That Fly in my Eye

“I hate being wrong, but I love it when I’m set straight.”
Harlan Ellison

That Fly in my Eye

We raided again last night! We had sixteen players and several of them are from a heroic team that is done with the AOTC. I know all of these guys, they used to be in our guild but left for more aggressive pastures and now have nothing to do but come back and be aggressive in our raid team.

And we are still stuck on Lady Ashvane.

At minimum, the first big damage phase must get her below sixty percent. We hit sixty-three three times in-a-row and knew we didn’t have the stuff. So, we quit for the night and were glad to have grouped up.

The statistic that came out of Burning Crusade was that something like only four percent of the players ever saw the Sunwell raid. So, for WotLK they decided to fix that lack of player experience by nerfing the Lich King raid in phases, eventually down to, as I recall, a sixty percent nerf!

Nerfing raids makes players feel bad. The next expansion gave us tokens that could be farmed in dungeons and could jack up the ilevel of our gear. Each new piece was exciting to earn because you could push it up even higher.

And so on and so on. Today’s raiding experience, the designers don’t feel like they have to nerf the raids or have earned tokens. They say that the war- and titan-forge system will give the needed boost to over-come our lack of playing skills.

But what if no one is playing? We had people last night who logged in with the flask buff still up from the last time they raided!

I understand that seeing the story resolved is the important thing and, unlike the Sunwell thing, we have LFR now. Yes, that is the most important thing.

My question is: will the very dramatic drop in the AOTC achievement get a rustle out of the developers? I see clear indication that the raids are too mechanic-y and also that players lose interest when the fights are too hard to understand or too punishing for failure to execute the designed mechanics.

Of course I’m interested in the new patch and the new raid, pets, zones, art work and all of the things that come with a new patch. But I also see the possibility that our raiding life has changed. Beginning this expansion I was on two fairly robust raid teams on two different characters. Today it is down to one raid team struggling to survive.

It seems weird to me that this next patch comes with a business-as-usual vibe. It is not business-as-usual at all! There is little confidence that I will experience game time with my long-time friends. What makes WoW so cool is that I have never met my friends or even know their real names but I have been with them through promotions and firings and what’s-for-dinner and illness and graduations.

It is not about AOTC really. It is about being successful and bad ass as a group. And enough so that we are willing to grind to be better. But lack of success can lead to lack of grind and we fall apart.

Finally, I don’t think that my experience is very different from many players. If I go through a game-style change to playing alone, I would lose something; in fact a lot.

This next patch will not save the day. It won’t restore my big group of buddies, most of them are gone and won’t come back. Blizzcon is in two weeks and I can only hope for a major shift in group philosophy for this MMO in the next expansion which is still a year away. (guild housing, eh?)

The burning of the tree came at the wrong time. It may have looked good on a white board six years ago. But, today, the real life news is too immediate. The idea of genocide is horrifying to us, burning a rain forest makes us panic, deceit and evil cunning unfold before our helpless lives. So, when these things are echoed in our game, well, it only reinforces just how helpless we are to do anything about it. WoW is now not an escape to a world of dragons and drunken cheerful dwarves and fantasy but a reminder that the world around us is burning.

WoW needs to lighten up.

It doesn’t have to be less dark. The Lich King was pretty dark and scary and fun. And, I could never play a Death Knight even though I have played one to 60. Still, the Death Knight is such a fantasy thing that it is welcome in the game I play.

Okay, enough of that. What’s for lunch?

Ham and cheese on rye.

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