End of the Expansion Blues

If there was any doubt that we were nearing the end of an expansion in WoW, the start of the Cataclysm alpha has put a line underneath it.

From here on, there will be one more content patch – it will contain a small non-progression raid to dispense trinkets and other epic sparklies, some fun PvE questlines (retake Gnomeregan or the Echo Isles), the battle.net Real ID integration, and whatever else Blizzard decide to do in preparation for the expansion that is to come.

And frankly, even though we haven’t yet killed the Lich King in 25 man raid, the kill cannot be too far away. I’d give it a month or so, depending on how raid attendance goes. And for a casual progression guild, that’s a good result which will make people happy.

But for all that, I’m worn down with Wrath raiding. It’s been fun, and I have a post in progress to go through some of the high and low points.  I’ll keep up my end of the weekly schedule as long as everyone else is keen, but I could give it up right now. I can see a mixture of reasons.

  • ICC holds very few tanking challenges for any tank who has cleared Ulduar. LK may be different but it won’t matter if I’m bored by the time I get there. From talking to friends who have tried heroic ICC, I don’t hold out much hope for those encounters either.
  • I don’t personally have any other avenues for progression. Aside from alting.
  • My efforts to get a 10 man crew together haven’t really worked (partly because other people are feeling end of Wrath blues too). I blame my social skills (ie. lack of friends) rather than gaming ones, but the enthusiasm for trying again has run dry.

I think the lack of challenge in ICC is an interesting issue. It isn’t that the encounters aren’t difficult, you only have to look at the hardcore versions to see how few guilds have completed them all. But the difficulty doesn’t really involve my role so I often feel as though I’m just ferrying bosses around while everyone else does the actual work. This is not why I raid.

So pardon me if I fail to get over excited about Cataclysm alpha leaks (why do they even bother with an NDA any more, I wonder?). It’s because I’m wondering if the raid game of the future has moved on and become something I’m no longer going to enjoy. Or maybe it’s just end of the expansion blues.

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13 thoughts on “End of the Expansion Blues

  1. I wish Cataclysm would kill all chars on everyone’s account.

    One would start totally from scratch, with zero coin or gear, but you would be able to recover the heirloom gear of your previous heroic ancestor during your epic journey back to max level.

    Too many players would oppose it, but this would really shake up things. Raiding can’t be the end all of all MMO gaming. The genre has more to offer.

    Boredom before the next expansion gets released is quite normal, no worries.

  2. I really don’t think the 10/25 change is going to be the catastrophe a lot of people think it will be.

    My coping mechanism has been to not play WoW. I quit last May. I know that personally if I went back now I’d burn myself out for Cataclysm but I think I’m more burned out on WoW than you are

    @ Longasc there will probably be a new server. You could start there if you want everyone on equal footing.

    • You could be right. I’ve been burned out before on WoW and this isn’t quite the same. I don’t hate logging in or playing my main.

      The 10/25 change is a hard one to predict. It has the potential to break up a lot of people’s current game communities. And how catastrophic it will be for people as individuals really does depends on the extent to which that happens.

      One thing is for sure though, it’ll be much easier to hop to another game if you’re in a 10 man guild/group and 5 of them want to try GW2/ SWTOR/ FF14/ whatever than if you are in a larger group and a few of them do.

  3. I find plenty of tank fights in ICC very much challenging over those in Ulduar. Sindragosa for one, and LK and OT in putricide (yes it is).
    Especially in HM (i do ‘only’ raid 10 though), Personally I think tanking in icc is very much tougher than Ulduar, and more fun.
    I’ve not been challenged this much since sarth 3d

    • I think there are way more dull tanking fights in ICC. how about princes, blood queen, rotface (MT), festergut, saurfang, marrowgar. You cannot seriously compare those to iron council, any of the keepers, Vezaxx or Yogg, or even Ignis.

      And don’t start me on 3rd tank at putricide (you’re lucky you don’t have to do that).

  4. I think you’re quite right on Tanking difficulty. A lot of the challenge seems to have been moved to DPS or healers. There are an awfull lot of fights where the tanks just stand there and swap now and then. Some of the fights improve on Heroic mode or if you get the raid quest (Lady D looked much more involved for tanks especially on 25 man with the raid q). But most dont.

    I think perhaps I have a case of end of expansion blues too so maybe the glass is half empty and slightly cracked?

    Sure ICC has some nice moments and compared to TotC its brilliant but Ulduar was a real Gem

  5. “why do they even bother with an NDA any more, I wonder? ”

    I think it’s important to note that all of info that MMO Champion has is being datamined out of the alpha client. They’re not participating in the alpha as far as I know, and so have never agreed to an NDA. That’s just Boubouille doing what Boubouille does best.

    • Someone broke the NDA as soon as the client was released, just like they always do. Every single time. Then the information gets straight out to mmo-champion, and then to wow.com and so on. The NDA just seems to serve no purpose, and they must know this by now.

  6. I’m always a half-step away from switching from dps to tank, because tanking grass always seems so much greener.

    But it’s good to read the tank side of the equation. At least as DPS there is almost always plenty of challenge in the fights, and failing that you can work on boosting your dps.

    • I’ve really enjoyed raid tanking in Wrath, so I’d encourage anyone to give it a go if you’re curious. I may be one of those annoying people who gets bored of something as soon as I get good at it.

  7. Pingback: Weekly Lagout « A High Latency Life

  8. I think there is an issue though in that those fights you’ve mentioned as dull? Are interesting from a DPS or Heals perspective. Blood Queen is a lot fun as DPS, for example.

    And a lot of fights I’ve seen mentioned as interesting from a tanking perspective do come across a tank and their 24 sidekicks from a dps/heals point of view.

    So I’m just wondering if it is possible to balance it out for both sides. The closest I’ve seen in a while is Lich King and that fight is twitchy and complicated as all get out.

    • I honestly think they did a much better job of making the fights more fun for everyone in Ulduar.

      When I’m talking about boring tank fights in ICC, I don’t just mean a bit boring (OT on BQL genuinely just requires you to stand next to the MT for the whole fight, and separate when she’s in the air) and I don’t just mean one or two fights.

      Sure, they’ve made some cool dps or heal fights. But I don’t get to do that so I’m bored.

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