In less then a days time we will know all about the next expansion for WoW. The name, the areas, the new class or race if there is one, the new spells and abilities, the new big baddie, the new everything.
Personally, I am just not feeling it.
Around this same time frame two years ago I was hyped up for Cataclysm. I was excited for it coming and was looking forward to it. I knew everything there was to know due to the glut of leaks that let everything out but I still soaked up everything as it was confirmed with excitement as if it were my first time I was hearing about it.
This time around I don't seem to care. Whatever they add it will most likely not be for me. Whatever they change it will most likely not revitalize my class. Whatever they introduce it will most likely will not make me gasp with excitement. Whatever baddie they come up with it will most likely not make a difference. It is just another chapter in a story that should have ended two years ago.
What changed in my outlook is the game itself and how it is played. I was enjoying the game the last time talk of an expansion was coming around. Being I was enjoying it I was excited to see what was coming that was new for me, more for me to enjoy. This time around I am not enjoying the game so anything they have to offer feels as if it will be more of the same, more things to not enjoy.
I had such high hopes for Cataclysm. I loved many of the ideas they had and of course disliked a few as well but over all it seemed like it would be an awesome expansion. I was wrong, about as wrong as one elf could be. Perhaps if I keep my hopes low for the next expansion then there is no where to go but up for me. If I expect it to suck then even if it does, it will still be better then I expected.
If I look back based on the time, just before blizzcom, and compare it to two years ago and look to where I am now to see what is different in the way I play it could really be telling in where the failings of Cataclysm fall.
Two years ago, I was leveling three new characters seriously at the time. One was in outlands and the other two where fresh starters. I actively looked forward to leveling them and even had my leveling process planned for them. I am a total geek that way, I love to plan so far in advance. Do a little from here, a little from there and then move to that place. Yeap, I got it all set up. I loved leveling so much, even on new servers with no heirloom gear, hell, even more on those servers.
Now, I have a few low levels that I have no intention of leveling up even if I want to level them so I have a few more 85s on different servers. I just can not bring myself to do the linear questing any more. Going through it once on each side was nice. Going through the first 20 levels from each race was enough. It is just not like it was, leveling is no longer fun for me. While it might be true that some day I might level these characters, I have no active intention to. I hate the redesigned old world and I hate leveling now, pre BC content that is. Still love BC and wrath leveling, but they are screwing that up more now too.
Two years ago, I was still trying to bang out as many achievements as I could in Ulduar when I could get groups up for it. I would gladly tank, heal or DPS a run any time of the day, I love that place, still would go on any pug for it and I am 85 now. I would go with anyone, anywhere, any time. I loved to play and would do anything, just to play.
Now, I can't get even find a pug and when I do it usually comes down to two things, you either end up with a whole slew of jerks that have done things 1000 times and think if you have not downed heroic rag on at least 5 characters you are a noob or it is a group that will break up on the trash before the first boss of T11 content. Is the the games fault or the players fault? A little bit of both if you ask me. Now when people ask me to join them I can't come up with excuses fast enough to say no.
Two years ago, I could get a new character to 80 on a new server and with no profession, no connections, just some hard work grinding dungeons I could be raid ready in one day and if I was lucky enough to get an invite into a pug or a try out with a guild I would show I knew what I was doing by my actions and all would be well.
Now, see above for the comment on pugs. It might still be easy to gear up (in theory) but it is less then it was before and even if you do you can't find a pug to get into. If you do get into one or get a try out, you might impress them but why take someone doing 15K DPS when there is someone with better gear doing 20K. DPS is just too important now that the gearing up process can really hold you back.
Two years ago, I would pop on a rarely played 80 just for fun, do some gathering to pass the time and join in a dungeon or two. They would go by with generally no incidents even if there was the occasional rare wipe here and there but even with bad players it was never a problem. The DK doing 900 DPS was no big deal if everyone else could easily pull 3K or 4K even if they sucked. The dungeons only needed everyone to do about 1200 to make it easy anyway, so we were over powering it as is. Not to mention, there were no instant wipe mechanics if you ended up with an idiot. Dungeon runs where fun, they where a way to pass the time, they were quick and they where the #1 reason gearing up was nice and easy. They where a low stress source of enjoyment.
Now, I do not do dungeons even on the characters that need it. I would not do another Zul if you paid me. Zuls in effect where the driving point to me all but quitting the game. I hate the dungeons taking a year and a day even with a good group sometimes. I hate that even when I am having a bad day I am still doing 50% of the DPS at times. I hate that you get people that pull 5K and think it is fine when it is not, you can no longer carry a bad DPS. It used to be I could solo DPS the wrath dungeons doing 7K-9K so having a few 900 DPS people made no difference. Now to solo a cata dungeon I would effectively have to do 45K and sorry, but I am not that good and some bosses you need more people. Second boss in BRC anyone? How many times have you had an idiot wipe you over and over again? Instant kill mechanics have no place in heroics. Why to much stress in something that is supposed to be just for fun in my opinion.
Two years ago, I was working the auction house making money. I was prospecting, I was herbing, I was skinning, I was crafting, I was making money here and there and every where. I was like a goblin, everything can be turned into gold if you know how. I had nothing to spend it on, sure, but it was sure as hell fun making it.
Now, I started off doing the same thing but for some reason it lost its luster. Perhaps it is the fact that making gold before meant you where a smart player and now it just means you are a player. I know people that have 200K gold and don't even have professions and don't play the auction house. Yes, it is that easy to make money now. So easy that it is not even worth trying. One small plus to that is starting a new character on a new server. I have a level 13 hunter on one server with 400 gold already. I've only played it for about 6 hours. Good for a new player on a new server but not so good when it doesn't feel like you earned it. At least not for me. One of my new server money tricks was always watch trade looking for people that need charters to be signed, it would get you 1g, sometimes 5g if the person was generous. Now I get 50g or 100g to do it.
Two years ago, I would fly around stalking the time lost proto drake for hours on end (never got it) picking herbs and talking in guild or on vent to pass the time. Sure it was wasted time but it felt like it was worth it.
Now, I want the underwater mount, never stalked it even once. Never even looked for it. Just doesn't feel worth the time. What is different from that and time lost? Don't know but I just have no desire to go get the hard to get things this expansion but I made damn sure to try and get the hard to find things last expansion no matter the time investment required.
Two years ago, I would get a new character to 80 and I would do all the argent quests to open it up completely. All characters had to have that open. I also always opened all the other areas to get the flight paths. Not sure why, they just did, it was like a right of passage.
Now, One 85, my main, finished all the molten front quests and maxed out the TB faction. A few have done the MF quests a day here and a day there but none have even opened as much as both the druids and the wardens. Only one of my other many 85s has even done at much as one TB related quest. Doesn't seem worth the effort. Even if they both have things like patterns I need or upgrades the characters could use.
Two years ago, You could easily take one or two sub par players along with you for a raid and do well. It was great for teaching new players, helping them gear up, and just having some fun. Often we would go into raids with one or two people doing subpar DPS and do just fine. Back when 3K or 4K was max DPS having someone do half that would not kill a raid, it would be just fine. You could even survive with two people doing half that in a 10 man. It didn't even feel like you where carrying them.
Now, The requirements needed for raiding seem to be more strict, even after the nerfs. Try downing a boss like Balroc with two sub par DPS doing 10K or less, it is not happening unless everyone else is really ripping the crap out of him on the DPS charts and it might still be close. The thing is, sub par before and sub par now are a huge difference. One sub par DPS then was maybe a 1K or 2K difference. One sub par DPS now could be a 12K or 15K difference. You can't just roll in raids with someone along for fun. It actively feels like you are carrying them.
Two years ago, I would look forward to logging in. I was actually think who I wanted to play today. There was always something to do, always something that needed to be done and if there wasn't anything I was preset on doing I could easily find something.
Now, I log on for raid nights. That is about it. I only do it because I am the raid leader. I think the only reason I have not quit the game is because I feel as if I have some responsibility to the guild as the raid leader. There is nothing I want to do in game, not even the cooking dailies or JC dailies. Nothing seems worth it any more. Even if I try, I can't find anything that interests me enough to do it.
Two years ago, I log in to have fun.
Now, I log in and hope that feeling comes back magically one day.
See, that is why I am just not feeling it.
Two years ago the game was enjoyable, I wanted more. I wanted an expansion. Now, the game is not fun anymore, so I do not want an expansion. It would not bother me if they announced that after the next patch they where closing down WoW and not making any more updates. I might actually let out a sigh of relief if I heard that because then it would not be me quitting on my guild, it would be the game quitting on me.
There is one little thing I am holding out for however. In the back of my mind I remember something I said to someone about Star Trek once.
Before Deep Space Nine came out I said, It is on a space station, how exciting can that be, it will suck. And it was fantastic.
Before Voyager came out I said, They are going back to their old roots, this will be great. And it sucked.
Sometimes you hype yourself up so much expecting something to be good that there is nothing for you but to be let down. I hyped myself up for cataclysm, I expected so much from it. Just like I did with Voyager, so maybe it does not suck as much as I think it does, it just sucks compared to what I expected from it. Maybe the next expansion will work like DS9 did for me. I expect nothing from it, so maybe I will love it.
Expectations can really change your opinion on something.
I have no expectations for the next expansion, except for what I think it will be and even at that, I am just not feeling it.
I would like to have that "I can't wait" feeling about the game again. I miss it.