We are right at the tail end of the expansion for World of Warcraft, you can tell by how all the talk is of other MMOs that are in beta or coming soon, and dribbles of news about what we will soon get to have fun playing… in a few months.
A few months from now, boy, we’re going to be having a BLAST!
It is my personal opinion that the lack of a final content/raid patch between Dragon Soul and Mists of Pandaria was a failure to provide value for money. It’s only my opinion, but that’s how I feel. I do not feel that Diablo III or access to a beta is an appropriate replacement for stuff I could have been doing that was fresh during this long, long, long drought of content.
Perhaps my expectations are skewed from the content frequency I see coming from other, fresher MMOs that are trying to claw out market share. Or, maybe I just remember the words of a previous WoW community manager that said we could expect more frequent content patches of smaller size in Cataclysm to give us things to do over the duration rather than run out 9 months before the next expansion…
… you know, exactly what happened here. Guess shame on me for believing it and congratulating them in advance.
I just never believed they really did intend to use annual pass to keep subscriber numbers up while leaving us a long gap in content before the next expansion.
Then again, I’m sure they have the best market research in existence for how many subscribers will be lost per month without new content, and have some serious analysis going on over just how long they can push it before they have to drop something new before the wound flows free. And also, research on how long they can keep people going with news teasers and beta in place of actual stuff to do.
“And this month, we’re going to tell them about new features coming to beta, then a week later show them screenshots, then a week after that show them a new feature in beta that will be playable for testing soon. We’ll get a month right there without having to let them so much as sniff a panda in game.”
I’m not angry or bitter, or even sad. It’s just what it is, and we all know it, but we love them anyway. Those crazy kids.
I’m fortunate. I may have mostly run out of fresh things to do solo in game, but I am blessed to have a family that can now do retro group content together.
I’m also blessed in having such a great group of folks that stop by and read the blog and hang out with me now and again.
If it weren’t for you and my family, let’s be honest, I’d still be playing because I’ve staked out my plot of land in Azeroth and I’ll live there ’til I die, but I’d be working a HELL of a lot harder to keep it feeling fresh and fun.
So thank you.
I’m deeply respectful of the world that Blizzard has created, I’m still stunned anew by the scope and depth of all there is in what has become a fully fleshed out world, complete and whole and with a rich history and unique cultures to explore.
At the same time… I pay a fee to access this world, and I do expect Blizzard to continue to invest in content for me to pay for to keep me interested in between times that they bring out a box to buy to upgrade the game. There will have been a ridiculously long time between content releases by the time we get patch 5.0, and that makes me sad.
For me, Blizzard fell down on the job. Dragon Soul was cool, VERY cool. But having run ICC and Ulduar and Firelands recently, it just doesn’t seem to have the legs to be expected to carry an entire year of monthly fees all on it’s own. That’s a lot to expect of any content patch.
God bless alts, RNG, LFR DS and other cryptic letter combinations, right?
Enough said about that, I know. I felt it was important to say, though, because I have a tendency to gush just a wee bit around here, but I assure you, I have a perspective on the bigger picture.
Still love this damn game, though.
On a personal front, between us Cassie and I got the materials, and Shadowson made for us a Vial of the Sands, which we gave to Alex.
He was overjoyed… but I think he’s catching on.
I’m leveling my Mage, I’m in Hellfire Peninsula and I called him over to allow him to run me through Ramparts a few times. Aren’t I nice?
He picked me up, and as I took the following screenshot, said, “I’m a taxi!”
Yes… yes you are.
Hey, don’t be like that. The stalwart band of intrepid adventurers strode boldly into 25 person Sartharion with three drakes up, and I won the Twilight Drake drop!
Which I promptly gave to Alex.
You call it a bribe, I call it tipping my taxi.
I know I’m very lucky to have the names of other active players to do things with.
I feel torn about doing any more of these updates, because sure I’m having fun, Alex and Cassie are having fun, but it’s not like it’s fun that we can actually share with you.
The solo stuff, going after the Tiny Shale Spider, hunting down Ghostcrawler in the wild, dancing next to Mylune while fireballing bunnies, these things I can share as ideas for you to go have fun, and ask you for your ideas.
Talking about fun I’m having in groups, though… if you don’t have a similar group to do the same thing, hey, it’s nice I’m having fun, now shut up, right?
BUT… we’ve been doing some stuff with friends and readers of the blog too, and that counts as shareable, right?
As a small group, just the three of us, we’ve gotten into some shenanigans.
We’ve almost completed Glory of the Hero, all of the level 80 heroic Northrend dungeon achievements. Even Alex is almost done. It’s funny, the only stoppers to steamrolling it turns out to be the RNG. We can’t get the water boss in Violet Hold to pop, not once in the last week.
And then Cassie says, “I’m pulling out my Sea Pony for good luck!”
What a great idea.
Let me be the first to start the rumor that doing Vuiolet Hold with your water globe pets out makes the water boss appear.
The three of us blew through the three Icecrown heroics. If you think the old stuff can’t give you that same fizzy feeling, watch a 9 year old get chased by Arthas for the first time, and get saved by a gunship unleashing hell.
We have gone after Onyxia in 10 person mode, and Alex got to see what a true dragon straight up “this is a D&D dragon to be respected and feared” fight can be. We won the encounter and had a lot of fun doing it, mostly due to Druid AoE and Cassie playing her Shadow Priest for moar dots. No, not the achieve, for moar dots, damnit!
We’ve gone through Molten Core, one step at a time, with my narrating what all the lore surrounding it was about. Alex was suitably impressed by the raid, he loves core hounds, I mean LOVES core hounds, his Core Hound Pup pet is one of his absolute favorites.
What was funny about Molten Core was the guild had a Firelands raid for Pumpken to get more of her mats for the legendary staff just a few days before, and they allowed the three of us to go along, WE allowed ALEX to stay up way way past bedtime to take part, and we also had a special guest, Mataoka on her Mage, Ceniza.
So Alex got to raid Firelands, and kill everything except for Ragnaros, who we wiped to a few times.
Honestly? Alex did better on Ragnaros that I did. The raid leader gave a very detailed description of what t expect in each of the phases and how to react.
I’m paying close attention with the speakers on, and I look over at Alex, and he’s not wathcing the screen, he’s playing with toys.
“You need to pay attention, Alex, he’s telling us what to do.”
“I AM paying attention, I can multitask, I can play with toys AND listen.”
He gets that from his mom, I swear.
Along comes the fight, he goes to the band of space near Raggie like he was told to, he avoids the fire waves from the sulfuron smash, he runs to one side, he runs back over to the other, he whacks Raggie…
Meanwhile, boom I get hit by a fire wave, whoops I was too slow in getting on that add, where am I going, what am I doing, and why is that, just omygod I want to curl up and make the hurting stop.
You know you’ve gotten old when your 9 year old is a better raider than you.
In other news, I need to design some bumper stickers, not kidding, that say “Proud Parent of a Dragon Soul Raider” or “Proud Parent of a Heroic Mode Raider”.
You know you want one.
Oh, the funny thing I mentioned? So we did Molten Core after we’d done Firelands with the guild, and Alex points out, “Hey, his shoulders don’t look nearly as cool. And where are his feet?”
I’ve also discovered that it’s fun to have a newly dinged max level son… because I can make him run my alt through instances, and he ain’t bored with it yet! He’s actually HAPPY to go!
He says the things that I only think, and that is part of what cracks me up.
For example… we’re blasting through Hellfire Ramparts, and as we go up the spiral staircase to the top level, he stops by the railing, and says to me, “It looks like the orcs dipped the fence spikes in blood to look extra scary.”
Then he says, “I wonder if they used goats to do that.”
No… no I don’t know either.
I love being the newbie Mage as he is running ME through. It was a fulfillment of his dream to be the boss in charge of our runs.
I made the mistake of getting ahead of him for a second… he tells me, “You KNOW what happens if you get some aggro… whack, whack dead.”
But enough about that, let’s talk a bit about the night before, and that same stalwart band of adventurers, numbering twenty-five, that finizhed up heroic mode Icecrown Citadel last night.
Oh wait… no we didn’t because we got our asses handed to us by heroic mode Lich King! lol.
We did complete all of the heroic modes as far as the achievement is concerned, you don’t actually have to defeat the Lich King in heroic mode for the 25 person drake.
Still, solid massive congrats to anyone who actually completed that at level 80 when it was current content.
Just, holy shit, phase 1 we got the Twilght Traps down, phase 2 and we get past the Vrykul, and then phase 3 and WHERETHEHELLENDLESSPOOLSOFWIPAGE.
He looks so happy, right? Here are all these nice people come to visit, it’s been a long time, he’s been so lonely, right? He looks so proud.
We’re the Boy and Girl Scout troops getting our “I met Arthas badge”.
And then? He got hornswaggled!
Seriously, the crew I’m playing with on Sunday nights? The best! If enthusiasm keeps up, I may have to try and keep the Sunday night momentum going long term…. I’m sure people will bow out eventually, but that just means other people can have a chance to get in.
We’ll see how many are still interested once drakes start being won.
What we did to the Lich King isn’t as bad as what happened to poor Bolvar, though.
Poor Bolvar. Acid, flames, torture, endless anguish as the Lich King, frozen in a block of ice, no bathroom breaks, no chances at a date for the Frozen Prom.
Did you see his skin condition? Holy crap!
Does he look happy, though? He does, doesn’t he?
After all that has happened, Bolvar looks as though he has come to accept his fate, maybe even to be at peace with it. Wistful at what was lost, but at peace.
And then, my Dino has to go and…
That is just… Decoy! DOWN!
Hold on, I’ve got a paper bag and a little plastic glove somewhere…