I promise I’ll get that post up about shaman hybridism soon.
But first, after many days of spending time on the water away from WoW, I came back to the game and logged quite a few hours on Monday. Leveling Troutwort the hunter from 80 to 82 because he’s technically the GM and isn’t even friendly with the guild, so I can’t buy the extra guild bank tab (how embarrassing) and then played Haydn the rogue going from 64 to 66.
Back to the point of this post though, and that is following a discussion I had with a guildmate about end-game content, and more specifically end-game if you don’t raid.
I am pretty much a non-raider. I haven’t raided in Cataclysm, my raiding experience in BC was limited to Karazhan and Mag’s Lair. In LK it was Naxx, ToC, and Icecrown Citadel. In all cases it was usually long after these things were current content and so there were those that had better gear than content. The only one that I was really on par with was ToC. Anyways, no raiding yet in Cataclysm.
So I’m basically at that age-old discussion of what do you do for end-game if you aren’t into raiding? As it currently is, I have three toons at level 85, I think three at level 82, and then some others like 80, 75, 66, and 27 or something like that. When I log-in there are times I stare at this screen trying to decide who to play. Almost always the three level 85s are ruled out from selection unless I need one of their professions for something. Since I don’t participate in the raiding I don’t have raids to prepare for, gear isn’t important to me, and their professions are maxed, so there’s usually little desire to play those toons–what else is there to do? None of the heroic dungeons really excite me, I think I previously posted that none of them feel really epic/fun to me. Typically then I pick up a toon that isn’t 85 and level them. For me, leveling provides a sense of progression and accomplishment that raiding and getting new gear doesn’t provide for me. With new levels comes new spells or abilities, new talent points, more character development. But with raiding, just comes new dresses to wear.
The sense of accomplishment, for me, really drops off at 85. Usually it’s finishing up a zone or a profession and then maybe some dungeons and heroics and that’s it. There isn’t a draw for me to continue to do anything. So I level the next toon. I understand that downing raid bosses is an accomplishment for a raid group, and I love hearing about the cohesiveness and success. But I can’t sit and do one thing for 4 hours or commit to that sort of schedule of twice a week–it’s just not me.
So I start to think about what I did at 80 or even 70. I had 4 toons to 70 before LK and 7 toons to 80 before Cata. So what did I do with them all? Grinding reputations or doing dailies was different. For example: reputations in both LK and BC gave patterns for crafters, I would decide which factions were most beneficial for my crafters and focus on them, even if I didn’t ever make the pattern, knowing that I had it felt like I was still accomplishing something. Fishing and cooking dailies took me all around the world, though people complained about travel time, it got me the F out of Dalaran, so that if suddenly I was in Sholazar for fishing, I might as well do some Oracles/Frenzyheart dailies or if I had to go to Borean for fishing, I might as well stock up on fish or try for that turtle. Sending me to Nagrand to cook some stew would sometimes find me doing some Kurenai rep or else defending the PvP zone in the middle. Since I was there, I felt a reason to do other things.
Fishing dailies being limited to Stormwind or other capital cities are quick and easy fishing skill points, but if you ask me…BORING. And the lack of a fishing bag that has anything new to offer since LK is really lame. At least in BC I could get a croc pet and LK had the strand crawler and fishing poles, but really, nothing new for Cata? Why isn’t there an 80+ only fishing daily? It doesn’t make sense, they didn’t really make a new fishing daily, they just offered it to level 10s.
Daily quests in Cata also are sorta of…bleh. The Argent tourney in LK was nice, again rewards of pets, jousting to gain reputations, it wasn’t that bad–mounts and prizes were cool. Tol Barad has them as well…but the inability to fly there makes them annoying…I’m tired of being dismounted by stupid spiders.
The Isle of Quel’Danas dailies while not always awesome, were good in one way, there was a whole server progression there. It felt like you were contributing to something when you did those and when after a few days a new section of the isle opened up, it felt awesome. That was a brilliant idea–it felt like I still was contributing and progressing in the game.
Achievements added in 3.0 added some sort of accomplishment as well, but let’s be honest, most achievements are “worthless” since the points don’t give you anything. A few titles are fun to get and those additions were nice, but again, not enough to keep me going.
Okay, long post is long, so what DO I want?? I have no idea. I guess if there was some sort of accomplishment that would still feel like my characters are progressing and improving without it just being gear, that would be awesome. I’d like daily quests outside of capital cities. I’d like PORTALS back to all the cities so that I didn’t feel like I only played in Stormwind anymore. I really feel disconnected too because of the way the zones are now. With the new 80-85 zones spread out, it’s not easy to just fly over that ridge to the next zone and do what I want there…no, it’s hearth (load-screen), then fly to portal (load-screen)…there’s too much load-screening and not enough continuity. I want to be able to do an herbing lap around one zone, then be close enough to the next to just swoop into that zone too, without load-screens.
One other thing that would help is if archaeology felt like progression too…instead of still finding VooDoo dolls at max level if the things you found improved and the chance of lesser things decreased at least it would give a sense of geting better. Fishing for example allows you to catch better things as you improve your skill. Aside from a few rare items in archaeology, it really does still feel like you’re doing the same at skill level 525 as you did at skill 100. Hopefully there will be changes to this later.
I fear that Cataclysm really isn’t living up to all the excitement I had for it. Challenging heroics are good, but god, I hear more people complain about dungeons than I hear people say they love them. So maybe there need to be at least a few that people don’t cringe over?
I know it’s hard to build a game that feels like you’re still progressing after you’ve hit 85 and that isn’t about gear. I’m not saying I know the answer, but I think there have been things in the past that might be good ideas to bring back. Perhaps not. It might just be the crotchety old man in me desiring times past. I just didn’t feel so blah about my toons at 80…and I can’t figure out why I do now.
One other thing that would be AWESOME, is that once you complete a zone or storyline on one toon, the zone would be changed for the next. Example: I have put the world pillar together 3 times already. Why the F do I have to keep doing it? One time is cool, but the second time I come through, can’t the world pillar be put together already and now I work to defend new attacks or work on cleaning up the mess left behind? That would feel better to me from a leveling stand-point. Doesn’t have to be every zone, but ones with really dramatic storylines such as that seem sort of lame the next time you have to do it.