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WoW: One Step At A Time

August 14, 2012

Archaeology – my current on-going project.

It’s no secret that I’m going to be plunging headfirst back into World of Warcraft later this fall when the Mists of Panderia expansion comes out (already preordered the Collector’s Edition), but I made my return to the game earlier than expected when I reactivated my subscription last week. I don’t plan on playing full-on until at least September, but I did want to give my guild a heads up as well as to reconnect with some old friends before coming back. Thus I’ve been casually hopping in and out of the game for the last few days, putting in some time during the day whenever I have it to spare.

I won’t lie; jumping back into WoW after a long absence is always a bit of a shock for me. As always, so much has changed and I find my knowledge of the game to be hopelessly outdated. New content has been added, and I inevitably find myself like a deer caught in the headlights, paralyzed with fear in the face of all this stuff that’s available for me to do. I’ve logged in before just to stand in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Stormwind and stare slack-jawed at the screen for several minutes. That’s how I get when I have no idea what to do with myself.

Still, that’s not always bad. I have many gripes about the WoW when it comes down to their brand of endgame gear grind, but one thing I’ve always appreciated about the game is its diverse offering of side activities and “fluff” things to do, even — or should I say, especially — on my level-capped main. When I have a max-level character, I’m generally used to trying to find activities to occupy my mind, not being inundated with them.

Here’s also where I feel obligated to bring up my love for achievements. For a completionist like me, nothing can beat the joy or satisfaction of being to knock them out one by one like items on a to-do list, so there’s that. But in WoW, I’ve found that they can also serve as helpful focus points for the times I feel overwhelmed and unsure where or how to start. They break the content up into organized and manageable chunks, and I get to work towards a doable goal. Now I log in, choose one, and off I go, while setting aside the rest as distractions (for the moment).

The fact that not all the achievements are “serious” is my favorite part about the WoW achievement system. They range from heroic challenges to stuffing yourself full with in-game candy, from catching a pile of fish to getting all mushy with woodland animals. I tend to forgo the PvP or dungeon-centric ones to tackle the exploration, crafting, and loremaster achievements, as well as the “frivolous” ones that involve in-game events or pet collecting.

The wide variety makes this game extremely attractive as a daytime MMO for me, when the availability and duration of my gaming sessions are solely determined by the sporadic napping patterns of my infant daughter. By the way, my little Princess Crank Monster hates to nap. Like, absolutely hates it. She’ll fight sleep every chance she gets, and will only stay snoozing anywhere from 15 minutes to just over an hour during her nap times in the day.

This actually makes WoW pretty perfect, because I never know exactly how long I have to play. Sure, dungeons and raids are out because as soon as the baby wakes up crying it means I’m off the game. Still, but one quick rundown of my achievement panel shows there’s plenty other things I can set out to work on and accomplish — activities I can pick up and do whenever I want, whether I’m on for five minutes or five hours. Until now, I think that’s always something I’ve taken for granted.

13 comments

  1. Never thought I’d return to WoW, but guild enthusiasm is infectious. Really looking forward to seeing zone redesign since I last played, as I wait for Mists to launch. The last thing I needed was to sub to another MMO. But after listening to discussions last night in vent, looking forward to having fun in another game with friends.


    • I wasn’t expecting to enjoy my return to WoW this much, but yeah it definitely has to do with playing with friends and being able to joke around and have fun over vent. To be honest, it could be any MMO, but I have to admit the fact that it was WoW added to my enjoyment if only because the conversations about our past experiences of this game were so hilarious.


  2. Even before my own baby girl came in Jan, this was always a uniquely wonderful thing about WOW to me. So many times I havent even bothered to start other games because I know I probably won’t have enough time to really do anything. Never had that problem with wow… Even before achievements there were the general professions and bite-sized quests. I believe this is still the one thing Blizzard does best (if only because other companies don’t seem to even have it on their radar) – appeal strongly to casual gamers and not just hard-core, 10+ hours-a-day gamers.


    • Yay, someone who knows exactly what I’m talking about! WoW is seriously the best MMO to play during baby nap times. Congratulations on your little girl :D


  3. Guess it doesn’t help that they’re completely and utterly changing all the talent mechanics in, like, 2 weeks. So get ready for another shock :(

    http://wow.joystiq.com/2012/08/14/patch-5-0-4-releases-on-august-28/


    • LOLz at people reporting Brann Bronzebeard for mail spam. XD


    • Yeah I’ve been puttering around on beta and the changes I’ve seen there have been pretty drastic. Gonna be like a whole new game to learn again.


  4. Princess Crank Monster!!!! Awwwwwwwwww!!! XDDDD

    Nice to see you’re having fun anyway. I look forward to your future posts telling us how the world of warcraft has fared and what you think of the changes. If the talent changes could bring back my crazy custom shammy build, I’d totally be on it, as WoW is actually a really fun game, but from what I’ve seen of both the present and future talent systems that’s completely impossible, so~ too bad!


    • LOL we give our daughter a whole bunch of nicknames for when she’s being fussy. The crank monster is one of the cuter ones which she’ll hate when she gets older, methinks :P

      There are going to be some huge changes to the talents in Panderia, I haven’t experienced them enough in beta to be able to form an opinion yet, but I guess we’ll soon find out!


  5. The incoming talent changes look to alter part of the core of the game to something few of us recognize. I can’t say whether that will be good or bad in terms of the power levels of my characters. Regardless, the fact that most of my characters will be random (to me since I have no control over the talent changes) analogues of what I spent (in many cases) months building up doesn’t make me feel confident that the characters I once played really still exist. Characters similar to them may or may not be available for me to play when MoP goes live (and/ or after the 4.0.5 patch goes live at the end of the month).


    • I kind of feel that way too with my characters, with the exception of my main, the druid. All my other characters, the half dozen ones or so I’ve leveled to 80 or thereabouts, I can’t muster much enthusiasm for them again. Pretty much for the same reasons as you. But as long as I still have my main I’m fine, and I may start anew with a fresh character as well to learn along the way.


  6. MoP is going to be a great leveller so we can all get the chance to grab gear and run the new dungeons, everyone will be in the same boat so it’s a great time to come back. I’m looking forward to not being totally abused about gear or lack of tactics (not being a hardcore gamer) and of course reconnecting with the guild. I’m actually really looking forward to seeing the new content.


    • I won’t lie, while I think there’s a lot in MoP that looks really interesting, a part of the reason why I’m attracted to each WoW expansion is because of the leveler effect. Everything’s new to everyone again and I won’t feel so hopelessly behind anymore :)

      And yeah, really looking forward to experiencing the content, especially the new zones. It looked beautiful in beta, I had to tear myself away so I could save some of the surprise for launch.



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