This is going to be one of those mornings where I may or may not actually ever get around to a point. I am feeling extremely blah about writing a post because quite frankly it feels like I don’t have an awful lot that is positive to talk about. Right now I am in this World of Warcraft cycle, but I am not exactly feeling like I should be. There are just a lot of aspects of Battle for Azeroth that feel bad and I am not entirely certain why. Some of it might be of my own making, and other aspects might be that I have simply moved past this game and am unwilling to admit it. The whole maining Horde thing has been a challenge on a whole lot of fronts, not the least of which has been that the vast majority of my contacts are still on the Alliance side. Similarly I feel like I am starting from scratch, with a handful of characters instead of one of every class leveled to at least 100, so it feels extremely awkward.
The other challenge is I am just not a great fit for the raiding options that I have available to me. Sunday night is a bad time for me to set aside four hours worth of time to be dedicated to raiding. I mean I knew that going into this expansion but I thought maybe I could make it work, when really the one raid I attended felt awful from a time management standpoint. Sunday night is the night we do all of the things that we forgot to do over the weekend, and I am simply not adult enough to make sure I have everything done that needed to be done. Similarly my wife is in a mad scramble to print things and plan lessons and such… and if there is even the slightest technical problem my entire night is shot trying to troubleshoot why the fuck every machine but hers will print to the printer. I fucking hate printers… they are the worst thing ever created. I’ve seriously done some voodoo shit when it comes to trying to make her devices recognize the printer… things I am not proud of. I contemplated sacrificing a chicken once… and we don’t even have one.
The other problem I am struggling with in WoW is that so many things just feel awful. Like for example… I was slightly looking forward to my Mythic+ chest… and that excitement died 5 minutes after logging in when I saw that I got a cloak significantly lower than the one I am currently wearing. Similarly I zoomed over for a shot at loot from the Weekly World Boss… and got a pittance of gold for my troubles. We are in the wrong phase of the Warfront cycle so we don’t have access to push a button and get instant loot… and I’ve already killed the Warfront Boss so that is done for the time being as well. There is a weekly quest to grind timewalking dungeons… or a supposed box of Uldir loot… but I am sure it will be one of the slots I already have 370 gear in and feel completely useless.
The thing is I don’t mind RNG… because in the past I have ground my face off pushing myself to run things over and over until the item I wanted dropped. That is a perfectly reasonable cycle that I am willing to do. However when I am given a single chance each week at getting something interesting… and those options wind up with an insignificant amount of gold or artifact power it feels horrible. Sure I can buy two expensive as fuck second chance tokens that are also not guaranteed, that end up making you feel like a complete fool when that 5000 gold you just spent ended up giving you 200 artifact power. The fact that I am not actively raiding… leaves me in this sort of unmoored state where I have no viable means of making the number go up… which is the point where I start to check out.
It is moments like this that I marvel at just how well the systems in Final Fantasy XIV work… and why I cannot figure out why that game just doesn’t grab me anymore. Were the weekly boss a Final Fantasy encounter… you would be able to run it as many times as you liked, but only receive one piece of loot for the week. I loved the whole concept of being locked from receiving further loot from an instance once you received a piece of gear, because it allowed you to choose when to spend your lockout. You could run one of the 25 player semi-raid instances over and over until you got that chest piece that you really desperately needed. It gave you some measure of control over how you geared and with what items… instead of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.
Similarly Final Fantasy XIV also has a second chance currency that you accumulate over time by doing stuff, that allows you to buy the items you are needing as well. Gold and Artifact Power feel horrible reward wise… and there is nothing they can ever do to really fix that. However if you downed a boss that say rewarded 10 badluck coins normally… but if you failed to get a drop you were instead given a little gold and maybe 20 badluck coins as a consolation prize for spending your lockout… that would feel decent. I would know in the back of my head that maybe I lost the roll today, but in a few weeks time I will be able to save up all of those badluck coins to purchase something equivalent to the items I wanted before anyways.
Ultimately this also feeds into another discussion point from last night on the AggroChat show slack… gear feels largely unexciting as well. There used to be items that were worth grinding for that felt interesting and unique. For example… I ate, breathed and slept Mechanar in Burning Crusade when I found out there was a weapon as cool as The Sun Eater in that dungeon. With a single shot at it per day… I forced group after group to follow me in there for yet another shot at it and it took what felt like months for it to actually drop. When I got it… it was an amazing feeling because I could finally wield this amazing weapon that I had been fighting so hard to get. It looked glorious but also felt like it was really viable and quite honestly held me until I got a drop from Serpentshrine Caverns some 15+ months after the release of Burning Crusade.
Now when we get gear we are getting Raid Axe #3 colored Blue, or Raid Sword #1 colored Red… the gear lacks any sense of originality and is largely just an accumulation of stats that either are or are not whatever the hell your class optimally wants. It feels like a handful of numbers that you punch into a calculation and not a physical tangible item that you seek after. There are very few instances where you want an item… because it looks amazing… because it is only place where that sort of item drops… and because it is the going to hold you for awhile when you ultimately get it. Now every piece of gear feels completely disposable and unworthy of the effort that it requires to get it.
Basically I am just in this cycle where a whole bunch of things that never bothered me… are now bothering me. I want to finish the Alliance storyline on the Paladin so I have at least seen that. However if I am not attached to a raid group in a tanking role by the time I finish that process… I am likely done with Battle for Azeroth for the time being. It is unhealthy to get angry at a video game, and even though mine isn’t so much anger… but more disappointment… that also isn’t exactly healthy either.