Monday, March 31, 2014

Diversification of My Holdings

As I make my way back into SWTOR, I think about what got me to quit in the first place ... burnout.  With that in mind, I'm going to diversify my MMOs a bit to keep 'em fresh!  Obviously, SWTOR is on the plate.  Currently, so is World of Warcraft.  But wait, what's this?  A new challenger rises?

Elder Scrolls Online launched this Sunday and I pre-ordered that bad boy.  I spent Sunday leveling, deleting, and generally just running around in the online version of Tamriel and I can safely say ... yeah, that was a blast.

Full disclosure here: I participated in four weekend beta events, so I pretty much knew I liked the game.  A lot.  And I pre-ordered the Imperial Edition, so that should tell you something too.  But the betas were always a little choppy/unfinished and the quest bugs were fairly significant, so I was rather unsure of how the final product would look.  Most of my fears were allayed because the launch runs ultra-smooth.  Honeymoon period is in full effect here, so I'll refrain from posting a review/impression until I get some more time with the finished product.  But so far, it's looking good.

SWTOR will take a back seat at the moment; I'm not raiding or doing dungeons at the moment (even though I know that new patch with the Tython/Korriban flashpoints will be out very soon (April 8th actually!) but those can wait.  I'll check them out once I get something cleared up ...

... and that thing would be friggin' World of goddamn Warcraft.  Since Mists of Pandaria (or Mists of Pan-daily-a as it was known at launch), WoW has basically consumed my MMO time.  I've been heavily invested in raiding, doing all the tiers so far (Mogu'shan, Heart of Fear (bleh), Throne of Thunder, and Siege of Orgrimmar).  I've not exactly been pushing the 'bleeding edge' of raiding, but for our pokey little RP server, I do ok.  I'm generally recognized as one of a handful of excellent DPS warriors and I consistently pull my weight every time.  The problem is this: I've yet to kill Garrosh.

How can an orc this awesome not get the satisfaction of a Garry Hellscream kill?
This is a major point for me.  This kill is everything I've been working for in WoW since MoP launched.  This is the ultimate achievement for me.  This will complete a story that I've had in my head for a long time; a running narrative since the anticipation of Pandaria.  The defeat of the Warchief, the orc who sullied Blackhowl's Horde!

Most of the folks I know (except those on my raid team) have all gotten their kills by now.  My team has had to rebuild four times (four!) and is still facing issues on every single pull.  Folks stand in bad.  Folks panic and don't spread.  Folks die, and die, and die.  And die.  It's so incredibly frustrating because I'm so fucking close.  SO CLOSE.  Once I get my Garry kill, I can officially say, 'Fuck off!' to WoW for a while and play other things.  Like SWTOR.  And ESO.  Or maybe go enjoy the damn sun (if it ever decides it wants to show up).  To be frank, raiding in WoW always starts as fun and winds up being a goddamn part-time job.  The mechanics are so insipid and unforgiving.  Granted, this is the final boss of the final tier of Pandaria, but still.  C'mon, throw us a bone.  Nerf it like ICC if you want ... anything to get more people killing this stupid asshole (namely me).  But still, WoW always devolves into a never-ending shit-fest of raid fuckups that I seriously ... SERIOUSLY ... question why I play it.  And I question it constantly.  And I do this every expansion.  So why do I continue to play?

Damn, if I could answer that question I wouldn't need to write page-long whinefests about WoW.

I think in each of my MMOs I look for something different.  In SWTOR, I look for story and plot.  In ESO, I look for exploration and freedom.  And in WoW, I look for raiding and end-game.  It's funny, because I don't plan on doing anything end-game related in ESO.  And I haven't done any end-game stuff in SWTOR since Eternity Vault was relevant.  It's just not something I'm there for.  Maybe because both ESO and SWTOR don't treat end-game as the be-all, end-all?  There's serious gameplay in the leveling aspect and they treat it as a journey, and I respond to that.  Although, it's interesting to note that my response is to love the gameplay and occasionally drift away from the game over time.

With WoW, the 'real game' doesn't start until max level.  Then you start the horrible, never-ending grind of LFGs, LFRs, and raiding.  It's all about increasing your ilvl (item level).  My warrior's ilvl is 564 ... that's about as high as I can get it without doing heroic/hardmode content.  Everything I do in WoW revolves around raiding and boosting my ilvl.  And it's funny to note that while I drift from SWTOR because I enjoy the leveling portion so much, WoW has kept me locked in for years and years.  Even when I'm not actively subbed, I'm still checking into it and seeing what's going on (like I did during Cataclysm).

I guess, in the end it boils down to this: I'm a typical MMO gamer.  I've got a love/hate relationship with the games I choose to play and demands (that are different) for each one.  I love the feeling of achievement (in WoW) ... I love the exploration of new lands (in ESO) ... I love the story and plot (in SWTOR).  I hate the endless grind (in WoW) ... I hate the lack of things to do at max level (in SWTOR) ... and I haven't found anything to hate about ESO.  But gimme time ... I'm sure I'll come up with something.

But lemme tell you ... I can't wait to get this damn Garry kill in WoW so I can step away for a while (maybe until next expansion) and just BREAAAAATHE.  Damn, I hate you WoW.  Stop making me play you.