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.