Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WoW Weekly: Rediscovering the Spark

WoW Weekly is a biweekly-ish, self-absorbed look into the things I've been doing -- or not doing -- in the game. From auctioneering and pet battling to mount farming and raiding.

Discussion on the big Warcraft news item of the weekend doesn't seem to be dying down, but I've said my piece and am moving beyond the debate. The removal of flight isn't something I agree with, but it's also something I'm not trying to change. In the process of sharing my feelings on the matter, I became more intimate with my own motivations as it relates to approaching the game's content.

I've always found that life is much easier to navigate when you accept the reality around you. It's proving to be true in-game, at least for me. After finishing up the post I linked above, I gave myself a simple charge: make a concerted effort this week to get out of the garrison to see what Draenor really has to offer. In truth, how I've reacted to Draenor is equivalent to the man who dips his big toe into a hot tub and decides, "Too hot for me!"

The week thus far has been filled with treasure hunting, Apexis dailies, garrison invasions, the occasional rep grind, and quest achievements. Last night a group of four friends and I set out for Frostfire Ridge to test our meddle against Nok-Karosh---the luckiest among us was justly rewarded. I've deliberately avoided alt garrisons when they didn't fit into my play schedule. I'll look at legacy content runs this weekend, but for the time being, I'll remain on Draenor proper.

This week has been fun, pure and simple. But. But.

There's still something about Draenor that isn't working for me. Though it's early yet in the expansion's life, I can't help but think when creating a list ranking all previous expansions from most favorite to least, Warlords of Draenor would end up at the bottom. It feels like there are less discernible things to do in the open world at max level, but it may just be that there are different things to do at max level. Dungeons become fairly obsolete, and scenarios and factional daily quests are sorely missed. I was a fan of farmable rare mobs, too...but I'm getting off-topic and ahead of myself now.*

Even considering the above, I've been able to rediscover the spark that caused me to fall in love with the game oh so many years ago. I think all it took was a deliberate shifting of my own perspective. When I remarked to a guildie that I'd found "the spark," he pleaded, "Share? Please?"

I'm finding it in odd places: when randomly cutting my way through Everbloom with a guild group; when chuckling at an antiquated UI system that requires eight mouse clicks in order to complete a simple turn-in quest; when helping a player who you ran into in the open world with a quest they're struggling with; when discovering a drowned skeleton with a large weight around its neck off the coastline. These things serve to remind me, at the core, that this is the same old World of Warcraft.

If you too are struggling with your love of Draenor, I don't have the perfect solution for you. Walking away might be the best option. But if you're not ready to leave, I'd encourage you to take a closer look at what might be waiting for you on Draenor, and engage it with reckless abandon.

Frankly, I've been surprised by what I've found.

*another post for another day

(special thanks to @Hestiah for the screenshot)

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