My Love/Hate Relationship with WoW: Part 3 – Going forward

Before I begin, I’d like to apologize for my absence—family illness and daily life always comes first over anything else.

Now getting back to my current 110 experiences in WoW. Until the most recent patch (7.2.5) was released, I was growing quite despondent and bored with this expansion. As with all WoW expansion, I was excited to visit the new areas of the game, and the story and lore of this expansion seemed quite interesting. As I leveled my main through the Broken Isles, I especially loved the story-lines of Highmountain and Stormheim. Being a fan of ancient history and mythology, to see Azeroth’s version of Norse mythology was quite fun and interesting. The thing is once I reached 110 unless I was trying to mythic raid or do mythic+ dungeons, I felt that I had little to nothing to do, as a casual gamer. Also as a casual gamer, two major issues come into play when doing end game content in today’s WoW.

You see, there has been an insidious, growing cancer that has infected the World of Warcraft and its denizens. This cancer was contracted towards the end of Wrath of the Lich King and has slowly and catastrophically dared to destroy the WoW playing experience, especially for “Casual players”—those players who quite honestly feel that real life trumps gaming life. Casual gamers are those who have jobs and lives outside of the game, which precludes them—us from being able to adventure in a game for twelve to fourteen-hour stretch. Towards the end of Lich King, gear level and DPS (Damage per Second) meters were added to the game. At first, especially DPS meters were kinda cool. If a player wanted to see how much damage awesomeness they were meeting out to the enemies of the Alliance and Horde, these add-ons made it very easy to do so. The problems are more and more, with each subsequent expansion after Lich King, damage (and also healing, because why not) meters became way more important than they should have been. So much so that now in today’s WoW, Damage meters and gear levels are by far more important than skill in game. In today’s WoW, when forming a raid and dungeon groups, the item level of the player’s gear determines whether they are qualified to complete said dungeon or raid, regardless of whether they have the knowledge or skill to complete the task.

For example, I tried to sign up for a raid on one occasion. Having completed the raid on Normal difficulty and having to watch videos on how to complete each fight of this raid, I felt I had the knowledge and experience to complete the raid in a random player group. Though my character’s gear item level is lower than what many ask for, I was in the top five players in DPS the last time I completed the raid. So I looked for a raid group in the WoW premade group finder. I picked a group, signed up, and even contacted the raid leader of this group to let her/him know that I have previous experience in said raid and that I can do good DPS. The raid leader answered me back saying that though he/she set no item level requirement for their group, I was still a little too low in item level for their group because they were trying to get an easy/face roll group together.

His reasoning leads into another reason that endgame content is so hard to complete for a casual player of today’s WoW. Back in the day, challenges in games were a good thing. The ability to be able to complete a hard task felt like an accomplishment. I, not just as a long time player of WoW, but as a lifelong gamer of over thirty years, love the feeling of completing content that is challenging. As a person who (through real life taking the forefront) had to become a casual gamer, because real life is always more important, should still be able to take part in, and enjoy challenging content, without having to feel as if they are being sluffed off, because it seems today’s average WoW player wants to easy mode everything. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gotten into a group, and because of any number of reasons, people leave raid groups after the first wipe, because it seems everyone just wants to face roll everything in game, and  a great part of that sentiment comes from DPS meters and gear level add-ons.

So that brings me back to why I was and am still having issues with this expansion’s endgame content. The other reason is that this expansion is not alt-friendly at all. As with all expansion, I level my human pally (which is my main) first. I love my pally, but I’ve also created a druid, a hunter, among other characters that I love to play as well. Endgame content to a degree is based on gated Suramar content, as well as the Broken Shore gated content that was released in patch 7.2. As an altoholic, because the devs of WoW have decided that each character has to complete the gated content in order gain certain items, and because I am a casual gamer who doesn’t have a lot of time to spend in game, I feel (as do many other players) that there is no way I will complete the content on my alts in time to be able to reap the rewards within this expansion’s lifespan. I feel, as a casual altoholic that I will always be behind the hardcore players, who have hours upon days to spend in game with no real outside influences to deter them.

Lastly, the crafting system in game has become a travesty of what it once was. When WoW was first released, crafting was challenging, fun and meant something. Items made from crafting were on par with (or in some items better than) item gathered through loot drops. In today’s WoW, even with the addition of crafting quests, crafting in WoW means nothing. Except for the legendary that a few crafting professions can make, absolutely none of the gear that is crafted is on par or better than loot drops. That’s ridiculous! Why have crafting professions, if they are going to mean nothing towards the game world.

So, I guess those are my issues with today’s WoW. As a casual player, I fell that there is no way (even with the dev’s implement catch up mechanics) that I will ever be able to keep up with current content, and that I will always be behind the curve. Also as a lover of crafting, I am wasting my time with advancing those professions, and that’s a shame. I used to say and hope that maybe things will change, but I am honestly losing that hope daily, as I log into the game.

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