Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The End of the Expansion Blues?

Is it possible that people are already suffering the end of the expansion blues?  I've seen a few posts around the net recently speaking about having that feeling.  There was even one this past week as a reply in the Queue on WoW Insider.  One of the comment on a recent post I had here even suggested the same, that they are feeling the end of the expansion blues.

It makes me think, can we really have end of the expansion blues when the expansion is not even close to over yet.  We still have a full raid tier to go, 14 new bosses to beat, flex raids to try, virtual realms to test, proving grounds to prove ourselves in, and so much more to come.  Not exactly the sign of the end of the expansion when there is still so much more coming.

Add all of that to the fact that they have recently said that a patch 5.5 is not out of the question.  Personally if I had to guess, and I've been pretty accurate on a lot of this junk lately, I would say a 5.5 patch is all but assured based on the current design philosophy of this expansion.  So lets just assume for a moment that we are waiting on 5.4 and 5.5 will come, even if it is a tiny patch, why are so many people feeling those end of expansion blues?

I know there is still a lot for me to do.  I've yet to beat the sha of fear even.  When the first tier ended I was not there yet and I did not go back for it yet.  I will some day.  Do not say I have beat it in the LFR so that means I did beat it because in my mind that does not count.  You need to beat a boss on at least normal, even if it is going back when you over gear it, to actually consider it as you have beaten it.  I would have liked to get ahead of the curve for it and kind of upset I was unable to so with my raid group but I am not overly upset with it either.  It happens.  I am not one of those people that feel the need to beat everything as soon as possible.  As soon as I can get the chance to is fine enough.

I have not even tried to get the dungeon glory achievement after having gotten it early on in the last two expansions.  I'll have to go back one day to get it but I don't do dungeons any more so it would require a special trip.  I have not even started trying to get all the Klaxxi archeology achievements.  The raiding with leashes achievement will continue to elude me as long as I keep getting no pet drops while running it with multiple characters.  My legendary cloak is still at worst 6 weeks away even if I started collecting as early as I could thanks to my horrible drop rate luck.  Thank god for the guaranteed drops now or I might never get it at the rate I was going.

I've still not stepped foot into the brawlers guild even if I bought a ticket right away.  There is a battleground I have yet to even try once and even as someone that does not PvP I would at least like to take a peak at it.  I still have 1 class that has not made it to 90 so I would have all classes at 90.  I still have 5 hunters sitting at 85 that I would like to take up to 90 at some point.

There is so much still left undone in the expansion and we still have a raid patch to come and possibly another small patch some time thereafter.  It is absolutely not like there aren't a million and one things I could be doing.

I still need two of the three warbrigner mounts.  I still only have one of the raptor mounts.  I still need to catch an unborn valk.  I still need to solo this expansions heroics, which is another thing that is different from the previous expansions.  I soloed Nexus within a week of hitting 80 and I soloed VP within a week of hitting 85.  Yet I have not finished one 90 heroic yet even with much more gear.  But that could be from a lack of trying.  Unlike the other expansions I just do not have the time to expend much effort in doing so.  There is always so much to do.

Then on the guild front.  The first tier saw my guild have the worst showing ever progression wise in the history of the guild since I have been in it.  As the raid leader that is all my fault.  I can not pass that to anyone else.  We were still a top 10 guild, so perhaps that just tells you more about the raid tier than it does about our personal ineffectiveness.

It did leave us with a lot to do and keep up busy for a long time.  Which is a good thing right?  Some would say better than burning through it and burning out.  This tier is not much better progression wise.  Only half way through something we should be done with by now.  But at least we are the #1 25 man guild on the server while doing it.  Not really saying much when we are the only 25 man guild on the server however.  But it still sounds nice.

So it is not like we are running through raid content either.  There is still a great deal of big baddies that need to find their blood at the end of our collective swords.  So with so much casual content, solo content, raid content, PvP content and fill in content still left undone, why are other people feeling the end of the expansion blues?

Or perhaps, what they really feeling and just calling it the end of the expansion blues, is actually burn out.

That is what I think it is.  It is not the end of the expansion blues.  It is burn out.  Burn out on a global scale of the game like it has never been seen before.  I suffered it big time back with the double zul hell of cataclysm was par for the course and I felt as if I needed to grind two dungeons I did not enjoy doing over and over. So that feeling is not far off for me and in a way, even if for different reasons.

Why do I think it is burn out?  It is a simple reversal of events really.  We have so much to do that it is hitting people from every direction.  Something that normally does not happen.  Burn out usually will effect a certain part of the player base but now it is effecting so many parts all at once.

The strange part is the reason it is doing that is a good reason.  We are getting more content at faster intervals in more exciting and easier or more challenging difficulty levels. That is great, isn't it?

Well, not exactly. 

The hard core people suffer from burn out because they have to try and keep multiple characters geared which proved uniquely challenging from a time investment stand point.  Last tier they needed to cap and grind rep on all those characters.  This tier they needed to run the LFR to be able to gain valor that would be capable of being spent because it could not be spent without that reputation. 

And the LFR is no better than the zul hell, as a matter of fact it could be worse.  Sure, if you had enough raid teams to run through current raids, which the most hard core of hard core might, you can skip the reputation for gear through the LFR and just do the real raid but if not, all that extra stuff was required and that is a lot of work.  And stressful too if it meant many trips through the LFR.

The casual people that just like to play felt like they had so much they wanted to accomplish and not enough time to accomplish it in.  They wanted to do all that stuff they figured was meant specifically for them.  Dailies, pet battles, the farm, and of course get upgrades in their own way. 

In the first tier it made the dailies feel mandatory as that was the only place to build reputation to spend valor and in the recent tier it meant doing the LFR if you wanted gear   Anything that might feel mandatory to the casual player will be frowned upon, right or wrong.  Not just to the casual player but to anyone really.  When the only way to get any gear for the casual player is with valor gear and that valor gear requires anything more then running an occasional dungeon, it was met with a feeling of outrage as evident from the initial glut of posts about it, and the continued glut of posts about it.

From the all the timers (hard core) to the some timers (casual) to everyone in between there was just so much they felt they needed to do, wanted to do and it was just not possible to do everything.  At least not if you were gainfully employed.

I don't think people are really feeling the end of the expansion blues as much as they are confusing the burn out feeling they are getting with that feeling you get at the end of the expansion where you have been doing the same thing over and over for so long you just want to see a change. 

There are yet to be a moment this expansion where there was nothing to do.  Nothing you wanted to do yes, but always something you could be doing.  I could be running the LFR to gear up alts I do not raid with so if I want to use them they are not far behind.  I could be leveling my warrior so I have all classes at 90.  I could be running more alts through the raids to get the raiding with leashes.  I could be trying to solo a heroic on my hunter like I have in the expansions before this.  There are a lot of things I could be doing.  I just do not want to. 

There has been no down time, no time when you could just sit back and say, okay, I've done everything, now what.  See, that is the end of the expansion blues, that is not what people are feeling now.  There are things they could be doing.  Winning PvP pet battles, chasing achievements, finishing off raids or professions, exploring the world, killing strange and interesting mobs you had not even noticed before because you were too busy running from one task to the next.  They are just burnt out from having so much to do and attempting to do it all.

While end of the expansion blues and burn out could mean the same thing they are not.  People are liking the expansion, more pro than con over all it seems.  It is not like they want it gone but it is like they are burning out.  The reason this feeling is more wide spread than ever before is because it is reaching people that have never experienced the burn out before.  They have only experienced the end of the expansion blues.  That is why they are confusing the two.

This redundant, I've been doing this forever for what feeling, is burn out.  It is not the end of the expansion blues.  For a lot of people this is their first time ever feeling burnt out and it is easy to confuse it.

Mists has done a lot good for the game in my opinion but it also has done something that I don't think it has ever done before.  Cause many different types of players of the game to experience the same thing, burn out.  For many this was their first time ever experiencing it.

Sometimes having a lot to do is a little too much.  Perhaps that is why people are feeling burn out, or the end of expansion blues as some relate it to, because this expansion did not leave anyone out.  It let all types of players experience it.  If blizzard wanted all players from top to bottom to have the same experience with the game then they should hang a huge mission accomplished sign over their headquarters.  They did something I would have figured impossible.  They made vastly different types of players all experience burn out at the same time.

No folk, the expansion is not over and you are not feeling the end of the expansion blues, we still have over a year left of it.  You are just burnt out.  Sucks, doesn't it?

Take a break and come back fresh in a few weeks or a month.  Perhaps that is just what the doctor ordered.  But don't take it from me.  I can give that advice but I never take it.  I play though the burn out.  I guess that is why I am grumpy all the time.


  1. One thing I agree with and one I disagree with.

    I agree that this isn't end-of-expansion blues. Those will come a bit later, when we will have to spend about a year killing Garrosh. It usually takes about this much from Blizzcon to the next addon, I don't think this will change a lot even given the recent speedups, plus Blizzcon is several months away from 5.4. We will likely have 5.5, so maybe not a full year on Garrosh, but 7-8 months basically guaranteed. That's a helluva lot of time.

    Now, this: "People are liking the expansion, more pro than con over all it seems." ...is something I disagree with. Me, yes, I am liking the expansion, because I am a PVPer and this expansion they are doing a lot of things with PVP that I think are great. But other people? Not so much. The subscription numbers have shrunk. Significantly so. /shrug

    In sum, I think this expansion was a bit off. If I went back in time before MOP and they asked me whether I want them to do MOP or skip right through to the next expansion, I would tell them to skip right through. Honest and all things considered.

    1. I can only take my opinion of people liking it from what I read and who I know. With that said, even the people that complain about parts of it they still like the expansion.

      I hear "I like this expansion but..." all the time. People do seem to like it over all unlike cataclysm. I don't think I ever met anyone that said "I like this expansion but..." when referring to cataclysm however I did occasionally hear "I hate this expansion but..." which meant over all they disliked the expansion but there was something they liked about it.

      The over all feel I get from the vast majority of the people I am subjected to in guild, on the forums and over the net on blogs like mine is that people really like this expansion over all.

      I think they just went over board with too much to do this expansion. They gave us no down time. I like the faster patches and mini between raid patches, but really I would just love an easier raid I could do with my guild and get done sooner and not have that and what feels like a million other things I "have to" get done.

      That would be my one gripe about this otherwise excellent expansion. Just too much on the plate and lots of alt hate this expansion because of it.

  2. I want to Pet Battle and do some PvP, but there really is too much other stuff to do. I still have 4 alts to level, at this stage in the expansion, WTF is that about.

    I agree with your sentiments, that WoW is on a burn out. If this is going on at this stage the numbers of unsubs could kill the game, unless they can get Virtual Realms in place and PDQ.

    It still took a number of Patches to give me the expansion that I really wanted. Patch 5.3 is the slow time for me with no raiding or LFR to worry about.

    1. I think they went a tiny bit overboard with the new stuff. Not saying I do not like it, I do, but I believe that people want the feeling of completion once in a while and it is very hard for most players to get to that stage right now with all the game has to offer.

      Constant updates that people can complete would be better than constant upgrades that always leave people feeling like that can't keep up. And if someone like myself that plays a lot can not keep up at the pace I would like to be playing at I can only imagine what players that play less often feel like. Quite casual unfriendly.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. For my friends and I, the burn out comes from a combination of things.

    A big reason is the lack of longevity, of course Wrath already introduced the Tier Reset system, and the speed of patches seems rather helter-skelter (also due to over-exposure on sites etc.) but now every Patch seems to have at least one drastic change as well that makes you ponder ''why bother?'

    Since 5.2 for example every Patch brought very drastic changes in how PvP works and 5.4 will be the same.

    So if you have to manage your time, you can expend a lot of effort- and then the very 'goalposts and rules' change soon after with yet another Patch.

    An additional factor is all the time-gating/Lockouts, they always were annoying (sure it prevents 'overeating' but e.g. Daily Lockouts means you can't just catch-up in the weekend) but combined with all the stuff and the pace coming at you, for us it basically means 'do I let the lockouts rule my agenda (and then not get to do what I really wanted to do)?' or 'do I just do what I really want to (but then be limited in that & general progress by those Lockouts)?''

    1. I think the "play at your own pace" that cataclysm had in reference to dungeons was good for the vast majority of the player base. You are right there.

      Say you only play 3 or 4 days a week, you could still get your 7 "bonus" dungeons in. Now you have to log in every day if you want that. Same with dailies. Same with their new championing system for reputation from dungeons.

      For a daily player like myself it was not really all that horrible but for many it was a deal breaker.

      I read on the forums people saying they want to make the game harder, so forth and so on, but they don't seem to grasp that the only ways to make the game harder are 1) make them more time intensive or 2) make it so hard that 99.9% of the player base can't do it. Neither of those are options that work in today's gaming world.

      I am from the old school time is difficulty era and have no issue with grinds, for the most part, never liked them on alts, but as so many fondly like to tell me, most people are not like me.

      The game needs to move to a more casual friendly focus, like letting you run all 7 dungeons on a saturday if you wish, if it really wants to succeed into today's gaming world, at least as I see it even if I do not always agree with the easy route solution, so to speak.

      Like locking the valor gear behind reputations and then even worse raid reputations. And making us do it on every single character we want gear for after it spent two expansions telling us, make alts it is fun and shared everything between characters except reputation.

      They tried to bring back the days of old and forgot for a moment why they are the days of old and why they were changed. Because those methods, as nice as they were, do not work any more.

  4. Did you have to confirm my suspicions? Haha.

    I think I half said it in my comment. "There's lots of things I should be doing, I have a list" or words to that effect.

    No I was thinking about this myself. I was talking with a couple of people and saying about how things were, and the malaise I was feeling about the game, and how I was playing other stuff. That's when it hit me "burn out".

    I've been blaming it on LFR. As in "can't play my alts as I'd have to run LFR" or "I really should run LFR for runestones" or whatever. As I don't want to do either of those things, and yet feel that I should do them, and then feel guilty that I don't, it then just wrecks playing.

    Plus my guild is seriously dying, which adds a metric ton of pressure, as everytime I login someone wants to complain, or someones quit, or we have to discuss in /o what the hell we're going to do. Do we cancel the raid, do we have anyone to ask for the empty spots, potential recruits, recruiting tactics, how do we hang on to the few that have so far stayed. It just goes on and on, and people are looking at me as RL to fix it.

    Oh I do wish I had a magic wand, though truth be told I'm raiding as I'm typing this comment, we're halfway through, wiping on Ion Qon (our progress boss) as we extended the lock due to just having the one tank, plus it's the first raid this reset (yes reset is tomorrow) so I figured it would be better for morale to have some time on a progress boss, rather than rehashing the earlier bosses. Even as I'm actually raiding though, pressing my buttons, I'm just waiting for it to be over. I hate Ion Qon, way too much rng in a fight for me, I like predictability which I can learn, this just seems way too random but really that's just an excuse, just like LFR. It's not the boss, it's just everything.

    So yes burn out. Much like you though I continue to play through it, though it's probably making me an even worse RL, I'd pass on the responsibility if there was anyone to give it too, someone more passionate and vibrant who can inspire people, it's pretty hard to inspire people when you personally feel like shit. I don't know what else to do but plod on. I can't let people down. If my guild does go completely I just won't look for another one, and I'll stop raiding for a while, maybe that'll help me rediscover why I like this game. Only time will tell.

    1. If I made a list of things I feel I should be doing and another list of things I want to be doing I would not be able to post until friday because it would take that long. Just so much to do in game now, it is insane.

      You know, hate to play the broken record here again, but if the raids were more casual friendly we would not be having a tenth of the raiding problems we have both had this expansion.

      I too like predictability. I am a pattern person. It is my secret skill. I can pick up patterns no one else ever even notices. I've got a few secrets about current content to that effect too that I should share some day.

      On that boss do you drag him to the front of the room? Skills the tornado phase completely and gives you a lot more room. Just an idea.

      I feel the same. I could take breaks, but if I did who would do what I do? This is why I don't, or better yet, can't.

    2. Hmm I forgot to add the big news - old valor gear pre 5.2 is now for justice. Now this is huge news, this means that I could get alts to 480 a lot lot easier and still not have to hit LFR. This is like a granted prayer, not Cata easy, but still gearing not through LFR!!

      I should have been happy at this news. I should have been planning my strategy of what to gear, making gear lists, accumulating points in readiness and all that stuff. That's what I've done before with news like this. I should have been excited.

      My reaction - "meh" and I didn't think about it much at all. It was finally the news my alts should have been waiting for and all I could think really was "too little, too late" which is unfair as it's actually approaching a reasonable compromise. However, by this point it's just, well I no longer care. I think if that isn't an indicator towards burn out, well not sure what is.

      What are your thoughts on this finally justice conversion?

    3. Two patches too late if you ask me. I had the same "meh" feeling about it. Giving me something I would have loved months ago after no I longer need it is really useless. It is nice for alts or new players at least. At least they get a bone thrown their way, but the 522 stuff will still cost valor which in turn still means they will be behind. That should be justice gear too as soon as it is out of date.

      They are attempting to fix a problem late and ineffectively. So, while a nice change, it does not get to the heart of what the problem is.

    4. I wouldn't call Iron Qon a RNG fight. Even the tornadoes go the exact same pattern every time. It's the one fight I've heard people in my group say they like doing. What are you having issues with?

    5. @TGE Yeah the lack of 522 swapping to justice is annoying. However, justice gear only ever used to buy 'old gear' so while it's older old, it's still closer than right now where it's valor no matter the age.

      Plus as they are different currencies you can load up on justice and buy all older old, and that should take you to 480 for heroic scenarios. HC gear plus maybe one old valor 522 purchase should take you to new LFR standard, not that I care about that, but getting alts into flex would be better.

      Hmm I'm not sure why I'm defending this tbh as I agree with you. Why not go the whole hog and make 522 justice as well? Next tier it will be old just as the rest of it. Maybe it's too close to the level the new LFR drops and they are worried that people won't run it. Maybe they are trying to keep the older stuff more relevant, though with the rep nerfed to friendly they are almost vendor like. Well who can fathom their mind really.

      @James It was the tornadoes that were killing me, and well everyone. I couldn't see a pattern through. With Aly it was easier as it was just back and forth, this seemed random swirling. As the RL I felt that I should be getting it in particular, as it's my job to help others and set an example and all that jazz. I was feeling really incompetent that I just couldn't crack it. Also to add to my misery I was solo tanking it. Neither of my two co-tanks could make it, so while solo tanking is beneficial, I would have swapped to 2 tanking it to make up for my incompetence, but there was no choice, I was the only tank there. So when I screwed up it really was all over. I hate being that crap at anything.

      However, finally last night, towards the end of the raid, it finally clicked. I saw the way through and made it, and I repeated the success a few times after that. So now at least I can do the tornadoes, and through following me we only lost 2 people to them the last couple of attempts.

      Phase 1 we have in the bag no trouble, if we can survive the tornadoes then getting to phase 3 is no issue. We've actually got to phase 3 a couple of times with half the raid dead and only one healer since the tornadoes clicked for me. So it'll be phase 3 and 4 that we have to learn.

      If we had a more stable raid team then I'd say we might get it next week. As I don't even know if we'll get to raid next week. It would be nice to get it down, and then twins is reportedly easy. My friends raid team downed Qon, went to poke twins and one shot it. So if we could do that, it would just leave Lei Shen. I'd love to get Lei Shen before 5.4. I doubt it'll happen with the state of the roster but I can dream.

      So yes my grumbling about Ion Qon was because I was frustrated at the time. It's easy to moan about rng when you just don't get it, once it clicks you wonder why you ever found it hard.

    6. With Speed of light, I just go from center straight to the corner in the back (so from middle, diagonally to upper right, straight line). I see our rogue do the same, since he's usually just one step behind me. For people without speed stuff we have the luxury of having one lock portal.

      Paladins just rule there. Hammer of light is awesome for stack.

      You'll get it down.

    7. @Taitrina

      I agree with where you are going. It is still good but I think all old should be lowered. You do make a valid point however that they might be afraid that people will not run the LFR is the gear is that close.

      I say, so what is the big deal? Shouldn't people be running the LFR because they want to run it and not running it because they feel like they have to?

      If people have the choice of getting 522 for justice or running the LFR for 526 it becomes a choice. Still most people will take the 526 but the ones that don't aren't really all that far behind because they choose not to.

      Now THAT is intelligent design and real choice. Something blizzard seriously needs to learn how to add to the game.


      Wouldn't just standing in the back of the room and completely ignoring the tornado phase be easier? Whenever you can skip a phase that is an issue you skip it. Or at least I do.

    8. @TGE I agree with the choice aspect, enough said on that :) However, I'm confused by this "stand at the back of the room" business. I read that last night and I didn't understand what you meant. You get sucked into the middle of the tornado circle, so whether you go front, back or sideways you have to cross the circle. So how can you skip the phase?

      I know you can in LFR as there isn't the 80% healing debuff, well it's not the same anyway from what my friend told me. I don't understand what you mean on normal though. Please explain if you don't mind. As skipping is of course preferable :)

    9. I have not done it myself but when talking to someone from the top guild on the server about it asking for advice he says to just drag the boss tot he stage where they come off of. When he goes into the transition no one gets sucked in. You all just stand there and wait for it to end and then he comes back to you.

      Seems like it would be the easiest way to do it and I don't understand why anyone would do it any other way. I also know for a fact he was not trolling about it working because one of my guild mates filled in for them a week ago and he said that is exactly how they did it. No one got pulled into the tornado at all. They completely skip that phase.

    10. Never heard of skipping Windstorm. Picture or it didn't happen! I'm joking but doing a quick search now, can't find anything of the sorts. Anyway, Iron Qon was one of our first heroics and there's this saying: if it's not broken, don't fix it.

    11. I'll try to see if I can get more information on it. When the one guy from my guild went with them when he came back he said, it makes the fight a joke, we are going to one shot that baby.

      I doubt he was joking and I doubt they are the only guild doing it. So there has to be something out there on skipping that phase.

    12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. too much to do.... or more precisely... too much repetition in WHAT to do. Like running LFR for weeks and still sitting on only 8 runestones. Everything takes so dammmmmed long. There is no end in sight. And I don't PvP, I have not set foot into the fight club, I don't do pet battles...

    so with all this new content... I actually do less than I did during LK

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

    1. Still have more runestones than I do. But I agree. Having to do that over and over is annoying but looking at it from the other perspective of being in a guild that is not downing the last 6 every week, at least there is a way for me to get them (even if I don't). So it is a catch 22 really isn't it?

      Looking back you could say LK had nothing much to do in comparison but for some reason I never found myself at a loss for thing to do back then. It was also more enjoyable because I was doing things because I wanted to do them, not because I felt like I had to.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. It can get annoying. I do not do it every day on my leather worker as I am lucky and got all the PvE ones already and that is all I care about, but I do it sometimes just for the hide and I am still learning stuff. It is insane how many patterns there are.

  6. For as much as this game provides... there's nothing really fun to do. PEt battles? Seen and done enough. Seen and done enough dailies, seen and done enough battles, seen and done enough mount farming from various dinosaurs... seen and done enough of this raid... even managed to get two alts at 90... which are just sitting there, since there's no way I could even get remotely close to them being raid-ready. Don't know... nothing feels fun anymore... maybe because I've been playing for too long...

    1. Depends on what you call raid ready. A 500 item level is good enough for normals and you can get there pretty easy with a little luck and a few patterns. My monk got to 497 the day it hit 90. Raid ready if you will. Sure, not going to be doing heroics but I can get into a real raid and if my server did not suck major league like I am sure I could have went into a pug as a tank and geared up nice and quickly.

      I guess the difference comes from two things. You are most likely looking at raid ready as heroic ready. You (and me) might also just be tired of this raid. I think having to do the raid finder each week and the 25 each week and one or two 10 mans each week have made me tired of this raid. I have not even finished it yet and quite honestly I could not care less if I did. I just want it done with.

      Sounds like you are just in burn out mode. Exactly what I am talking about here.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.