I both love and hate the Mage Tower challenge. What about you?
If you follow me on Twitter, you’re probably aware that I’m working on finishing the Mage Tower challenge. (And if you weren’t aware… well, now you are.) The Artifact appearance you unlock by completing this challenge will be leaving us after Legion (likely in the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch), and that means there’s limited time to finish the scenario and reap the rewards. And if that time pressure wasn’t enough, the Mage Tower on the Broken Shore, where the scenario takes place, isn’t always available. It’s up at the moment, but it’s under attack and soon we’ll have to rebuild it before we can take another swing at the challenge.
I’ve really brought this time pressure on myself — and anyone currently in a rush to do the challenge right now is probably in the same state. I tried doing the healer challenge a few times with limited preparation and wrote it off as impossible. I told myself I didn’t care. I told myself that nothing was worth that amount of frustration.
Apparently I was wrong, because here I am… back at the Mage Tower. While I haven’t kept a precise count, I’m up to around attempt 30 right now, and I don’t even care about the Artifact appearance anymore. I want to finish it because I’ve sunk so much time into trying and I’m not willing to let all that effort be wasted. I want to finish it just to prove I can. (Unless it turns out that I can’t, in which case I would like us all to agree that we never had this conversation.)
I started out thinking the healer challenge was an impossible task, possibly given to us as a cruel joke. But with every attempt, it feels less impossible. If I were just a little bit better, a little bit faster, I could do this. It’s really challenged me to think about how I play. I’ve rearranged my UI to make cooldowns and health bars more visible in the middle of my screen so I can react more quickly. I’ve changed my hotkeys to more easily access must-use abilities that aren’t in my standard healing rotation. I’ve evaluated and re-evaluated my gear, my stat priorities, my enchantments, my buffs, my talents. While the Mage Tower is down, I’ve farmed for leather for drums, herbs for flasks, and Nethershards so I can get in the door.
I’ve really had to work at this, and maybe that’s the whole point of the thing: less about the rewards and more about the satisfaction of having done it. But for now, it remains an exercise in frustration, where I constantly feel like I’m almost good enough to make progress, but not actually good enough. Every failure makes me feel like I must be a terrible player, like I’ve spent over a decade of my life playing a video game only to still be so bad at it that I can’t kill a few dumb ghosts.
This challenge is a full on existential crisis, and I have to finish it or else I have wasted my life.
So, as you can see I have something of a love/hate relationship with the Mage Tower. And with the clock ticking down, I want to know if you’re in the middle of the same struggle. Love it or hate it, are you working your way through the Mage Tower challenge now? Or have you already finished it (and I really am just a terrible player)? Please, share your horror stories so that we may all commiserate over it in the comments.
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