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.