This week we have had a pretty massive information dump about the 6.2 PTR patch information. I have to say overall I am fairly disappointed, not necessarily in what is contained within the patch, but that everything about it feels like an “end of expansion” content patch. The patch information is super spoilerific, but it seems as though the Burning Crusade is now invading Tanaan Jungle. Soon the gates will open revealing a zone besieged by fel magics, that culminate in the Hellfire Citadel raid zone. All of that sounds pretty badass, but the problem is it also sounds like the end of an expansion scenario. If 6.2 is on the PTR that means more than likely we are a little over a month from seeing this content in game. Which would probably place it landing at the beginning of June. We have no new expansion announcement, which means that more than likely they will be announcing it in November at Blizzcon.
The problem there is that unless they launch immediately following Blizzcon, we will be looking at another Siege of Orgrimmar style content lag. I feel like if they announce at Blizzcon the earliest an expansion would be launched is Spring 2016. The best case scenario I can think of in my mind places a new expansion in our hands in March 2016 which would be a nine month content lag. While that is nothing near as bad as the sixteen month lag at the end of Pandaria, it is still not amazing. Sure they would I guess shoehorn another minor content tier like Ruby Sanctum, but I don’t think that will really make anyone happy. Maybe I will be wrong, and maybe they have an even more epic conclusion of this expansion planned. This Siege on Hellfire Citadel however just feels like the last grand hurray for the Warlords of Draenor expansion. Which leaves the question in my mind of… what next?
The absolute largest disappointment coming from this however relates to the Timewalking system. This was hinted at quite some time ago in an interview that something was in the worlks called Timewalking mode, and my mind was set ablaze. My grand crusade has been for years that World of Warcraft needs a mentoring system, that allows higher level players to scale down to the level of lower level players… and do content with them “for real”. When this new game system was hinted at, I was absolutely giddy because this meant finally after all these years WoW was getting mentoring. This has probably been the biggest reveal as part of the 6.2 informational dump, and I have to say I am really frustrated with the result. I am going to full quote a section of the announcement below.
In Patch 6.2, we’re introducing seven different weekend events that will run from noon Friday through noon Monday every week. Two of those events will be Timewalking weekends, in which you’ll be able to queue up for a randomly selected old-school dungeon with a new sort of “heroic” difficulty: When you Timewalk these dungeons, you’ll find that your character’s power and gear has been scaled down to a fraction of what they normally are. For the first time in years, some dungeons you outgrew long ago will once more put your skills to the test.
So instead of a robust mentoring system, we are apparently going to get a weekend gimmick. If I am reading this statement correctly it sounds like these are going to be limited time events that will happen twice. Maybe this is going to be like the pvp weekend construct, and simply rotate through seven different events, or maybe there are literally only going to be seven events ever. Right now we don’t really know, but regardless of the situation it feels like a complete waste of resources to put these in as limited time events. I was hoping for and expecting a robust mentoring system, but instead I am getting a carnival ride. I really don’t know why I set myself up for these disappointments, because traditionally my hopes are dashed on a regular basis when it comes to this game. I still have so much hope and can imagine a game that is so much better than what we actually have to play, but we never seem to get there.
I am more than willing to admit that some of my frustrations might just be me. I have reached that point with World of Warcraft that I often do… where I am simply not enjoying the game. In previous trips back to the game I would have left it months ago. I pushed three characters to level 100 and everyone to within Garrison levels… and simply lacked the drive to push any further. The moment to moment gameplay was extremely fun while leveling, but the non-raid end game content has felt like I had no real purpose. So instead I log in an hour before raid on Tuesday, so that I can get my extra roll tokens, and make sure I have potions and flasks. Occasionally I half heartedly log in to run Garrison missions on my main, just for the hopes of those raid loot boxes every other week. I feel like I am spending the absolute bare minimum of time in this game, and so long as we were progressing smoothly in the raid it felt like it was time well spent.
Unfortunately we are not progressing smoothly. We will have a good night, and then it feels like we regress five steps the next one. I am tied to this game because I am actively raiding in it, but I have to say I am starting to question why I am even doing that. When raid voice chat is full of frustrated and stressed out voices… it pretty much destroys the enjoyment for me. I am all about joking and having a good time… and kicking ass while doing it. When we stop being able to have that relaxed raid dynamic, and still be high functioning my will to care drains from me. Ultimately I came back to the game riding a wave of nostalgia. I stayed because I was raiding and getting to hang out with a handful of friends that I missed. When even Rylacus, the life of the party, is starting to sound stressed and worn down… I question why we are doing any of this? I am sure I will chill out in the coming days, but seeing the 6.2 content, and our current raid struggles… it is making me question why I am still playing.