my legitimate reaction has always been “Huh, that’s funny. I’ve never enjoyed the game more.” And it’s not to make them angry, it’s the truth! Why stick around and play a game if it’s no longer fun? I am so baffled by this mentality.

    However, as bad as the whiners are, I have to say that what bugs me even more are the people who quit the game yet linger and feel like they’re in some lofty, enlightened position to look down on the people still playing, or still talk about the game negatively when they’re no longer even subscribed or have any connection to it at all. It seems exactly like a bitter ex-boy/girlfriend who just cannot let go, and keeps telling everyone around them how terrible their ex is and why they’re so glad they split up and oh my god did you hear what they are doing NOW?? When in reality, nobody cares at all and just wants them to shut up.


  25. Roflmao. I certainly hope you feel better for your rant. It helps sometimes.

    Transmogrification? … “OMG, another gold sink” they say. “Why would I do that, what’s the point. Well, at least I can farm BoE items to sell to the idiots that want it.”

    Yup. That’s me. But I don’t mind. WoW isnt one size fits all. There are many different ways to play wow. Altalots, Raiders (casual & hardcore), Farmers, Questors; and now Cosplay. Me – I’m a farmer of gold (farming the AH is still farming) & casual raider, without a clue as to what looks good. Even I see a personal use : ‘Modern’ shoulders are aweful so I will likely transmogrify them back to normality.


  26. Brilliantly put. Life IS change. Yesterday is a memory, tommorrow doesn’t exist, there is only now. I for one would rather enjoy my time with WoW and build happy memories, but there are an awful lot of people who seem to actively seek out reasons to bitch; kinda sad really. I wonder how much they shorten their lives by, by being angry all the time?


  27. Beautifully said, Bear 🙂

    I quit about 6 months ago when my playtime fell to virtually nothing. That was mostly due to having other things to do, but also due to the lag time in being able to put good, successful guild runs together for heroics and raids that were rife with “one mistake from one player = wipe” mechanics when the options for gearing up in the easier normal dungeons instead weren’t very good. That started a vicious cycle of attrition in my guild, so most of us have drifted away from the game now, but many of those problems have either since been fixed (most notably, I think if the ability to get JP from normal mode bosses had been in place for 4.0, we’d have spent a lot more time in the normal mode dungeons and had fun doing so), or else Blizzard have at least acknowledged the problem (with Ghostcrawler suggesting that they’re considering keeping the inidividual pass/fail mechanics out of normal mode raids, or at least limiting to the tank/healer roles where they have traditionally landed).

    I still keep an eye on your blog and the Dev Watercooler posts, though – no MMO has succeeded at the scale of WoW before, and it’s interesting to see not only what they’re doing with it, but also to speculate on how it may be influencing the design of Blizzard’s new MMO.


    • I do want to make sure this is clear…. I have nothing but respect for anyone that takes a look around, says “Hey, this game doesn’t have the cheese I’m looking for anymore”, and moves on to something else, some new, something different.

      I’ve gone off trying other stuff and having different fun, and I’ll absolutely do it again.

      But that doesn’t mean that WoW is a bad game. It just means that after all these years, the grass seems greener and I want to try rolling around in it for a while. I don’t come back to WoW because it’s the only game in town that’s any good, I come back because I still really like it.

      Will I try SWTOR? Sure, why wouldn’t I? I tried Rift, and LOTRO, and Champions, and several others too.

      It doesn’t mean one is BETTER than the others. If I like one over the others, it means that for me, at that time, that game fulfills what I want in a game experience.

      That’s it. It’s not an indictment of any specific game.

      If I’m still playing WoW in 5 years, I’m not going to be happy with myself. WoW may be an absolutely incredible game in five years, but I’ll be disappointed that I did not grow sufficiently in five years to find something different to experience, a new enthusiasm to chase, something new and fresh to learn.

      I’ve done a lot of things over the years, learned a lot, developed a lot of skills. Surfing, leatherowrking, knifemaking, martial arts, role playing, writing, model rockeetry, shooting and reloading and the list goes on and on.

      I’d really hate to just coast, doing nothing new year after year.

      But for right now, I still love me some WoW.


  28. I hear ya, big guy. And the truth is that’s exactly why I turned off my account the other day. Not “Blizzard sucks, the old days ruled.” Simply put, none of the activities in the game appeal to me anymore. I logged in the other day and thought “what shall I do today?” When nothing came to mind, I logged out and went to the Account Management page.

    To be fair, a big part of it stems from my guild falling apart when Cata dropped. Suddenly there was no group to play with, and not much fun to be had. I tried a reroll a while back, but I think the game’s just over for me.

    Now if only Star Wars was shipping with a Mac client…


    • And after so many years, isn’t about time?

      What is it about World of Warcraft that makes us think we SHOULD still expect sparkling fresh gameplay experiences in a game we’ve been playing, in some cases, for over five years?

      Is it that the game sucks, or is it that some of us have finally grown past the point that World of Warcraft is what we find satisfying or fulfilling?

      And there is nothing wrong with moving on to something new, OR with still enjoying the game. What is wrong to me is sitting there, pissed off and hating the game, and yet STILL TALKING ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME AND LOGGING IN.

      It’s driving me crazy in some cases.


      • There is always something to do. Go level fishing, arch, cooking, get achievements, try to solo older content, build professions kits to sell and start owning the AH, PVP (which never gets old bc every PVPer is always refining their skills). The problem is that even if there is something to do on one or more of your toons, that doesn’t mean that you haven’t already done it 20 times. That could cause it to be boring, but I can somehow manage to avoid seeing it as a grind. I played console games before playing WoW, and my main complaint was that I didn’t like blazing through games in 6-10 hours. That 6-10 hours is impossible with WoW. 2 years later, I still haven’t “completed” the game as I would have with Uncharted, Metal Gear, CoD/MW, or Infamous. There is just soooo much to keep me occupied.

        If I feel like I’m starting to get bored or irritated, I think of new stuff to try, like low level PVP or rerolling in a starting zone I haven’t seen. For people who have played since Vanilla, it’s harder to get that fresh feel, but there is always something new to try if you look for it.


  29. I agree with all of this. Brilliant post.

    I quit nearly a year ago, when I realized my playtime had basically trickled down to nothing, but at the same time, I recognize that the game is better than it’s ever been! It’s just not right for me anymore, after 3+ years of very hardcore WoW’ing, so I’ve moved on with my life and my gaming. But I still follow the MMO-champion news feed, and see some of the changes being made, and think “damn! I wish they had that back in my day. Extra gold for tanks? All four of my 80s were tanks! Revamped questing experience? I hated going 1-58!” and so on.


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