Monday, March 22, 2010

Time to Make Our Own Cataclysm

Cataclysm. The word on everybody’s lips these days.

Kyrilean longs desperately for it. Spinks predicts that it only will be able to hold the endgame player’s attention for a couple of months. An old game is an old game and we can’t take much more of the same.

More and more of the veteran players have called it a day since they’ve lost their edge and hunger for endgame. I’ve lost count on the “See you in Cataclysm!” farewells I’ve taken recently, to bloggers as well as to guildies.

Cataclysm. The one and only answer to all our wishes. Or fears– what if it doesn’t deliver?

However I’ve got some good news for you people! You don’t have to wait for Cataclysm to get your world turned upside down. There’s a Cataclysm available right in front of you.

You can get out of your comfort zone and make something different. Scary, I know! But it makes you good.

Ixobelle wrote one of the most inspiring posts I’ve seen in a long time about his ventures into PvPing. This is a completely new world to him, and initially he lost every single match, pretty clueless about what he was doing. But somehow he managed to disregard of the natural resistance we all have against doing new things, which require us to actually make an effort and learn something. And the reward wasn’t just that he eventually started to win a few games. The main reward was that he about got the spark back:

We're embracing the fact that we have no idea what we're doing, and having fun learning this new system.”

My RP Cataclysm
Ixobelle found his Cataclysm in PvP. Tamarind found his switching to Alliance. I think I've found my Cataclysm in my recent RP adventures at Argent Dawn.

It’s new. It’s a learning process. And it’s scary as hell. Most of the time I’m more or less paralyzed by stage freight. Saying anything aloud in character gives me butterflies in my tummy. I guess it challenges the obsession I have with being good at whatever I do in real life as well as in WoW. Now I have to practice accepting that Larísa sometimes suck at things and that it isn’t such a big deal.

Take this little true story, which took place a late night this weekend. I was out questing in company with another tauren RP noob, when we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of some sort of event in a stronghold. We were facing an entire guild of high levelled players from the Alliance, who seemingly were patrolling the premises in set patterns. It would have been hard to tell them from NPCs, if it wasn’t for that they did “strange gestures” to us now and then.

We were puzzled and didn’t quite know what to do not to mess with their activities. Could we just keep killing the guards, pretending that we were alone on the spot? Would they think badly about us if we did? Maybe we should rather flag ourselves for PvP so they could finish us off? Suddenly the concept of PvP-RP made sense to me. Why would they just stand there, doing nothing, as we defeated the useless guards?

In the end we decided to complete our quest as quickly as possible, and then moved away, still confused, but at the same time excited. It’s a part of a game we’ve never seen before.

The Gnomish Rally
Another memorable recent event was the SAN Campaign for Gnomish Rights. Never ever had I imagined myself spending almost two hours on walking between the gnome starting area and Ironforge at half speed, enjoying every second of it.

Not once did I think about xp/hour, gold/hour or other stupid measures of efficency. The most threatening creature I killed that day was a yellow-flagged level 6 boar (we were hungry, so we no choice). I talked to the king, I had a swim in the public fountain, I got pretty drunk and I disregarded of most of the orders of our beloved captain Maximilian. I was absolutely immersed into it, since RP:ing can require just as much of your attention as any raid encounter.

In short: I had more fun and giggled more than I have done in a very, very long time. Because, as Ixobelle puts it, it's good to rock the boat. (For a more detailed recount, there’s an abundance of posts about this already, as you could expect from a guild of bloggers.)

Finding your Cataclysm
This post wouldn’t be complete without a message. I have a suggestion to all endgame players out there, all of you who are suffering from end-of-expansion apathy, all of you who have completed your full tier sets, never want to see another frost emblem, all of you who think you have seen and done it all.

Don’t waste your time doing the same things you’ve always done, or even worse, making circles in Dalaran!

Go out and make your own Cataclysm happen! You don’t have to wait for the expansion. It’s already available.

PS Regardless of my RP adventures, my main interest in WoW is still raiding and as you can see from this post, my guild Adrenaline has lost a few players recently. Because of this we have a few spots open. If you are an EU player who is enthusiastic about ICC raiding at a challenging level, we might be a good fit. Check it out.


Kae said...

Hey now! Circling Dalaran can be just as amusing... just toss in a friend, a few minipets, and a Paper Zeppelin kit!

Issy said...

Lovely post - spot on! :)

lonomonkey said...

Running in circles... done it way too often. Me thinks I'll wait for the real cataclysm. Switching game me realize that I just needed to go back to a no pressure mode of play and see new sights for a while.

Dwism said...

I think you should try and look into tanking Lar.
I once healer a druid in SAN that was great at it!

My cata looks to be xbox360 and final fantasy, I know, unimaginative.

Samrobb said...

I'm planning on taking my 80's into more PvP battlegrounds... still haven't seen the Strand of the Ancients. Shame on me. Then there's a whole bunch of old-world and BC dungeons to visit. And a Dwarf pally to level using only common gear. Hopefully I'll be able to wedge some visits to Ulduar and ICC into the mix as well. Oh, and maybe play a little bit on my Tauren druid, so I can see the half of the game I still haven't played...

Anyone complaining of nothing to do is ignoring the fun right in front of their face.

Anonymous said...

I loved this post. Having come from a game where the end game content (and content in general) was seriously limited by lore, I'm constantly astounded by the hugeness of this game, and that it's a totally different feeling for Horde and Alliance, almost two games in one.


Zack said...

If only you were a US guild...

Cantique said...

/nod - I moved one of my alts to the other faction: Def a new experience. The game continues to amaze me!

Arkaneena said...

Yeah I am finally finishing off my Loremaster title on my main and just made a BE DK to try and hit Loremaster Horde side. I want to see life from that side of things.

Cobalt said...

It's funny that you posted this today. Just last night, some friends and I decided that we should try the arenas. We'd never done it before (other than piddling around and getting beaten over and over before losing interest).

All of a sudden, I have that old spark, the excitement, and the drive to play all night. I'm not bored anymore! We eventually found ourselves winning as often as we lost, strategising before and after every battle, and getting all adrenaline-shaky after a win.

Make your own Cataclysm? YES.

Azryu said...

I have been rolling alts!

Once upon a time I scoffed at the thought of playing melee. First I leveled my paladin, because it seemed to be a good hybrid. Still has spells, but is still melee. Baby steps.

Now I have my feral druid, death knight, and shaman who all await leveling.

kyrilean said...

That's why I've been leveling alts, but I can see that's going to get old pretty fast. PvP. Hmm. Either way you have an excellent point.

Perdissa said...

You're pretty much right about that. Sometimes, challenging your own comfort zone can be very rewarding. Over the past few years, I have:
1. Switched from Alliance to Horde (changed mains)
2. Tried out PVP, primarily BGs. Got me a full welfare gladiator set too, back when.
3. Leveled new classes, changed the MS of my existing classes to less familiar roles.
4. Set out to do some achievements I had never done before (exploring the world was much cooler than I could have ever anticipated. Esp finding that cove in Arathi Highlands)
5. Log onto a long neglected alt to do some random dungeons (and found my shaman wearing strength mail gear)

And... much more

Tesh said...

I just finished another ten day trial in the game with a character race/class I'd never have tried had it not been for Ixo's prompting. That's my Cataclysm; something new, taken in a ten day limited trial to see what I could see as a noob.

...but as for the official Cataclysm, I still say they should shake up the industry by selling Cataclysm as a subscriptionless game, like Guild Wars. Or maybe, taking another leaf from GW's playbook, make the old Vanilla pre-Cataclysm world a boxed subscriptionless game, but if you want to stay current and join the Cataclysm, you have to sub. There is a thriving PreSearing culture over in GW's world, after all...

Ixobelle said...

I have a level 11 shaman i kicked around for a bit (full heirlooms, zzz), but i'm honestly going to put off leveling a new toon until Cata actually drops. There will be a flood of new people to level with, and vanilla won't be such a ghost town.

I went 80 with my warrior via faction change, but I wasn't leveling, and dalaran is dalaran (even if they keep kicking me out of the horde side of town with a daze).

PvP is fresh enough that it's making me sit up straight and pay attention, and I didn't have to start from zero... I had a deadly/hateful set with off pieces from VOA, and it was just enough to whet my appetite and start filling in the holes with decent gear. I'm up to full furious/relentless with some odd wrathful peices, and am devouring pvp forums/videos looking for tips and tricks.

It's a new twist on the old. I'm still healing with my priest, but in a whole new way, and THAT's about exactly what Cata is bringing to the table. More of the same, with a twist.

Honestly, that's just fine with me.

Larísa said...

@Kae: I’m afraid I don’t have any friends to play with in Dalaran… I guess tossing the toy to the minipet might amuse me for a while, but I wouldn’t exactly call it a Cataclysm. I’ve got to get myself some Paper Zeppelines though, I’ve tossed too few of those over the years.

@Issy: thanks!

: No-pressure is actually pretty nice sometimes. I need both I think. I’m dual specked in that aspect.

@Dwism: you still think so after my horrendous performance in SFK? But yeah, it’s a good challenge for me, definitely. Thinking now about turning my druid into a tank and roll a priest on the side to try out healing. Switching back and forward for spec is turning a bit expensive for me.

@Samrobb: using only common gear, that’s a nice idea for a different sort of gameplay! And yeah, I think most of us have much more left to do in game than we realize.

: Thanks! I’d say it’s not just two games in one but rather 20. The menu us huge when you think about it.

@Zack: our you were a EU player…

: Wow. That’s quite a challenge, to start a DK and make the loremaster from scratch. You must really love questing! I thought a bit about becoming Loremaster on my main, but it was just to lonely and thus boring for me to go on with. I think it would be different if I had someone with me in the project.

@Cobalt: grats to finding that spark again!

@Azryu: wow. I’m still horrible at melee. My rogue sucks. And I’ve never got the hang of kitty cat playing. But it’s definitely great to try out different roles.

: Yeah, there’s nothing that forces you to go through all quests again. There are many other options for playing these days, like PvP or RP.

. Good effort! I bet you still have many challenges left as well if you get bored with your current gameplay.

@Tesh: hm… a cataclysm in the business model you say? I’m not sure I want it tbh. I kind of like the subscription idea. They need income from something, and I’d hate it if WoW turned into an RMT game where you payed for gear.

: glad to see you’ve found a way to enjoy the game! I guess it helps to have a PvP partner at the same level and with the same mindset as well.

Arceopteryx said...

Work. Unless it is something that you genuine find fun, you will burn out.

You get tired from work because it is the same boring routine.

You get bored from all things, if your mind starts to see them as routine, and things that just have to be done. That is why I'm not leading a guild anymore.

French Fries are good. French Fries 7 times a day, in 3 months, and only French Fries, gets tiresome and dull.

The same raid encounters gets boring. So sit down and ask yourself: "Why do I play this game?" If you can't answer it with an answer that you accept yourself, then take a break from what you are doing. Try something new.

One of my old guildmates told me, just before I burned out, that WoW is only as fun as you make it yourself. Almost like anything else.

I'm gonna try out RP next :)

Hugmenot said...

I know I have mentioned this often often enough, but if you are in a position to level a character with two friends, I highly recommend three-manning dungeons as soon as you are eligible to enter.

I stopped raiding a few months ago and chose to pursue Loremaster. It is taking longer than anticipated but I will finish it within the next 10 days.

Tesh said...

Larisa, I'm clarifying it a bit in a post tomorrow morning. Effectively, split off the Old Vanilla WoW into a Guild Wars-like product (buy once, play forever), and keep the "updated world" (Cataclysm era) with the current business model. Those who want to stay on the cutting edge pay for it like they always have, those who are content with five year old content don't have to subsidize the new stuff they won't see for a while.

(Note that there's a *huge* difference between Item Shop games and Subscriptionless games like GW. The former are all to easily corrupted, the latter work just fine.)

Tam said...

I just want to say I *love* the idea of making your own Cataclysm. I hadn't though of my dorf-conversion in those terms but ... yes ... you're right, it has actually been my own private Cataclysm. I suppose one of the problems in knowing a major expansion is about to hit is that it also invalidates everything you're doing *now* - as if you're just treading water, waiting for change. It's like Waiting for Godot - you know, everything you do in the interim is undermined by the fact that *really* you're waiting for Cataclysm. So, yes, we must make our own! :)

Vrykerion said...

Running around Dalaran is a lot of fun if you start looking around. That city is loaded with so many strange and interesting things that so many players just ignore because you can't click on them. The fish tanks in the pet store, the twitching prosthetic hand in one of the weapon shops, and not to mention the infamous Ninja Turtles reference in the Underbelly. Lots of fascinating wonders to be found if you can stomach the lag.

I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who gets nervous when it comes time to speak up on RP realms. I've deleted the majority of my RP characters out of that fear...

Chev said...

Lovely post Larísa.

My personal Cataclysm (!) happened without realising it until afterwards. Joining SAN-US and experiencing that 'other' faction, having a virtual holiday from tanking to do ranged dps, and bonding with my pet who I will never abandon, Luna the silver wolf. We make a good pair, adventuring together by the light of the moon, with the backdrop of lively guild chat to keep us company.

Thanks for writing this post!

Wulfy said...

Nice post! :D

My own personal Cataclysm has come in the form of actually rolling an Alliance alt -truly the end of the world!

Matt said...

i rolled my 1st ally char, a priest and to be frank i actually enjoyed it, now instead of worrying about dps i worry about the tanks hp never going to 0 wich is easy for a low lvl holy priest :D