The Queue: In which Liz answers exactly one question
There weren’t many questions this weekend, so here we go with a one-question Queue. So let’s speed-run the Queue by doing a single question and then talking amongst ourselves.
Q4tQ: how does playing WoW make you feel?
Sorry to ask something abstract like this when it’s late. But I’m trying to figure out if I’m genuinely irritated with WoW or if it was just the lag in Azure Span making everything difficult for the whole weekend. >_< I just know playing two hours of a game I’ve already beaten made me feel better than all the WoW I’ve played for days.
I’ve gotta say… lately, pretty good. But throughout the years, it’s been a mixed bag.
Shadowlands was a dreary place, and I spent a long time logging on in Maldraxxus every day and just not being happy, surrounded by bones and green necromantic energy. The atmosphere of the place weighed on me in a weird way that I didn’t understand until Shadowlands was behind us. (I felt better when I was a Kyrian: a different setting made a shockingly huge difference in how I felt about the game.) In Battle for Azeroth I had to drag myself through story quests about a narrative that I was just not into, and spent less time in the game because of it. (The Horde side was worse than the Alliance, because not only did I have to do quests I didn’t enjoy, but also Nathanos berated me every time I accepted or turned in a quest. What a jerk.) And sometimes, no matter how much I enjoy the game, some gameplay annoyance or technical problem will leave me so frustrated that it doesn’t matter how “fun” the game is on the other side of it.
I haven’t had a lot of that in Dragonflight, but I’ve still had some. I was having trouble getting lost in side-quests while leveling, wanting to finish everything in a zone, but if I kept doing that I’d never finish the main story. Azure Span cleared me of that habit immediately: with 2 or 3 seconds of lag after everything I did, I was ready to get out of that place as soon as I got there. But of course I couldn’t, so I spent a couple of days slogging slowly through the relatively short story quest. Which I enjoyed a lot — it may be my favorite zone of the expansion, so it’s a damn shame the zone itself can get so miserably laggy. Early in the game I was struggling with Dragonriding a lot. I would try to get some place, run through every bit of Vigor, and then sit on the ground for what seemed like forever waiting for it to recharge because the area I wanted to get to wasn’t accessible otherwise, or at least not obviously accessible. I spent the better part of two days stubbornly flying across the island collecting every Dragonriding glyph (I spent at least an hour just trying to get up that mountain), which simultaneously gave me a lot of practice and also made Dragonriding a lot more forgiving. I find I enjoy it now, but sometimes I’m still stuck on the ground waiting for my Vigor to recharge, needing to get somewhere high up and with nothing to do bit sit. Frustrating.
But more often I’m finding little bits of surprise character dialog that delights me. Running into side quests I never noticed even when I thought I was being absolutely thorough. Being utterly unable to not help sad dragon whelps. (Really, I’ve tried walking past Lillistrasza and getting on with what I was doing, but I can’t.) Exploring areas just to see what I find (and sometimes finding things that I never knew existed). My frustrations don’t stack up to these moments of happiness.
Delight would be the word that most sums up the expansion for me so far.
But what really matters here are your feelings, not mine. If you aren’t having fun… well, you aren’t having fun, and you should find something you do find fun. (Though if you’re looking forward to the fun of grouping with friends later, like I am, maybe you’ll slog through the Azure Span anyway, like I did — some frustration now for some fun later.) In the case of technical problems, if you’re finding you aren’t having fun, it’s almost always better to take a break — whether that’s an hour or a week or a month or a year — and coming back when it’s (hopefully) resolved. I know this weekend Azure Span wasn’t as bad for me as it was when I first showed up there last week, and I hope Blizzard manages to fix this lag issue so the place is playable all the time, because it’s a great zone.
In the end, your fun is your fun. If you’re not enjoying the game, walk away and find something you do enjoy. Even if that’s a game you’ve played a dozen times before. (Heck, it’s not like I don’t do the same thing and drop WoW to play Mass Effect Citadel sometimes.) WoW will still be there when you feel like giving it another run.
I saw people complaining about not being able to blow through content immediately and one person replied and said that they don’t have to rush, that they can take their time the first go round. And that people like them are the first ones to complain they’ve nothing to do because they burned through things immediately.
Several of the pro-rush people dogpiled on them, calling them names and saying they were displaying toxic elitism and gatekeeping.
We all have our own ways of playing the game, and none of them are “wrong.” (Except for Mitch zooming through to level 70 in an afternoon without reading any quest text. That’s clearly wrong. I bet he didn’t help any sad whelplings, either.) But it definitely is wrong to yell at or harass your fellow gamers. I think (or hope) that we’re all on the same page here, so I’m going to take the above as read and move on.
But there is some difficulty here, because to an extent the game encourages rushing. That can make it feel bad when you can’t or don’t have time to burn through content. Particularly in Dragonflight, where there’s a whole lot of content, and professions are particularly difficult to level. Sure, you don’t have to do it all right now, but there are plenty of reasons you might want to.
Chief among those is that Season 1 starts on Tuesday, bringing Mythic+ and the Vault of the Incarnates raid. If you want to do those things, you have to be geared up, which means you need run dungeons, Heroics, Mythics, hunt rares, grind out Renown, do world events, and level professions for gear. And that’s on top of leveling to 70 and finishing the main story quest.
And sure, you can say that you don’t have to run Mythic+ or Vault of the Incarnates the moment it opens. But what if your friends are running it? What if you want to play with those friends? What if the only reason you play this game is so you can play it with friends, who will be raiding on Tuesday? In that case, you need to be ready, and you need to spend a lot of time getting there.
So the game pressures you to rush through everything the expansion has to offer (so far) in two weeks to get ready for the first raid. Then you complain about this and people tell you to chill out, you don’t need to rush. Then you yell at them for telling you not to rush when you clearly have to rush. Then it all repeats in a big circle of misery and misunderstanding, and no one’s happy.
I myself am in a very casual, low-stress guild, but we’re raiding on Wednesday and I feel very far behind, even though I also feel like I’ve been playing a ton. I just got enough gear to queue for Heroic dungeons, and it seems like they’ve been running Mythics all week. I can’t even make feasts yet!
In the end we’re all playing our own version of the game, and those versions aren’t always interchangeable. Someone playing the speed-run version of WoW is practically playing a different game than the person taking their time and experiencing everything in the game world who is practically playing a different game than the person trying to earn as much gold as possible early in the expansion. We all have our own version of Warcraft, and there’s no selling any side on their side being wrong and another side being right, because there’s no right way to play.
There’s no winning that fight, and so it goes on without end, in one thread or another. It’s perhaps WoW’s one true constant: “hardcore” players and “casual” players arguing about the right way to play a game that doesn’t define a right way to play it. We’ve seen arguments like this since WoW began, and we’ll see plenty more before it ends.
All I’ve learned in this time is to stay the heck out of it, because these arguments will never stop.
on the first day after I unlocked world quests on my main, there were like 5-6 gear quests up.
on the two days after that, I haven’t seen a single gear quest.
what’s up with that, queue. what’s up with that.
Same. And not only did I initially see a whole lot of World Quests offering gear: they were also offering great gear. My ilevel has improved little since I initially hit 70, but I see few gear World Quests and all of them with gear around my ilevel or worse. Not particularly helpful when I’m wanting to gear up and not wanting to pug my way there.
But maybe now that I’ve complained about it, the matter will resolve itself. I should log on right now to check!
I actually don’t mind dragonriding while I am herb collecting. (No doubt saying that will come back to haunt me later.) Sometimes it feels like trying to land a jet fighter on a dining room table if the herb is on a ledge or something.
My most enduring problem with Dragonriding is reaching mining nodes in high places. A lot of them are on cliff edges, or at the top of a tall pillar of rock. When I get up high enough to reach them, I’m also going so fast that it’s tough to hit the spot I need to be. Sometimes I need to do a few laps around to be able to get high enough and far enough away that I can turn around, see my target, and come in for a landing. Often this involves some wild, careening spins where I can’t even tell where I’m going until I come in for a crash landing.
Gathering was clearly designed with Dragonriding in mind, which really sucks if you, like me, has trouble with it.
I really like the voice of Naleidea Rivergleam.
She has just the right amount of excitement and calm.
She’s my favorite. I just love her so much, and she seems to fall right out of the main narrative after the very beginning of Waking Shores. I hope she pops back up later (soon!) because I already miss her terribly.
And the seems to be all for now, my friends. I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend and that Monday doesn’t weigh you down too badly. Take care of yourselves and I’ll see you back here
next week on Friday.
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