While I was away…
You may have noticed by now that I haven’t been posting much lately. This has been caused by many factors, including busy work schedules and (in some cases) the lack of Shadowpriest-specific information. There simply hasn’t been much going on and I, like many it seems, have been suffering from a bit of a WoW-burnout.
One weekend, I simply didn’t feel like playing. It happens sometimes, at least once a year. It’s a sign that I need to relax a bit, level some alts or the like – nothing to worry about. But I soon discovered that it went a bit deeper than I thought. I didn’t feel like leveling alts, doing heroics, grinding rep, playing the AH or discovering the “new old world”. In fact, I didn’t feel like logging in at all!
Raiding on the other hand, was no problem for me. I love the raids and I had banked enough resources to last me a year even if I would log in only to raid – and that was what I turned out doing.
But I wasn’t alone
We have a great guild, with easily 100+ accounts and generally there was always at least a handful of people online. But over the course of a month, that number dwindled to at most 10 during the weekends. It was (and still is) a cause for concern, because it seems strange for so many people to lose interest in such a short period of time.
From MMO-Champion and the forums, as well as people I knew personally who played, I quickly learned that loss of interest in the game seemed a rather wide-spread phenomenon. Granted, the more hardcore raiders and PvPers were less affected by the look of it, but most of the casuals had either vacated the game, or become uber-casual.
What could it be?
I am currently trying to find out what could have happened – that pivotal moment that changed the game. Many people pointed to RIFT as the culprit – but the decline started before RIFT was announced and while I do play the game, I play it even less that I play WoW. And I haven’t seen many of the people who vanished show up in the game either, only a handful of people joined on the shard where I play.
A second reason I imagined could be the massive changes announced for Cataclysm not paying off. Leveling characters is a very fast experience now, but even leveling a character from 80-85 is so quick, that it’s not much work. Gearing them for raids, however, is. The new “hard heroics” are not the most challenging content, but I know that if you catch a new person in your group, they can take up to 2 hours. With experienced folks, it’s 30 minutes. This means I have to keep a block of time open for up to 2 hours if I want to run a heroic, and I usually just decide against it. I hit my valor point cap while raiding anyway, so I don’t need the heroics.
The continuous rounds of balancing could also be part of the issue. I heard people getting very tired of the retirement of favored abilities, the jo-jo effect of being buffed in one area then nerfed in another, as well as PvP being balanced for PvE reasons and vice versa. I can imagine it’s a nightmare for the developers, but don’t discount the psychological effects it has on the players.
Some of us have had to relearn the class (Paladins, Hunters) or have suffered greatly from being balanced left, right and center (Death Knights, Mages, Warlocks) or being forced to adopt new abilities to reach the same effect, only to have those nerfed in favor of the developers believing we need more buttons to push (that would be us, Priests, and Druids).
My plans for the future
Despite all of this, I love the game and my character. I love raiding and the immersive storyline that WoW has enjoyed for over 5 years now (albeit Cataclysm being the weaker son here with mostly re-used story concepts and wrapping old content up). I enjoy raiding a great deal, even though the other aspects of the game draw me less at this point.
I am part of a great guild and a great raiding community. I would walk through fire for many of these people, and it is the most balanced and sensible (albeit not always sane) group I have been part of for most of my playtime. I don’t intend to abandon them, or the game, although I did share my doubts and issues with them.
As for this blog, I do not intend to stop blogging. But like with many linked activities, reduced play means reduced writing impetus. In an effort to change this, I will find new avenues of the game I enjoy to bring to the fore, and try and expand the focus a bit to provide more reading tidbits.
That said, if any of you ever have specific subjects you would like more information about or would like to see me write on, don’t hesitate to comment here or drop me a mail. Even in my absence the visits to Twisted Faith have been massively stable, and I would like to thank you all for your continued interest.
Soon there will be regular programming again on this blog (and that’s not a Blizzard Soon [tm])