MMOs – Breaking and Resting.

Broadband WHOA!

The end has come for most guilds in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and now begins the painful wait for news of when the expansion will be released. There are people even complaining it is taking so long – but here’s a thought. Why not… play another MMO for a few weeks instead? You never know, you might like it!

 

The end of Cataclysm, for me, came with the legendary rogue daggers. Which are a bit of a let down, if we’re being honest here – it’s more mechanics on top of more mechanics, and seeing as the Landslide enchant shows on them, there’s nothing remotely nice about their looks either.

But that said, I had been once again getting bored in World of Warcraft. Thing is, I HAVE Loremaster, and loads of achievements, and rare pets and mounts. Over the years, that has accumulated and coming up in Mists of Pandaria, all of that will be shared – making farming them on alts a completely pointless waste of time. In effect, I had run dry in Cataclysm – once again, burned through the content before Blizzard could sate my appetite.

I know this happens though, and not just to me – thousands upon thousands of players have the same problem right now, and a lot of it is coming through as veiled frustration on the forums, with a hint of passive-aggressive. Boredom tends to lead to people doing things, saying things, asking about things they wouldn’t normally otherwise do, and is a perfectly natural human response to the situation at hand. Why yes, you are paying a subscription fee, congratulations, that does entitle you to have an opinion. Here’s a free cup of coffee and a cookie, welcome to the debate team.

However, rather than making mischief and being somewhat annoying to others, here’s a tip I picked up; play something else for a few weeks/months.

For example, currently my “standby” MMO, the one I tend to go to when World of Warcraft gets boring, is Champions Online. It’s more than the character creation system, and the art style, and the missions system and active alerts and all of that – there’s something nice about it. I know that by the time I’ve reached a similar “bored now!” feeling there, there will be another MMO – or World of Warcraft – back online once more with new content. It’s there and remains there as kind of my support line, the “I like you, so let’s keep it casual” thing. Warcraft always encourages the hardened edge in me of playing to win, whatever the cost. Champions Online tends to bring out the silly side of me, experimental, joyously crazy. It’s important to have that extra padding, because you know there’s something to escape into when you’re getting a bit tired.

A few of the people I know in my guild have already more or less “left” Warcraft again – they log back in for raids and that’s pretty much it, and they’re right, £8.99 a month for two hours a week is pretty steep. But most of them don’t want to buy The Old Republic, or TERA, so they just hang around the game, the trade channel, the forums, trying to pad out and justify their subscription fee, and ending up making themselves look pretty stupid in the process.

It doesn’t have to be a paid MMO – there are lots of really good Free to Play ones, and a lot of them do have a subscription plan for those who want it all. Lord of the Rings Online, Star Trek Online, Age of Conan – all became better games when they went Free to Play. The extra investment came good, and made the games work better. You don’t need to spend out lots of money on a Free to Play MMO – Champions Online, I subscribe as and when I need to. It’s all there, I get some free points to boot I can use as and when needed. You don’t need to drain your bank balance to get ahead in a good F2P MMO. There’s a difference between Free2Play and Pay2Win. The latter doesn’t work – it’s as obvious as it is insulting to people.

The advantage of changing too is that it might also remind the likes of Blizzard that a six-month wait between the end of the previous expansion and the start of a new one may also be a little bit too LONG. Blizzard need our attention – they really do, it’s an odd system whereby they need their subscriber numbers to stay at 10 million or so. Maybe it’s like Speed, if it drops below that number, a bomb strapped to Ghostcrawler will detonate, I don’t know. Staying subbed doesn’t help – Blizzard still get the money. There needs to be a shot across their bow now that we’re not happy waiting for so long for an expansion to end/start. It was a year between the start of Icecrown Citadel and Cataclysm. That simply shouldn’t fly – it’s poor planning and pacing.

So yeah, my little encouragement to anyone bored in Cataclysm is – try something else for a while. Go ahead. Explore, and when you return to WoW – in weeks or months – you will be oddly refreshed again. A change is great, and the time spent apart makes WoW seem fresh again.

Just stay out of trouble. Boredom can make you do silly things… and always good to live without regrets I think! 😉

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