It’s an odd thing playing two installments of the same MMO. Goals in World of Warcraft Classic are completely different from goals in Retail. Yet both are a grind in their own way.
I made it to level 20 on my Druid in Classic and started the journey from Darkshore to Westfall. My intention was to deliver a quest in Wetlands and the move along and pick up Deadmines quests on my way to the Aquatic Form quest. So far I’ve picked up the ones from Ironforge and the Dwarven District in Stormwind. And that is also where I stalled out. I’ve not touched my Druid since or Classic for that matter. I’m not sure why. Maybe the 45 minute trip just to get to Stormwind triggered something in me that resembles burnout. Maybe playing both Classic and Retail has been overload. I already sort of “rationed” my playtime so I wouldn’t get frustrated and burn out sooner. Yet here I am with no real motivation to log on at all.
At the same time I’m seeing the group of people that “raced” to 60 in my guild slowly log on less aswell. Now that the leveling is done and the gear grind has begun it seems people have kind of lost their drive to play. I mean, in the end if you don’t raid what is there to do in Classic? PvP and ranks aren’t introduced yet. The only raids that are in are for 40 people and not that easy to assemble/execute. Any high level dungeon takes forever, especially Blackrock Depths and Lower/Upper Blackrock Spire. It’s not just log in, play for an hour, do a dungeon and log back out. It’s really sit down and commit for multiple hours now and it’s something I’m really not looking forward to.
I guess the small honeymoon period I had for WoW Classic has slowly run it’s course. Level wise I’m quite behind the majority of people. I don’t feel the urge to play and the though of having to scrape together gold to buy a mount has actually made me glad I rolled a Druid and get travelform so it’s not such a nuisance to get. Even if the community seems to be much better than retail with easy random groupings and people offering eachother free stuff and buffing left and right it just doesn’t take away the massive grind that everything turns out to be. It’s nice that this version of the game seems to be exactly what people want but for me it’s just not all that. So I’m slowly drifting back to retail where my goals are different and more centered around solo play. I don’t need other people to explore zones and find treasures or to do daily quests and world quests. I don’t have to fight people about loot and I can just help with killing mobs that other people tag. I hop on my flying mount and just go to where I need to be. It’s relaxing and frustration free, which is exactly what I need after a long day of work.
So yeah, I guess I’m tired of Classic right now and I’m going to throttle down my time on it even more. There are other games that are demanding my attention, chief among them Xenoblade Chronicles 2 which I’ve picked up now that I’ve put down Oninaki. All in all this post isn’t really shocking. I’ve already voiced my opinion on Classic before and that it wasn’t really my jam. I’ve tried to play it, mostly for the social interaction, but now that I’ve reached the goal I wanted to I guess in my mind I’m kind of done with it… For now.
A lot of people seem to be over the moon about playing World of Warcraft Classic. My old guild from retail Alliance side has rolled Horde en masse on a PvP server, and are experience the subsequent ridiculous queues, and seem to be having a blast. I see people like Belghast really find their love for WoW again with this experience. Hell one of the friends that I met through Final Fantasy XIV has taken the leap straight back into WoW Classic and is sitting somewhere around level 30 as we speak. All around it seems like most people are enjoying themselves and I find that to be a very positive thing. However…
As I got home out of work today, and I did my daily walk, I was actually quite on the fence about logging onto Classic. I mentioned a few of the negatives I’ve experienced so far in my previous post and it seems like today somehow made these things even more prevalent for me. When I come home and sit down to play a game I want something that I enjoy and that is rather “effortless” to do. In retail WoW I have all my fancy stuff, I’m at endgame level and I can casually level alts when I want to. The same goes for FFXIV. In Classic however I’m starting over at nothing and will have to build everything from the ground up. I don’t have any means of transportation than endlessly running everywhere or taking a flight path every now and then. My character feels very squishy even now that I have a Voidwalker that can tank for me. Since a lot of people have taken the leap to play Classic you really either have to group up with people to get quests done or just try to find a spawn place for mobs and camp that particular place relentlessly in the hopes of getting your quest done. Don’t even get me started on the fact that if you do group up loot isn’t shared and so you often find yourself having to kill way more mobs just so everyone can get their stuff. But the biggest thing for me is that I don’t really have a nice community surrounding me. I joined the guild of my FFXIV friend but they hardly talk in guild chat. I don’t really know anyone else I’d like to join playing Classic since it’s either only knowing 1-2 people or just having to start in a guild from scratch. I just don’t have the energy for that. Classic is not the warm bath for me that it seems to be for a lot of other folks and as such I think that I will just designate myself to logging sporadically to progress as the mood takes me. I may make up some sort of MMO rotation where Classic just gets one day a week and the rest of my time will go to retail or FFXIV… If even that.
I’m happy that I didn’t really hype myself up for this release but rather took the “I’m going to make a character and see how it goes” approach. So far it feels more like a chore to play the game than actual fun although I do appreciate seeing all the zones in their old state again. I just miss too many things from retail to stick around. I want my achievement system, my transmog tab and my mounts and pets. I want summoning stones to be actual summoning stones. I don’t really mind the lack of a grouping tool but shared loot and mob tagging has become so natural that it feels like an insult to have that taken away again. Maybe it’s because I never truly “played” Vanilla WoW. I started playing right before The Burning Crusade came out and didn’t really seriously get into the game untill towards the end of that expansion and the start of Wrath of the Lich King. My WoW “glory” days were mostly in the period from 2008 untill 2013 so my nostalgia goggles are just not that strong for the Vanilla era. Perhaps when they release a Wrath of the Lich King server I will happily jump on board. For now though I’m dialing the Classic back to minimum and will probably go back to playing more retail and FFXIV instead.
As many other people like me I’ve succumbed to my curiousity and rolled a character on the Classic World of Warcraft servers. I guess I don’t have to say what class I rolled because the imp pet is kind of a dead giveaway but I rolled a Warlock. I wanted to be a caster but a bit more beefy than a Mage so Warlock it is. As of writing I have played for about five and a half hours and made it halfway to level 11. I specced my first talent point into the Affliction tree so I can start working towards that sweet instant cast Corruption spell. I have also just unlocked my second minion, a Voidwalker named Juk’mon. He will be the one I will have out the most I think because it acts as a personal tank when questing, which is super nice when you are a caster and not really happy about taking damage. It’s one of the main reasons I picked Warlock but the free mount at level 40, if I ever make it that far, isn’t too bad either.
I’m really taking my time here and just play the game super casually. I put in somewhere between one or two hours a night, ticking off some boxes quest wise and trying to have fun. I have accepted the (in)famous Hogger quest right before I logged off and I plan to tackle that tomorrow when I get home from work. Once I finish that I think I will start setting foot into Westfall and start questing there. I have to admit to installing Questie, a quest helper addon, to make sure that I pick up everything that is around in the zone quest wise. I’m just so used to seeing quest markers on the map from Final Fantasy XIV and WoW retail that I can’t live without them anymore. It has made my life significantly easier so far I can tell you that much.
I do have to say that I miss a lot of the quality of life stuff that comes with the retail version of WoW. I hate having to run everywhere. Of the time I’ve played so far I’m pretty sure that about 25% of that is spent on running everywhere. Going from one end to the other end of Elwynn Forest, the human starting zone, is easily a ten minute run. It’s something I didn’t miss at all. It does slow down the pace of the game significantly, probably one of the reasons why it took forever to get to maximum level back in the day. I do like that people tend to group up a lot for doing quests and that everyone is poor so making 50 silver of a stack of leather is actually kind of awesome. All in all though I find Classic to be quite draining to play. Everything goes slow. You’re really weak compared to what Im used to from other MMO’s and WoW retail. Things just take much, much longer than what they do now. I was complaining about how long it took me to unlock flying on WoW retail but just getting my Warlock to level 10 has taken me three evenings of playing already, something you do in retail in about an hour.
But I digress.
For now Classic is a nice distraction. It has it’s flaws but, for the time being, a very active community and tons of people playing. I will probably keep you updated as I keep playing this game but I’m not sure if I have the patience to get all the way to level 60. I guess time will tell.
Last weekend a friend asked if people were interested in farming some of the Heavensward primal and raid mounts. I jumped at the chance and said yes because I still miss quite a lot of mounts from that expansion. Other people said they’d come as well and in the end we had a party of 4-5 people to tackle old content with. We did both Alexander part 4 Savage mode and part 12 Savage mode and killed it as often as was needed to get everyone their mounts. This didn’t last that long luckily since for both wings the mount is a guaranteed drop when you kill the boss. There were a few one-shot mechanics that we needed to deal with but once we figured out those it wasn’t to difficult to get some kills in.
Next to the savage Alexander raids we also tackled a few primals and I walked away with the Bismarck ex bird (dropped at the first kill and I was the only one who needed it) and the Sophia ex bird (again dropped on the first kill). We kept farming Sophia and Zurvan ex for mounts for other people but unfortunately nothing else dropped for the evening. All in all I only need two more bird mounts from Heavensward primals now: the Nidhogg ex one and Sephiroth ex. Maybe we will do another farming party later on this week or in the weekend and be a bit more lucky with mount drops from people.
In other news I’ve managed to crank my Culinarian up to level 50 yesterday and I will probably get my Alchemist to level 70 tomorrow after reset. I’m also fully decked out in Eden healing gear for my White Mage so I can start rolling on tokens for caster gear. It feels like I’m getting my goals in Final Fantasy XIV completed much faster than I do in World of Warcraft. I guess because the grind is a bit different and I’ve figured out an optimized route to do most things with. As it stands now I’m going to take a bit of a break from the Ixal daily quests for the coming week and probably only do ex-roulette and some leves to get my Botanist and Miner leveled up. The rest of my evenings will be spent in WoW doing all the dailies to unlock flying.
Speaking of WoW, in about an hour and a half you can start reserving names on the Classic servers… I’m going to roll Alliance on the EU Mirage Raceway server so if you want someone to talk to when Classic hits you can find me there!