Monday, May 4, 2009

Reasons for me to keep smiling when the world seems to be falling apart

We’re doomed. And that goes for both worlds, if you should believe the people who speak most and loudest.

In Real World we’re expecting to die from a new kind of flue. Run away, little girl, Armageddon is coming!

And in the Gaming World, the prophets are equally sure that Azeroth is about to be deserted any day. World of Warcraft has peaked and it’s just a matter of days before the servers will shut down.

Well the last statement was maybe just a LITTLE bit exaggerated. But there’s no doubt that a Wall of Apathy has hit the Blogosphere and critted us pretty badly. Well known and much loved blogs are announcing their closing more or less daily. Resto4life, BRK, Out of Mana, Gun Lovin’ Dwarf Chick and Hoof n’Healz are names that come into my head, but there have been more of them.

Other bloggers like Kestrel and Euripiedes still write and play, but have written posts about how the game has lost its magic grip on them. It remains to see if it’s a temporary burnout or if they’ll gradually turn their back to Azeroth until they decide to cancel their WoW accounts, like Tobold did the other day.

Gloominess spreading
In Swedish there is a saying that goes “there’s no smoke unless there’s a fire”. I really hate it, because it’s often used as an excuse to spread false rumors and lies. People often jump into conclusions from random observations, without actually checking facts and how things really are.

About this general feeling of decline in WoW I’m not sure what to think. I don’t have access to the subscription numbers or server statistics of Blizzard. I don’t know how the discussions are going in their direction room.

All I can say is that there currently is a sort of gloominess that is spreading in the Blogopshere. The quality of light has changed from dawn to dusk; it’s still glowing, but it’s lost some of its freshness. This could have to do with the fact that many of the bloggers are long time players. They’ve been doing this more or less since the very first beta. Day after day, week after week, month after month. Tobold bravely displayed his /played hours in a post and I bet many of those bloggers have a lot more. It would be strange if people didn’t eventually feel that they’d had enough of this game. It really would.

I on the other hand started to play in TBC, so I’m two years behind the rest of you guys who are burned out. Think about how you felt about the game two years ago! That’s how it is to me now. (Yes, I know I’m lucky!) It’s as if I find myself a safe spot. The Apathy Wall couldn’t touch me this time.

Reasons for me to smile
I have plenty of reasons to keep smiling, even at a point when Azeroth seems to be falling apart. I keep rejoicing at small things that are happening to me. Here are a few of the most recent events:

  • Glory of the Hero completed

I finally got my Glory of the Hero achievement completed!

The last achievement I needed for it was the Emerald Void achievement in Occulus. On my third mission to get it (the two first had only ended in wipes) we nailed it only after a few tries. Words can’t describe how happy and proud I am about this one. It really feels like an achievement worth mentioning, very much different to “explore Badlands” or “Eat 100 pieces of chocolate”. The dragon mount that came with it honestly looks hideous. It’s too big and flies only with difficulty. It looks as if she’s about to crash any minute. But she means a lot to me anyway, since she embodies all the fun I’ve had doing those instances in new and challenging ways.

  • Gevlon’s still around

Gevlon has found a new guild! I’m glad that it seems as if he finally can look forward to get some decent raiding within the frames of a guild instead of in horrible pugs. And I’m glad that he’ll keep blogging. I would have missed him for sure.

  • The return of the realm clown

Cacknoob is back! Yep, the retired realm clown that I wrote about in mid March has once again turned up at the server. He couldn’t stay away more than six weeks. Within 20 minutes of his arrival he was back arguing in the trade channel and things were back to normal. Some players were pouring out their contempt, not for Cacknoob himself, but for the people who like him. Well, that includes me then. When I whispered Cacknoob and greeted him, he told me that he read my blog continuously and that he agrees with 99 percent of what I write. Woot! I didn’t think he agreed with anyone but himself. But Cack, you’ve got a spot in my heart and a special chair at the inn, that’s for sure. This inn is open for everyone, especially for outcasts.

  • New bloggers incoming

There are a lot of new, promising bloggers incoming! New bloggers are reporting for duty every day at the introduction forum at Blog Azeroth. They’ll give us entertainment and food for thought if we just give them a chance and some encouragement. Stop moping over our fallen heroes and look for the new ones! I try to include the ones that I fall in love with instantly into my Blogroll. The latest jewel I found was Shy at WoW. Please pay her a visit!

  • Argent Tournament

I’ve learned how to joust! Or at least I’ve improved. I’ve currently got valiant rank, when you’re doing The Great Melee quest, fighting three opponents. When I first tried this I lost over and over again, four, five matches in a row. Won one and then lost again, swearing over my own incompetence. Now I oneshot them pretty easily, feeling like a gnomish version of Ivanhoe. I may suck at some parts of WoW but at least I hardly ever give up on anything. And that pays off, eventually. It remains to see though if I’ll be quite as triumphant when I advance to Champion. I must say that I really enjoy the Argent Tournament. I’m rather drawn to the swords and sorcery side of WoW than to the high tech and here I’m right in the middle of a fairy tale, including frog kissing. Apart from boring travelling time that I could have been without, I think they’ve done a great job in this.

  • My new bartender

And last, but not least: I’ve hired a bartender, as you’ve probably noticed. I’m very proud to introduce Elnia, who will be guest posting at The Pink Pigtail Inn every now and then. Actually I don’t know very much about her. Elnia is one of my regular readers who one day offered to write a guest post. Or maybe I should say “him”, since I think it’s a guy behind this character, but after all, does it matter really?

What I do know is that Elnia knows how to write. The style is a bit different to mine but I think you’ll like it. At least I do. Don’t expect quick shots that you finish in a second and then stupidly stare at the empty glass. Expect walls of texts that are like cocktails that you can sip and enjoy for a long time. That’s the kind of bartender that Elnia is.

I keep smiling
The Wall of Apathy passed me at safe distance. I’m not doomed yet. And when I think about WoW and the WoW community I still have many reasons to smile. How about you?


Klepsacovic said...

“there’s no smoke unless there’s a fire” We have something like that in the States and it is still stupid.

I'd not worry. If the world is going to fall apart, there's no much to do. Either we're doomed or we're not, either way we might as well enjoy it.

If it helps counteract the feeling of doom, I only learned a few weeks (maybe months by now) that a bunch of my friends play WoW. That's five more players that I didn't know existed, all of them having fun at various levels.

Don't be surprised that big bloggers would start to fade away from WoW. Time tends to take its toll. I know I've had times when I didn't want to play much anymore, but I didn't have anyone to tell. People quit and join, you're more likely to see big people leave because they're the people you notice. The incoming players and bloggers will seem tiny in comparison because they've not become big yet. In other words, this has always happened and it will happen until the universe eventually decays into loosely spread radiation which despite the extremely low temperature is ironically labeled the heat death of the universe. Isn't that cheerful? said...

Pffft... bloddy mind reading pink headed Gnomes...

Ohh Larisa, you have done it again... of course, i will still post my mirror image of your post...

Actually, there have been a handful of old time bloggers go recently, and more on the way I think.

This makes me pretty sad... but...

there are a truckload of new bloggers coming on the scene... so there is still a pile of great reading out there

Green Armadillo said...

Grats on the achievement, I didn't even make a serious attempt at that one. :)

Dechion said...

Sadly, I am yet another that has been critted by the WOw apathy.

I play less, and with less intensity than before. I rarely raid (unfortunate since I love it).

Worse, due to lack of material from time spent in game my posts are getting less frequent.

I don't think I am on the way out quite yet though. I just need some time to catch my second wind.

Dallanna said...

It kind of reminds me of a comment I found on a college professor's door;

"The End is Not Near. You must learn to cope."

Either way, I'm still glad that you exude the same good feelings I get when you read your blog.

Even if you speak positively of a certain goblin that I don't give much of a care for.

It'll be a sad day when you decide to put WoW behind you, but you know what, it'll be what makes you happy. And here's hoping you find things that will still make you happy.


Sprink said...

I totally feel where you're coming from with the apathy wall. I haven't even hit my first wow anniversary yet, totally just discovering all these cool blogs, and all of a sudden, they're disappearing. Makes me sad.

A few friends (and the boyfriend, too) were feeling a bit of the apathy thing, but then they finally conned me into starting to play. Since then, the game's become "magical" to them again. Revisiting all the old places, running an alt with you, coming to your rescue when that high level night elf picks a fight with your poor little 30 mage... ^_^

That said, don't lose hope! There's still a shiny, epic lining out there! ^_^

Azryu said...

In all honesty,
I think part of the reason some of the bloggers out there get so burned out is that they start their respective blogs in the idea to have fun, but they turn into jobs somewhere a long the timeline.

I have pondered the idea of having "at least one post a week" but setting a schedule like that already is confining me to certain expectations beyond what would normally be thought of as fun.

The only expectations I wish to have for myself is to have good content, good guides to read for new mage raiders, and to overall enjoy what I do on my site.

At times, I really don't want to write anything. I want to bum out in front of the 'telle and eat some chips. Guess what? I DO :)

Other times, I go into super writing god-mode where I write a whole new guide or work on my website to no end.

I think people just need to remember what they really started writing for, and ask themselves is that why they are still writing today.

I think I may make a post about this...

Also, thanks for the great read :)
It's always has been a pleasure to read some really good posts that go a little deeper and get a little more personal then your standard wow blogs!)

Softi said...

Ahh Cacknoob! I don't think anyone from Stormrage *doesn't* know who he is!

Gevlon said...

WoW is not going down. Our WoW is going down. Remember, that the $15 of the 600DPS moron is just as good as yours.

So Blizzard will be fine. We?
It only depends on us. I've always believed that you can change the world around you.

Larísa said...

: aaahhh Then entropy. I love that concept. I'm pretty clueless about natural science, perhaps that's why the idea is so intriguing to me. I think you're quite right. This is a case of the increasing chaos in the world. Not much to do about it but to survive and enjoy whatever you can as long as possible...

I also think that blogging goes in generations. One generation is retiring, another one rises. For the newest bloggers, starting out today, maybe those old bloggers aren't quite as big as they are to the ones who've been around for a while. They may very well have other icons.

Gnomeaggedon: for all your engineering talents you haven't made a helmet for mind-reading yet? Shape up!

@Green Armadillo: it isn't too late! The mount is still there, you have all time in the world as far as I know.

@Dechion: oh, I should have mentioned you too. I think you had one of those melancholy posts as well. There have been so many of them lately, I mix them all up... I hope you'll find a new wind though. I love your blogging...

: ahhh the goblin isssue.. yeah I've got a week spot in my heart for him. He's a longterm visitor of this inn. But he isn't liked by everyone, I know that.
That professors comment was spot on.

@Sprink: I feel like I'm late to the party, it must be even worse for people starting only the last year. But as you say - the newcomers can add some energy and enthusiasm and influence the old and tired players... They're really a blessing.

@Azryu: thats a great attitude to blogging. I think it will prevent you from getting burned out. It really will. Looking forward to read that post of yours (when you can tear yourself away from the telly and chips bowl!)

@Softi: Yeah, I think he's really managed to make himself a name! And now he's actually on my friends list. I never saw that coming. :)

@Gevlon: " I've always believed that you can change the world around you". Should be framed and posted on the wall. Why don't they make it into one of the "tips" they provide at the logging screen?

Maiara said...

Thanks Larisa :)

I have been struggling with an Apathy Post for a while now, trying to figure out why I am loosing interest and how to combat it.

And then I open up my Reader, to enjoy some blogs with my morning coffee and I am met by yet another one of your posts that puts words to my entangled thoughts.

I'm glad I haven't finished my post yet. Having read your positive view of it all I feel a breath of fresh air and I think I have decided to skip my dark and gloomy post.

Yours brings up what I wanted to talk about already, plus it gives it a positive spin.

So again: thanks for always being so spot on :)

Carra said...

I also enjoy some of the new Argent Tournament content. Being a knight is just so much fun :) And yes, doing the melee fights took a few tries to get the hang of it but now I'm just one shotting them.

And it seems to be the time of burnouts. Can see it on the blogs, can see it in my guild. The freshness and fun of a new expansion is gone. People waited for the patch hoping it would make things more fun again. But if you didn't enjoy it quite as much before the patch, the patch won't change much.

Anonymous said...

Ahh Larisa, once again my name has graced the pages of this wonderful blog. I feel humbled !!


Fish said...

I don't think Wow is quite dead yet for the sheer reason that there is no viable alternative currently. Warhammer is not the wow killer, conan definately isn't. I played guild wars for about a week. Star Wars MIGHT be able to pull people from Wow, but time will tell.

I would have thought you guys would be about as safe as anyone from swine flu. I mean A) its just the flu, B) its mexican in origin, so apart from people on vacation, its not exactly easy for it to get there. . .

Fish said...

I don't think Wow is quite dead yet for the sheer reason that there is no viable alternative currently. Warhammer is not the wow killer, conan definately isn't. I played guild wars for about a week. Star Wars MIGHT be able to pull people from Wow, but time will tell.

I would have thought you guys would be about as safe as anyone from swine flu. I mean A) its just the flu, B) its mexican in origin, so apart from people on vacation, its not exactly easy for it to get there. . .

Tobold said...

More good news: A "flue" is a kind of chimney, and is unlikely to kill you, unless it falls on your head. :) But of course it's helpful if you have smoke, with or without a fire.

Rhii said...

Larisa, I think your feed reader is broken! I've been thinking for days that you'd gone silent like so many others and feeling very sad about it. But here you are, introducing new guest bloggers and making positive comments on the negatives like always.

I think I'll have a very hard time losing interest in WoW as long as you're around to remind me why I love it!

And I'm also very glad that Gevlon's not gone. :)

Larísa said...

@Maiara: oh I loved the married-to-wow-post you came up with! I'm glad if I somehow helped you to get into the right mood to write it!

@Carra: yeah, I think you can't expect too much from a patch. It's not like it's bringing a completely new game. The mounted fights actually are a bit new, but I guess they're not enough to keep people happy if they're really on the verge of a burnout.

@Cack: a humbled Cack, can that be? Wow, if only the Stormrage population knew this soft side of you... :)

@Fish: I'm not personally worried about the flu. Not at all. I think it's a bit sad to see the alarm machine starting over again. And I know that for every time this happens and it shows that it was a false alarm after all, the value of triggering such alarms will decrease, so that people actually won't listen when it's serious...
Risk communications isn't altogether easy though; I can understand the problems that the authorities are facing trying to put it right.

@Tobold: hm... a flu like a chimney? I've got to think about that a bit further. It puzzled me.

@Rhii: broken? Hm.. I know that some blogger blogs that link to ppi have problems with updates. They need to change to my feedburner address and then it will work. But when I check my feed in itself it seems to work properly, at least in my google reader. I don't know about others. Has anyone more out there noticed any problem?
To be honest I'm pretty clueless what to do about it, if it actually IS broken. :(

Kromus said...

Inspiring post- well my thoughts are..

Although i started playing in orignal WoW, I didn't play it properly *i was very young and was out too much* But i properly learned to play in TBC which was the peak of my existance, being guild master of a succesful (at the time) guild and later making some friends i still talk to EVERY day.

Most things die, some things later then others-- but not all things die.

WoW WONT die- in our hearts, memorys-- but for some people it doesn't satisfy the need anymore- but we still want the memory.

Therefore WoW can never die, only seal its lips, and await the time to call apon the word again (Blizzard are makigna mystery MMORPG for that)!.

As for statistics, Blizzard re gaining more subscribers then ever, its just the quality of them that is going down. Theres more arseholes on WoW now but at the same time theres more nice people to couunter it,

But as always,.

We only hear the bad things.
I wouldn't worry your little pigtails- keep smiling like you are, yey for cacknoob, yey for bartender, yey for life.

Misneach said...

Chin up. I, like you, started playing in TBC and still have some fire left.

As far as blogging goes, while some of the greats have gone there are plenty of us just getting warmed up.

Regarding your feed, I subscribed using the Blogger dashboard and it hasn't picked up a post in a while. said...

Bloody stinking iPhone lost my epic post on it's way to WordPress.. so no need to fear the mirror post...

Rhii & others. I noticed a New (or maybe old) feed for PPI appear (reappear) in my feedreader... so something has changed.

The one that is working is:

Shy said... this is why my traffic spiked! Thank you for the callout ^_^

"Waar rook is, is vuur" The Dutch equivalent of “there’s no smoke unless there’s a fire”.

I have played since the final months of vanilla myself, but only became a true wow gamer in TBC. Funny enough it took me a long time to get some of my friends and family convinced that they too should play. Yes, we are losing some long-loved bloggers/players, but I'm sure this game is winning subscribers every day, and maybe the crowd will change a bit, but change is only a stage that you go through, get used to, and then work with.

Btw, I finally got my dad to play, he's now a lvl 24 paladin, that certainly must count for something!

Larisa said...

@Kromus: yey for Kromus! That's the spirit.

& Gnomeaggedon: I didn't touch the controls, I swear. Google/Feedburner/Blogger has been messing around abit with things lately, I guess it's got to do with that. I'm innocent and I have no idea what to do about it. :(

@Shy: I'm glad if I managed to direct some people to you. I really like a lot of the posts you've made so far. But I miss an "about page". Are you dutch?

*vlad* said...

I've been playing since 2005, and I still look forward to logging on WoW every day. Is the WoW ship sinking for me? No.

There is a huge amount of content for me to experience, even now. I'm going to be playing WoW for a long time yet.

Tobold said...

@Tobold: hm... a flu like a chimney? I've got to think about that a bit further. It puzzled me.

Don't worry, I was just making fun of you mispelling "flu" as "flue". Two very different words.

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