World of Warcraft has become a time vampire of epic proportions for me. It seems that no matter how good I become at the characters, or how much gear I get to drop, there is always something else to do. Maybe it’s working on getting my reputation to exalted with some faction; maybe it’s getting my trade skills to maximum level; maybe it’s leveling my fishing skill… And when you find yourself fishing in a game, I’m pretty sure that is a warning sign (unless it is actually a fishing game, but that is probably a completely different warning sign all on its own).
I have been getting bored with the game of late. Having not played at all for a week while I was on vacation, I found that it was dreadfully boring when I tried to play it once we got back. I have run a couple of raids since we have been back, but the thought of day to day questing and reputation grinding just isn’t appealing anymore -at least not right now. The Wrath of the Lich King expansion added 10 levels and a lot of new dungeons, but the levels went fast, and the dungeons are old news by now.
The biggest contributing factor for my distaste for it at the moment is the bloated badge system that they have going right now. You use these badges to upgrade your gear, and prior to WotLK there was only one type of badge: the Badge of Justice. Just collect however many you need (items cost between 15 and 150 badges) and trade them in. Right now there are three separate types of badges: Emblems of Conquest, Valor, and Heroism. There are 3 separate vendors that sell items for each respective emblem, and each emblem can only be acquired by running very specific dungeons or raids. So if you run normal 5-man dungeons you can only get one type of emblem, that can only be traded for very specific items. If you want the better quality items, or something for a different item slot -a ring for example- you have to run 25-man raids. And of course the best items (newly released with the Ulduar patch) can only be acquired by doing 25-man Ulduar, which can only be done once per week. Blizzard seems to have realized how cumbersome and annoying the current system is and are scrapping it completely with the next patch, making all emblems from all dungeons and raids the same -which can then be traded in for other emblems if you need to fill other equipment slots. Once that happens I may start taking some more pulls at the giant slot machine that is WoW, but for now I just find it annoying.
This morning, just for fun, I logged on and took some screenshots of each of my characters to do a cast of characters here. So here we go.
This is my Priest. Since the WotLK update made dual-specs possible, I haven’t been referring to her as a Holy Priest, but that is my specialty. Which is a nice way of saying that I kind of suck at Shadow. I have never really played her as Shadow, not even for leveling, and do so now only when it is necessary in raids. She was my first Horde character, with a time played of 35 days, 1 hour and 10 minutes. She is probably the easiest for me to play. Of course as a healer you do get the majority of the blame for any deaths in the raid, regardless of how the death came about: Say a Tank accidentally pulls 3 groups and the party wipes, that is the healer’s fault. A Rogue forgets to stealth when he tries to sap a mob and pulls while you are drinking thus wiping the party, again, your fault. A Mob Mind Controls you for 15 seconds and no one in the party attacks that mob, so the group goes for 15 seconds without a heal and wipes… Yep, your fault. Even so, a good healer can be tough to find, so if you play the class well (hell, if you just don’t outright suck) you can easily find a group for pretty much anything you want. Prior to this recent step back from the game I had been playing her a lot again, after not paying her much attention since WotLK came out.
This is my Warrior (the name sounds like bullseye, so the mobs know who to attack). He is my second Horde character, with a time played of 26 days, 5 hours, 53 minutes. I haven’t bothered to dual-spec him, since I have only ever played him as protection, and have no intention of playing him otherwise. I created him when I was a member of a guild who just didn’t have enough tanks. I was able to get him to max level in about 7 days (time played, not calendar days) which was my fastest by far at the time. He was a main tank to be envied back before WorLK came out. I dispensed with the classic stamina is king mentality and instead built him on avoidance. Just before WotLK came out I had built him up to an impressive 60% avoidance (dodge/parry((through gear, socketing and enchantments))) so that only 40% of attacks even made it far enough to roll for damage. Though my health was low for the class, I didn’t get hit often, and as such most healers I played with loved me for not taxing their mana pools. Since WotLK, the Death Knight and Paladin have become kings of tanking, capable of more or less instantly getting threat on every target in a group. Because the Warrior still can’t do that (it takes several seconds to get them all) they have really been relegated to dps/offtank duty, and I just don’t play him that way. Aside from leveling him and getting him a base level of gear, he has been on a shelf since the expansion.
My Mage, time played: 17 days, 21 hours, 3 minutes. One of my first WoW characters was an ally Mage that I named Nukenheimer (I was going to name him Oppenheimer, but I didn’t think many people would know who that was), and he was a lot of fun to play. I made this Mage when I got tired of getting killed by Alliance on my Holy Priest and Prot Warrior. I did a lot of PvP on my Ally Mage and had gotten fairly good at it, so I kept this guy wherever my Warrior or Priest were leveling/questing to get some retaliation on people who would attack those relatively defenseless classes. Since the release of WotLK I have been in a guild that didn’t need me to play my healer or tank, so the Mage is the one that normally raids with them (the only one that makes it into groups for new content and progression). Unfortunately it isn’t the one that I really like to play. As I say, I loved to PvP with him, but I get tired of doing instances and raids. He does great damage, but it is so dependent on mana that I am often sitting in the back drinking while everyone else has already moved on to the next fight. There are so many silence and interrupt spells on the new raid bosses that I am often just standing around waiting for a dispel. Once dispelled, I often only get 2/3 of the way through the next cast before I am silenced again. Frustrating. A fun class to play for sure, but one needs a break from the mana-dependent dps and endless silencing from time to time.
My Death Knight, time played: 9 days, 20 hours, 48 minutes. Death Knights were the new class in the expansion, and when it was initially released they were comically overpowered. One could go into any dungeon or raid wearing only common items and do more damage than any other class in full epic gear. I had to get me some of that! I leveled this guy in a hurry too (easy to do since they start at level 55). I didn’t really have the intention of playing him when I created him, and that is how it has become. Several changes to the talent trees have taken him from comically overpowered to merely ridiculously overpowered. I take him out to collect herbs for potions and elixirs since the Allys tend to leave him alone, but I never really enjoyed playing him. To this day I couldn’t tell you the name of more than 2 of his skills since all you have to do is mash all the buttons to do great dps. He is fun to play in battlegrounds, but in the end it almost feels like cheating. I haven’t ever really raided with him and I probably never will.
(That’s right, Epic Fail) My Rogue, time played: 11 days, 12 hours, 32 minutes. I had an Ally Rogue, and I loved the class. When I got sick of the aforementioned problems with the Mage, I made a Horde Rogue. This one is a lot of fun to play because there are so many skills. You can’t just 1 button your way to good dps, nor can you just mash all the buttons. Good dps requires a good skill rotation and keeping a number of buffs active on yourself, while keeping debuffs active on mobs. Always deadly in PvP and against single mobs, the Rogue was given an updated AoE skill for multiple mobs in dungeons and raids. There is probably no class hated as much as the Rogue, mostly for their ability to kill players (or NPC’s) without the other guy being able to cast a single spell. The problem is that there are a lot of really, really bad players who have Rogues. I named him Ehpikfaal for the humor of it, but have come to realize that when you create a character that already has a bad reputation, giving him such a name will keep you out of most groups. So you see him on the right there doing what he does most of the time; sitting around town waiting to get into a group for a dungeon. Even so if I had to pick only 1 character to play going forward it would be the Rogue. Great dps and a lot of fun both PvP and raiding.
My Warlock, time played: 18 hours 39 minutes. It was in an episode of American Dad that I heard one of the kids call his relative “Uncle Bad Touch” and I liked it so much that I made a Warlock with that name (had to leave out 1 character because it was too long). Included here only because I like the name. I also have an Ally Warlock and I was never able to level either of them. This class bores me to tears. The play goes like this (at least for leveling): Your minion tanks the mobs, you cast a couple curses on them, then stand around and wait for them to die. You can’t really use and direct damage spells since they are so costly in mana, and they aren’t necessary anyway (at low level) since everything dies so quickly from your curses. I think I would really like this character at max level, once you are able to dispense with your minion and start doing some direct damage spells, but I simply get too bored trying to level him. Uncle Bad Touch has a macro that I run around town casting on people that reads something like this: “…Psst, hey (character name)…” “Would you like some candy?” “UncleBadTouch beckons (character name) to follow” “I have some in my panel van parked behind the Inn in Brill.” I laugh every time I use the macro, though the people I use it on rarely find it as funny as I do.
So this morning I was logging onto the characters to see how long I have spent playing the game and I made the foolish decision to total it up. Counting only the characters you see here (which ignores all Alliance players, of which I have 2 at level 70 and 5 others between level 40 and 70) I have 99 days, 8 hours into playing. Mind you that is actual game time, so we are talking about 2384 hours spent playing. Is that disturbing or what?
At any rate, I may find myself enjoying it again once they make the changes to the badge system, but for now I am getting really burned out on it. But after 2400 hours, can you blame me?