Feeds:
Posts
Comments

WoD first impressions

Countless orcs died to bring you this post today. I am now level 100 and readying up to take on WoD endgame after a frenzied weekend of questing and leveling. So is Warlord of Draenor good? Considering that I’ve spent close to 5 days playing an average of 10 hours a day I’d say yes. The best part is that I did so because I wanted to and not because I felt like I had to. I’m writing this while waiting for documents to arrive and the only thing I’m thinking about is running home to play some more.

So I’m going to upgrade my score of WoD from good to Old-school Blizzard good. It has been a long time since Blizzard glued me to my computer an entire weekend without me even realizing.

There was even serious talk in guild over the weekend as to if this was the best expansion ever and while we’re all reserving final judgement for later when we had a proper taste of endgame so far things are looking favorable.

We’re talking about a guild full of jaded WoW veterans here… You could argue that it’s just the new expansion honeymoon period but not since Burning Crusade have I seen this kind of reaction. Even if WoD only reaches BC level in terms of expansion quality it would be quite an accomplishement.

Because reasons!

I wish I had a well written list of reasons as to why I love this expansion so much but it’s a bit hard to describe. The garrison is a fantastic idea, the quests and lore blew my mind more than once, the music is fantastic (will kill for downloadable soundtrack) and the zones are gorgeous. I don’t want to go into detailed analysis because each of these point merits a post of their own.

But I think the most important point for me is that for the first time in a long while I feel like I’m playing WoW again and not a loot generator game with raids inside of it. The best part is that I cannot say for sure why I feel this way. I have theories of course but no certitude.

And you know what? I think that this is WoD greatest achievement, to make me forget I’m playing a game and make me not see the gears and numbers at work. Last weekend, I was simply exploring Draenor and it was the greatest feeling ever.

99118

The new WoW expansion is out and…. it’s been messy…

But before going into the server stability and DDoS attack I want to hit on the positives. First of all, Garrisons which have been my main focus so far. To be honest, this was a feature I thought I wouldn’t care about but I’m finding I’m spending a crazy amount of time there, directing my minions and managing my base. This feature is tapping deep into my Starcraft player instincts and I love it.

Even better is the ressource gathering features like the mine which allow someone like me who often has to play short sessions to gather a good amount of materials without having to farm for a long period. I can still farm on top of it of course but for those short sessions, it’s perfect. Just this morning I was able to get about 60 minerals and place in work orders for 60 more under 10 minutes or so. Love it.

Another thing, the music is pretty awesome. I want the soundtrack now.

The DDoS…

So let’s talk about the bad now and why I was trapped in my garrison for the better part of the evening yesterday. To make a long story short, Blizzard was hit by a Distributed Denial of Service attack, a DDoS for us IT nerds. Summed up, a DoS is an effort to crash a service, usualy by flooding the servers with requests. A DDoS is the same but from multiple sources working together, usualy through a mixtures of bots and multiple users. There’s a ton of ways this can be achieved from a technical standpoint but the general idea is to flood so things crash.

These things are evil. I have been on the receiving end of a massive one on one of the projects I was working on and they are a pure nightmare. Having bots try to break down your door every so often is nothing, but a concerted attack from malicious users is a whole other game and it makes me angry to read some of the comments today of people claiming Blizz should have been prepared for this.

You cannot be prepared, it’s impossible. To do a real world analogy, a regular hacking attack is like a thief trying the front door to see if you left it unlocked. If you locked the door chances are he’ll just go try next door. Worst case he really wants to get in and then your alarm system takes over.  Police is called and most of the time the damage is very limited. If you forgot to install a security system or lock the door then yeah… it can do damage.

A DDoS more akin to North Korea driving up to your house with tanks, artillery and a few millions soldiers. No amount of door locking will save you and unless you have your own army to back you up it’s going to hurt. Even if you have an army, there’s still a good chance you’re going to come out bloodied. You do the best you can until the cavalry show up and then you can start rebuilding.

And when I say rebuilding I mean it. When it happened to us, we had to spend weeks afterwards restoring databases, cleaning up servers from malicious software left behind, then restore data again, shore up critical issues made evident by the attacks. Later on you have to invest into rethinking your security, deploy new solutions, etc… It sucks and it costs lost of money. When it happened to us, I spent two weeks pratically living in the office.

So, as much as I’m critical of game bugs and poor design, this is one case where I’ll defend Blizzard. There is no way to have a system a 100% immune to DDoS. It’s just impossible. You can make it more resilient but immune… not possible. So, please, do send cookies and cofee to Blizzard cause they need it right now.

Warning! Epic wall of text incoming!

I’m changing the format of these posts a bit today because the next part is going to get a bit personal and will touch on topics that transpired a bit in this blog and that I’ve touched on in other posts about guild life and expectations. To sum up the chain of events leading to this post, since last time, I took a WoW break around Ulduar time where I went and enjoyed hobbits for a while before coming back to WoW a bit before ICC and joining back up with Auraye and friends in a guild I honestly can’t remember the name of so let’s call it Timebomb.

Due to the simple fact that I was one of the most experienced players in the guild and because I genuinely wanted to help, I was made raid leader of Timebomb shortly after I came back. They were missing someone for the position and the guild leader, Auraye didn’t want to handle both guild leading and raid leading at the same time. We had a few good discussions to start things off and our roles were clear. I was to do handle everything raid related and she’d keep on doing the other guild stuff. Officially, we were a serious casual raiding guild which meant that we were supposed to be skilled players but with more limited raiding time.

The reality

Near every single player will tell you they are good if you ask them. The reality though is that not everyone can do Heroic Arthas while its current content. Everyone wants to succeed if you ask them but again the reality is that they might not want to put in the time or effort to get there.  Whether or not putting in all that time into a game is really worth it is a debate for another time but the bottom line is that the boss won’t die unless everyone plays their part at a high enough level.

Timebomb was not a serious casual raiding guild. It was a casual guild who wanted to raid. The average level of the players in it was passable and most of them had little to no raid progression experience. Like many other guilds, the guild was built on a small group of friends who wanted to get some sweet epics and had recruited haphazardly without any real plan. There were a few good players, including the guild leader Auraye but not enough to fill a raid. In fact filling raids was a constant struggle and we ended up inviting pugs more than once.

Auraye was another big part of the equation. Auraye was a good healer who had aspirations of hardmode raiding and sweet epics. In fact, getting the best gear and showing it up was her main motivation. She was also good enough to get said spot in the hardcore guilds but for unknown reasons she had preferred starting her own guild to get her there.  However, she didn’t want to do the actual leading. As far as she was concerned guild leading meant setting up a website, throwing up the occasional “fun” event and approving the decisions of others.

As for my role in this I was the raid leader which meant in Timebomb that I was to handle strategy, loot (pending approval of guild leadership), invites, checking up gear, checking flasks, making sure the guild bank had mats, player performance, dealing with Pugs and even recruitment. Last and most important to Auraye, progression was expected.

Looking back now, it’s pretty apparent that we had a recipe for disaster but back then, we were all a group of friends and I was just helping out as best as I could. Auraye couldn’t do it all by herself and my experience put me in a good position to help out.  Plus, all we had to do was Tournament of crusaders and by then, everyone had it on farm so the skill problems weren’t as apparent.

Under pressure

ICC came along and the going was good at first. We were making slow but steady progress and I was confident the raiders issues I was noticing (flasks,low dps, etc…) would iron themselves out quickly enough.

This right there is one of the hardest calls to make as a raid leader. How do you differentiate between a bad player and someone who’s inexperienced? The bad player you’re limited to what you can do with but the inexperienced… if you give them time they can be awesome players.  In the same vein of thought, bad is a relative term. Someone might be good enough for regular mode but won’t be able to do heroic.  When you’re progressing a player that was okay before might become a hindrance on a latter fight.

Sure, given enough time most players will improve but what is enough time? How long do you hold the group back just so someone can improve. How do you even approach a player about his or her need to improve? What needs to be done? Gear, rotations? Is it a problem with his connection?

So we progressed up to plague wing and Putricide and this is where things started going to hell rapidly. We had some stress getting up to that point but Putricide was our wall. We were going nowhere fast wiping on him and pressure was mounting fast on the guild. Still operating under the assumptions that everyone was a serious raider and wanted to progress I was trying to help out as best as I can but still there was a threshold I was not willing to cross and that was outright saying to someone they needed to be better.

After a while of trying the soft methods and not having many results, Auraye came to me and asked me to fix things. I was the raid leader and as such, I should be able to get things moving again. I agreed with that too and went about finding our issues, logs in hand.  Two issues were identified. First, our attendance issues meant we still could not fill a full raid. Second, it was obvious some players were still underperforming after many weeks of raiding.

So I made two crucial mistakes without realizing. In order to fix the first issue I invited some real friends I knew to be great raiders to come raid with us.  Then, I made it clear that the underperforming players would be cut from progression fights. I remember writing in the forums a very mathematical post about it in the sense of you to do X dps to kill the boss so if you’re lower we’ll replace you for fight Y.

The bad players, who were real-life close friends of Auraye didn’t like it one bit and made the case to Auraye that I was in fact taking over the guild with my friends and cutting the people we didn’t like. While that was not my intention, I admit that the two decisions taken together didn’t look good either.

We raided under the new system for about two weeks. Except that nobody would be replaced in raids since Auraye overruled me on that point so… we had more attendance but still had the bad players.

Or course things didn’t work out and two weeks later…. Boom!

The fallout

I was the one who blew up first. I was under a lot of pressure both in real-life and now in-game trying to make things work out so when Auraye and friend approached me to tell me that they didn’t like the way things were going and that they were thinking of kicking me and my friends out of the guild if we didn’t find a solution I blew up.

Yes the guild had issue, yes the raids sucked and guild atmosphere was in the gutter. But I would not accept blame for it. No effing way that she would let it fall on me. I was driving myself nuts trying to find a solution and now I was being made the problem.

So I said a lot bad words, wrote this post and left saying eff you people. To my delight, my leaving did not fix the guild issues as Auraye was pretending and the guild ended up dying soon after. Auraye later transferred server and did join up with a hardcore guild where she got all the purples she ever wanted.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize how much the experience taught me and was in fact beneficial. I learned a lot about group dynamics and expectations, both said and unsaid. I learned that I’m not alone in a team and that as such, success or failure does not rest only on me. I learned to say no, to set my limits and to walk away when things are not working out.  These skills have served me well in my career and I have to thank a videogame for that.

So in the end, was I to blame for what happened? Yes, in a way I am responsible for what happened. I should have questioned the official guild goals of raiding when I realized the skill level of the guild. I should have not accepted to be in a position where my every decision could be overturned according to the whim of the guild leader. I should have delegated more and not take everything on me.

And at the end, when Auraye would have insisted that we raid and that her friends were good raiders… I should have walked away…

Taking a break today from WoW reminiscing to talk rant about Games Workshop and in the larger sense, our right to critique our beloved hobbies. To put things into context, Games Workshop is the company behind Warhammer and Warhammer 40k, two of the most, if not the most, populars wargames out there. Their business revolves mainly around selling us the miniatures needed to play their games.

I know this post will probably ruffle a few feathers and I can already hear the GW fanboys grinding their axes in anticipation. Fear not my friends, I will give you ample reasons to go after me. Not unlike fans of certain MMOs, wargaming fanboys can go nuts if you even suggest that their favorite hobby is not so great after all. And just to be clear, Hobby is a fancy way of saying game to make you feel better about spending hundreds/thousands of dollars on plastic miniatures.

So back to the topic at hand, Games Workshop and Warhammer (both kind) are bad! It wasn’t always like that and they do still make some of the best miniatures but the rules are a mess as a result of GW trying to get you to buy more and the material is way overpriced.  These days, a new player is looking at close to a 1000$ if not more.  By the way, I did the exercise of buying my Salamanders army from scratch including rules and paints and I got to 900$ US. This was just buying exactly what I needed but I know that as a player interest develops in the game he will want to expand his army and buy more paints, terrain and stuff and can easily double and triple that amount.

So why would anyone ever wants to start playing a game with messed up rules that has a near 1000$ buy-in price and is run by a greedy company? Why would anyone defend this? I have a pretty good idea but I’m getting ahead of myself. So let’s get to my arguments shall we, how can I justify what I’m saying?

  • 1000$ buy-in. I just went over it earlier by actually going on the GW webstore and adding the stuff to my cart. This was a space marine army that has a low model count and is one the best supported army. I know other armies will run much higher than the 900$ I got.
  • Messed-up rules. This is more open for debate but in the past few years I played other games to give me a point of reference. Namely Warmarchine/Hordes, Flames of War, Rules of engagement, Infinity, Firestorm Armada and a few more on occasion. From my perspective the rules of Warhammer, especially 40k are a mess. But I’m not the only one saying it. Do a round of the competitive Warhammer scene and you’ll see intense debate about how organizers need to curtail the rules in order to have fun tournaments. We could talk for hours about this but for now, let’s keep things simple.
  • Greedy Games-Workshop. This one I can’t really prove can I? It’s not like GW has put “let’s be greedy” in their mission statement. The 1000$ arguments might help this one but it can’t be the only one.  I’ll just go from personal experiences and accounts of ex-employees for this and tell you that GW went from a company that wanted to make a good game first to a company that wanted to sell miniatures first. Sadly, this has not had happy repercussions on the game.

So here’s my soapbox. I posit that given the alternatives systems, given the cost of entry, given GW company policies and based on my 15 years of experience in wargaming, including selling said games, that Warhammer (both kinds) are bad games.

The rebuttal

I could leave things as they are, or go into more details about my arguments but for today purposes it should be enough. If I was to hit Post right now I would be one among many who say that GW is bad and I’d have fanboys come over here with the usual rebuttals to these kinds of posts.

Popular rebuttals include:

  • The prices are justified, the process of making the minis cost a lot.
  • Of course they have to raise the price, oil market and similar reasons.
  • I’m having fun with it! Why do you have to shit on my fun!?
  • The rules are great! I’m having fun!
  • How can you tell me what’s fun or not?
  • GW is a company; they should aim to make as much money as they can!
  • What do you know? You’re not there; you don’t know what they are thinking.
  • If you don’t like it you don’t have to be an ass about it.
  • Talk to me when you have run your own company!
  • Yet another old unhappy gamer.

And so it goes. My MMO readers might recognize a few of those and for good reason.  You’ll also notice that few of these addresses my arguments which by the way are the most common ones levied against the game so it’s not just me saying this. Most rebuttals to topics like these attack the poster by saying he doesn’t have the necessary experience/competence to criticize, they use the fun defense which doesn’t really address anything or they just don’t address the arguments.

  • The prices are justified, the process of making the minis cost a lot. Might be true, but still doesn’t change that the buy-in price might be too high.
  • Of course they have to raise the price, oil market and similar reasons. Same, justifying the price doesn’t make it lower.
  • I’m having fun with it! Why do you have to shit on my fun!? Doesn’t address any of the arguments.
  • The rules are great! I’m having fun! Fun does not make rules great or bad in themselves.
  • How can you tell me what’s fun or not? None of my arguments are about fun.
  • GW is a company; they should aim to make as much money as they can! Justifying greed doesn’t make it less greedy.
  • What do you know? You’re not there; you don’t know what they are thinking. I am not my arguments, wrong target.
  • If you don’t like it you don’t have to be an ass about it. Wrong target again.
  • Talk to me when you have run your own company! Again, not my arguments.
  • Yet another old unhappy gamer. Irrelevant to the discussion.

 

On the real topic!

I admit I had a secret agenda with this post. While I do believe that GW and Warhammer are in a bad place, it was not the only thing I wanted to talk about.

I wanted to talk about how most of this gamer community I’m part of has no idea on how to argue a point. About how most arguments turn into personal attacks and how even when presented with good arguments, people refuses to change their minds about anything.

I do understand that changing your mind about something or admitting you might have been wrong can suck. Especially if you poured hours, days and even years into it. I remember watching a documentary where someone was explaining how he was raised into a white-supremacist family and how hard it was for him at first to get out of the mindset. When he was asked what was the biggest obstacle for him he answered that it was admitting he had wasted years of his life believing in something he knew was wrong.

So going back to Games Workshop I might be dead wrong. There might be tons of valid reasons that will prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that in fact GW is not greedy, that the rules are solid and that a 1000$ buy-in price is not hindering the community.

What I’m asking for is that you read my arguments with an open mind and that when you do present your rebuttal you do it by countering my arguments, not by attacking me or whether or not I’m allowed to criticize.

I swear that if you do so, I will do the same in return and will even change my mind if you can prove me wrong.

In my last post I explained how me and a friend went about teaching other friends how to raid and how the guild drifted apart when came the time to decide if we wanted to go further and raid 25 man raids. Following a short stint in a 25 raiding guild I ended up stopping raiding altogether and wandered around WoW for a while without any particular goal.

While the whole period was rather uneventful on the gaming side, it was when I discovered WoW blogging thanks to a blogger named Foton (AFKGamer) who is sadly not blogging anymore.  Foton dark sense of humor and insightful critiques got me interested in the blogging world and I was soon devouring blogs left and right. Back then I had a lot of gripes with the game and it was nice to read others who shared my thoughts and ideas.

To sum up, the main issues back then were the varying raid sizes (10/25), how WoW had too much grinding (dailies) and the casualization of the game. While these problems have been addressed in the sense that Blizzard did make major changes in these areas, the same issues are still discussed years later.  Funny how that is no?

In the land of Hobbits

WoW is shit! At least it was what I was thinking back then and there was no way that I’d be giving money to the Blizzard overlords who were living in their ivory tower, feasting on the souls of us gamers. Raiding was stupid and I was going to play a real MMO damnit! Not this railroaded casual grindfest!

I quickly gravitated toward Lord of the Rings Online who was getting good reviews, its story and immersive world in particular and I wanted to see it for myself. Plus I am a Tolkien nerd so it had that going for it too. I loved Lotro, I still do in fact. It is one of those very rare games that put the lore before anything else (at least it used to).  To this day, I see it as one of the best examples of immersion in MMOs.

My love affair with Lotro lasted until shortly before Wotlk released. By that time, I was getting tired of playing Lotro solo and the old gang from early BC was talking about getting the guild back together for Lich King. Plus, Northrend was looking real awesome so I agreed to leave Lotro and come back to WoW for what I then believed would be nice casual raiding.

From Lotro I did take away a few things. Namely that immersion and setting are two very important elements for me to enjoy an MMO.  If these two are lacking my interest is sure to go away, something a few MMOs managed to prove over the years.

The chill of Northrend

Early Wrath was a series of highs and lows for me.  For a while, everything was awesome and I was having a blast. The scenery of Howling Fjord, the music in Grizzly Hills, the whole questing experience …it was perfect. Wrath still is for me one of the better expansions in terms of storytelling and craftsmanship of the zones. Then, Naxxramas happened and everything went to hell rapidly.

Here I was in a friend and family type guild and we were pretty excited to start raiding Naxx, which in itself is not a bad raid…  it’s just a tiny bit too easy.  Like, cleared it under a month too easy and not that fun to repeat week after week.  Quite suddenly we found ourselves without a clear goal and the guild just fell apart. A lot of people left disappointed by what they felt was subpar endgame content.

I’d follow suit in due time but for a while I drifted around before settling in Blackwing (can’t remember the actual name) and meeting Auraye their guild leader, who would teach me a very valuable lesson in leadership much later.  Blackwing was at the time working on clearing Naxx and for reasons  I don’t remember I ended joining them.  We were a casual raiding guild in the truest sense of the word. Just a bunch of people grouping together once or twice a week to go get our faces bashed in by bosses. Gems, enchants and strategies were often lacking and despite bold claims of being good players, most of the guild wasn’t. Auraye wanted to get this guild in hardcore raiding but we were very very far from making that happen.  Still, it was a fun crew so I didn’t mind the lack of progress or talent that much.

My time with Blackwing ended up being rather short. A lack of interest combined with a lack of content made me look at other games and eventually I left for greener pastures.

And we’re back! Well sorta… I hope so. Sorry for the long delay but truth is that September got real busy all of a sudden and blogging took a backseat to the millions other things I had to do. Hopefully, things will quiet down. Also! I’ve been told that this blog passed the five years mark!! Insanity! A big thank you to everyone for making this worthwhile all this time.

Last time we talked I had left WoW toward the end of Vanilla and for a while, I was happy pretending that WoW was evil. I played some FFXI in the meanwhile but for the most part, everything was quiet on the MMO front. Burning Crusade launched and I was still AFK doing something else.

Friends!!

My return to WoW happened in spring 2007 and just like last time; it was real life friends that pulled me back in. This time around, they had set-up a guild full of people I actually knew and they had started cutting their teeth in Karazhan.  Most of them started playing recently in BC and they felt they needed some experienced raiders to help them along. So me and a friend of a friend, Palfear, were targeted in an elaborate kidnapping recruiting operation.  Over a fancy dinner I was coaxed into giving this group a shot.

Palfear and I became great buddies almost instantly. We had similar raiding experience, both of us were coming back to WoW after a break following hardcore raiding and we wanted to try to have progression without driving ourselves insane. It took us a few weeks to get back into raiding shape and soon enough we were ready to take on Karazhan as raid leaders for a friends and family guild.

Learning pains

Taking new players and teaching them to raid is no easy task and I think everyone can understand that. There are strategies to master and raid awareness to develop but raiding back in BC, even casually, took more than just beating on bosses.  We had to teach about the importance of doing your hardmodes, of optimizing your gear, of learning proper rotations, of getting enchants and having flasks ready. Then we had to teach about attendance and being ready and not getting negatives about wipes. It wasn’t all fun times and cookies but I’m proud to say that for the most part, people did their best and we did clear Karazhan eventually, which honestly, made me more proud than that server fist C’thun kill.

But the real challenge was for two ex-hardcore raiders to learn how to teach more casual players how to raid. A lesson I’d sadly not really learn until late in Lich King’s expansion.  Looking back I can’t say I’m super proud of the way I’ve handled a lot of situations back then. It would be easy to blame my hardcore raider background but truth is that I had little idea of how to do things. I was under the mistaken impression that raiding was an equation (skill + gear = dead boss) which is not false in itself but long term raiding takes more than that. It takes a lot of diplomacy and empathy if you want to keep the guild alive through tough times.

Saved by the bell

After we cleared Kara it became obvious that we were starting to hit a rough spot. On one hand, we had a group who wanted to progress to Gruul, Mag’theridon and beyond while another group were happy to raid Kara until the end of times to gear up their alts.

What could have devolved into a nasty argument got solved by the raiding setup of the time. Kara was a 10 man raid, the rest 25 and we had maybe 12 raiders on the roster.  We tried for a while to raid with an allied guild to get into 25s but it just wasn’t working out.  The problem, as we all saw it was a stupid raiding set-up and that ended up being blamed for all of our guild-issues. After all, if only Blizzard would have done things right we’d all be sailing to the promised land of endless loots and leetness.

Truth is our real issue was we had two groups with distinct aims in the guild. One group was happy just raiding once in a while with friends and didn’t want to trouble themselves with progression. The other loved raiding and was ready to put in the time and effort required to move farther. If we had only progression people, we wouldn’t have had issues with recruiting strangers or raiding with allied guilds. If we had only the friend’s people, we wouldn’t even have bothered with trying to make it into 25s.

So while it’s easy to blame the 10/25 setup (which was still stupid btw), even with 10 man all the way we’d probably hit a roadblock soon enough as the difficulty of the raids increased.

We’re all friends here but…

… it was time to move on. With raids not progression and people starting to get disgruntled, Palfear forced the situation and ended up negotiating a deal with another guild to take in the people who wanted to progress. He simply announced in the guild forums he’d be leaving and that anyone wanting to raid 25s was offered a spot.  This effectively spelled the end of our little guild and probably saved us from a drama fest.

For myself I did end up joining up with Palfear and raiding for a while in the new guild but progress was slow and while those people wanted to raid 25s they weren’t quite there. By the time we started to work on Tempest Keep I was tired of the endless wipes and left raiding for a while.

It’s been a few days since last part and I want to apologize for that. I could say that life busy (which it did) but the real reason is that I had trouble writing this part. After all, how do you write about ennui and lack of interest? How do you go about speaking about events when back then you didn’t care so much about them?

So after my romp as a “super hardcore leet raider” ™, I was feeling pretty dissatisfied with the game. I still had a few RL friends hanging around in WoW and I went back to play with them but I do so more out of boredom than anything else. Objectively, things were going well and we did accomplish a lot together. We made a guild, of which I was leader, we recruited and raided Molten Core and we met quite a few interesting people including a nice lady who owned an online sex-toy shop who sounded exactly like Darth Vader.

However, being objective has nothing to do with how you feel about a game and I had a lot to criticize. For starters, I wanted the game to be less time consuming. My degree was finished and I knew I wouldn’t have the time to raid and work a normal job so time was a big factor and it still is today. I also wanted smaller raids so it would be less of a hassle to get a raid group together. I wanted gearing to be easier and faster so my more casual friends could come. In short, I wanted the game to be made more accessible.

What used to be the best game of all time slowly turned into a horrible mess for me. I wasn’t playing in Azeroth anymore, all I could see were numbers and the gears behind the screen and the magic was gone. Still, I kept on playing because I had friends playing and because there didn’t seem to be an alternative around.

The first goodbye

It was Naxxramas launch that made me realize that maybe it was time for me to hang up my daggers and move on from Azeroth. Here was a brand new raid that looked really awesome but when I considered trying to raid it my stomach turned. I still had the recent memories of hardcore raiding in Anh’Quiraj and I couldn’t picture doing that again.

The first details of Burning Crusade had also started coming around that time and again, I found myself asking why I’d want to go through the motions again. I’ve already done all that, it’s only a few new models and color swaps, why would I want to subject myself to this again?

So I did what most WoW players did back then. I left the game, swore it was a piece of garbage and that I’d never be back. I was dead wrong…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36 other followers