Wednesday (24 Jan) - The Death Knell Approaches
A friend of mine recently posted on the guild website, relating to a number of severe real life medical problems he has been battling and is still going through. That was a sobering moment compared to the much less important issues surrounding the game of World of Warcraft. I'm praying for his recovery and wish him well. Even under those circumstances, he keeps the faith with the guild and his guild friends.
In light of that, the failings of WoW and my own fading interest in the game seem pale in comparison.
The adventures of the Wild Family and company have not yet ended, though greatly curtailed. One could also question the state of the game itself, which seems to have entered some strange limbo of often frenzied activity that goes no where and accomplishes little.
Reading the forums, half are posts written by game authors or those writing for the game (ie, wowhead). Of the 47 posts on the first page of wowhead's General forum, 24 were by players, and 23 by professional pundits. Checking out the Monk forum, which one would think would be alive with discussion of this new class, I find only four posts less than ten days old. The WoW Monk forum only recently posted a windwalker guide, which has some good information, but that forum is not that well populated, either.
Guild raiding is again on semi-hiatus as the guild leader deals with real life considerations. That takes one raid group out of action and leaves the other missing at least two raiders. Raid progress remains slow for a guild with 88 level 90s. Of the 17 raid bosses available in four Pandaria raids (counting Sha), they have downed three bosses as a guild.
The Mists of Pandaria (MoP) is a veritable smorgasbord of opportunities, from raiding to dungeons, to scenarios, to special quest threads, to pvp. There are more factions than ever, and more daily quests to do than are humanly possible (or by any other race).
None of it feels connected, though. MoP was a radical a departure from past expansions. Talents were completely re-written. Fundamental practices on how a character was played were completely changed. Even simple things, such as the Cooking profession, became arcanely difficult and complicated. Every class has to be re-learned.
Even Happy's Auction House has strange echoes. The new MoP enchanting mats were going to revitalize Happy's coffers, but buy and sale activity has been all but dead. The means of combining and breaking up the new mats require an accounting degree to understand, and Happy was up for that challenge, but the mats just sit there in the AH unwanted and unused. It may be that active players simply generate enough mats in daily play that there is no need to buy them from the AH. If so, Happy is on a slow slide to doom. Gems are following a similar path. The mid-level gems are so cheap they aren't worth selling, and the high-end gems so expensive there's no profit margin. Lao reports, and Happy confirms, that herb gathering may be somewhat profitable for gatherers, but it remains spotty and mostly unprofitable for Happy.
It has become a strange, foreign land. The linchpin that kept Wild connected through prior expansions was raiding. The death of raiding for Wild began when Looking For Raid (LFR) was implemented. Both the LFR and the LFD (Looking For Dungeon) were both a godsend and a hidden nightmare for Wild. For the first time, players could defeat raid bosses with random groups of players. Wild's gear grew quickly richer through the weekly slaughter of Dragon Soul, and primed him for the regular raid runs with the guild. That came with a surprisingly high price. Wild got bored with the endless LFR/LFD grinding and frustrated with the slow progress in regular guild raids.
There seemed little incentive other than pride in finishing normal mode Dragon Soul, when Wild had defeated it in the LFR so many, many, many times already. So Wild stopped raiding for the several months between his disillusion with the LFR/DS and the arrival of MoP.
The LFR/LFD process expanded in MoP, but the idea of entering that grind once more ... Well, Dragon Soul was just one raid. MoP already offers THREE raids of LFR grinding, not to mention a gob of LFD's that must be ground through before getting to the LFRs. Fist, happy to have made it to level 90, could not bring herself to enter that pipeline.
The linchpin of raiding was broken.
I'm told that the MoP LFD/LFRs are so easy the only obstacle is waiting around for a group to form. The first time Fist did them, it would probably be kind of fun. The thousandth time ... I just don't think I'm going to go there.
The only semi-active players I have now are Fist and Happy. The rest make mere cameo appearances. I'm in game less than an hour a day.
The twilight may be descending. For the Wild family, the death knell waits.