I’ve reached the point in World of Warcraft where my progression options on the Demon Hunter are greatly limited. At this point I am 349 item level and unfortunately there really aren’t that many reliable ways to bump that number up. When Warfronts opened I was able to get a single 370 level item for completing that quest. Similarly a lot of our weekend revolved around trying to complete the “do 4 mythics” quest because timing is a pain in the ass… which also rewarded a 370 item. Lastly there was the opportunity to get a 370 item from the Arathi Basis “fake pvp” boss encounter… but instead I got double artifact power. I cannot believe that I am even suggesting this… but World of Warcraft needs something like the Powerful Engram system to give you weekly opportunities to see some forward movement if they want players to stay interested in the content without resorting to alting.
I am not actively raiding right now and that would probably help this feeling of bumping up against a cap. Similarly if we could do Mythic +10 we probably wouldn’t be having this issue either. But effectively myself, Grace and Tam have reached a soft cap that we cannot push past without raiding. In Destiny 2 there were a handful of events that could be completed each week that gave the player “powerful rewards” which effectively meant an item that was guaranteed to be greater than their effective item level. This meant that even though I had checked out of Destiny 2 effectively… I was still coming back each week to burn through these three or four systems to get something that felt like progression. World of Warcraft is largely a “raid or die” system at this point with so much gated behind raiding that there isn’t much of an opportunity for forward momentum. This however is always the problem… because they effectively only have the one progression path instead of having multiple paths that all arise at the same goal of a geared player able to do lots of different activities.
All of that said I am still loving Mythics when we can manage to get five players together at the same time, and I am loving the fact that it does not matter at all what item level the player is when we grab them and drag them into the content. We grabbed Morgrull last night who was a fairly freshly dinged 120 and got him at least one piece of gear from Freehold. It also feels good that we are slowly building out this team of players that are capable of doing stuff, giving us a lot more options for the future. Last night I did not raid with Facepull because Sunday is still a bad day for me to do anything super serious on. It is very hard for me to commit to being at the keyboard from 6:30pm to 10pm my time with a handful of 5 minute breaks. Last night I was swapping laundry and alt tabbing back and forth between working on some stuff for today. I got up and walked away from the screen at several points during the night, and raiding would have procluded that.
As such my hope is that our little gathering of cross server nonsense can eventually turn into a fledgling ten player raid group, that we can get something going on a night that isn’t personally horrible for me. Something like Wednesday nights would be excellent, and it is making me wish that WoW raiding were 8 player based and not 10 player based because we probably could muster that size of group already. However we keep adding new players into our gravity well and eventually that will be enough to make something like that happen. I miss the era of non-guild based raiding and I sorta want to make it viable again. Sure the whole not being able to trade items across servers is a giant pain in the ass… but it should still be doable and would allow us to pull in a far greater array of people once we got something rolling. Not all of my friends live on the same server and transfers are cost prohibitive when you are like me and have an army of alts… so I want to figure out a way to make this work cross server.
Lastly I thought I would link the podcast from this weekend because it is relevant. We talk about the life cycle of an MMO and what games do well and do horribly. We talk about the onboarding of new players, and the revitalization of returning players… and how many games don’t take them into account at all. We also talk at length about the end game power creep and how awkward it feels to see item levels matter so freaking much. The episode has nothing to do with Gorb other than the fact that we didn’t record the 15 minutes of us trying to explain what Gorb was before starting the show. Gorb is that raisins and peanuts mixture… no Gorb was a movie with Robin Williams from the 80s… etc etc. This is one of those shows that sort of happened accidentally… since it was a combination of topics that had rolled over from other weeks. However they aligned themselves with a certain synergy that made for an interesting discussion from a bunch of long time MMO burnouts.
Lastly as you can tell from the first photo I have begun working on my third character… this time I decided to level my Warlock. This is one of those marriage of convenience sort of things because sure I enjoy Warlocking… but mostly this is my tailor/enchanter and I desperately need enchants because they are prodigiously expensive this expansion. As such I am power leveling the character by crafting a lot of mail pieces and grinding them down for dust. However I have reached that point where I can technically make weapon enchants… but I don’t have access to the purple materials yet. So time to buckle down and grind grind grind to 120 and start gearing her. I wonder if I can name my void walker Gorb.