He was like that when I got here! Honest!
I was wondering, the other day, what if you REALLY had to use the toilet — it was an emergency, do-or-die situation. And you get into the bathroom and you discover a dead body in the stall you wanted to use. Do you report the dead body immediately or do you go do your business in another stall first?
I think I’m watching too many Bones reruns on Hulu.
It’s been a week since patch 3.3 went live, the patch that turned Ironforge into an instance lobby every dungeon in the game into maps. The patch that turned WoW from a game where you mostly soloed until 80 and hardly ever saw the inside of a dungeon, to one where doing dungeons is by far the most efficient way to level.
In short, the patch that moved WoW even further from the MMORPG baseline. I’ve said pretty often that WoW shouldn’t even be grouped in with other games that seem, on the outside, to be similar. It is its own, separate deal.
When I returned to Azeroth, before 3.3, I was mostly doing what I mostly did before. Going through my quests and doing them, one at a time, spending most of my playtime traveling from one place with monsters to another and relatively little time in the killing. Which was easy enough, if you see a monster, there’s a quest to kill it somewhere. I wouldn’t have subscribed past the seven free days if that’s all it was. Because soloing quests is REALLY BORING, and I find it pointless to pay money to be bored. This is why I am not currently a LotRO subscriber. Soloing quests in North Downs is something Turbine should pay ME to do.
Now I still do quests, but I’m queued up for dungeons at the same time. My first time through WoW, all I cared about was leveling, leveling, leveling. Most dungeons I only did once, until Sunken Temple and Maraudon when I started actually needing to farm gear (or rather, the people in my guild did, and I played a priest, so I saw those two dungeons a LOT).
I’ve taken some flack for diving straight into the “easy mode” bits of WoW. I have all the add ons I think I could use. Auctioneer sells all my loot for me — and now I have over 100g, from starting at 15g — more than enough to buy my epic mount when I hit level 40. QuestHelper (combined with the new built-in map enhancements that also came with 3.3) keeps my non-dungeon time efficient. And Azeroth Advisor makes me look like less of a noob when I’m in a dungeon.
Seriously, Azeroth Advisor is worth ten times the price. It sent me newsletters with info about Uldaman and Scarlet Monastery — Cathedral, and wouldn’t you know that those two dungeons came up pretty soon after. It tells me how to play a rogue, what poisons to use (Crippling Poison to defeat runners? Brilliant!), and in general, how to make it seem like maybe it HASN’T been over three years since I last played.
Though mostly I play with phenomenally-geared alts. I’m thinking that most of the people I play with (in the 30s) are using 3.3 in the downtime from their mains to level their alts.
Some people still play like they are on their uber mains. The Azeroth Advisor suggests people pull groups from the Cathedral in order to lower the chance of being overwhelmed by adds. Only ONE group did it this way. One time we managed all the adds. Another time we all wiped.
People come and go from the groups all the time. You can be in the middle of an instance and suddenly the tank or healer hearths out; no reason given. Then you’re stuck.
Given all the downsides with grouping with people of random skill and gear whom you don’t know and will never meet again, patch 3.3 has made WoW from a really boring solo game to one where you can just spend your time doing dungeon crawls, the ancestral RPG activity and the reason I love to play MMOs in the first place. It’s what I loved about EQ when Lost Dungeons of Norrath came out, too, except without all the tedium of actually forming a group.
I hate to say this, but EQ2 could really benefit by adding something similar. It would be the natural extension of their Shadow Odyssey instance-based gameplay.