Apparently I caused some concern over the weekend when I mentioned I’m not planning on buying Mists of Pandaria when it launches. First off, let me say I have no plans of quitting World of Warcraft any time soon. Getting that out of the way, there’s two parts as to why I’m not getting the expansion and I’m going to address one now and one tomorrow.
I’m going to begin with the current incarnation of WoW. Let me just say it isn’t quite my favourite, but there are so many amazing things about the game right now that I don’t want to sacrifice any of them to go back to the way it was. Troll Druids, Tauren Paladins, Transmogrification, cross-server raiding, Uldum, and the removal of weapon skills are just a few of the boons I enjoy and quite frankly none of them existed two years ago. So while the skewered talent trees, ridiculous Zul PuGs, PC Goblins and Gnome Priests aren’t to my fancy, I take the good with the bad. I’ve developed a great in-game social circle, though my Alliance Guild is admittedly on life support thanks only to a handful of really strong wires (and by wires, you know who you are). The guilds I’ve become part of are aces and I’m enjoying the game immensely every day without any sign of burnout (Sunday rage moment aside). In other words, if it never updated again I would be fine.
But, as any business is darn sure going to do, Blizzard is releasing another expansion soon. How soon is anyone’s guess at this stage (though September is the consensus). When I posted my mini-review of the expansion news we were presented with following the lifting of the NDA back on March 18th, I tried to do so without much bias or opinion. I wanted to relate the info and my take on it. What I didn’t want to do, was come across exactly how I felt for fear of deflating what was good news to most. Back then I knew I wasn’t getting the expansion and I’m still not when it launches. That’s the incredibly short answer. But, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
I give the developers credit for moving forward with the game in ways that are positive in numerous facets. Many of the things I highlighted from the press info are all positive (again, emphasis on the story for certain) improvements even if they aren’t for me. Farmville and Pokemon as they’ve been dubbed don’t do anything for me at all. I’d try to carve my way into the Pet Battle profits that might become present on the auction house, but that’s about it. I know how excited people are about its inclusion and believe me I am not slighting you in any way over it. I’m genuinely happy for you. Pandas are meh, and it sounds like you can roll a Monk whether you buy Mists or not. If not, c’est la vie.
An 11th character slot? But I’m still limited to the number per server and the number of overall toons isn’t changing at this point? Why does that still seem counter-productive to me? This is the kind of thing where it genuinely feels like Blizzard is holding back just so they can deliver later. You know what? Deliver now and come up with something completely different and good later.
Sorry, it ranks up there for me with the idea of “BoA’s” which I still maintain are anything but. That needs to be fixed for Mists and if it’s been announced I apologize as I’ve not seen anything thus far. I like my alts, but I shouldn’t have to get BoA’s on every server. Speaking of alts, I have no interest in grinding out another 5 levels (or more depending on the toon) on a bunch of toons. I know, I know, it’s contradictory but in my head it makes complete sense. 80 was good. 85 is ok. 90 levels is getting into the “that’s a damn big mountain” stage. At some point I have to say enough is enough. Not enough to stop playing the game, just that I need to find a life-balance zone. Also, lore aside there isn’t a whole lot of the 85-90 that draws me in at this stage.
Old Rafiki hit the nail on the head and I’m learning from the past. Wrath of the Lich King would have been enough for me. Hindsight is 20/20 and I know that now. Many of the changes to the game I could still experience even without the actual Cataclysm expansion. Not because the expansion was a failure as many have documented, but simply because what I love most about the game was not directly linked to the contents of that box. So, on a level it does feel like a bit of a waste of money and I don’t want to repeat that mistake. Perhaps Mists will launch and with my lovely wife no doubt having it (we’re getting the Collector’s Edition because I want the damn soundtrack and artbook, by Illidan!) I will jump on board. But even after all the details that have emerged, I still don’t feel that way.
So I’m at a point where I have enough things that I want to do in-game that another expansion worth of content just doesn’t appeal to me. There’s a small part of me that heard patches following the expansion launch are going to be more like sequels to the original movie, or new chapters in a book, and I went “ooooh.” But, again, that just isn’t enough for me to buy in yet.
As much as all this factors in, there’s still something equally as big and when combined, perhaps folks will truly understand where I’m coming from. But I’ll talk about that fully tomorrow.