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These are the times that try raider’s souls


I can’t believe there’s at least 5-6 more months of this shit.

The other week we started the old standby for a raid group that’s starting to get sick of the current content: going for the meta achievement. It’s keeping us busy now as something that’s easy and low-impact, though obviously it won’t take us very long to finish. I’m finding the meta achievement as akin to the dinner roll accompanying an otherwise uninspired dinner. You get the nice, fluffy, easy to chew break that that warm roll provides with its crispy, golden crust and the soft, melty interior — but before you know it that moment of respite has passed and you still have a plate of boring veggies before you.

The analogy especially holds for SoO’s achievements; most of them so far have been ridiculously easy. These are probably the first raid achievements I’ve been involved in seriously doing since ICC and I am enjoying how painless they are. Unfortunately, I can’t imagine there’s enough content here to last us more than three or four more raid nights (in order to get the achievements done for every body) and definitely nothing that will feel like progression in the way that Neck Deep in Vile did.

Nevertheless, I’m not sure where the raid stands on going back to the green roughage of hardmode progression. We kind of stalled on it … two months ago? I think? I’m really not sure, time seems to dilate when it comes to SoO. What feels like it could have been the other week frequently turns out to be back in like November when I try to remember certain moments within the Orcish city.

Part of the hardmode stall (again, if I recall correctly) was because of a brief period of rosters upheaval and so we ended up sticking to familiar territory (both normal and under-our-belt heroic) to keep the train going in a straight line. We can probably get back to the grind pretty easily but I’m not sure if anyone in the raid group still has the same enthusiasm about progression in Siege right now. (Confession: I don’t think even I do.) We definitely want to keep raiding right up until Warlords… we’re just not sure what we’ll raid to keep ourselves busy.

I suppose I should be thankful there’s still fresh content of some kind for us to do in there. I don’t know what groups that have completed all the heroic content are doing with themselves other than slowly descending into madness. Or, on the other side of the coin, what groups who have no interest in heroic modes are doing to keep themselves busy. Probably something cuckoo bananas like fighting Dark Shaman on the roofs of Orgrimmar.

Either way, this malaise is a serious problem, though I don’t need to tell you that. I’m sure you feel it too. You can see it daily in how the community discusses WoW on twitter and elsewhere. Rather than getting terribly excited for Warlords, we’re turning a very critical eye towards the expansion in a way I haven’t seen in a while. I think this newfound … I don’t want to call it cynicism but I can’t think of a better word … springs from the overarching discontent that we’re all feeling over the content drought.

Consider how the recent Blizzcon announcement was not met with the same across-the-board enthusiasm it usually is. There was a noticeable amount of murmuring and questioning of what the hell Blizzard can actually show from WoW in November if Warlords is just out the month or two prior. Indeed, I took the two-month delay in the Blizzcon announcement initially as a hint that the con just wasn’t going to happen this year, so I was pretty surprised when they finally let out the other day there were indeed going to have it still. Did not see that coming in the slightest.

Blizzard is in a pretty tough spot right now. It’s obvious they underestimated how long the new expansion was going to take and severely front-loaded their Mists content schedule in a very ill-advised way. Indeed, I would almost have preferred an extra two months in the each of the previous two raid tiers if it meant four fewers months of Siege of Orgrimmar on the balance.

I’m not what they can do to keep people engaged when the primary content wellspring has essentially run bone dry for so much of their playerbase and I don’t envy their position as they grapple with that issue.

I’ll still be playing WoW for the duration, mostly thanks to my wonderful guild. But I’ll be approaching it with the same enthusiasm a kid approaches that plate of brussel sprouts. Maybe one day soon I’ll get to have my Draenor dessert. One day.

April 24, 2014


Leave a comment
  1. Dan
    April 24, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    “I’ll still be playing WoW for the duration, mostly thanks to my wonderful guild.”

    This just makes me think about all the casual players who maybe don’t have these fallbacks and what it is they could possibly be doing to keep themselves busy. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see subs plummet.

    • Rhidach
      April 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

      And after they posted an increase in subs the last quarter too! Bad timing, Blizz.

  2. R
    April 25, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    This may be obvious but the last time we had a malaise like this was 2 years ago, when DS was 6+ months old… happens every time, every expansion, and everyone seems to forget how it was the last x times (for me x=2, I played in BC but didn’t do any end-game stuff and took a break before Wrath).

    I’m a generally unguilded player and I’m spending most of my time not playing WoW, and that’s perfectly fine (and more than a bit welcome), it isn’t something to gnash teeth about. I’m still subbed and I’m intending to be back for WoD and I’m sure most casuals are in that same general situation.

    The BlizzCon announcement and timing has me a bit flummoxed, though, I can’t think of a single scenario where it makes obvious sense for them to have it. Either WoD has been out for a month or two (in which case, why?), or it’ll be out shortly before, during, or after (in which case, why??????) or it’ll be out quite a while afterward (in which case they’ll be playing defense all Blizzcon and why the heck would they want that? Cue the “why are you doing this instead of finishing the game?” questions from EVERYONE).

    • Rhidach
      April 29, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      Totally agreeing with everything in your last paragraph!

  3. Marwan
    April 29, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Been back about a month after 3 years away. Was enjoying some alts with a friend and then I bit the bullet and did the mists/wod bundle. I finally used my level 90 boost yesterday and, whoa! The experience of jumping right into 90 with no guild and not having played in 3 years is jarring. God bless that ‘what’s important’ tab in the spellbook to get you started! In the future they need to do a bit more of a guided experience if players want that which I’m sure they will for any new players cold-buying WoD. It’s impressive and beautiful going from Cata WoW to the end of Mists. You really see all the hard work and iteration they’ve put into the game.


    I just wanted to say that I’ll be doing my best to enjoy what’s left of Mists and that I’ll probably have enough content to get me through to the new expansion! haha (*-*)

    • Rhidach
      April 29, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

      Ah you’re benefitting from having a lot of catch up to do — cheater :P I won’t disagree though, Mists is miles ahead from where Cata was and that’s why this content drought is somewhat more bearable, and I really haven’t had the same impulse to cancel my sub that I ended up succumbing to in the last expansion.

      • Marwan
        April 29, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

        Yea. I just have 0 clue what to do. hahaha