World of Warcraft

The Weekly WoW Update: I’m already fed up with WoD

WowlogoOn midnight, November 13, Warlords of Draenor hit, the latest World of Warcraft expansion. For those of you who don’t know what World of Warcraft (or WoW) is, it’s an online game with about ten million subscribers, and you can play a variety of characters. You can find out more on the website.

Now, back to Warlords of Draenor. I’d bought my key for the expansion months ago, and I was eagerly awaiting the release. So I worked like crazy to finish all my work by midnight on Wednesday that week, so I could spend the next few days levelling my character in the brand new world. I spent the evening on Skype, along with a few friends, all awaiting the big moment when midnight would hit.

Expansion time!

But then, midnight did come around. First thing that happened, the servers crashed. We got kicked out. Cursing ensued, along with “I told you so”. We tried for half an hour, until we could finally log in. Then we stood in front of the dark portal, along with half a million other players (at least it looked like half a million). Even going through the portal was troublesome, and by then, most of my friends had given up. But not me. At least, not yet. I teamed up with a friend, a shadow priest, and we started questing.

Twenty percent of a level later, the internet crashed. Skype went down, Facebook went down, of course WOW went down as well. I tried turning the router on and off and half a dozen other possible solutions, but nothing helped. Internet down, no more chance to play.

Thursday came rolling around, and still the internet wouldn’t work properly. It wasn’t until that evening and after almost suffering a nervous breakdown, that I got to play. Playing was pure hell though. Lag spikes. Inability to hand in quests because everyone decided that the only proper way to turn in quests is to sit on a gigantic mount and block everyone else from even seeing the quest giver. The Garrison, a new addition to WoW (which is actually pretty awesome when it works properly) failed, transporting players to another area where they got stuck dangling in mid-air. Oh, the fun.

Then came the server rerolls, and the waiting lines. “You’re player #2265 in line. Please wait four hours before you can enter”. It would be one thing if you’d keep moving forward, but sometimes you got tossed back a few hundred spots, or you got thrown out of line completely. To say I was frustrated would be the understatement of the century.

On Sunday, things finally turned back to normal, at least somewhat, and by Tuesday last week, I’d reached level 100, the maximum level. Finally. After hours of grinding those levels, getting fed up with all the errors that WoW should’ve solved expansions ago (because this isn’t Blizzard’s first rodeo, all their expansions have had similar problems for the last decade), I was finally level 100. Time for the fun to start.

Let’s have some fun.

Except, there was no fun.

Usually, reaching max level meant dailies, reputation grinds, new questlines, heroic dungeons, even raids. Now it meant…I need a higher item level?

Because first thing that popped up when I, a brand new level 100, with ilvl 600 warlock, wanted to do a heroic dungeon was: you need to pass the proving grounds (bronze) and you need ilvl 610. 610? Why do I suddenly need a minimum item level before I can even access a dungeon? What happened to skills, to tactics? That’s not important anymore? No, all that’s important is ilvl. Great.

So all I could do, basically, was run a few regular dungeons (luckily there are a few level 100 dungeons) and pray my item level would reach 610 soon. Oh, and pass those damned proving grounds. I had no trouble passing the bronze trial, but heck, I get frustrated and nervous just thinking about that timer, ticking down the seconds. I swear those proving grounds easily knocked a few years off my lifespan.

Then the giant dungeon fiasco happened. Nobody could access a dungeon anymore, or get out of one if they happened to end up stuck there. The dungeon mechanism totally failed. Goodie.

Eventually, I got ilvl 610, passed the bronze proving grounds…and then found out I had to pass the silver proving grounds too. That didn’t go all that easily. The timer glared at me, cruelly mocking me when I didn’t realize I could fear a particular mob so he couldn’t heal anymore. After a few tries, it did work, but oh, the frustration!

I was sort of happy though, because now I got to run heroics. That meant better gear, some challenging fights, a few achievements…right? Right?

Guess again.

Heroics means wipefest. It means mobs are stronger than bosses, at times. It means you need a specific tactic to tackle some bosses. It’s not as difficult as heroics back when the Cataclysm expansion hit, but it’s not a breeze either. But at the same time…the fights aren’t imaginative. They’re not challenging. It’s the same old song. Step out of fire. Step out of weird symbols on the floor. Don’t get hit by attacks slowly approaching you. Jump out of anything, even if that something happens to be the healer’s circle because you thought it was one of the boss’s attacks…Yeah, you get my point.

But it’s not exactly fun. I don’t mind challenging. I spent weeks trying to clear ICC back in the WotLK expansion. But that was fun. Those fights were cool. This is…meh.

And for everything new I want to do, I need a higher ilevel. But the problem there is that sometimes getting a higher ilvl means wearing crappier gear. As a destro lock, one of my most important stats is critical strike. Yet I had to drop several items with critical strike on just to get the ilvl I needed to get into heroics – which caused my dps to drop at least 1k.

Now I’m sitting in my garrison, and I can’t help but feel like there’s almost nothing to do. Barely any dailies. Why should I log in every day, expect to check my garrison, if there are no dalies? Yes, I can send my followers on missions and that’s fun, but only entertains me for about five minutes. Levelling professions takes so long I doubt I’llĀ  be able to make one thirty-slot bag before the end of the month (tailoring). Enchanting is even worse – that Draenic Dust costs tons on the AH, and I only get green items when I go questing, so it’s a slow grind.

Sure, I can go look for treasures, and I bought the maps for that, but there’s little incentive to actually get started. I finished all the quests in Frostfire Ridge, Talador and Spires of Arak, including the bonus objectives. I’m almost done with the Nagrand quests (only one questline left). That leaves Tanaan jungle, which isn’t availbale yet, Shadowmoon Valley, and the quests in Gorgrond. But even looking at Gorgrond makes me nauseous. So many bonus objectives! And for what? When I was levelling, those were fun because they granted tons of XP. But now they offer nothing new, except some gold. If they would give me reputation with a faction, then I might be persuaded to do them, but now? Meh.

Used to be that hitting max level was a blast, and you could finally do all the content you missed out on before. Now? Not so much. There’s so little to do until you hit a certain item level, that I feel like I’m stuck in WoW-limbo or something.



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